Samford University

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Graduation FAQ

Below are answers to common graduation-related questions. If you have a question that is not covered here, contact the Student Records Office at 205-726-2911.
My name doesn’t appear on the graduation list. Why not?

The list of graduation candidates is posted periodically throughout the semester and represents the list of students for whom the Student Records Office has received a completed Application for Undergraduate Degree (if an undergraduate student) and a signed degree audit/grad check from the student’s advisor.  Students will NOT appear on the list of graduation candidates for one or more of the following reasons:

  • They have not completed an Application for Undergraduate Degree (Does not apply to graduate students)
  • They lack substitutions, waivers, degree audits/grad checks
  • They have Incomplete grades from prior terms*
  • They need more than 20 convocation credits (Does not apply to graduate or Adult Degree Program students)
  • They have been approved to Walk Early in the current commencement ceremony, but are not scheduled to complete their degree until the following semester

Please contact the Student Records Office if any of these apply, OR if you think they don’t, but still think you should be on the list.

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*Incomplete grades affect inclusion on the list only in certain circumstances.

Why do I need to apply for graduation?

If you are an undergraduate student, you must apply for graduation in order to generate a degree audit/grad check from your adviser. He/she will review your coursework against either a department check list or a degree audit generated by the Student Records Office. After the review, and if the student is on track to graduate that semester, the adviser will send the signed degree audit/grad check to the Student Records Office. See below for application deadlines.

The Application for Undergraduate Degree also collects valuable information, such as:

  • The name you want printed on your diploma
  • Your hometown and state (or country) for the commencement program and newspaper notification
  • An indication to us whether you plan to pick up your diploma or if you want us to mail it to you (and to which address), when it's ready
  •  Confirmation of the degree(s), major(s) (and concentration, if applicable), and minor(s) that you are pursuing

If you are a graduate student, you are not required to complete the application noted above. However, an e-mail will be sent to you requesting your response regarding the name on your diploma, pickup/mailing instructions, and hometown.

What are the deadlines to apply for graduation?

See the table below for application deadlines. Deadlines will be adjusted if they fall on a weekend or holiday.

Anticipated Graduation Term Deadline
Fall April 1
Spring October 1
Summer February 15
Why are the deadlines for graduation so far in advance of the actual graduation term?

Since the Application for Undergraduate Degree generates the request for a degree audit/grad check, the early deadline is needed for several reasons:

  1. It allows your adviser time to review your degree audit and submit his/her final evaluation.
  2. Once the review is complete and you've received a graduation evaluation from the Student Records Office informing you of your status (hopefully before the start of the semester in which you plan to graduate), it allows you time to adjust your class schedule, if necessary, so that you can complete all graduation requirements on time.

If the graduation application is filed after the deadline, it may result in the degree audit/grad check and subsequent graduation evaluation letter being processed late, which may not allow you time to adjust your class schedule in that final semester to address any outstanding degree requirement issues. If you have submitted your graduation application by the posted deadline, but have not received an evaluation of your status (sent by e-mail) listing the requirements needed to complete your degree before the start of your final semester, please check with your adviser and/or the Student Records Office to determine the status of your degree audit/grad check.

How do I get a degree audit/grad check?

If you are an undergraduate student, completion of the Application for Undergraduate Degree will generate a request to your adviser for a degree check/grad check. You can certainly contact your adviser directly, but the application is the preferred starting point.

If you are a graduate student, the department/graduate school representative will submit a list of graduation candidates to the Student Records Office.

How often will the list be updated on the Web? Will it be posted again after the ceremony?

The list of graduation candidates will be updated a couple of times throughout the semester.  Due to the dynamic nature of the list (names added or deleted, details revised daily), it cannot be updated every day or every week.  We attempt to post a more complete list approximately two weeks before commencement, but the list will NOT be updated again after the ceremony.

What color tassel do I wear? When do I get it?

The Bookstore has the tassels. You can pick up your tassel when you pick up your cap and gown.

College/School/Dept Tassel Color
Arts & Sciences Gold
Arts, School of the Brown
Business Light Brown
Divinity Scarlet
Education Light Blue
Environmental Science Gold
Evening College Black
Health Professions   Kelly Green
Law Purple
Music (Division) Pink
Nursing Apricot
Pharmacy Olive 
Pre-Pharmacy Black
Public Health Citron
Do I get to wear a cord? If not, why? If so, where do I get the cord?

Cords are for students in University-approved Honors programs (not for students who earn Latin Honors), as listed below. Cords are distributed by the Honor Society/Organization. Students bring the cords with them to commencement to wear with their caps and gowns. FYI: Cords, sashes, and emblems associated with social or leadership fraternities and sororities may NOT be worn at commencement.

