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.

Graduate Application, due October 1

The Office of the University Registrar requires all students to apply for graduation. An online Graduation Application form is available until October 1 of each academic year. Whether you plan to graduate in January, May, or August, you must fill out this online Graduation Application by October 1 of the fall semester before your graduation term. (For example, a student aiming to graduate in May 2020, must apply to graduate by October 1, 2019.) There is a one-time fee associated with this form.

Alternatively, there is a paper form, the "Notice of Candidacy" form, that allows you to apply to graduate. May and August graduates who fail to meet the October 1 deadline must submit this paper form to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research by no later than the last day of classes of the fall semester. If a January graduate fails to meet the October 1 Graduation Application deadline (online form), they must contact the [[wdcart,A&S Graduate Registrar]] immediately and must submit the paper Notice of Candidacy form; the student's graduation term may be moved to May in such instances.

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 A&S Graduate Registrar, [[wdcart,Wanda Carter]], by email as soon as possible. There is no penalty for making a change, we just ask that you let us know.

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 2020 graduate may request an exception to participate in the May 2020 commencement ceremony instead of the May 2021 ceremony. You may only participate once.

Intent to Graduate Form, due February 15

Each year, all May and August graduates are asked to fill out the online Intent to Graduate Form by February 15. This is separate from the Registrar's Graduation Application. Although this is an online form, upon completion you will be asked to print it out and obtain original signatures. Follow the instructions 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.