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Graduation and Commencement Information

Getting ready to finish your master's or doctoral degree Arts & Sciences?

Completing your degree requirements is just the beginning. There are several forms and procedures that will require your attention as you reach the finish line. Watch the weekly Graduate A&S Newsletter for reminders as deadlines approach.

Graduation Application

The Office of the University Registrar requires all students to apply for graduation using an online Graduation Application form. Note the following deadlines:

  • If you plan to graduate in January 2024, you must fill out the online Graduation Application by September 1, 2023.
  • If you plan to graduate in May or August 2024, you must fill out the online Graduation Application by February 1, 2024.

Alternatively, there is a paper form, the "Notice of Candidacy" form, that allows you to apply to graduate. If you fail to meet the deadlines listed above, you must contact the [[apgrad,Graduate A&S Registrar]] immediately to find out whether you are eligible to file the paper Notice of Candidacy form in place of the Graduation Application. If you do not meet the appropriate deadline for the online Graduation Application, you may not be eligible to graduate until the next term.

Learn more about the Graduation Application. Read about what to do if you attempt to fill out the form but receive a "No Curricula" error.

What happens if my plans change?

If you apply to graduate for a particular term but find yourself needing more time to complete your degree, you must notify the [[apgrad,Graduate A&S Registrar]] by email as soon as possible. There is no penalty for making a change, we just ask that you let the Registrar in the OGS know.

Note: If you need more time to complete your degree but your time-to-degree clock will be expiring soon, be sure to speak with your DGS to determine the best path forward.

How do I make sure I can participate in Commencement?

William & Mary confers degrees in January, May, and August of each year. The commencement ceremony is held in May. Students who will graduate in January and May are eligible to participate (or "walk") in that May's commencement. Students who graduate in August are eligible to participate in commencement the following year. However, August graduates may request an exception to be allowed to participate in the previous May's commencement. This request is made using the Intent to Graduate form described below. For example, an August 2022 graduate may request an exception to participate in the May 2022 commencement ceremony instead of the May 2023 ceremony. You may only participate once.

Intent to Graduate Form, due February 15

Each year, all students planning to graduate in either May or August must fill out the online Intent to Graduate Form by February 15. This is separate from the Registrar's Graduation Application. Follow the instructions on the form and read all the questions carefully. Doctoral students will be asked to provide their final, official dissertation title on this form; this title cannot be changed after this form is submitted. The Intent to Graduate Form is available online between November 1 and February 15 each academic year.

Commencement Information

Once you have applied to graduate you will begin to receive information by email from the Graduate Registrar about Commencement weekend. Visit the Commencement website for more information about the schedule of events, deadlines for obtaining regalia (usually in late March), and how to obtain tickets to the ceremony.