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Academic Completion Initiatives

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Graduation cap & diploma

Degree Completion Advising


Our office provides guidance and support to students along their academic journey. We provide support to undergraduate students by offering services to assist students with achieving their academic goals and staying on track for graduation!

We offer assistance with:

  • Goal setting and degree completion planning
  • Clarifying students' understanding of academic policies
  • Referring students to appropriate resources
  • Helping students understand and move through the graduation processes
  • Providing early academic interventions to enhance student performance

Need completion advising assistance? Email advisor@odu.edu with your full name, UIN, and completion question.


Graduation

Graduation versus Commencement

Students often inquire about the difference between graduation and commencement. Graduation is the completion of all degree requirements and the degree conferred on the student's official transcript. Commencement is the ceremony at the end of the fall and spring terms, celebrating graduating students. These are different things and, for some students, happen at different times. Attending commencement does not insinuate that students have officially graduated.

All questions about commencement ceremonies should be sent to commencement@odu.edu

Degree Conferral

One condition of graduation is no in progress course work. All requirements must be completed in order for a student to receive a degree. Degrees are awarded three times per year, at the end of the spring, summer, and fall semesters. All requirements must be completed by the end of the semester in which the student plans to graduate. Students who do not complete all requirements by the end of the semester selected via the graduation application must wait to receive their degree until all requirements are met.

Applying for Graduation

It is important to submit the correct graduation application. Submitting the wrong graduation application will delay the awarding of your degree.

When applying for graduation, students should select the term that they will complete all requirements:

  • Students completing all requirements in May must apply for Spring graduation (will participate in May commencement ceremony)
  • Students completing all requirements in August must apply for Summer graduation (will participate in May commencement ceremony)
  • Students completing all requirements in December must apply for Fall graduation (will participate in December commencement ceremony)

Graduation Hold (RG hold)

Students who are graduating at the end of the current term will have a hold that prevents further registration (only). If you need to take courses beyond your expected graduation date to complete your degree requirements, or wish to change your graduation date, you must e-mail graduate@odu.edu to notify the University Registrar that you are continuing in your present degree program, provide your NEW GRADUATION TERM, and to request that the hold be lifted.

Commencement Ceremony

What is commencement? Commencement is the ceremony at the end of the fall and spring terms, celebrating graduating students. Attending commencement does not insinuate that students have officially graduated. Students who have not yet completed all degree requirements may be allowed to walk at the ceremony but are still responsible for meeting graduation requirements.

When do I participate in commencement?

  • Students completing graduation requirements in the Spring will participate in the May commencement ceremony.
  • Students completing graduation requirements in Summer will participate in the May commencement ceremony.
  • Students completing graduation requirements in Fall will participate in the December commencement ceremony.

Information concerning the commencement ceremony, tickets, and regalia can be found on the Commencement Website.

All questions about commencement ceremonies should be sent to commencement@odu.edu


Start planning for graduation now! The section below provides the basic outline for degree completion at ODU. Some programs may have requirements beyond those listed here. Please consult with your academic advisor and the university catalog for specific program requirements.

1. Meet with you academic advisor

Prior to the beginning of their final semester, students are strongly encouraged to consult their major and minor advisors regarding their academic progress. Students should meet with their Academic Advisor the semester before they plan to graduate to ensure completion of all graduation requirements.

University requirements for undergraduates and graduate students are published in the University Catalog. Students are responsible for monitoring their own progress toward degree completion, and for meeting all graduation requirements.

2. Check Degree Works

Seniors should check their progress toward their degree in Degree Works prior to their final semester in which they plan to graduate. This tool is to assist you in fulfilling the requisites for graduation. This tool is not a substitute for the advice of your advisor or the requirements in the University Catalog. All should be utilized in the completion of your requirements

All course blocks in Degree Works must be satisfied by the end of the semester in which a student plans to graduate. This also includes any transfer credit from another institution, as well as any approved course substitutions. If you notice discrepancies in Degree Works, contact your academic advisor. Any requirement listed as "still needed" in Degree Works

When you register for your last semester of classes, Degree Works should show:

  • At least 120 credits applied (some majors require more credits)
  • At least 30 institutional hours
  • Overall GPA 2.0 or higher, Major GPA 2.0 or higher, and Minor GPA 2.0 or higher
  • All degree requirements should be marked as complete or in progress.
  • All testing and assessment requirements must be met
  • A non-expired catalog (Catalog Year no older than 6 years)

Some majors have higher GPA and credit hour requirements. Consult an advisor for specific details or if you notice discrepancies in Degree Works.

