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2018-2019 Graduate Catalog
Section 9 - Graduation Information and Opportunities

Application for Degree (Graduation) | Graduation Requirements | Commencement | Diplomas | Letters of Certification | Posthumous Degrees or Degrees in Memoriam | Transcripts | Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

Application for Degree (Graduation)

To graduate, a student must submit the Application for Degree through their College. This application must be submitted in the term of expected graduation by the deadline noted in the academic calendar. If a student applies for graduation and is not approved, a new Application for Degree must be submitted by the deadline in a new term. In order for the degree statement to appear on a student's academic record, the student must file the aforementioned application whether or not participation in the commencement ceremony is desired.

The application for a graduate degree is online at The application must be submitted to the College advising office prior to the graduation application deadline. Inquiries concerning approval or denial of graduation should be made to the appropriate college. It is the student's responsibility to clear all "I" (Incomplete) and "M" (Missing) grades in all courses and to provide official transcripts of all transferred course work needed for graduation at least three weeks prior to the end of the term in which he/she expects to graduate.

Graduation Requirements

It is the student's responsibility to make sure that he/she has met all degree requirements (e.g, . be in good standing) as specified in the Policies and Degree Requirements section of this publication, as well as any College and Major requirements for the degree.


Graduate students may not participate in commencement exercises until all requirements for the degree sought have been fulfilled. Students graduating from majors based from the Tampa campus (despite location, i.e. may be located in St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Lakeland, etc., such as students in Marine Science) participate in commencement exercises on the Tampa campus. All doctoral graduates receive degree conferral from the Tampa campus and therefore participate in commencement exercises in Tampa.


Diplomas are mailed to the student's permanent address approximately six (6) weeks after commencement. Students with a change of address need to fill out a change of address form at the Registrar's office. Questions regarding diplomas and degree certification should be directed to the Registrar's office at 974-2000.

Letters of Certification

Letters of Certification Students in need of verification of the degree prior to receiving their diploma may request a Letter of Certification. This letter specifies that the student has finished all of the requirements for the degree and the date the degree will be conferred on. The letter must include the student's U-ID Number, name of major and official name of the degree. The Major Professor, the College Dean (or designee), the Department Chair or Graduate Director (or designee), the Dean (or Designee) in the Office of Graduate Studies, and the Registrar must sign the Letter of Certification. A template for the Certification Letter is available on the Office of Graduate Studies website at

Posthumous Degrees or Degrees in Memoriam

Reference - USF Policy 10-047 -

The University may award a posthumous master's or doctoral (and medical) degree to a student who was in good standing at the University at the time of his or her death and who had completed all substantive requirements for the degree. The University may also award masters, doctoral and medical degrees in memoriam to a student who was in good standing at the University at the time of his or her death.

To award a non-thesis degree, the student would need to have completed all courses required for the degree. Courses required for the degree, in which the student is enrolled at the time of his or her death, must have been completed to the satisfaction of the faculty so that passing grades might be posted. All other requirements (e.g., grade point average, tests, etc.) must have been satisfied as well.

To award a thesis degree, all courses must be completed as described above and the thesis must be sufficiently complete to the satisfaction of the faculty so that certification of completion may be posted to the student's record.

Procedures for Award of Posthumous Degrees or Degrees in Memoriam
Departmental Chairs, or appropriate faculty members, on their own initiative or upon the request of a student's family, may recommend a posthumous degree, or an in memoriam degree, by forwarding the recommendation to the respective Dean of the appropriate college. If approved by the Dean, the request, accompanied by supporting documentation, will be forwarded to the Dean of Undergraduate or Graduate Studies (respective to the degree type) at USF or to the Chief Academic Officer at USF St. Petersburg or USF Sarasota/Manatee for approval. If the Dean or Chief Acaemic Officer approves the recommendation, the Institution's Office of the Registrar will be notified. Posthumous degrees and in memoriam Degrees may also be presented to the student's family in an appropriate setting, which may include the ceremony held in fall and spring terms. A posthumous degree may be awarded at a commencement ceremony.

Diplomas for posthumous degrees will be identical to other degrees awarded in the same colleges and majors. Diplomas for Degrees in Memoriam will be prepared to read "Master of Arts in Memoriam, Master of Science in Memoriam," "Doctor of Philosophy in Memoriam," etc., depending upon the degree the student was pursuing at the time of his or her death.


Transcripts of a student's USF academic record may be requested by the student through the Office of the Registrar. A student's academic record can only be released upon authorization of the student. Students requesting transcripts may do so in person or by writing to the Office of the Registrar. By law, the request must include the student's signature and date. For transcripts to be issued, the student must have no financial obligations to the University. Procedures for requesting a transcript are available on the Office of the Registrar's website at Degree statements are posted approximately five weeks after the graduation ceremony. Current term grades are posted approximately one week after the final exams end. If grades for the current term are needed, clearly indicate that the transcript request is to be held for grades.

Office of Postdoctoral Affairs

The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA) serves as an administrative and academic center of excellence for postdoctoral scholars, and ensures they have an exemplary professional and personal development experience while at USF. It fosters a robust postdoctoral community, provides opportunities to enhance the postdoctoral experience and future success of its constituents, and serves as a dedicated resource for postdoctoral scholars, faculty, and administrators.

Objectives of the OPA:

For more information, please see