Students can apply for graduation online at the beginning of the semester they intend to graduate. Visit the graduation website and click on Application for Graduation. Students must observe the application deadline dates: October 1 for Fall graduation, March 1 for Spring graduation, and June 1 for Summer graduation. Applications received after these dates will be processed for the following semester.
Associate Degree and Certificate Requirements
To be eligible for graduation with an associate degree (A.A, A.S., A.A.A., or A.A.S.), certificate, or career studies certificate from the College, students must have
- been admitted to a curriculum (declared a major);
- have completed all curricular requirements as outlined in the College Catalog including receiving a passing grade in all of the coursework and fulfilling the credit hour requirements. The Catalog to be used to determine graduation requirements is the one in effect at the time of the student’s admission to a curriculum from which the student is graduating, or any subsequent Catalog of the student's choice from an academic year in which he/she attended NOVA. The Catalog to be used in certifying the student's graduation shall have been in effect no more than seven years prior to the semester of graduation;
- taken at least 25 percent of the credit required in the curriculum at NOVA;
- earned a grade point average of at least 2.00 in courses attempted that are applicable toward graduation in the curriculum;
- applied for graduation online on or before the published dates (No application is necessary for the General Education Certificate);
- resolved all financial obligations to the College and returned all materials, including library books; and
- certificate and career studies certificate candidates enrolled in a program of more than 15 credits must also complete a Student Development (SDV) course even if none is required for a specific curriculum.
Students who wish to earn a degree, diploma, certificate, or career studies certificate in addition to any other degree, diploma, certificate, or career studies certificate must complete all requirements of both programs, and the awards must differ in content from one another by at least 25 percent of the credits.
Certificate of Completion
Program administrators may award a certificate of completion for successful completion of a cohesive set of courses for which no standard award (degree, certificate, or career studies certificate) is given. Certificates of completion may be given for completion of credit or noncredit courses. These awards are conferred by program administrators, not by the College, so recipients are not considered College graduates and are not eligible to participate in Commencement. Certificates of completion are not recorded on the student’s official transcript.
Upon request, posthumous degrees may be awarded to students who are in their last semester of study and/or within 15 credits of degree completion at the time of death. The degree award must be approved by the executive vice president for Academic and Student Services. The diploma will bear the notation “Awarded Posthumously.”
Issuing of Diplomas
Diplomas are issued at the end of each term after final verification of grades and completion of requirements. Diplomas will be mailed to the address the student entered in his/her online graduation application. Students will receive only one diploma for each degree or certificate earned. For students who complete additional coursework after the awarding of a degree, the cumulative and plan grade point averages (GPAs) will be affected, but not the GPAs entered when the degree was awarded. The updated grades and GPAs will be reflected on the student's transcript but will not have any bearing on the diploma.
The College will reissue diplomas in cases of natural disaster (such as fire or tornado), printing error, or name changes resulting from gender reassignment.
Participation in the Commencement Ceremony
Students are eligible to participate in the Commencement ceremony if they completed their program requirements during or prior to the current academic year. For the Spring 2015 Commencement this means students who complete program requirements in Spring 2015 or any prior semester may participate. Spring Semester graduation applicants who participate in the Commencement ceremony are not guaranteed the awarding of a degree. Graduation applicants still must successfully complete their program requirements to graduate from NOVA.
Students who have completed only the General Education Certificate are not eligible to participate in the Commencement ceremony.