Office of Graduate Studies

Graduation Policies and Procedures for Graduate Students

Applying for graduation – A MUST DO!

Students are responsible for applying for graduation with the Office of Graduate Studies located in the Marialice Shary Shivers Building, Room 1.158. Students must apply for graduation by the published deadline in the University calendar which is approximately nine months prior to the intended date of graduation. Please check the commencement website at

Check that you’ve met all graduation requirements

  1. Make sure your official degree plan and any changes to the degree plan are on file with your graduate program advisor and the Office of Graduate Studies.
  2. Meet with your graduate program advisor the semester before you plan to graduate to ensure that your degree requirements will be met by the intended date of graduation.
  3. Clear up any exams, incompletes, study abroad or independent study grades that are degree requirements with your graduate program advisor and the Office of Graduate Studies.
  4. Verify that all officially accepted transfer work has been received and evaluated by the Office of Graduate Studies.
  5. If submitting a thesis or dissertation, the final document must be completed by the deadline posted for the semester in which you plan to graduate. (See thesis deadlines)

Application for Degree

All undergraduate students who intend to receive a degree from The University of Texas-Pan American must complete a graduation application available online on ASSIST by the published deadline in the University Calendar which is approximately six months prior to the intended date of graduation. Applications received after the deadline will be processed for the next available graduation date. These deadlines are necessary in order for prospective graduates to be notified of any deficiencies in time to register for the appropriate coursework.

Doctoral candidates must complete all degree requirements in order to participate in the commencement exercises. The student is responsible for advising the chair and/or co-chair of their dissertation committee of their decision to attend the ceremony, since attendance is voluntary.


Deadlines to Apply for Graduation



Graduation Date

Deadline to file Graduate application degree form with the Graduate Office
  July/August 2015 March 13, 2015
  May 2015 December 1, 2014



Graduation Fee

A nonrefundable graduation fee of $32 is charged to all graduating graduate students. The application fee is used to pay for the processing of applications for graduation, postage, diplomas and other expenses associated with graduation.

To apply for graduation:

Click on the following links for a copy of the graduation application or you may pick up a copy at the Office of Graduate Studies, located in the Marialice Shary Shivers Building, Room 1.158.

Graduation Application for Master's Degree
Graduation Application for Doctoral Degree
Graduation Application for the Secondary English Language Arts Certificate
Certificate in Advanced Business Administration
Certificate in Global Security Studies and Leadership College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Graduate Certificate in Media Relations and Strategic Communication
Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Administration and Leadership
Graduate Certificate in Communication Training and Consulting
Graduation Application for Certificate in Mexican American Studies College of Arts and Humanities
Graduation Application for Board Certified Behavior Analyst Certificate

  • Complete, sign and return your application to the Office of Graduate Studies. This may be done in person, via email to, or by fax to 956-665-2863.
  • Payment:

After you turn in your application, the graduate office staff will post the fee of $32 to your account. Please allow one full business day for your fee to be posted. You may then pay this fee online through ASSIST or at Payments and Collections, Student Services Building, Room 1.145.

Transfer of Graduation Date

Prospective graduates who have submitted their Application for Degree Form and do not meet graduation requirements for that graduation date must “transfer” their application to a later graduation date. To transfer your graduation date, please download the Transfer Graduation Form and deliver it to the Office of Graduate Studies. You must complete the request approximately 6 weeks prior to the graduation day to be listed in the graduation program.

Payment: Students will be required to pay an additional $10 fee each time the graduation date is transferred. As noted in the form, this fee will be posted to your UTPA account.

Regalia (Cap and Gown)

All students participating in the commencement exercises are required to purchase the proper graduation regalia from the University Bookstore. No student will be permitted to participate without the proper regalia.

Commencement Exercises

Students must be enrolled in or have all coursework/degree requirements completed to participate in commencement. Commencement exercises are scheduled for December, May, and August. July and August graduates may attend the August commencement exercises. Students will not be allowed to participate in an earlier ceremony.

Commencement Tickets

Please contact the Office of the Registrar for information on commencement tickets.

Office of the Registrar
Student Services Building 1.150
1201 W. University Drive
Edinburg, Texas 78541-2999
Phone: (956) 665-2201


In order to ensure that information regarding graduation requirements, deficiencies and commencement exercises are received on a timely basis, the student’s correct email and US Postal address must be on file with the Office of the Registrar. Prospective graduates will not receive special consideration for lack of knowledge of graduation requirements, deficiencies or deadlines.


No honor recognition is given at the Master/Doctoral level. Minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required for graduation.


The University of Texas-Pan American confers degrees four times each year — December, May, July, and August. Diplomas include name (as it reflects in your UTPA records), degree and major. Diplomas will be mailed to the address provided in UTPA’s student records or on the graduation application.

Doctoral Hooding Process

  • Doctoral candidate(s) will line up in front of all the colleges. Each candidate’s dissertation committee chair(s) will be allowed to escort him or her.
  • The order of the procession is as follows: platform guests; faculty members; doctoral candidate(s), master’s candidates and lastly the colleges follow in alphabetical order.
  • The candidate(s) are seated behind the faculty members along with the chair(s) of their dissertation committee(s).
  • During the ceremony, the candidate(s) are asked to stand and are recognized by their respective dean.
  • The doctoral candidate(s) will be asked to come forward by the Provost.
  • Chair(s) of the committee and candidate(s) proceed up to the stage and meet with the dean in a designated area. Dean will assist in this process.
  • The candidate(s) hands the hood to the dean for appropriate placement with assistance from the chair. If the dean prefers to hood by himself or herself, it is at their discretion. The chair of the committee will stand back after bringing the candidate forward to the hooding area.
  • After the hooding, the candidate will proceed to the center of the stage to be greeted and congratulated by UTPA President.
  • The candidate will receive the diploma cover (center of stage), pose for pictures with the President, and proceed to the designated area to be photographed alone.
  • The candidate will then proceed down the ramp to their seat.
  • Dissertation chair(s) follows candidate down the ramp to seat.
  • If more than one candidate is in the procession for hooding this process will be repeated.

Our goal is that you, your family and loved ones enjoy your special day and accomplishments. Your cooperation is essential to that outcome.
Thank you and congratulations!