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Commencement Participation

  • Responsible Office: Strategic Enrollment Management, Office of the Provost
  • Current Approved Version: 01/10/2020
  • Policy Type: Administrative

Policy Statement and Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to address situations where a student at Virginia Commonwealth University has submitted a degree application for spring graduation but does not meet degree requirements due to extenuating circumstances. The student’s dean may permit the student to participate in commencement exercises. Permission may be granted only when six or fewer credits are lacking for degree completion and the student demonstrates their intent to complete the needed credits by the end of the summer session.

MCV Campus graduation candidates for degrees to be conferred at the close of the spring semester must be present at the universitywide graduation ceremony to receive their degrees. No individual may be exempt from this requirement unless excused by the dean of the individual's school.

Noncompliance with this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. VCU supports an environment free from retaliation. Retaliation against any employee who brings forth a good faith concern, asks a clarifying question, or participates in an investigation is prohibited.

Who Should Know This Policy

VCU employees (including faculty) and students are responsible for knowing this policy and familiarizing themselves with its contents and provisions.


There are no definitions associated with this policy.


Records and Registration officially interprets this policy. Records and Registration is responsible for obtaining approval for any revisions as required by the policy Creating and Maintaining Policies and Procedures through the appropriate governance structures. Please direct policy questions to Records and Registration.

Policy Specifics and Procedures

When a student’s dean permits the student to participate in commencement exercises pursuant to this policy, the dean must confirm the following conditions with the student:

  1. Participation in the commencement ceremonies does not mean the student has been awarded a degree.
  2. The degree will be awarded in the semester or summer session in which all degree requirements have been met.
  3. The exemption is made only to accommodate the student’s request and does not obligate VCU to ultimately grant a degree unless all requirements and conditions have been met.


There are no related documents associated with this policy and procedures.

Related Documents

There are no related documents associated with this policy and procedures.

Revision History

This policy supersedes the following archived policies:


Approval/Revision DateTitle
04/24/2007     Commencement Participation Policy
11/04/2014 Commencement Participation
05/31/2017 Commencement Participation


1. Can I walk if I have more than six credits remaining?

No. University policy restricts participation in the ceremony to students with six or fewer credits remaining.

2. How many guests can attend the ceremony?

For the large university ceremony, there is no restriction on the number of guests. For the smaller departmental/school ceremonies, please contact your department/school to see if there are restrictions on attendance (and if there are tickets given out ahead of time).

3. Will my name be in the commencement program?

No. Your name will only appear in the commencement program corresponding to the semester you complete your graduation requirements.

4. What if I have already applied to graduate in May?

You should contact Records and Registration to reset your electronic checkout in eServices so you can still register for additional courses, and then reapply for graduation for the semester when you will complete your graduation requirements.

5. Do I need to apply again to graduate?

Yes, at the beginning of the semester when you will complete your graduation requirements, you should complete the electronic checkout in eServices and reapply for graduation.