Graduation and Commencement

Frequently Asked Questions

Commencement Information

How do I know if I qualify for graduation?
Who qualifies to be a summer graduate?
How do I know if I've applied for graduation?
Who receives their diploma at Commencement?
When do I receive my diploma if I don't receive it at Commencement or don't attend the ceremony?
What are my financial aid obligations?
How do I order a cap and gown?
What are requirements for graduation honors?
What are honor cords and stoles?
Assistance in finding a job, applying for graduate school, or writing a resume.

How do I know if I qualify for graduation?

Defiance College posts graduation application deadlines a semester in advance (example: December 1 for May graduation). If a student applies to graduate by the deadline, the Registrar’s Office will evaluate the student’s academic record and notify them of any issues that will affect
graduation in a timely manner.

Who qualifies to be a summer graduate?

Only students who are within 9 credits, or two courses totaling no more than 12 credits, of degree completion and registered for those credits during the summer session at Defiance College may be approved as summer graduates.

How do I know if I’ve applied for graduation?

You are welcome to contact the Registrar at registrar@defiance.edu or 419-783-2375 if you have questions about applying or your application.

Who receives their diploma at Commencement?

All graduates attending Commencement will receive a white envelope inserted with a diploma case when they walk across the Commencement platform. However, not everyone will receive their diploma at Commencement. May graduates will receive their diplomas at Commencement if all degree requirements and financial obligations have been met and Perkins exit loan counseling or other financial aid paperwork is completed.
Students who applied and were approved for December graduation receive their diplomas by mail in January if all degree requirements and financial obligations are met and student loan exit counseling or other financial aid paperwork is completed.
Summer graduates will not receive their diplomas at Commencement. Diplomas will be mailed when degree requirements are completed, and once financial obligations are met and any student loan exit counseling or other financial aid paperwork is completed.

When do I receive my diploma if I don’t receive it at Commencement or don’t attend the ceremony?

Students graduating in absentia will be mailed their diplomas the week after Commencement. If you attended the ceremony but did not receive your diploma, it will be mailed to you after successful completion of degree requirements, and once financial obligations are met and any student loan exit counseling or other financial aid paperwork is completed. If you would prefer to pick up your diploma instead of it being mailed, please contact the Registrar at registrar@defiance.edu or 419-783-2375.

What are my financial aid obligations?

To receive a diploma, the student’s financial account must be cleared, all library fines paid, and overdue books returned to the Pilgrim Library. Students who have received loans are required to complete an exit interview, which can be completed online at the US Department of Education website or in the Financial Aid Office. Contact the Financial Aid Office if you need additional information regarding your Federal Direct loans or Private Education loans. For Perkins loan information and billing account balances, please contact Student Accounts (Tina Mohring) at 419-783-2550 or on the second floor of Defiance Hall.

How do I order a cap and gown?

Academic regalia is ordered for students based on the information you supplied on the graduation application. Students will pick up their regalia in April in the Business Office. Prior to the Commencement ceremony, please try on your cap and gown to ensure that the fit is correct and that you have a cap, gown, and tassel for the ceremony. It is your responsibility as a graduate to have the appropriate attire for commencement. Gowns can tend to be wrinkled so removing
them from the bag to hang or iron before the ceremony is highly recommended.

What are requirements for graduation honors?

Graduation honors are open to those earning a baccalaureate degree that have achieved a 3.50 or higher cumulative GPA after earning at least 60 hours in residence at Defiance College. To be formerly recognized during Commencement, students must qualify for honors by the end of the fall semester prior to the May Commencement. However, students who earn the grade point average by the end of their degree programs will also receive the notation on their transcripts and may, upon request, have it noted on their diplomas.

Graduation honors are at the following levels:

  • Cum Laude: 3.50-3.69 cumulative GPA
  • Magna Cum Laude: 3.7-3.89 cumulative GPA
  • Summa Cum Laude: 3.9-4.0 cumulative GPA

We do not award honors for Associate or Master’s degrees.

What are honor cords and stoles?

Honor cords and stoles are worn by graduating members of several academic honor societies. These honors are awarded and appropriate cords and stoles distributed during Academic Honors Convocation in the spring semester.

Assistance in finding a job, applying to graduate school, or writing a resume

The Office of Career Development can assist you in preparing a resume for employment and/or graduate school and finding a job. Their office is located in the Pilgrim Library.