Congratulations, you have worked hard to get to this next step in your academic career. We are so proud of your accomplishments.
Preparing for Graduation
As your time at Oberlin comes to an end, we want to make certain that you follow the next steps to ensure that you have everything in order to receive your diploma and walk at commencement. Below is your guide to graduation, from applying to receiving your diploma. This guide contains important information and action items that should be completed prior to graduation.
Review Your Academic Record
Awarding degrees is dependent upon successful completion of all requirements. Check your degree audit; to confirm you have completed (or will complete by the end of your selected graduation term) all requirements. You should have declared all of your majors and minors before applying, but if you unexpectedly need to make a change, do not let that delay your application to graduate. You can still submit a graduation application with pending declarations.
Check Degree Works and your unofficial transcript.
Degree Works will tell you which institutional and major requirements you have met and which ones you have not met.
If all of your requirements in Degree Works are marked as complete or in-progress, including your overall total required credits, your “Degree Progress“ bar will show as 98% complete. This is normal and will change to 100% once you have earned grades for your in-progress courses. Please double check that all of your required credits for your major (and minor) are completed.
If you notice any discrepancies between what you believe to be your total number of completed courses/credits and what you see on your transcript and your degree evaluation, email firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
Declare all majors/minors/concentrations.
The degree auditor will use whatever information is on your record to determine your graduation eligibility. If you don’t keep your information up to date, our office may determine that you are not eligible to graduate. The deadlines to declare, change or drop majors or minors can be found in on the Graduation Timeline.
If you make changes after this date, we cannot guarantee that you will be on track to receive your degree, diplomas and Commencement-related materials in time.
Transfer of Credit
If you have transfer of credit that can count towards your degree, it is imperative that you submit your transcripts to the Office of the Registrar immediately. Students must request an official transcript, in a sealed envelope, from the institution where their work was completed.
In order to apply to graduate online, the application will require that you have a minimum number of credits, therefore it is crucial that your transfer work be applied towards your degree as soon as possible.
Deadlines to submit transfer of credit are applicable. Allow several weeks’ time for the other institution to process official transcript requests and mail the transcript to our office.
Apply to Graduate
You must apply to graduate so the Registrar’s Office knows when you intend to complete all of your degree requirements.Oberlin College has three graduation dates each year: December, January and May.
- December graduates complete all of their requirements with fall semester courses.
- January graduates complete all of their requirements with winter term courses.
- May graduates complete all of their requirements with spring semester courses.
Graduation means earning your degree. Participating in the Commencement ceremony does not automatically mean you have graduated. Even if you do not intend to participate in the Commencement ceremony, you must still apply to graduate.
2018-2019 Graduation application process
The Registrar’s Office is implementing a new on-line graduation application which will be ready in November for students wishing to graduate in May 2019. Students who wish to graduate at the end of the Fall Semester or Winter Term must come into the office to complete a paper application.
- If you anticipate graduating at the end of the fall semester or winter term, come into the AARC to fill out a paper graduation application.
- If you anticipate graduating at the end of the fall semester or winter term and you are studying away during the fall 2018 semester, please send an email to email@example.com.
- If you anticipate graduating in May 2019, you will be able to complete the online application during the registration period for spring 2019 semester.
Oberlin College allows students to complete their degree requirements away from campus. Students must fulfill several academic and policy requirements before they can complete their coursework away from campus.
College of Arts and Sciences
A student in the College of Arts and Sciences who lacks at the end of the spring semester a maximum of two courses/eight credits or at the end of the fall semester a maximum of one course/four credits required for graduation may apply in the Academic Advising Resource Center for permission to complete these courses/credits away from Oberlin.
A student who has completed at least seven semesters may apply to finish away a maximum of two courses/eight credits after either a fall or spring semester, provided all other requirements, including the residency requirement, have been met, and the courses/credits to be completed away from Oberlin are within the post-matriculation transfer of credit limit. The work may be done at another institution or through Oberlin courses on an Enrolled Not in Residence registration. Study completed while Enrolled Not in Residence is not subject to the post-matriculation limit.
Permission to complete more than two courses/eight credits away from Oberlin will be granted only after careful consideration of educational or personal reasons by the associate dean for academic advising - as long as all other graduation requirements have been met and the total number of courses/credits transferred to Oberlin does not exceed the post-matriculation transfer-of-credit limit.
Students who wish to finish their remaining requirements away from Oberlin must apply through the Office of the Registrar in Carnegie 113. Deadlines to apply are applicable; please review the Graduation Timeline section for more information.
College of Arts and Sciences: Finish Away Process
Finish Away Status: If a student falls within the guidelines stated above, he or she should contact the Academic Advising Resource Center to make arrangements to complete the degree through Finish Away (FINA) status. Students have one year to complete their requirements under the normal Finish Away guidelines.
Academic Leave of Absence to Finish Away: In special circumstances, a student may be allowed to complete degree requirements through an Academic Leave of Absence (ALOA). This normally involves students who have completed all required course work and wish to spend their last semester on an academic leave either at another U.S. institution or through a study abroad program. The Course Catalog has specific details about the ALOA status.
Students in this category must complete the following steps:
- A completed ALOA application must be submitted by the ALOA deadline (March 15 in the year prior to the leave). Refer to the Office of Study Away for assistance.
- Students asking for a waiver of the last semester in residence must meet with the associate dean of academic advising to review their degree progress and remaining requirements.
