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Graduation Information

Application for Graduation

Every student must apply for graduation in order to graduate, regardless of whether you wish to participate in commencement (graduation ceremony) or not. Applications must be submitted on-line through CougarNet or by contacting the Registrar's Office for the paper application.

Degree Evaluation

Once you apply for graduation, your records are evaluated and the results of any remaining requirements and deadlines are mailed to you and your advisor for review. Students may also use the Degree Evaluation feature on CougarNet to track their progress toward graduation at any time without applying for graduation. Please contact your advisor or Graduate Records with any questions on this feature.

Grades, Credit, and Substitutions

Refer to the Grades section for more information on grades, repeats, and grade point average.

If you have credit from another institution that has not been transferred to SIUE, please refer to the Transfer Credit section.

  • Waivers do not reduce the minimum amount of credit required for degree completion. The student must complete an additional course(s) to fulfill those hours.


  • Not all programs require a thesis. If your program either requires or provides the opportunity to complete a thesis, it will be detailed in the program description in the Graduate Catalog.
  • Thesis credit is earned in courses numbered 599 (with the exception of PAPA) ordinarily for at least 3 hours and no more than 6 hours of credit. If your thesis is of such a nature and scope to request more than 6 credit hours up to 10 hours, please complete the Graduate Student Request Form and submit it to your thesis committee for review. The thesis committee and Dean of the Graduate School must approve the request.

  • A student's thesis committee must consist of at least three members of the SIUE graduate faculty as detailed in the Graduate Catalog. Emeritus faculty may serve on thesis committees but may not serve as chair unless the chair position was held prior to retirement.

  • The required Registration of Thesis Title form must be submitted to Graduate Records by the first day of your graduation term.

  • The thesis must be submitted electronically to the Graduate School (see link below) by the Monday before finals week of your graduation term. Once this deadline has been met, you will have four weeks to finalize any necessary thesis revisions.

  • The thesis must be defended by the last day of finals week of your graduation term.

Time Limits

Graduate programs must be completed within a specified time period. For more information, please refer to the Time Limits section.

Exit Requirement

All graduate degree programs require a final exit requirement such as a thesis, written or oral examination, research paper or project, portfolio, or recital as detailed in the program's description in the Graduate Catalog.All requirements must be completed by the last day of finals week of your graduation term. The department will report the results of the exit requirement to Graduate Records on a Summary of Completion Form as soon as possible. Graduate Records does not need to be notified of a scheduled exit requirement.


Commencement ceremonies are held at the end of fall and spring terms. Commencement participation is not required and only diploma covers are handed out at the ceremony. Participation in a commencement ceremony does not indicate completion of all graduation requirements.

For more information please refer to the Commencement website.

Degree Posting

The files of all students who applied for graduation are evaluated at the end of the term to determine if all requirements have been satisfied. The earliest any degree will appear on an academic transcript is the Thursday after finals week of the term. .


Diplomas are mailed to the student's mailing address on CougarNet approximately ten weeks after the end of the term in which all graduation requirements were satisfied. The degree title and major will appear on the diploma unless the major title also appears in the degree title. Concentrations, specializations, emphases, etc. do not appear on the diploma.

  • An example of the major not appearing on the diploma is the Master of Social Work. The major is also Social Work.

Degree Verification

If your degree has been awarded (noted on your transcript), you can order a transcript or request a letter of verification from the Registrar's Office. However, if your degree has yet to be awarded and you need a letter of completion, please contact Graduate Records for assistance.

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