Graduation and Commencement
Visit our student services page for current information on commencement and graduation.
This year’s ceremony will be held virtually on Thursday, May 27, at 4 p.m., to ensure a safe and healthy event for all students and their families. Restrictions to the number of participants for an in-person, indoor gatherings have greatly changed commencement, and a virtual ceremony will allow for all graduates, family members, and friends to participate. Contact email@example.com to update your mailing and email contact information to make sure you don’t miss important commencement information.
The deadline to be included in Virtual Commencement has passed. Students may still apply to graduate via their self-service account.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to update your mailing and email contact information to make sure you don’t miss important commencement information.
Howard Community College is committed to helping you reach your goal. If you’re enrolled in a degree or certificate program, keep the following information on hand.
The deadlines to apply to graduate are March 15 for spring, June 15 for summer, and October 15 for fall.
Apply to Graduate
- If you are in your final semester, visit Self Service to complete a free graduation application online to request your degree or certificate. The deadlines to apply to graduate are March 15 for spring, June 15 for summer, and October 15 for fall. Summer graduates are invited to participate in the May commencement ceremony before their final summer term; the graduation application deadline for students who plan to participate in commencement is April 15.
- If you are unsure if you are eligible to graduate or are unable to apply via your Self Service, you should contact the Office of Admissions and Advising to determine if you are ready to apply for graduation. An academic advisor can also answer your questions regarding transfer to a four-year college or university. If you have completed the requirements for more than one program, make sure you complete an application for each degree and/or certificate that you plan to receive.
- If you are planning to move before or after graduation, make sure you submit a Change of Information form to the Office of Records, Registration, and Veterans' Affairs or email email@example.com from your HCC email account to update your contact information.
Don’t I just graduate automatically when I have finished my requirements?
No. To graduate from Howard Community College, you need to complete the Application to Graduate with your academic advisor. If you completed the requirements for more than one program (degree or certificate), fill out an Application to Graduate for each program.
When should I apply to graduate?
The best time to apply to graduate is when you’ve completed 75% of your program requirements and will finish up next term.
Do I have to pay to apply to graduate?
There is no fee to apply to graduate.
How do I know if I am close to completing my requirements?
Meet with your advisor and ask. Your advisor will review your record with you and help you decide if you are ready to apply. Your advisor can also help you update your area of study or transfer in coursework completed at another college or university may accelerate your graduation.
Who is my advisor?
The Office of Admissions & Advising operates on a walk-in basis; you may see any advisor who is available when you visit.
Commencement takes place in May, but I won't complete my requirements until the end of summer. May I still attend the ceremony?
Yes, if you are completing your requirements in the summer following the May ceremony. If you plan to attend your application must be received by April 15 to guarantee your participation in the ceremony.
Do I have to take all my credits at HCC?
You must take at least a minimum of 25% of your program at HCC to be eligible to graduate from HCC.
What requirements do I need to graduate with honors?
You must have an overall GPA of 3.5 to graduate with honors.
What happens if I do not successfully complete all the credits I need for my degree after I apply to graduate?
You will be notified that you did not satisfy the requirements, and you may apply again as soon as you register for your remaining classes.
Do I have to attend the ceremony in order to receive my diploma?
No. While we encourage you to attend this momentous event, you do not have to attend in order to receive your diploma.
What should I do to be sure my diploma information is correct?
Carefully and legibly print your name exactly as you want it to appear on the diploma when you fill out the Application to Graduate.
If I have applied to graduate and my degree is not yet posted, what can I use to verify my anticipated graduation?
Sometimes an employer or school will request proof of your graduation before your degree/certificate is posted or before you have received your diploma/certificate. Submit a verification of enrollment form to RRVA and select "pending graduation" from the options on the form.
Diplomas and Transcripts
Your diploma or certificate will be mailed to the address listed on your graduation application. Diplomas will be mailed July 15 for spring graduates, September 15 for summer graduates, and February 15 for fall graduates. Do you need a copy of your diploma? Find out how to request one here.
Your degree will be posted to your transcript after final grades are issued and clearance procedures have been completed. You will receive an email when your credential is posted to your record. Place a transcript request once you receive this email.
Diplomas and certificates are mailed after the final evaluation of academic records. This process usually takes four to six weeks following the graduation date.
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
2021 Virtual Commencement
The commencement ceremony will be held on May 27, 2021. Students who graduated in fall 2020, spring 2021, and who will graduate in summer 2021 will be celebrated at the May 2021 virtual commencement ceremony.
- The deadline for Fall 2020 graduates, Spring 2021 applicants and Summer 2021 applicants to customize their virtual slide is April 20. This deadline will not be extended.
- Graduation applications must be submitted by April 20 to be included in Virtual Commencement Students have been sent an email from our commencement partner Marching Order with an invitation to personalize their graduate slide. Contact email@example.com to update your mailing and email contact information to make sure you don’t miss important commencement information.
- Update your slide to include a photo, personalized message or quote, and pronunciation of your name to be read on your virtual commencement slide.
- Uploaded photos, messages, and quotes for your graduate slide will be reviewed and must be approved by the Office of Records, Registration and Veterans' Affairs. Please keep the photos and messages that you submit appropriate for a formal ceremony.
- Students interested in purchasing regalia may visit the ordering website to place their order. Contact the bookstore at firstname.lastname@example.org with regalia questions.
- Students eligible for general honors regalia will be contacted in a separate email in April with pickup times and location.
- Stoles for cohort groups are provided by your cohort advisor or director. Please contact your cohort advisor or director with questions.
- Commencement programs will be mailed to all graduates at their diploma mailing address in May. Contact email@example.com to update your address.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to update your contact information.