Graduation in Ten Steps

Give careful attention to these steps and you will be ready for the big day.

1. Meet with your academic advisor

When you believe that you are within nine months of graduating, contact your academic advisor to set up a meeting. The pre-graduation meeting with your advisor determines if you are “on course” for degree conferral. To graduate you must have completed every requirement including New Student Orientation, residency (WBU courses), upper-level hours, and non-junior college hours. Masters level graduates must complete a comprehensive exam or capstone course prior to receiving a graduate degree.

Undergraduate candidates must have achieved a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0 or greater in all of the following areas: 1) Overall cumulative, 2) Wayland courses, 3) major field of study, and 4) minor field of study (if applicable). Masters candidates must have achieved a 3.0 or greater cumulative GPA.

If you intend to change your major or minor, change from the BSOE to the BAS, or add an Associate's degree program, you must complete a Change of Degree/Major/Specialization form with an Academic Advisor. This must be done at least eight (8) weeks prior to your applying for graduation. Double-check with your advisor to ensure an official degree plan is on file with the changes you requested before submitting an Application for Graduation.

If your academic advisor finds that you are ready to begin the graduation process, candidates for the bachelor's degree will be enrolled in GRAD 0001 (or GRAD 4101, if you are an undergraduate in your senior year for catalogs before 2011-2012). It is crucial to enroll in the GRAD class two semesters prior to your graduation ceremony date.

Candidates for the associate's degree will need to sit in on a GRAD class in order to obtain and work through an application for graduation. Candidates for the master's degree will work with the Graduate Program Advisor to process the application for graduation.

2. Participate in GRAD class

This course introduces the paperwork necessary for graduation. Your instructor will guide you through filling out the forms so that there are no late surprises due to incomplete information. At this time you can indicate whether you expect to participate in a ceremony other than the one following the Hawaii posting date or to graduate in absentia. (Students must request in writing permission from the Campus Dean to graduate in absentia.) You will also pay your fee which covers the costs involved in processing graduation (including your regalia).

3. Complete your degree plan

All courses, both WBU and transferred, must be completed before the posting date for graduation. This chart indicates the deadlines:
Ceremony Application due Courses completed Posting date
November mid-June early August late August
-none- late August mid-October early November
May mid-December late January mid-February
-none- mid-March mid-April mid-May

Your advisor will know the exact posting dates for each term. If you are taking a course from another university to transfer in, be sure that the grades for that class will be posted before the WBU posting date.

4. Clear your debts

Make certain that you have no outstanding debts to the university. You cannot receive your diploma unless all debts are cleared.

5. Order announcements

If you would like for friends and family to know the details of your graduation ceremony, you can order graduation announcements from our bookstore. Announcements may be ordered at any time prior to two weeks before the graduation ceremony, but you will want to allow time for printing and for you to mail them out. Announcement order form

6. Send in guest list and Reflections statement

If you have not already sent in a list of your anticipated guests, you need to do so at least two weeks prior to the ceremony. When graduation ceremonies are held on military bases, only guests whose names appear on the Wayland list will be admitted to the base. We also need to plan how much cake and punch to have on hand!

In order to allow for formatting, editing, and printing, the closing date for submission of your Reflections statement is also two weeks prior to the ceremony.

7. Contribute to the Legacy gift

Your graduating class has the opportunity to contribute a gift to the Hawaii campus as a legacy. Your Class Representative will contact you regarding choices and options.

8. Come to the ceremony

The ceremony begins at 10:00 AM on a Saturday morning. You must be at the location with your unwrinkled regalia in hand by 8:30. There is no rehearsal prior to the graduation ceremony; however, you will receive information via the e-mail address you provided in your graduation application detailing what to expect at the ceremony. The information will also be available through the link on this site.

Please make arrangements for the securing of personal belongings before the assembling time. Wayland is not responsible for belongings left unattended.

If you are disabled, we will make the accommodations necessary to ensure your participation in the commencement exercises. In the weeks prior to the ceremony, call our main center at (808) 564-3348 and let us know your needs and limitations. You will be given the name of someone to speak to at the ceremony who will provide you with specific seating and processional instructions.

9. Walk across the stage

Prior to the ceremony, you will receive instructions about lining up, marching into the chapel, and seating. (That's why it is so important to show up early!) Each student is called up one at a time. You will be handed a diploma cover as you accept the congratulations of the Executive Director and the officiating administrator from the main campus (usually the Vice President for Graduate Programs and External Campuses). Covers for additional degrees are available upon request. A clear celluloid sheet will be included in your diploma package, to protect your diploma when it is on display. After you pose for the WBU photographer, you may proceed to an area to the right where your family and friends can take additional photos. You will then return to your seat for the rest of the ceremony.

10. Enjoy the reception

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the graduates will leave the auditorium first. You will pass by all the faculty and officials who will congratulate you. then you will return to the room in which you got your instruction, pick up your packet containing your documents (including the diploma) and go to the reception. We always have cake and punch after the graduation ceremony and all your guests are invited. That is one reason you need to let us know how many guests you anticipate--so we won't run out of refreshments!