Welcome to the Northern Virginia Community College Website

Accessibility Navigation:


Graduation Process

  • Commencement Speech

Are you ready to graduate? We’ll take you through the process -- from applying for graduation to receiving your diploma.

Graduation Process

Watch the following video to prepare for graduation:

If you plan to graduate in... You graduation application is due by...
May March 1
August June 1
December October 1

*Applications received after the deadline are processed for the following semester.

To be eligible for graduation, all associate degree, certificate and career studies certificate students must:

  • Fulfill all coursework and credit hour requirements as outlined in the College Catalog. Use the Degree Progress Report to monitor your progress toward your degree.
  • Earn a grade point average of at least 2.00.
  • Complete at least 25% of the required credit at NOVA.
  • Resolve all financial obligations to the College and return all materials.

Honors Designation

3.20 - 3.49: Cum Laude (with high honor)
3.50 - 3.79: Magna Cum Laude (with higher honor)
3.80 - 4.00: Summa Cum Laude (with highest honor)

For more information, please refer to the NOVA College Catalog at https://www.nvcc.edu/catalog/.

Spring honors cannot be designated until final grades are posted and degrees/certificates are awarded. Honors designations will be posted to the student’s transcript and diploma/certificate. The Dean’s List, Presidential Scholars List and Phi Theta Kappa lists are posted twice a year. For detailed information, please check the College Catalog.

Once you meet the graduation application deadline and fulfill the graduation requirements, you are ready to apply for graduation.

Applying for Graduation

All students must submit a graduation application in order to graduate. Please click the instructions button below before completing the Graduation Application Form.

What Happens Next?

Once you submit your graduation application you will receive a graduation status message up to six weeks after the application deadline to your VCCS email account. The graduation status message will indicate one of the following:

All Requirements Met

You have completed all the necessary requirements to graduate. Your degree will be awarded up to three months after the last day of the semester.

Pending Requirements

Upon successful completion of your current enrollment, you will complete all the necessary requirements to graduate. Your degree will be awarded up to three months after the last day of the semester.

Missing Requirements

You are missing the necessary requirements to graduate. You will need to reapply for graduation during the semester you plan to meet your requirements.

The commencement ceremony is held every year in May. There is no fee for graduation. Commencement 2021 ceremony will be virtual and graduation regalia is not mandatory, but up to you to purchase as the commemoration of your achievement or to use for your personal graduation photographs. Caps and gowns, invitations, and class rings can be purchased from the NOVA campus bookstore.

Your diploma or certificate will be mailed up to three months after the last day of the semester to the address listed in your student record. Please make sure your address is current in the system before the last day of the semester you intend to graduate.

You will receive only one diploma for each degree or certificate you earn. The College will reissue diplomas in cases of natural disaster (such as fire or tornado), printing error or name changes resulting from gender reassignment.

Students who wish to obtain a diploma cover may complete the Diploma Cover Request Form 125-403E.

Please make sure to include your current physical address on the form (no P.O box). There is a two to three-week processing time.