2019-2020 Policy Library 
    Feb 19, 2020  
2019-2020 Policy Library

Interim Policies Related to Graduation Requirements and Participation in Commencement

Category: Student Affairs
Title: Interim Policies Related to Graduation Requirements and Participation in Commencement
Approved by: Board of Trustees
Date Approved: December 7, 2017
Related Polices: CMC Bylaws, Articles I and VII
                            Statement of Academic Policy
                                                                    Student Code of Conduct   & Student Conduct Process  
          Civil Rights Policy  
Additional References:                            
Responsible Official: President of the College

Contents of this Policy:

Policy Statement

This Policy outlines Claremont McKenna College’s requirements to earn an academic degree, obtain a diploma and degree-bearing official transcript, and be eligible to participate in Commencement. 

Entities Covered

All units of the College.


Direct any questions about this policy to your department’s supervisor. You may direct questions to the following departments concerning these specific issues:

Academic Requirements
Office of the Registrar & Institutional Research
(909) 621-8101

Conduct Good Standing
Dean of Students
(909) 621-8114

Financial Good Standing
Student Accounts
(909) 621-8116

General Principles Related to Actions by the Faculty and the Board to Confer Degrees, Graduation Dates, and Eligibility to Participate in Commencement

Academic degrees at Claremont McKenna College are conditionally conferred upon

  1. Conditional action by the faculty to recommend to the Board of Trustees students who have completed, or who are expected to complete, all relevant Academic Requirements for a degree by the next respective Graduation Date;
    • Such action by the faculty is conditional upon the student’s actual satisfaction of all relevant Academic Requirements on or before the relevant Graduation Date.
  2. Conditional action by the Board of Trustees to confer degrees based on:
    • Receipt of foregoing recommendation from the faculty; and,
    • The student being in Good Financial and Good Conduct Standing, as defined below, as of the relevant Graduation Date.

Graduation Dates

The College maintains three Graduate Dates during each Academic Year at which time academic degrees are conferred:

  • Fall (August or September)
  • Winter (December), and
  • Spring (May).
  • The specific dates within any of these time periods may vary and are announced in the College’s Academic Calendar.

Effective Graduation Date

A student’s academic degree is conferred upon the student’s Effective Graduation Date, which is the first Graduation Date that follows the student’s successful completion of all Academic Requirements and where the student is also in Good Financial and Good Conduct Standing.

Participation in Commencement

  1. The College holds a Commencement Ceremony in May of each Academic Year to recognize those students who have graduated during the relevant Academic Year.
  2. Except as provided below, a student may participate in the Commencement Ceremony that aligns with the Academic Year of the student’s Effective Graduation Date; provided, however, that a graduating student who is not able to participate in the Commencement Ceremony corresponding with the Academic Year of their Effective Graduation Date may participate in a subsequent Commencement Ceremony.

Academic Requirements Related to Participation in Commencement


Note: The College’s Academic Requirements related to the conferral of degrees and participation in Commencement are established by the faculty and are set forth in the College’s Statement of Academic Policy.

Student Conduct Requirements Related to Participation in Commencement

Good Conduct Standing

“Good Conduct Standing” means that a student is not:

  1. Currently subject to conduct sanctions arising from the Student Conduct Process that include: a sanction of suspension, or a specific sanctions statement that the student shall not be in Good Conduct Standing until such sanctions haven been satisfied, or
  2. Subject to a conduct “Charge” under the College’s Student Conduct Process. Pursuant to the Student Conduct Process, the Vice President for Student Affairs  (or Dean of Students) is responsible for making “Charge” determinations based on a review and consideration of:
    • The amount and nature of the available evidence in relation to a report of misconduct;
    • Providing the student with a reasonable opportunity to be heard, which will include a full and fair opportunity to review and respond to all available evidence;
    • Consideration of the severity of the alleged conduct; and,
    • The student’s conduct history.

Participation in Commencement Prior to Effective Graduation Date

  1. There may be limited but appropriate circumstances in which the Vice President for Student Affairs may authorize exceptions to its Good Conduct Standing requirements that would permit a student to participate in a Commencement Ceremony that precedes the student’s Effective Graduation Date.
  2. In particular, if a student is not in Good Conduct Standing, but there are extraordinary circumstances present (such as a unique family or health situation), the student may make a special written request to the Vice President for Student Affairs.
  3. The Vice President for Student Affairs retains full institutional discretion to with respect to whether to grant or deny such request, and the Vice President’s determination shall be final and is not subject to any appeal or other review.

Good Financial Standing Requirements Related to Participation in Commencement

Good Financial Standing

  1. “Good Financial Standing” means a student’s account balance to the College may not exceed $100.00 on the date that the last payment is due for the fall or spring semesters (e.g., April 20th for the spring semester).
  2. The account balance is exclusive of any refundable deposits on file with the College.
  3. The account balance is inclusive of any financial aid that has been approved by the Financial Aid Office and which is pending on the last payment due date.

Participation in Commencement Prior to Effective Graduation Date

If a student is not in Good Financial Standing, but has otherwise completed all Academic Requirements and is in Good Conduct Standing, the student may participate in a Commencement Ceremony that precedes the student’s Graduation Date if the outstanding balance is less than $1,000.00.

Considerations related to Transcript Notations

The Registrar is hereby authorized to implement such new or revised policies and procedures as are appropriate to implement these policies, including with respect to practices that the College will follow with respect to transcript notations.