Response to Global Health Emergency Degree Clearance Accommodations

April, 6, 2020

Amidst challenges arising from the global health pandemic, the University has charged a campus-wide group, Supporting Graduating Students Group (SGSG), with ensuring that May 2020 candidates can complete work required to earn their degrees. The Provost has approved the following accommodations that the SGSG has proposed. These accommodations apply to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who have applied for May 2020 graduation.*  Though the University’s main commencement ceremony has moved, the May 2020 degree award date will remain May 10, 2020, while the official conferral of degrees will occur between May 8 and June 8, 2020.

*Students must apply for May 2020 graduation no later than April 24, 2020 to be eligible for these changes.

Completion of Required Work

Students who have applied for May 2020 graduation will have until June 1, 2020 to complete work required to earn their degree, including completing coursework, exams, or other required milestones, such as a master’s comprehensive exam, internship/clinical requirement, or capstone project/presentation. 

This extension of time allows students to complete degree requirements beyond the stated end of the Spring 2020 semester. Graduating students are not required to enroll in additional coursework between May 10 and June 1, 2020 in order to complete remaining work required to earn their degree.

Individual Dean’s offices may adjust internal graduation-related deadlines within these parameters to ensure students can complete required work. For example, The Graduate School will extend the deadline for May 2020 candidates to submit an electronic thesis or dissertation from April 13 to May 8. Faculty teaching undergraduates may choose to extend final deadlines for projects, papers or assessments (with Department Chair or Dean approval).

Once required work is completed by the student and final assessment submitted, all standard graduation clearance processes should be followed. For example, Dean’s offices should be notified as work is completed (by way of faculty entering final grades, milestone completion documentation being sent to appropriate offices, etc.)

May 2020 graduation candidates who do not complete all work required to earn their degree by June 1, 2020 will not be eligible for May graduation and must apply for graduation in a future term.

Graduation Clearance Activities

In accordance with granting additional time for May 2020 candidates to complete their degree requirements, campus degree clearance deadlines also will be extended. Authorized campus administrators will have through June 8, 2020 to clear May 2020 graduates for graduation using ConnectCarolina Graduation Tracker functionality.

If there are administrative delays in clearing students during this time, the existing Late Graduation Checkout process should be used to clear any student for May graduation after June 8, 2020. This late checkout process will be used solely to clear students who completed all work by the June 1 deadline.

Degrees for May 2020 candidates that have been approved in ConnectCarolina Graduation Tracker will be conferred daily from May 11, 2020 until June 8, 2020. Any May 2020 graduate needing verification of their degree can request an official transcript from the Office of the University Registrar once their degree has been conferred. Any May 2020 graduate needing verification of their degree prior to May 10, 2020 should request Proof of Awarded Degree from the Office of the University Registrar. 

Diploma Availability Timeline

In accordance with the accommodations to allow additional time for authorized campus administrators to approve graduates in the ConnectCarolina Graduation Tracker, diploma availability may be delayed.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, diplomas for graduates who are approved by June 8th will not have any delays in issuing or diploma delivery. Diplomas for graduates whose degrees are approved by June 8, 2020 will be ordered by the Office of the University Registrar in mid-June and distributed accordingly. More information on diploma distribution is available online.

May 2020 graduates cleared via the Late Graduation Checkout process will have their diplomas ordered the first week of each month, beginning in July.

To avoid any additional diploma delivery delays, graduates are encouraged to update their names and/or home addresses prior to the close of the ConnectCarolina Graduation Tracker on June 8, 2020.