Graduation/Commencement - Undergraduate

Undergraduate residence requirement for graduation

A minimum of 30 credits applied to the bachelor's degree must be resident credits, which are credits registered for and earned at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Resident credit includes UWL courses offered through distance or online formats.

Four-year graduation agreement

Entering first years are offered the opportunity to participate in an agreement that ensures graduation within four years of initial enrollment. If a student satisfies all of the conditions of the agreement, but degree completion is delayed because the university did not fulfill its requirements of the agreement, then UWL relieves the student of tuition for the required course(s) remaining after the four-year time period. Not all UWL academic programs are included as part of this formal agreement. More information about the conditions of the four-year agreement is available from the dean’s office in each college. The agreement must be signed within the first seven weeks of the student's initial enrollment when a student meets with a four-year agreement advisor.

Graduation fee

Upon completion of 95 semester credits toward the bachelors degree, a student is billed a graduation fee. This is a one-time fee assessed regardless of whether or not the student chooses to attend the commencement ceremony. Students earning a second degree are also assessed the graduation fee. The current fee amount is available online. There is an additional charge for the keepsake cap, gown, and hood for those attending the ceremony.

Submit an intent to graduate

All students must notify the university when they plan to graduate by submitting their term of graduation. Students should select the term in which they plan to successfully complete the last requirements for their degree. December and winter intersession graduates should apply by May 1. May and summer graduates should apply by December 1. Programs with student teaching, internship, or preceptorship requirements in the final term of study may have earlier submission deadlines. Undergraduate students who are currently enrolled may submit their intent to graduate through their WINGS Student Center and select "Apply for Graduation." Students who are no longer enrolled should contact the Academic Services Director of their college/school for advising.

Commencement participation

Participation in commencement signifies that course work and all other degree requirements have been satisfied. Students who have not completed all degree requirements, but have a compelling reason to participate in commencement exercises early, may request permission to do so. Permission must be obtained from their college dean's office at least a month prior to commencement. Commencement ceremonies occur each year in December and May.

Commencement honors

Commencement honors determine which students may wear an honor cord, also known as a fourragère, during commencement exercises. Commencement honors are noted beside students’ names in commencement programs.

Calculations for commencement honors and highest honors are based on grade point averages earned at the end of the last term in residence prior to the term of graduation. To be eligible as a baccalaureate candidate, a student must have earned no fewer than 45 semester credits in residence at UWL prior to the beginning date of the term in which the student intends to graduate and 30 credits as an associate candidate. A student must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 to wear the honor cord or at least 3.75 to wear the cord designating highest honors. Only resident credits are used in the GPA calculation. Commencement honors are calculated for baccalaureate and associate degree candidates only.

Graduation honors

Graduation honors are posted on permanent academic records if students have earned no fewer than 60 semester credits in residence for a baccalaureate degree and 30 credits in residence for an associate degree at UWL. A student must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 for graduation with honors or at least 3.75 for graduation with highest honors at the end of the student's last term in residence. Only resident credits are used in the GPA calculation. Graduation honors are calculated for baccalaureate and associate degree candidates only.

Mailing diplomas

Diplomas are mailed approximately six weeks after the ending date of the semester of graduation, to the current legal (home) address on the university computer system unless the Office of Records and Registration has been notified differently.