Graduation & Degrees

Petition to Graduate

Undergraduate students must submit a graduation petition, approved by appropriate advisers in their programs, in order to graduate.  Students should submit the petition one calendar year before they expect to graduate, but at the latest must submit by the deadlines published on the Office of the Registrar's website. The Office of the Registrar processes petitions for students with programs in Weinberg College, the School of Communication, the School of Education and Social Policy, the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications and the Bienen School of Music.  McCormick School students submit petitions to the Undergraduate Engineering Office. Failure to petition in a timely fashion may delay graduation or result in omission of the student’s name from the printed Commencement program.

For additional information, see https://www.registrar.northwestern.edu/registration-graduation/graduation-preparation/index.html.

Degree Conferral

Undergraduate degrees are conferred at the end of each quarter, including summer.  The official conferral date for each term is the Friday after exams end and grades are due. All programs for which a student has completed requirements are conferred simultaneously at the end of the student's career.  Once the degree(s) are posted to the student's record, it is closed and no changes or further enrollment as an undergraduate are permitted.

The appropriate credential documenting degree completion and majors, minors and certificates completed is an official transcript with notation of an awarded degree.  Diplomas are considered by Northwestern University to be ceremonial documents only.