Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Commencement 2014
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Policy on Commencement Participation

The following policy defines the requirements that must be met in order for students to participate in commencement exercises and/or receive diplomas during the Commencement exercises.

Undergraduate Students — Only students who have completed all of the requirements for graduation prior to Commencement exercises will receive diplomas during the Commencement exercises. Students in special circumstances, who are pursuing double degrees, dual degrees, or who have participated in the Co-op program, who have four (4) credit hours or less remaining toward completion of their degree(s) can petition the Office of the Registrar for permission to participate in the Commencement exercises, but will not receive their diploma. These will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but under no circumstances will students with more than four credit hours remaining toward completion of their degree(s) be allowed to participate.

Addendum: Undergraduate students who have participated in the Co-op program and are in good academic standing, with no more than 12 credit hours remaining toward completion of their degree(s), can petition the Office of the Registrar for permission to participate in the Commencement exercises, but will not receive their diplomas.

Graduate Students — For Graduate Students the eligibility requirements would be as follows:

  • Ph.D.'s — Required to have successfully defended their thesis and to have submitted an approved final thesis to the Office of Graduate Education by a published deadline (to be determined) that would provide sufficient time for confirmation, in order to receive their diploma during the Commencement exercises. For special circumstances, students who have defended successfully, but have not yet submitted their final thesis to the Office of Graduate Education may petition the Office of the Registrar to participate in the Commencement exercises, but will not receive their diploma. For these cases, a signed letter from the thesis advisor and the degree clearance officer would be required, along with approval of the Dean of Graduate Education in order for the student to participate in the Commencement exercises.

  • Master students completing a thesis or project — The requirements would be the same as those listed above.

  • Master students without thesis — Only students who have completed all of the requirements for graduation prior to the Commencement exercises will receive diplomas and will be allowed to participate in the Commencement exercises.

  • MBA students — Only students who have completed all of the requirements for graduation prior to the Commencement exercises will receive diplomas and will be allowed to participate in the Commencement exercises.


Questions? Please contact us at commencement@rpi.edu.

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