Application for Graduation

During the Fall Semester, Seniors and Graduate Level students designated to complete requirements for graduation in the spring, will receive an email to fill out the ‘Application for Graduation’ through Web Advisor. Students must fill out the ‘Application for Graduation’ online to verify their intended graduation, and to indicate their name as they want it to appear on their diploma.


RISD holds one annual commencement ceremony on the Saturday after Memorial Day and this date is the only official graduation date. The commencement date is the official graduation date for all students who complete degree requirements between Sept. 1 and commencement day. A current student who completes graduation requirements after commencement but by September 1 will officially graduate on the commencement date that just passed, provided that documentation of completion (e.g. transcript, grade change form) arrives in the Registrar’s Office by September 1.

A student who completes degree requirements after September 1 (including finishing courses with  incomplete grades) will earn the degree as of the commencement date following completion of the work, provided that documentation has arrived in the Registrar’s Office. For example, if on the day of commencement one additional course is needed to graduate and that course is taken and passed in the subsequent Fall term, then the official graduation date for that student will be the date of commencement which follows the date the student completed the work.

Student academic transcripts are sealed upon graduation and no changes or additions to that record will be entertained once a student officially graduates.

Commencement Eligibility and Participation

RISD holds a commencement ceremony once a year on the Saturday following the Memorial Day holiday. Students must have degree requirements completed (assuming successful completion of Spring classes in progress) in order to be listed in the Commencement program, participate in the graduation ceremony, and receive their diplomas.

There are limited exceptions to this policy, namely: Students who are within 6 credits of completing all degree requirements and who expect to complete those degree requirements by September 1 immediately following the Commencement ceremony must seek approval from the Academic Standing Committee (ASC) in order to participate in commencement activities. A “Plan to Complete Degree Requirements Form,” available from the Registrar, must be completed and filed with the Registrar by  April 1 for ASC review. The ASC reviews and makes determinations on the “Plan to Complete” forms and notifies students of its decision by May 1 or as close as possible thereto.

Diploma Pick Up 

Diplomas are available for pick up immediately after the commencement ceremony. The location and time for distribution will be announced prior to commencement.  On the Monday following the Saturday commencement, and for 7 to 10 days thereafter, diplomas may be picked up in the Registrar’s Office in 20 Washington Place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  If not picked up by then, the diploma will be mailed to the diploma mailing address designated on the graduation application. If your diploma is to be mailed outside the United States, it is strongly suggested that you have the diploma sent by Federal Express. Contact to work out mailing arrangements or if there are any other questions.

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