Graduation Application FAQs

Your Questions Answered

Gathered below are some frequently asked questions to give you more detailed information about Applications, review processes, diplomas, and more. If you still can't find an answer to your question, please email or call us at 415.338.2350.


What are graduation eligibility requirements?

You need to have completed 90 units in order to apply to graduate.  You can always review your DPR to track your graduation progress.

Consult the Submission Dates table to determine when we will begin accepting applications for your intended term of graduation. If you are not a matriculated student  please contact the Advising Center to review your degree progress.

Priority Application Periods

Graduation Term

Priority Application Period Opens

Priority Application Period Closes

Fall 2020

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Friday, September 25, 2020

Spring 2021

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Friday, October 16, 2020

Summer 2021

Monday, February 1, 2021

Friday, March 5, 2021

Don't see a Graduation Fee Yet?

Charges are posted to student accounts twice weekly. If the charge does not appear, check back again in a couple of days.

Graduation Fee Payment Guides

Can I apply after the deadline?

You can submit your application until the end of the term for which you are applying.  However, we encourage you to apply during the priority period to avoid the $5 late fee and so we can provide ongoing, timely feedback about your degree completion. In addition, to attend the yearly commencement, your application needs to be submitted by April 1 of the commencement year.

Can I attend classes after graduation?

Once you apply to graduate, you cannot enroll in classes after your expected graduation term. If you want to continue to take classes after your degree is awarded, you will need to apply for readmission to the University as a graduate or post-baccalaureate student (see Graduate Admissions for more information) or take classes through Open University offered by the College Extended Learning.

How do I apply for multiple majors or minors?

Any major or minor program plan listed on the Degree Progress Report (DPR) at the time of applying to graduate will be the basis for the DPR graduation review and must have their program requirements met by the end of the expected graduation term.

Note: baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate degrees can only be pursued concurrently by students in the SF State Scholars Program.


What happens after I apply?

Preliminary Review - 8 to 10 Weeks after Submission

After you apply to graduate, we will conduct a preliminary review of your Degree Progress Report and other requirements, so that we can let you know whether you’re on track to graduate.

  • We’ll send the preliminary review to your SFSU email account. 
  • This preliminary status is temporary. You can always consult with an advisor if there are any questions about your preliminary status.

Complete your Final Term - Expected Graduation Term

We will conduct a final review of your academic record after grades are available for your intended semester of graduation. It’s important to consult with your advisor before dropping or withdrawing from any classes in your final term as this may impact your graduation readiness. It’s also a good idea to consult your advisor if you are concerned about passing or meeting the minimum grade required in your classes.

Final Review - Up to 10 Weeks after Semester Grades are Officially Posted

Once grades have posted for your final term, we conduct a final review to ensure all degree requirements have been met.

  • We work as quickly as possible during this period, because we understand how important your degree is for your future plans!  Due to the volume of applications submitted, however, it can take up to ten weeks for applications to be reviewed.
  • We always communicate with you during this period by sending an email to your SFSU email account.  We will email you if there are any questions or potential issues with your application. And finally, we always send you an email at this address when your degree has been posted.

What if my DPR shows outstanding grades or unmet requirements?

Resolve unmet requirements and outstanding grades by the end of your expected graduation term (no later than two weeks after the date of graduation). Use your Degree Progress Report to identify items listed in the table below (red box).

Issue Explanation Solution
  • Incomplete Grades - I
  • Report Delayed Grades - RD
  • In Progress Classes - IP and Transfer Work In Progress
Resolve the listed issues by the Grades Processed (End of Term) date. Applications with standing Incomplete (I) grades, Report Delayed (RD) grades, and In Progress classes and Transfer Work in Progress will not pass a graduation review. Please work with your professor/department chair to clear up all Incomplete (I) and Report Delayed (RD) grades. And make sure to submit transcripts for transfer work as soon as they are available.

What if I need to file for a grade change?

Because grade changes are not permitted after the award of your degree, it is very important to review your transcripts.

  • Grade changes may be approved due to administrative error, but a request must be made within one semester of graduation.

What if I have study abroad grades?

If you are planning to study abroad during your senior year, it’s important to prepare your graduation plan before you leave. The translation of study abroad coursework is complex, and processing time can vary by the host institution. In some cases, it can take up to two semesters for coursework to be translated.

Spring and Summer degree candidates are still eligible to attend the May commencement ceremony despite the anticipated delay in transcript processing. 

Transfer Work & Other Document Deadlines


Last Friday of June


Last Friday of September


Last Friday of January


What if my plans change?

If you won't meet graduation requirements by the end of your expected graduaton term, or if you find that you need to postpone your graduation then it is important to keep us posted, once you apply to graduate, we won't assign a registration appointment for terms following your intended graduation. If your plans change, email us at

When is a diploma ordered?

Diplomas are ordered after an application goes through final processing. This final processing happens after official semester grades are released. Visit the semester Dates & Deadlines for exact dates. Ordering happens every second Friday of the month, and diplomas are shipped by standard USPS mail.


E-diplomas are now available to all graduating students

Undergraduates will receive both a traditional paper diploma and a free digital diploma. A new partnership with SF State's diploma vendor, Parchment, allows the University to provide a secure digital diploma that graduates can claim immediately upon degree conferral. This will enable graduates to present their digital diploma to employers with a secure and verified link while also sharing with family and friends on social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. Graduates can view their digital diploma online at any time with permanent access and download their digital diploma and save it as a PDF. Additionally, the digital diploma can serve as an alternative to an apostille certification, as many countries recognize digital diplomas issued securely from vendors like Parchment.


How long does it take to receive a diploma after a degree is awarded?

Diploma orders are being sent every Friday (excluding holidays). Please allow up to 6 weeks for delivery.


How do I get a diploma cover?

Diploma covers are currently unavailable for pick up or delivery; they will be available during next year's May Commencement.


How to get a duplicate or replacement diploma?

To request a duplicate or replacement baccalaureate diploma, please use the Duplicate or Replacement Diploma Request (PDF) form. Instructions are listed on the form, and a price list is available below and on the form.


Have a financial hold?

Financial holds will prevent diplomas from being ordered and mailed. Once all financial holds are cleared email


Graduate Diploma Questions

The Registrar's Office only processes Undergraduate Graduation Applications and Baccalaureate Degrees. For more information on a Master's degree or Graduate Degree applications please visit the Graduate Studies site here.


Will my diploma reflect my concentration or emphasis within my major?

Your diploma will reflect your major as well as your area(s) of concentration. Your diploma will not reflect any emphasis you have chosen.


Will my diploma reflect university honors or scholastic distinctions, if earned?

Diplomas reflect university honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude) for undergraduate degrees. They do not reflect departmental honors and university honors are not granted to graduate degrees.



SF State has a yearly commencement that is held in late May.  For more information please go to SF State's Commencement site.