- Students must be approved for the academic leave by the Off-Campus Study Committee.
Enrolled Not in Residence (ENR) Status: Permission to complete more than two courses/eight credits away from Oberlin will be granted only after careful consideration of educational or personal reasons by the associate dean for academic advising, provided all other graduation requirements have been met and the total number of courses/credits transferred to Oberlin does not exceed the post-matriculation transfer-of-credit limit.
Students must first contact the associate dean for academic advising to discuss the proposal. The completed proposal requires a description of the course, faculty approval, and departmental approval if appropriate. Final approval must take place before the beginning of the semester in which ENR is to occur. When a program is approved, the Office of the Registrar is notified and bills the student and enrolls the student in the course(s). This must be completed by the end of the enrollment period for the semester the student wishes to be on ENR.
- You must be eligible to transfer all credits while on Finish Away without exceeding the transfer limit. Refer to the Transfer of Credit section of the Course Catalog.
- Credits taken at another institution are transfer credits subject to the normal transfer of credit fee; if you elect to do outstanding credits through Oberlin on an Enrolled Not In Residence basis (ENR), then you pay Oberlin’s current tuition rate for each ENR credit. Check the current rate in the Course Catalog.
- If you want to march at graduation, you must submit to the Academic Advising Resource Center by mid-May an official transcript or letters from your professors verifying that you have passed all courses with at least a 'C-'. Refer to the Marching at Graduation section in the Course Catalog carefully check to make sure that you will be eligible to participate in Commencement exercises.
Oberlin Conservatory: Finish Away Process
A Conservatory of Music student who lacks not more than eight credits and has met the residency requirement may request approval of Finish Away status from the conservatory associate dean for student academic affairs in order to complete these credits at another institution. If any of these credits are requirements for the student’s major, the major department must also approve completion of requirements for Finish Away status.
Permission to complete more than eight credits away from Oberlin will be granted only after careful consideration of educational or personal reasons by the conservatory associate dean for student academic affairs, provided all other graduation requirements have been met and the total number of credits transferred to Oberlin does not exceed the post-matriculation transfer-of-credit limit.
Double Degree Program: Finish Away Status
Normally double-degree students complete both degrees at the same time. However, under certain circumstances, a student may request permission to finish degree requirements off campus. The double-degree student who is considering completion of the BA degree away from campus after completion of the BM should consult the finish away policies for students in the College of Arts and Sciences.
The double-degree student who is considering completion of the BM degree after completion of the BA degree should consult the finish away policies for the conservatory.
Update Your Address
If your address or your parent’s/family’s address has changed, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can send Commencement-related materials to the correct address. You can also pick up an address change form in the Registrar’s Office.
Check Student Account Balances
Check your student account balance in Oberview and make any necessary payments. Students with outstanding balances will not receive diplomas during the Commencement ceremonies. Additionally, any requests for degree verifications or transcripts will be denied until all outstanding payments have been received.
Complete Federal Perkins or International Loan Exit Interview
If you received Federal Perkins or International loans, you must complete the appropriate exit interview. Students who have not completed their exit interview will not receive diplomas during the Commencement ceremonies.
Marching at Commencement
Oberlin College has one Commencement ceremony each May. In general, students who have completed their final requirements anytime from the day after the previous Commencement to the current Commencement may march in the ceremony. Mid-year graduates and their families are also invited to participate in all Commencement exercises and events.
Students interested in attending Commencement should make sure to check the ‘Yes’ box on the graduation application. If you change your mind about your participation in the Commencement ceremony, please contact DegreeAudit@Oberlin.edu. Changes to the Commencement program may not be possible after April 1st.
- Students must be registered at Oberlin for the final semester in residence. This registration must be for all remaining course requirements for the degree(s) sought; and all non-course requirements must also be completed by the end of classes.
- Students who have permission to finish their work away from Oberlin may participate in Commencement exercises at the end of their final semester in residence at Oberlin.
- Students who have completed their degree requirements away from Oberlin and who have never participated in a previous commencement may also participate.
Be sure to check the Commencement website for updated information.
|Task||December Graduation||January Graduation||May Graduation|
|Students invited to Apply||Late August||Late August||Late August|
|Review Your Academic Record||First Week of Fall Semester||First Week of Fall Semester||First Week of Spring Semester|
|Grad Application Opens||Apr. 15, 2019 (for Dec. 2019)||Apr. 15, 2019 (for Jan. 2020)||Nov. 5, 2018 (for May 2019)|
|Grad Application Closes||Oct. 19, 2018||Oct. 19, 2018||Feb. 13, 2019|
|Deadline to Declare Major/Minor/Conc||Oct. 19, 2018||Oct. 19, 2018||Mar. 4, 2019|
|Deadline to submit Transfer of Credit||Oct. 19, 2018||Oct. 19, 2018||Mar. 22, 2019|
|Degree Auditors will email students whose records are incomplete||Nov. 2, 2018||Nov. 2, 2018||Jan.- Feb. 13, 2019|
|Degree Auditors will email students who are not eligible to graduate||Nov. 2, 2018||Nov. 2, 2018||Apr. 1, 2019|
|Blackboard Commencement site goes live||December||December||December|
|Preliminary schedule of commencement events mailed to parents/families of December graduates.||December||-||-|
|Final schedule of commencement events mailed to all attending the ceremonies||March||March||March|
|Commencement||May 27, 2019||May 27, 2019||May 27, 2019|