Your Graduation

Your path to graduation began your first day as a Ranger. As you look forward to a future filled with Parkside pride, remember to take care of these final steps to ensure your graduation is a success.

Spring 2020 Commencement Ceremony

We have made the very difficult decision not to hold face-to-face commencement ceremonies as originally scheduled on Saturday, May 16. We are developing exciting plans to reschedule the 2020 Spring Commencement ceremonies so that we may properly honor and recognize the success of our graduates. 

Regardless of the status of the Commencement Ceremony, students who complete all graduation requirements by the end of the term will receive their diploma.

Learn more about our response to COVID-19.

Steps to Your Graduation

step 1

Track Your Degree Progress

DARS compares your course work with the requirements for your degree. Review your report with your academic advisor. Undergraduates who have completed 90 hours of course work are highly encouraged to apply for graduation.

step 2

Submit Your Graduation Application

Your student profile should be up to date before you submit your application. This includes information on your degree, major, concentration, and minor. Contact your advisor if the information is incorrect.

Submit your application by completing the online Graduation Application. A one-time $50.00 non-refundable fee is applied to your student account in SOLAR and must be paid within 10 working days.

Graduation Term Application Deadline Ceremony
Spring 2020 Dec 1, 2019 May 16, 2020
Summer 2020* Aug 1, 2020 Dec 12, 2020*
Fall 2020 May 1, 2020 Dec 12, 2020
Spring 2021 Dec 1, 2020 May 15, 2021

*Summer graduates participate in the following December graduation ceremony unless otherwise requested using a Commencement Petition to Walk Form.

Students who wish to participate in a Commencement Ceremony other than the one appropriate to their graduation date may do so by submitting a Commencement Petition to Walk Form.

If you need to change your graduation date, simply resubmit the application and indicate "I'm changing my graduation date." There is no additional charge to change your date.


FLEX Options Undergraduate Program students may request a Completion Audit.  More information about Flex Program Completion.

step 3

Get Your Cap and Gown

All candidates must wear appropriate regalia in their entirety to participate in the commencement ceremony. You may not participate in the ceremony without full regalia. 


Regalia may be purchased from the Campus Bookstore (includes cap, gown, and tassel). No fitting is necessary. Please make sure you have a tassel with your cap as we do not have extras. 


Regalia must be rented through the Campus Bookstore (includes cap, gown, tassel and hood). You must order your regalia NO LATER than Nov 1 for Fall Commencement or Apr 1 for Spring Commencement. Orders after the deadline are not guaranteed. 

Information about cords can be found in the "Graduating with University Academic Honors" section below.

step 4

RSVP for Commencement

Tickets for guests are not required, but we need to know how many guests you plan to bring - maximum of 6 guests. You will be emailed a link to RSVP. The email will be sent in early April for spring commencement and in early November for fall commencement.

If special accommodations are needed, please email us at

step 5

Verify Your Name and Address for Your Diploma

Verify your name and permanent address on your SOLAR account. Your diploma will be mailed to your permanent address unless you provide a different address. The name on your diploma will be the name Parkside has on record, unless you indicate a different name.

If your name or address changes after you apply for graduation, contact


Complete Your Financial Aid Exit Interview

If you have student loans, you need to complete an online exit interview.


Pay Your Bill

You will need to pay all your financial obligations to Parkside (such as library fines, parking tickets, rent) before the university will issue a diploma or transcript for you. You can makes payments on your SOLAR account.


Stop by Graduation Send Off

Graduation Send Off is a one-stop opportunity to tackle the important details regarding your upcoming graduation.


Only diploma covers are received on stage at the commencement ceremony. Actual degrees and diplomas are NOT awarded at the commencement ceremony.

Diplomas are mailed to the address listed on your student account. See step 5 for related information.

University Baccalaureate and Associate Degree Academic Honors GPA Requirements
(including all transfer courses): 

Cum Laude 3.500 – 3.699
Magna Cum Laude 3.700 – 3.899
Summa Cum Laude 3.900 – 4.000 

University Graduate Degree Academic Honors GPA Requirements
(including all transfer courses): 

With Distinction 3.830 – 4.000 

  • University Academic Honors for commencement is based upon grades earned PRIOR to the current semester. 
  • The final section of your DARS titled “Degree GPA” lists the GPA used to award Academic Honors. The Parkside cumulative GPA in SOLAR is based on Parkside coursework only and is NOT used for academic honors. 
  • Only University Academic Honors Cords will be distributed to eligible graduates at commencement check-in. 
  • Other cords may be distributed by the department/organization recognizing the honors. 
  • Final official University Academic Honors are determined during the final degree audit after final grades are posted and will appear on your transcript and on your diploma.


The process of being awarded an official degree. To be awarded a degree, candidates are required to apply for graduation. A final degree audit must be completed before a degree is officially awarded and this will not happen until AFTER the commencement ceremony. 


The ceremony is recognition by the University, family, and friends of the expected degree achievement. A.K.A - “Walking across the stage.” 

Many of our graduates have told us that there is a special person at Parkside who has really made a difference in their education. If someone has made your educational experience special, please send him/her a note and a personal invitation to attend Commencement. 

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