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How do I know if I can graduate?
The College of Letters & Science Academic Information Management (AIM) Office uses DARS to determine whether you have met all of your degree and major requirements. You are strongly encouraged to request a DARS for each of your majors. Please keep in mind that any enrollment changes (e.g., dropping a class, adding a class, etc.) may affect your eligibility to graduate.
SPECIAL NOTE TO MUSIC MAJORS: Your DARS report will not indicate that all requirements are complete. Your undergraduate advisor in the School of Music will review your records, including DARS, to determine if all degree requirements have been met. Please direct any questions concerning degree completion to the undergraduate advisor in Music.
HONORS: If you do not plan to complete these requirements and have declared Honors [Honors in the Liberal Arts (HLA), Honors in the Major (HM), or Comprehensive Honors (for completion of both HLA and HM)], or if you intend to complete honors requirements that are not on your DARS report, contact the Honors Office in the Washburn Observatory, 1401 Observatory Drive, (608) 262-2984.
What do I need to do in order to let L&S know I plan to graduate?
All students who are planning to graduate must apply to graduate via their MyUW Student Center. See Applying for Graduation and graduate checklist for more information. This will alert L&S that your records need to be audited for graduation (degree clearance). You can also find general information about graduating at apply for graduation and commencement ceremonies at the UW-Madison.
If you have already applied to graduate, are wondering if you have successfully applied, or want to verify that your information has been entered correctly, you should access the graduation application and make any necessary updates. More information is available at student center – applying for graduation.
Seek critical information about Commencement and receiving your diploma.
* There is a notable difference between commencement (the ceremony you attend) and graduation (your record has been audited and all your requirements are complete). These do not have to occur at the same time. Whether you will attend commencement is a separate issue from whether you will graduate. For example, some students graduate in December at the end of the fall term, but attend spring commencement in May.
What undergraduate degrees can I earn in the College of Letters & Science?
The College of Letters & Science offers the following degrees:
- Bachelor of Arts
- Bachelor of Science
- Bachelor of Music*
- Bachelor of Arts-Journalism*
- Bachelor of Science-Journalism*
- Bachelor of Landscape Architecture*
- Bachelor of Social Work*
- Bachelor of Science-Applied Mathematics, Engineering, and Physics*
*These specialized degree programs have requirements for completion distinct from the L&S BA/BS requirements. Students who complete these requirements are awarded these degrees in lieu of the general Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree.
Will my major appear on my diploma?
A UW-Madison undergraduate diploma lists only the degree titles and not major/certificate information. Please note that certificate information and majors are listed on a student’s official UW-Madison transcript.
For more information about obtaining your diploma, please see diplomas on the Registrar’s website.
How do I review my DARS?
In your MyUW student center you will find a link to run a DARS for your current major and program. For more information, see DARS for students.
Students should look for the phrase “all requirements complete pending final review”. This means that a student’s degree and major requirements will be finished once s/he successfully completes the courses in which s/he is currently enrolled.
* Students should remember that they may be completing final degree requirements based on their current enrollment. Changing one’s enrollment or not completing current courses could change a student’s degree completion status.
If you see the phrase “at least one requirement has not been satisfied” you still need to complete at least one major and/or degree requirement, based on your current enrollment.
In order to graduate, a student’s DARS must say that all requirements are complete.
If you have officially declared a major or program (e.g., a second major, Honors, etc.) you do not plan to complete, you are required to undeclare the particular major or program by going to the specific department or academic unit. Contact the program for information.
If you are expecting exceptions to major or degree requirements or study abroad credits to be posted, you should follow up and confirm that the exceptions will be posted in a timely way.
If you need further assistance, you should speak with:
Your academic advisor (listed at the beginning of your DARS or in the Student Center on MyUW)
What is my graduation date?
There are only three graduate dates each year: one in May, one in August, and one in December. You graduate on the first graduation date that occurs AFTER you have completed all of your major/degree coursework. (Students are considered eligible for graduation only if they have completed all of their coursework and all grades appear in the system on the last day of the term when all grades are supposed to be reported.) Note that finishing up work in classes that are incomplete after your intended graduation date will delay your actual graduation until the next graduation date.
For example: You are registered for your final course in Spring 2023 but you have received an incomplete and finish the work for that course in June 2023. You will graduate on the August 2023 graduation date.
For more detailed information see eligibility for graduation.
How can I make sure my name appears in the commencement program if I am planning to graduate?
Students who plan to graduate and participate in the fall or spring commencement ceremony need to apply for graduate by the specific deadline. You should make sure you apply for graduation as soon as possible. Detailed information can be found at apply for graduation and frequently asked questions.
Can I still participate in the commencement ceremony if I receive an incomplete in my final semester/term?
Yes, it is possible to participate in a graduation ceremony if you have not finished up all of your coursework. For additional information, see commencement. Please note that participating in a graduation ceremony DOES NOT mean that you have completed all of your degree requirements and successfully earned your undergraduate degree from UW-Madison. See “what is my graduation date” above for more information about the official posting of degrees.