Commencement vs Graduation

Is there a Difference Between Graduation & Commencement?

Graduation is the official awarding of Degrees/Certificates earned with the production of Diploma/Certificate documents including the recording this achievement onto the student’s academic record. 

Degrees/Certificates are only awarded after the student has APPLIED TO GRADUATE and when all official grades are received, recorded, with the Degree audit reflecting all requirements completed.

Apply to Graduate (for Diploma) by March 18, 2024

  • Go to 
  • Select Quicklinks
  • Select Web Banner
  • Select Student Services
  • Select Student Records
  • Select Apply for Graduation
  • After you apply Select View Graduation Application

Commencement is the Ceremony and celebration of students’ accomplishments.

A Diploma cover is given to each attendee of the Commencement Ceremony. Diplomas and Certificates are mailed thereafter and not disbursed at the Commencement Ceremony.

Participation in the Commencement Ceremony does not imply a student has officially graduated. Some students attend the Ceremony before fully completing their Degree or Certificate. The Commencement Sign-Up form must be completed to attend this event.

Who can walk at the ceremony?

The annual Commencement Ceremony is held at the end of the Spring semester in May. Students who have completed their Degree/Certificate requirements in the prior December or January or students who will complete their Degree/Certificate requirements in Spring or the following Summer are eligible to walk at the Ceremony.

Graduation & Commencement Sign Up

  1. All students completing Degree or Certificate requirements must complete the Apply To Graduate form – see process provided above.
  2. Additionally, students who will attend the Commencement Ceremony event must complete and submit their Commencement Sign-Up form

Degree/Certificate candidates attending the Ceremony event must complete their Commencement Sign-Up form by noon Friday, April 5, 2024.
To ensure the graduate’s name appears in the printed Commencement Program and be eligible to Receive Tickets for guests; the student must complete and submit the Commencement Sign-Up form before the April 5, 2024 deadline. 

Receiving Honors

Students who have earned the required GPA for Latin Honors and have earned at least 48 credits at Brockport by the start of the Spring semester will receive an Honors Tassel to wear at Commencement. Please see the below policies related to graduation honors for undergraduate students.
Note: Caps, Gowns, and Tassels are ordered and picked up at the bookstore.

Academics Honors for Undergraduates Policy

Commencement Website

Receiving & Verifying your Degree

Your Degree/Certificate will appear on your Official Transcript 15-20 workdays after final grades have been received and posted. A review of your Degree Audit will occur confirming completion with the Degree/Certificate noted thereafter on your academic record and Transcript. 

The Official Transcript is the most commonly recognized proof of Degree/Certificate completion. If you need proof a Degree/Certificate has been completed, quickly after the Commencement Ceremony, you can pre-order your Official Transcript and select the “hold for Degree” option. 
Once the Degree/Certificate has been posted to your record, the Transcript will be immediately generated and sent with the award/conferral date on the Transcript confirming completion. To order your Transcript

Diplomas will be mailed within two to four weeks to the address provided on the Graduation Application form.

Please notify the Office of Registration and Records immediately of any changes to the graduate’s name to be printed on the Diploma or if the mailing address needs to be updated.