Graduation Procedures

Only students who complete the graduation application process by specified deadlines will be considered for graduation and included in the graduation ceremony program. All qualified students must submit a graduation application in order to receive their diploma, regardless of whether they plan to attend the graduation ceremony.

Note important definitions: “Degree conferral date” and “graduation ceremony date” do not mean the same thing. Degree conferral date refers to the date of the university’s official recognition of degree completion. For the purposes of the graduation application, that is accessed via the Student Hub. The “expected graduation date” (EGD) is the same as the degree conferral date. Northeastern University confers degrees four times each academic year: winter, spring, summer, and fall. The graduation ceremony date is the date that the college hosts the annual graduation ceremony.

Doctoral candidates must be mindful of additional deadlines to complete their dissertation/thesis in time to be eligible for degree conferral and participation in a doctoral hooding and a graduation ceremony.

Each fall, the Office of the University Registrar sends an email notification to students who may be eligible to graduate that academic year about applying to graduate. This email notification informs and instructs students to complete the “Apply to Graduate” process, accessed via the Student Hub. Students are prompted to verify and provide critical information, e.g., spelling of the student’s name on the diploma, intent to participate in the graduation ceremony, and mailing address.

An accurate EGD is required to gain access to the graduation application. The EGD is also used by clearinghouses to determine loan deferment schedules. If your EGD is not correct, contact your designated learner services specialist.


The following rules apply to the diploma.

  • Information that will be printed on diplomas:
    • The major will be printed on diplomas for nonspecified degrees only (Master of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Professional Studies, Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study, Doctor of Philosophy).
  • Changes made to a student’s name after the diploma has been printed may be subject to a $50 fee and take more than one month to reprint.
  • Changes made to a student’s degree information and name submitted after the program deadline will not be noted in the graduation ceremony program. If a diploma was previously printed, it will need to be reprinted and can take more than one month.