Students often inquire about the difference between graduation or the conferral of a degree and participating at the commencement ceremony. Graduation is sometimes used interchangeable with the conferral of a degree. Graduation is the completion of all degree requirements and noted on the student’s official transcript. Commencement is the ceremony held by the University to celebrate the student’s completion of their degree. Attending commencement does not insinuate that students have officially completed all degree requirements.
To be eligible for graduation the following must be met:
Recognition is rarely in short supply at USU. Faculty frequently congratulate those who achieve great things in the classroom, and students often congratulate each other on their success. Each year, however, USU recognizes a select group of individuals who earn outstanding grades in their studies. Students who demonstrate exceptionally high academic scores are eligible for academic honors. Academic honors are posted to the final transcript when the student’s degree is conferred. These honors include:
Summa Cum Laude graduates hold a GPA of 3.80-4.00
Magna Cum Laude graduates hold a GPA of 3.65-3.79
Cum Laude graduates hold a GPA of 3.50-3.64
Graduate students with a cumulative grade point average of 3.7 or above will be recognized and awarded the status of “With Distinction.”
Application for Graduation
Students that are within 12 credits of completing their undergraduate program, 6 credits for graduate program, may file an Application for Graduation. The Office of the Registrar will use the application to complete a degree audit to ensure students are meeting graduation requirements. The Application for Graduation is also used to confer and issue degrees. Students should not plan to attend commencement until they receive confirmation from the Registrar’s Office.
Complete your Graduation Application by using the following link: Graduation Application. This application is not the same for commencement ceremony.
The formal commencement ceremony is held once a year on a date and location announced by the University. Degree and certificate candidates who have completed all graduation requirements since the previous commencement ceremony are eligible to participate. Undergraduate and graduate degree/certificate candidates who will be completed with their program requirements for graduation on the date of commencement will also be invited to participate in the ceremony. Students enrolled in doctoral programs must have completed all academic requirements including the final defense or presentation to apply to participate in the commencement ceremony.
Location: San Diego, California
Eligible students will be notified via USU email by late spring 2024 to complete the RSVP for commencement. If you believe you may be eligible and did not receive the notice, please contact the Registrar's Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to RSVP will be included within the communication sent to eligible students.
Please be advised that RSVP is to help the university obtain a student count of expected attendees, but it does not confirm your eligibility to participate in the commencement ceremony. The Registrar's Office will complete a degree audit to confirm your eligibility to participate at the commencement ceremony after the RSVP deadline. Events that could impact your eligibility are course failures, leave of absence, not maintaining continuous enrollment, etc.
Attendance for the commencement ceremony may be limited. Information about the number of guests will be sent to students via USU email. Please continue to monitor this page for the most current details and safety measures regarding Commencement and Reception.
Josten’s USU store is currently closed. Notifications will be sent once Josten’s is available for ordering regalia.
You can visit the store here: http://www.jostens.com/graduation/college/index or call Jostens Customer Care at (800) 854-7464 Monday through Friday 9 am-5 pm central time.
The deadline to order regalia is TBD. We advise all students to order before the deadline to avoid delivery issues.
Students participating at commencement and graduating with Honors will be provided with Honor Cords during check-in. Please note honor cords are not mailed to the students.
United States University will be inviting graduating students to apply for our student commencement speaker to address the graduating class of 2024 at the Commencement Ceremony.
A student speaker will have the honor to be selected by the Student Commencement Speaker Committee to convey a message of inspiration, common experiences, and insights, as well as inspire fellow graduates.
If interested, please review the eligibility criteria below and contact David Noriega at email@example.com to obtain and complete the Student Speaker Application.
To be eligible to address the graduating class of 2024, applicants must meet the following criteria:
The selected applicant chosen by the committee may receive assistance from the college deans with refining their speech, if needed.