Commencement Policy

Students are permitted only one opportunity to participate in the annual Commencement exercise in May, that being the year in which their name appears on the Commencement program. Students should be aware that participation in the Commencement exercise is not equivalent to graduation from the College and that, if they “walk” before their graduation requirements have been completed, they will not be permitted to walk again when they do graduate. The Commencement program will state that all degrees are awarded “subject to the completion of all requirements.” Latin Honors will be announced at the ceremony only for graduates and for co-op students who have completed their Allegheny coursework; other students who graduate afterwards and are eligible to receive Latin Honors at that time will have the appropriate honor noted on the diploma and transcript.


Students who meet all of the following criteria are eligible to participate in the annual May Commencement exercise:

  1. Students must not have participated in a previous Commencement ceremony nor had their names published in a previous Commencement program.
  2. Only current students and graduates may participate in Commencement. Students must not have voluntarily withdrawn nor been dismissed or suspended from the College at the time of the Commencement ceremony.
  3. Students must belong to one of the categories below:
    • Graduates. This includes students who have graduated since the previous Commencement as well as students who complete their graduation requirements during the Spring semester immediately preceding Commencement.
    • Anticipated graduates. Students whose anticipated graduation date falls within the nine months following the Commencement date may elect to participate in the ceremony, though their degrees and Latin Honors (if applicable) will not be conferred until all graduation requirements have been met, nor will Latin Honors be announced at Commencement for anticipated graduates.
    • Co-op students. Students participating in approved cooperative (3-1; 3-2; 3-3) programs who are making satisfactory progress in their post-Allegheny programs are permitted to participate in Commencement exercises with the rest of their entering class. Appropriate documentation (transcripts and/or proof of enrollment) must be submitted to the Allegheny Registrar’s Office to verify that the student is making satisfactory progress. The Allegheny degree will not be conferred until the terms of agreement for the cooperative program have been completed satisfactorily.
  4. Students must comply with all published procedures and deadlines related to participation in the Commencement exercise.

Petitions to “Walk”

Students who do not meet the above criteria for participation in Commencement in a given year may petition to be allowed to participate. Such requests must be submitted in writing to the Academic Standards and Awards Committee and must include the written endorsement of the student’s academic advisor. The responsibility lies with the student to make a compelling case for why an exception to the College policy should be made. The decision of the Academic Standards Committee in these matters is final. In its periodic reports to the Faculty, the Academic Standards Committee will include data on the number of petitions and their disposition.

This policy is under the purview of the Academic Standards Committee. Changes are subject to a vote of the Faculty.

(February 2015)