Congratulations on reaching this point of your academic career!
We know this busy time of semester can be both exciting and stressful for you and your family, with many questions. We hope this page answers a few of those questions, but feel free to let us know if you have any others.
The FAQ below provides you with answers to the most common questions related to graduation this semester.
Additionally, the College is again hosting our semesterly graduation reception in the Bellamy atrium for graduating students, their family, and friends on December 15. Read below for additional information and we hope to see you there, as well as at the University Commencement ceremony at 2:00 pm EST that same afternoon.
- General Reminders: Commencement and Graduation
- COSSPP Graduation Reception
- Frequently Asked Questions
General Reminders: Commencement and Graduation
University Commencement ceremonies will be held on December 15, 2023, at 2:00 pm EST at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.
Remember that participation in Commencement is not the same as graduating and earning your degree. Commencement is a formal recognition ceremony and celebration of the University conferring degrees, but you must have also satisfactorily completed all graduation requirements. Final grades for the semester post on December 20, after the Commencement ceremony. Degree verifications begin at that time, and degrees post to student transcripts on January 11, 2024.
COSSPP Graduation Reception
On Commencement morning, Friday, December 15, all of our Fall 2023 graduates, their families, and friends are invited to join us for a come-and-go reception in the Bellamy atrium from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.
Graduates can enjoy light refreshments, pick up a small congratulatory gift, and connect with our Alumni Engagement Coordinator Elizabeth Jones.
Photo opportunity: The Bellamy entrance patio is reserved that morning for students wishing to take graduation photos, and the College will be providing professional cap and gown photos in the atrium.
Be sure to come by and celebrate your achievements with us!
Frequently Asked Questions
Commencement Ceremonies and Graduation
1. What is the difference between Commencement and graduation?
Commencement is the University’s formal ceremony symbolizing and celebrating the conferral of degrees earned by students. During the ceremony students are individually recognized as, organized by College, their names are called while they cross the stage ceremony stage to shake their Dean’s and the University President’s hands.
It is important to remember that Commencement – while a time of great celebration and joy – is just a ceremony. The formal process of verifying that a student has graduated (also known as “clearing for graduation”) begins when grades post to students’ transcripts for the semester (see below). Students who have applied to graduate must satisfactorily complete all graduation requirements in that semester to be cleared and for their degree to post to their FSU transcript on January 11.
2. When is Commencement?
Due to the number of students graduating each semester, the University organizes multiple ceremonies. This semester they are all on Friday, December 15, at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.
COSSPP students participate in the following ceremonies:
- Doctoral hooding ceremony: 9:00 am
- University Commencement (Masters and Bachelors): 2:00 pm
3. How do I get guest tickets for Commencement?
Ticket information is found on the University Registrar’s graduation website as well as in your FSU email inbox.
Each student receives up to 6 guest tickets through the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center. Information on requesting tickets was sent to students’ FSU emails from email@example.com during the week of November 27-December 1.
Grades, Degrees, and Diplomas
1. What do I do now if I know I won’t be graduating?
If you know that you are not going to be graduating this semester, email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible and include information for us about why you think you are not going to meet graduation requirements.
Once we have received your notification, we will ask the University Registrar’s office to move your graduation application to the Spring 2024 semester. This will make you eligible to register for Spring classes, and you will not need to reapply for graduation in that semester.
If you withdraw yourself from the graduation list but continue to have questions about the Commencement ceremony, contact the University Registrar’s office at email@example.com.
2. When are grades official or when do they post to my transcript?
Grades for Fall 2023 classes are official when they post to student transcripts on Wednesday, December 20. Final grades may begin appearing on your myFSU student account as early as 6:00 pm EST on December 19, but are not officially posted until the next morning.
If you have questions about any of your final grades, your first point of contact is the instructor for your class. Remember that grades displayed in a course’s Canvas gradebook are not considered official and there may sometimes be differences in the Canvas listed grade and the official grade you have in the class. Students wishing to dispute any final grade in a class must start the process by contacting their instructor as part of the formal grade appeal process.
3. How can I know for sure that I graduated?
Graduation status is verified by the posting of your degree to your transcript on January 11 (see below).
Due to the volume of students to clear for graduation, only those who do not meet final graduation requirements will be notified by our office. Our goal is to notify all students denied graduation prior to the start of Spring 2024 drop/add (January 6) so that they may register for classes in the next semester. The University Registrar’s office will also send official denial notifications after degrees post on January 11.
4. What happens if I fail a class or don’t make the grades needed to complete graduation requirements?
Students must satisfactorily complete all graduation requirements – university, General Education, major, or minor (if required) – to be cleared for graduation. Failing a class or otherwise not meeting any specific requirement will result in their graduation application being denied.
Students who are denied graduation will be notified of their status by our office prior to the start of Spring 2024 drop/add (Saturday, January 6) so that they can register for any needed classes. The University Registrar’s office will also send official notification of graduation denial after degrees post on January 11.
If a student is denied graduation, they are automatically moved to the next semester’s graduation list. They not required to apply for graduation in the next term.
5. When is my degree official and how do I prove it to employers, grad school, etc.?
Fall 2023 degrees will post to transcripts on January 11, 2024.
Your FSU transcript is the official record that you have earned a degree from Florida State University. After Deans’ offices and the University Registrar’s office have completed individual student reviews to confirm completion of requirements, degrees are prints (also known as posted) on transcripts. Earned FSU degrees are listed at the end of a student’s transcript, after the last semester of earned grades.
Students who need verification of of their degree prior to January 6 for employment, graduate school, military commissioning, etc. should email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
6. When will I get my diploma?
Diplomas are typically mailed 4-6 weeks after degrees post to transcripts.
If you have questions about the mailing of diplomas or need to update the address to which diplomas should be mailed, email email@example.com.
How can I stay connected with COSSPP after graduation?
The College has an active alumni network, and we encourage you to also connect with the university’s Alumni Association.
To stay the most directly connected to COSSPP as an alumnus including receiving alumni newsletters, updates, and ways to participate in College events, reach out to our Alumni Engagement Coordinator, Elizabeth Jones, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to keep us updated with any alumni news or to possibly be a featured alumni spotlight.
Who can I talk to if I don’t know what I’m doing after graduation?
FSU has some great resources available through the Career Center to help set you up for success as you move into your next chapter.
If you have not recently met with our College’s Career Liaison, Tyrone “TJ” Johnson, we encourage you to do so. TJ is a great resource for students and can provide assistance and guidance in a variety of areas including career exploration, resume and cover letter review, and more. Even after graduation, he can be reached by email at email@example.com.
Can I change my mind? What if I’m not ready to graduate?
Graduation is a notable achievement and a significant step in moving along the path of your personal and career journey. It is very common for students to be unsure of what comes next or to be uncertain at this point, but that is not by itself a reason to delay marking this milestone.
Once a student applies to graduate, they are reviewed by their academic dean’s office (in COSSPP, the Office of Academic Affairs) and the University Registrar’s office for meeting all graduation requirements. If a student is on track to complete all requirements and they chose to apply for graduation, the University expectation is that they do so. Note that the University reserves the right to award a student’s degree if they have completed all requirements (see “Policy for Awarding Degrees” in the Undergraduate Bulletin), and a student must then be readmitted to FSU to enroll in any additional coursework.