Graduation Dates

There are three graduation dates each year: May, July, and December. Students should plan to participate in ceremonies as follows:

  • Students who plan to complete degree requirements by the end of the Spring semester participate in May commencement ceremonies.
  • Students who plan to complete degree requirements by the end of the Summer session (s) participate in December commencement ceremonies. (There is no summer commencement ceremony.)
  • Students who plan to complete degree requirements in the Fall semester participate in December graduation ceremonies.

Participation in the commencement ceremony does not certify that a student has graduated. The degree is awarded and posted to the student's transcript after all grades are reported to the Office of the University Registrar and posted to student records.

Candidates for Graduation

Students (in concordance with their advisors) are to apply for graduation when it is clear that the coursework currently in progress and their pre-registered coursework will fulfill all requirements of their degree programs. The department must submit all graduation applications in adherence to the scheduled deadlines in order to ensure the timely processing of all documentation.

Student submissions will not be accepted by the Office of the Registrar and will only delay the processing of that student’s information. Upon receipt of the graduation application and all supporting documentation, the Graduation Audit Team will evaluate the student’s academic record for completion of all requirements.

Any applications that are deemed as incomplete or not qualified for graduation will be returned to the student’s academic department for correction and/or retention. Any questions regarding a student’s pending graduation status should be directed toward that student’s advisor or department.

Graduation Fees

There is a $30.00 application fee for each graduation application submitted. Each student who has submitted a graduation application will also be assessed a $130.00 commencement fee. Please note these are two separate fees, and they are mandatory.

Additional University Requirements

In addition to the departmental academic requirements of your major, minor, concentration, or degree program, the following requirements must be completed before you can be certified as a graduate of Norfolk State University:

  • All graduating seniors must clear their academic record of any Incomplete (“I”) Grades.
  • “I” grades that are not cleared within the next academic year will be automatically converted to a grade of “F”.
  • No student will be graduated with an “I” grade on his or her record.

Exit Exam of Writing Proficiency

Undergraduate students, including those students who are seeking a second baccalaureate degree, must sit for and pass the University's Exit Examination of Writing Proficiency prior to the date of graduation.

General Graduation

Specific Program / Degree Requirements:

  • All students, both undergraduate and graduate, should consult the University Catalog or their departments for complete information about degree requirements for specific programs.
  • Students are responsible for monitoring their own progress toward degree completion and for meeting all graduation requirements.
  • Prior to the beginning of their final semester, students are strongly encouraged to consult their advisors regarding their progress.


There is no summer graduation ceremony at Norfolk State University. Students who expect to graduate in July should plan to participate in the December ceremony. The names of July graduates are published in the December commencement program. All activities related to commencement are managed by Events Planning in the Office of University Advancement.


Diplomas are not distributed at commencement. Approximately 10 weeks after the graduation date, diplomas will be mailed to the permanent address on record in the Office of the Registrar. Verify and update your permanent address on your graduation application – all correspondence regarding graduation will be sent to your permanent address as it is listed on your graduation application.

If you would prefer to pick up your diploma at the Office of the Registrar, please send an e-mail to the Graduation Audit Staff at registrar@nsu.edu from your NSU email account. This e-mail must state your full name and your intent to pick up your diploma. You will, in turn, be contacted via e-mail when your diploma is ready to be picked up.

All holds, debts, or obligations to the University must be satisfied before your diploma will be released.

Final Transcript Request

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