Samford University-Approved Honors Organizations

University-Wide
Alpha Epsilon Delta (Pre-Health)
Alpha Lambda Delta (Freshmen)
Alpha Sigma Lambda (Evening College)
Dobro Slovo (Slavic Studies)
Omicron Delta Kappa (Leadership & Service)
Order of Omega (Greek Leadership & Service)
Phi Kappa Phi (Academic Achievement)

School of the Arts
Music – Delta Omicron; Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia
Theatre – Alpha Psi Omega

 

Howard College of Arts and Sciences
Biology – Beta Beta Beta
Classics – Eta Sigma Phi
Communication Studies – Lambda Pi Eta
English – Sigma Tau Delta
Geography – Gamma Theta Upsilon
History – Phi Alpha Theta
Journalism/Mass Communication – Kappa Tau Alpha
Mathematics – Pi Mu Epsilon
Philosophy – Phi Sigma Tau
Political Science – Pi Sigma Alpha
Psychology – Psi Chi
Religion – Theta Alpha Kappa
Sociology – Alpha Kappa Delta
World Languages and Cultures –

Pi Delta Phi (French)
Delta Phi Alpha (German)
Sigma Delta Pi (Spanish)

Brock School of Business
Business (General) – Beta Gamma Sigma
Accounting, Finance – Beta Alpha Psi
Economics – Omicron Delta Epsilon

Orlean Bullard Beeson School of Education
Teacher Education – Kappa Delta Pi

Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing
Sigma Theta Tau

McWhorter School of Pharmacy
Rho Chi

How do I arrange for graduation announcements, caps, and gowns?

All of the above can be ordered through the Bookstore.  The Office of Student Records holds a Graduation Fair (Bulldog Blastoff!) approximately two months before commencement at which time students can make arrangements for these items.  If you happen to miss the Fair, there is a final deadline for getting measured for a cap and gown (approximately 2-3 weeks before commencement).

How many guests can I invite to the commencement ceremony? How do I get tickets?

We do not have unlimited seating for guests, but you may invite a reasonable number of guests. Seating is first-come, first-served.  We do not issue tickets for the ceremony.

Why do I need to let the Registrar know that I won’t be attending the commencement ceremony?

Attendance at commencement is required unless there are mitigating circumstances that would lead to approval to be graduated in absentia.

Will my major and minor be printed on my diploma?

No, only your degree and any honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude) you may have earned will appear on your diploma.  Your major(s) and minor(s), however, WILL appear on your official Samford transcript.

How are honors (Latin honors) determined?

Latin honors are awarded on the basis of all academic work taken at Samford University. Students who earn at least 70 credits at Samford and a grade point average (calculated on all work done at Samford University) of 3.500 through 3.749 are graduated cum laude; of 3.750 through 3.899 are graduated magna cum laude; and of 3.900 through 4.000 are graduated summa cum laude. Please note, however, that Latin Honors cannot be calculated in time for the actual ceremony since grades are not due until the week following commencement. If Latin Honors are called out for you at the ceremony, they will be an estimate of your final GPA.

Latin Honors GPA Range
cum laude 3.500 - 3.749
magna cum laude 3.750 - 3.899
summa cum laude 3.900 - 4.000
How can I make sure my name is correct on my diploma? What about my hometown on the commencement program?

Undergraduate students have the opportunity to provide accurate name and hometown information when they complete the Application for Undergraduate Degree.

Graduate students will receive an e-mail from the Student Records Office, sent to their Samford e-mail accounts, approximately 2 to 2-1/2 months prior to commencement requesting their response to several commencement-related questions in the “Diploma Name” e-mail.  At that time, students are asked to provide the name they would like printed on their diploma, their hometown (for the commencement program and local newspaper notification), and to indicate whether or not they’d like to pick up their diploma when ready or have it mailed.  Students must respond by the deadline stated in the e-mail to guarantee their diploma is ordered on time.  Students who fail to respond by the deadline or who later decide to change their name as it’s printed on the diploma may be subject to a $50 charge.

Note: All graduation candidates are encouraged to check their Samford e-mail accounts throughout the term for notes from Student Records regarding graduation information.

I know the semester isn’t over yet, but I need a letter (for insurance purposes, loan, etc.) stating that I’m on track to complete my degree this term. How can I get such a letter?

Your academic Dean may be able to provide such a letter.

I’ve discovered a mistake on my printed diploma (name misspelled, degree incorrect, etc.). How can I get that fixed?

Please contact the Student Records Office at 205-726-2911 or by e-mail regarding the error.  Diplomas printed in error will be replaced at no charge, but students need to allow two months for the replacement diploma to be ready.

I need an additional copy of my diploma or my original diploma was damaged or lost. How can I get a duplicate or replacement diploma?

For a $50.00 charge (check or money order), duplicate or replacement diplomas can be requested. Please allow at least two months for the replacement diploma to be ready.

I need a transcript showing my degree. How soon after commencement can I get a copy with the degree?

Degrees will be posted the week following commencement.  You can make a request for a transcript at any time (online through the Portal, in person, or by mail)--indicating that it should wait for degree posting--but realize that it won’t be printed until late in the week following commencement.  For December commencement, the Student Records Office makes every effort to mail transcripts with final grades and degrees prior to the Christmas Break, but please keep in mind the volume of mail at that time of year (especially if you are trying to meet an early January deadline).

I didn’t get my diploma at the ceremony. When/how will I get my diploma?

Since grades are not due until the week following commencement, actual diplomas are no longer given out at the commencement ceremony (just diploma covers).   If the diploma is to be mailed, students need to provide the mailing address and a phone number where they can be reached.  For students who want to pick up their diploma--and if they didn't receive an e-mail sometime in the month following the ceremony letting them know they were ready for pickup--please call or come by the Student Records Office.  Diplomas for December graduates will be available for pickup in January, diplomas for May graduates will be available in June, and diplomas for August graduates will be available in September.

You Graduated in... Your Diploma will be Ready...
December February
May July
August mid-October
I filled out a card for a photo company at the ceremony? What’s that about?

The photo company will be contacting you with proofs of your graduation pictures.

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