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Graduation and Honors

Graduate Commencement

All master’s and doctoral degree students who wish to participate in Graduate Commencement must apply to graduate by February 1. The application is available online in the Banner Information System. Mailings regarding Commencement will be sent out during Winter Quarter.

To participate in the Graduate Commencement ceremony, you must have completed all courses necessary to fulfill graduation requirements during Autumn or Winter Quarter — or be registered during Spring Quarter and/or Summer Session for the last of the courses you need to complete your degree.

Some departments may not allow you to participate in Commencement ceremonies if you will not complete all degree requirements after Spring Quarter. Please check with your program coordinator for specifics.

  • If you can’t register for outstanding requirements for your degree during Spring Quarter and/or Summer Sessions, you are not allowed to “walk” in the Commencement ceremony.
  • Students who complete their degree requirements Autumn and Winter quarters may participate in Commencement ceremonies at the end of the academic year in which they finish their coursework.
  • Your degree will be awarded effective the quarter in which your final grade is assigned.

Diplomas are not distributed during Commencement. During the ceremony, you will receive a diploma cover. Degrees are awarded when the department notifies SAS that all requirements are complete.

Diplomas will be mailed approximately six weeks after the degree is posted, as long as all financial obligations to the University are met.

  • Spring Quarter graduates should receive diplomas by mid-September.
  • Summer Session graduates should receive diplomas by mid-December.


The graduate faculty elect a number of master’s and doctoral students for recognition by Who’s Who Among Graduate Students in American Colleges and Universities each year. This honor is awarded to candidates who will graduate from Seattle Pacific by the end of Summer Session, have a cumulative SPU GPA of 3.5 or above, and demonstrate outstanding scholarship, service to the community, leadership, and future potential.

Additionally, the President’s Citation is awarded each year to a graduate student or students who have adhered to the ideals of Seattle Pacific University and demonstrated the highest academic achievement in this context.