Graduation Deadlines

  • Deadline for applying to graduate for Spring 2024: March 1, 2024
  • Last day to attempt Constitution or History exams for Spring 2024 graduation: May 10, 2024

Apply to Graduate

Students must apply to graduate in Athena. Please read these instructions carefully before attempting to submit your graduation application.

Which semester should I apply to graduate?

You should apply for the semester in which you will complete your last remaining degree requirements. Summer graduates are eligible to participate in the spring commencement ceremony, but must apply to graduate for the summer term (the graduation application in Athena will include an option for summer graduation applicants to indicate that they desire to participate in the spring commencement).

How many graduation applications should I submit?

If you have more than one degree or major, you will submit a separate application for each one. If you have earned any certificates, you will also submit separate graduation applications for these as well. For example, a student completing both the Finance and Real Estate majors and the Legal Studies certificate would submit three graduation applications.

When can I submit my application? When does it become available?

Students can usually submit a graduation application for the term in which they plan to graduate at the same time as they register for courses for that semester. For example, a student who intends to graduate in the spring or summer semester should be able to submit their graduation application in Athena when registration for these terms begins in November the prior fall. Similarly, a student who plans to graduate in the fall semester should be able to submit their application when registration for the fall term begins in April.

What if I do not see an option or cannot figure out how to submit my graduation application? Who should I contact for assistance?

Contact the Registrar’s Office at if you need assistance submitting your graduation application. Students whose GPA is below the 2.0 mark may need to request to have an application created for them by the Registrar’s Office.

I do not intend to finish my minor or area of emphasis. What should I do about that?

Any unfinished minors or areas of emphasis must be removed before applying to graduate as well as any other changes to your programs of study. If you have already submitted your application but need to make changes to your programs, contact Nathan Freeman or the Registrar.

Please keep in mind that successful submission of a graduation application does not guarantee that your degree will necessarily be conferred. Your degree audit will not be reviewed by the graduation clearance officer until after grades have posted for the semester in which you have applied to graduate. Students should continue to monitor their UGA email account in case the clearance officer contacts them regarding problems with their application.

UGA Commencement

UGA holds two commencement ceremonies each year, one in May honoring graduates for the spring and summer semesters and one in December honoring fall graduates. For more information about these ceremonies, checkout UGA’s commencement website.

To ensure that your name appears in the commencement program, you must submit your graduation application before the semester withdrawal deadline (this is usually around the middle of March for the spring semester and the middle of October for the fall semester). There is no summer commencement, but students completing their degrees in summer are eligible to participate in the spring commencement (however, when you apply to graduate, you must select the summer term).

The names and information of students who have a FERPA privacy restriction on their student accounts cannot be included in the commencement program. Students who have the FERPA restriction but wish to have their name included in the commencement program should contact the Registrar’s Office to get the restriction removed from their records.

Lastly, it is important to remember that “walking” and graduating are two completely separate things. Just because you “walked” (i.e., participated in the commencement ceremony) does not mean you graduated (i.e., had your degree conferred). The latter depends on you passing your last semester of coursework and satisfying all other degree requirements.

Terry Convocation

Terry College holds a convocation ceremony once a year in May to honor spring and summer graduates as well as graduates from the fall semester of the previous year. Visit the Terry Convocation page for more information.

To ensure that you receive an invitation to the convocation and that your name appears in the convocation program, you must submit your graduation application before the semester withdrawal deadline.

The names and information of students who have a FERPA privacy restriction on their student accounts cannot be included in the convocation program. Students who have the FERPA restriction but wish to have their name included in the convocation program should contact the Registrar’s Office (at to get the restriction removed from their records.

When will my diploma arrive?

Your diploma should arrive in approximately 6-8 weeks from the date of the commencement ceremony. It will be shipped (typically in a red and black cylinder) to the mailing address you provided on your graduation application when you submitted in Athena. If it has not arrived within two months of the commencement date, contact the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Requirements and Exams

The following links provide detailed information about certain graduation requirements

Legislative Requirements and Exams

Residency Requirements

Students earning their first baccalaureate degree from UGA must complete a minimum of 45 of the last 60 semester credit hours in residence at UGA (PEDB courses do not count towards residency). There is an exception to this rule for study abroad or foreign exchange programs completed through other institutions (for example, the University of New Orleans’ Innsbruck program), but such programs must be pre-approved through the Office of Global Engagement prior to participation in the program. Transfer students should be especially careful about completing additional coursework through other institutions after transferring to UGA to ensure compliance with the university’s residency requirement. For more details about this rule and its exceptions, see the information provided in the UGA Bulletin or contact Nathan Freeman.

In addition to the university-wide residency requirement, all Terry College Major Required coursework must be taken in residence at UGA. Students may satisfy between three and six hours (i.e., one or two courses) of major coursework away from UGA depending on their specific major, but only with the permission of the major department.

Terry GPA Requirement

Students must earn a minimum 2.0 grade point average on all Terry prefix courses taken in residence at UGA that are counting towards the completion of their BBA degree. Transfer courses with a Terry prefix are not factored into the Terry GPA (e.g., if you took ACCT 2101 at another institution as a transient student, that course would not be counted). Also, if you end up having to repeat a particular course (e.g., retaking BUSN 4000), the grade from your first attempt will not factor into your Terry GPA; only the grade from your second or most recent attempt will be counted. Therefore, if you received a failing grade for a major required course that you must retake to complete your degree, that F will not continue to factor into your Terry GPA once you have retaken and passed the course (however, the impact of the F on your overall and cumulative GPA remains).

If you have questions or concerns about your Terry GPA, please do not hesitate to contact Nathan Freeman.


Certificates cannot be awarded without an accompanying degree, so graduation applications for certificates should be submitted concurrently with degree applications. If you are unable to graduate with your degree, you will need to submit a new graduation application for your certificate along with your degree. Students do have the option of completing coursework for an unfinished certificate after graduating with their degree. Once you have completed the certificate coursework, you can simply submit a graduation application in Athena for the semester in which you expect to complete the last remaining certificate requirements.


Students do have the option of completing coursework for an unfinished minor after graduating with their degree. To continue taking courses after your degree has been awarded, a student must declare an unspecified major (e.g., BBA Unspecified) and make sure the unfinished minor is attached to the unspecified major. Once you have completed the minor requirements, you can contact Nathan Freeman to arrange to have a comment added to your official transcript indicating completion of the minor.

ROTC Students

Are you an ROTC student who needs to certify degree completion? Army and Air Force ROTC students expecting to commission into their branch upon graduation must usually provide a memo signed by their college or school’s graduation clearance officer confirming their successful degree completion. Ideally, the memo would not be due until after grades have posted, which usually does not occur until the Monday following commencement, but in practice, you may need to provide this memo before or on the date of commencement. If so, please make sure that the memo the ROTC program provides you includes the following language: “Cadet XXXX has met or is expected to meet all degree completion requirements.” If you require the memo before grades have posted, then the memo must include the words “is expected to meet.” Otherwise, it will not be signed off.

What Happens If I Do Not Graduate This Semester?

Graduation delays are not pleasant, but we are here to help you navigate your way through the process, including confirming your status with prospective employers or graduate school programs. Contact Nathan Freeman for more information on what steps you need to take to ensure your degree completion.


Nathan Freeman
  • Student Affairs Professional III, Undergraduate Program in Athens