3. Submit transfer coursework

Students seeking transfer credit from another institution must send official scores and/or transcripts directly to the Office of Admissions.

Official transcripts must be sent electronically through Parchment directly (or another electronic service) to admissions@odu.edu ; or through the postal service in a sealed envelope to the address below:

Office of Admissions

1004 Rollins Hall

Norfolk, VA 23529

Transfer work must be completed by the degree conferral dates set forth by the university.

4. Resolve all incomplete “I” and “Z” grades

Incomplete "I" grades must be resolved prior to your planned graduation date. Unresolved "I" grades will delay your graduation. Be sure to contact your professor with any questions about your final grades.

A grade of "Z" indicates that no grade has been submitted by the instructor for the student. All questions regarding unreported grades should be directed to the course instructor.

Incomplete and Z Grade Policies

5. Exit Assessments

Some majors require exit exams or assessments as a condition for completion. Please check with your department for additional details.

Psychology Assessment - Students will receive an email with the instructions about when and how to complete the Psychology Assessment. This email is sent out to graduating students approximately one month prior to graduation. If it is late in your graduating semester and you feel that you should have received this email, please contact the Psychology Department.

Computer Science Exit Exam - The Computer Science Exit Exam must be taken prior to the end of the semester in which you intend to graduate.

Physics Exit Exam - Physics students should contact their department for Physics Exit Exam information.

Senior Assessment - The Senior Assessment is a University requirement for graduation, which consists of the Senior Student Satisfaction Survey (SSSS). It must be completed during the semester in which the senior plans to graduate. Graduating seniors who have applied for graduation by the deadline established by the Registrar's Office will be invited to complete their Senior Assessment by e-mail with the subject line "Invitation to Complete the Senior Assessment--Graduation Requirement" to their official ODU student e-mail address.

6. Apply to Graduate

After confirming your status in Degree Works and with an advisor, you can apply to graduate. Apply online using the application for graduation. The Apply to Graduate link is found under the Graduation menu in LEO Online. For additional information and to access the application, please click on the info.

Applying for graduation notifies the university that you plan to complete your degree requirements in a specific term. This allows the graduation staff to begin evaluating your degree progress in preparation for graduation. Students must submit their graduation application, based on the semester in which all graduation requirements will be completed.

Application guidelines:

  • Students who plan to complete requirements in August, must apply for Summer graduation
  • Students who plan to complete requirements in May, must apply for Spring graduation
  • Student who plan to complete requirements in December, must apply for December graduation

In order to apply for graduation, a student must:

  • Be declared in their academic program
  • Have earned at least 90 credits
  • Have taken at least 30 credits at ODU
  • Have a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA.
  • Have not submitted a graduation application in previous semesters (students who have applied for graduation in previous semesters must email graduate@odu.edu to have their application updated)

Student who do not meet the conditions above will not be permitted to apply for graduation.

Apply for Graduation

7. Change Graduation Date

If you need to take courses beyond your expected graduation date to complete your degree requirements, or wish to change your graduation date, you must email graduate@odu.edu with your name, UIN, and new expected graduation date.

8. Check your Graduation Status

It can take up to 4-6 weeks after the official degree conferral date for the Graduation staff to review and clear all pending graduation candidates. Students can check their graduation status in LEO Online, click "Admissions, Registration, Student Records, and Graduation Information" à Graduation à View Graduation Status.

*Pending Status = Academic record under review. It can take up to 4-6 weeks after the official degree conferral date for the Graduation staff to review and clear all pending graduation candidates.

*Awarded = Diploma will be sent in 4-6 weeks (based on conferral date)

*Inactive = Degree not awarded. There are missing requirements. Check Degree Works for specific information.

9. Diploma Distribution

Diplomas will be prepared within 4-8 weeks after the conferral date. Diplomas are mailed to the permanent address on file with the University Registrar at the time of diploma production. If you move to a new address and have not received your diploma, please email graduate@odu.edu with your name, UIN, and new address. You must also update your Permanent Address in Leo Online.