Graduation deadlines approach for undergraduates

By Marissa Meredyth

Undergraduate students looking to graduate in April 2011 from schools other than Arts  and… Undergraduate students looking to graduate in April 2011 from schools other than Arts  and Sciences should plan on submitting graduation applications before the end of the term to avoid penalty charges.

Students must submit completed forms to the dean’s office within their school, according to the Office of the University Registrar’s website. The office does not accept these forms directly. Each school sets its own application deadlines, and individual academic programs can require additional forms beyond the three-page application provided by the registrar.

However, the registrar’s office does set preliminary dates after which they will accept applications from the schools, as well as final dates. The office also charges penalty fees for late applications.

The registrar’s office accepts graduation applications beginning Jan. 4 and through Jan. 21 with no fees. Beginning on Jan. 24, there is a $15 fee. The fee increases to $25 on March 3 and to $35 on March 25. The last day the registrar’s office accepts applications is April 8.

As The Pitt News reported yesterday, these requirements apply to the School of Arts and Sciences as well. After today, students will be charged a $25 fee when they turn in their application to the Arts and Sciences Office of Undergraduate Studies in 140 Thackeray Hall.

Potential graduates should also keep in mind that applicants must be in good financial standing with the University to receive the diploma, and that if the graduation was previously postponed, seniors must submit a new application.

The name on your graduation application “must be identical to the way it appears on the University’s student information system,” according the registrar’s website. Students must provide legal documentation if their name has changed.

Students in the School of Education should have applications turned in no later then Jan. 19 to avoid penalty fees, said Jill Braithwaite, student services administrator. This should include a plan of studies signed by their advisor.

From there she said the school will review transcripts to make sure everything is in order. Students with questions are encouraged to contact the graduation coordinator at 412-624-2909 or e-mail [email protected]

Representatives from the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences said they follow the deadlines set by the registrar’s office regarding graduation application. According to Mindy Columbus, SHRS director of Student Services, the six departments within the school may differ in additional forms or surveys wanted.

The School of Information Sciences also follows the the deadlines set by the registrar’s office, according to their administration office. They will cross-check the forms before sending them to Thackeray.

The College of Business Administration also follows the registrar’s office deadlines and penalty fees. Camille Burgess, CBA Student Records manager, said, “[CBA] student’s had their senior reviews with advisers long ago, where they would have discussed graduation requirements.” Burgess also said she audits student’s academic records to make sure they are on track to graduate.

According to their administration office, the Swanson School of Engineering is currently accepting applications for April graduation.

Mechanical engineering student Matthew Hershey said he turned his graduation application in months ago. Other engineering students, like chemical engineering student Ben Dickinson and mechanical engineering student Justin Bressi, are waiting until next semester to turn in graduation applications.

Dickinson said that students can get application forms from their departments and must turn them in within the first two weeks of the semester if they plan to graduate to avoid fees. Students planning to graduate in April would need to turn their applications in by the second week of next semester in order to avoid charges.

The College of General Studies requires students to schedule a graduation appointment “at the beginning of the registration period for the graduation term,” according to their website.

Registration for this year’s spring term began earlier this month. Students should have scheduled an appointment for late October, the website says. Tim Carr, Senior Adviser for the College of General Studies, did not respond to requests for comment. Students with questions can reach him at 412-624-7012.