Office of the Registrar

Fall Graduation


An Online Commencement Celebration will be conducted in place of a virtual commencement for the Fall 2020 term.

The University of Northern Iowa announced the cancellation of the in person Fall 2020 Commencement ceremony due to COVID-19 on Thursday, September 3. Commencement will be held online on Saturday, November 28 at 10:00am. To participate, students must RSVP by November 1, 2020 at 4:30pm.
View the Fall Graduation To Do List

Online Commencement Ceremony Deadlines

Students that wish to participate in the Online Commencement Ceremony must RSVP "yes" by November 1 at 4:30pm. Students that do not RSVP will not be included in the online commencement ceremony. Students that RSVP "yes" will receive a follow up email the week of November 10 with a link allowing you to add your information to the online ceremony.

What Will the Ceremony Look Like

In the Online Commencement Celebration there will be videos from many of the individuals that would normally speak at commencement congratulating graduates on their achievement. Speakers include President Nook, Provost Wohlpart, the Iowa Board of Regents, Northern Iowa Student Government, UNI Alumni Association, as well as a student speaker that has been selected by their respective college as Commencement speaker.

Following these wonderful speakers there will be slides about our graduates that viewers are able to scroll through or search for specific students.

Each of our graduates will have a slide containing:

  • Name 
  • Degree(s)
  • Major(s)
  • Photo (optional) 
  • Personal message or quote (optional) 
  • Students may also choose to upload a short video that will be included as part of the ceremony.

If students would like to have a photo of themselves as well as a personal message or quote on their slide they must upload them by November 17, 2020. Individual slides can be downloaded making it easy to share this momentous achievement with friends and family. Use #UNIGrad to share with the campus community.

Only students that RSVP by November 1 will be included.

Completing Your Degree Requirements

Completing your degree requirements means that all coursework and all departmental graduation requirements (e.g., comprehensive examinations, internships, student teaching, correspondence work, departmental defense, internship, research paper, project, recital, etc.), that are part of your degree program, are completed.

You can track your progress towards your degree by utilizing your Academic Advisement Report, which provides information on how your coursework applies to your degree requirements. If you have questions about your academic progress or your Academic Advisement Report, please meet with your academic advisor or with your Record Analyst.

Applying to Graduate

If you are completing your final degree requirements during the Fall semester and plan to have a degree awarded in December, you must submit your Application for Graduation by November 1 at 4:30pm to ensure inclusion in the Commencement Program for the November ceremony. 

  • Students with multiple majors need to submit only one graduation application and should apply under first declared/major/primary major.
  • To see if your degree has been awarded, please refer to your unofficial grade report. The graduation check-out process takes two to four weeks time to complete after all grades have been received. The Office of the Registrar’s Record Analysts verify that all degree requirements have been satisfied. Please be patient through the degree conferral process. 

Commencement RSVP

The Commencement RSVP is due November 1, at 4:30pm. Replies submitted after this date will not be included in the Commencement Program or the Online Commencement Celebration.

  • All Fall degree candidates, whether or not you are planning to attend the Fall Commencement Ceremony, must submit a Commencement Ceremony RSVP. The information provided on the Commencement RSVP is utilized for the Commencement Program and Online Commencement Celebration.
  • If you are a degree candidate completing your degree requirements in another semester, but would like to participate in the Fall Commencement Ceremony, you may attend the ceremony if you fill out the Commencement RSVP. Doing so will allow your name to be printed in the program and included in the Online Commencement Celebration. Also, you must complete an Application for Graduation by November 1 for the semester you will graduate to ensure inclusion in the Commencement Program. Academic honors earned will be recognized in the semester you complete your degree requirements.
  • The names and academic honors of those students who graduated at the end of the Summer term are automatically included in the Fall Commencement Program since no Summer Commencement Ceremony is held.

Graduates from both Spring and Fall 2020 are able to walk at the Spring 2021 ceremony, if we are able to have one in person. If you graduated when we had to hold commencement ceremonies virtually and you would like to participate in the ceremony in Spring of 2021 you can RSVP for that ceremony in January.


If you are not planning to meet requirements for your degree during the Fall semester, and you submitted an Application for Graduation, please notify your Record Analyst as soon as possible.

All deficiencies must be satisfied before February 4, 2021.  If deficiencies are not completed by this date, you must then complete the Application for Graduation for the term in which you plan to complete all remaining degree requirements.

Graduate Candidate Deadlines

Graduate candidates must Apply for Graduation by November 10. Applications received after the deadline will have a late fee applied. Candidates that wish to apply AFTER November 25 must complete a Graduate Student Request to be considered for degree conferral and the late fee will be applied.

Online Ceremony: To be included in the Online Commencement Celebration, you must have your Application for Graduation OR Commencement RSVP completed by November 1. RSVP's or Applications received after that point will not be included in the online ceremony.

Degree Conferral Deadlines: Graduate students must apply by 4:30pm on December 9 to be eligible for Fall 2020 degree conferral. This is an exception to policy for only the Fall 2020 semester. All applications submitted after November 10 will have a late fee; all applications submitted after December 9 will not be eligible for a fall completion.

Doctoral Candidates: Doctoral candidates are only eligible to participate in the ceremony of their intended graduation. To be eligible for participation, students must have applied by November 1.

Graduating with Honors

Three levels of honors are awarded to undergraduate students upon graduation from a bachelor's degree curriculum. To receive an honor rating, the student must earn no less than 55 semester hours of credit at UNI. Only credit earned in residence at this university is considered in earning honor awards, except for students graduating with the Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree, in which case, both residence and non-residence credit is considered.

The names of the students receiving honors are identified in the Commencement Program and on the official academic transcript. The Office of the Registrar will notify students if they have qualified for academic honors. Honors regalia will be mailed to students upon degree conferral and final honors determination. The regalia and letter will be included in your diploma package.

  • Summa Cum Laude: Students whose cumulative UNI grade point average places them in the top 3% of those students graduating from their academic major college/division will be awarded Summa Cum Laude. These students will receive a Summa Cum Laude medallion and will also be noted in the Commencement Program with three asterisks (***) by their name.
  • Magna Cum Laude: Students whose cumulative UNI grade point average places them in the top 4% through top 8% of those students graduating from their academic major college/division will be awarded Magna Cum Laude. These students will receive a purple cord and will also be noted in the Commencement Program with two asterisks (**) by their name.
  • Cum Laude: Students whose cumulative UNI grade point average places them in the top 9% through top 15% of those students graduating from their academic major college/division will be awarded Cum Laude. These students will receive a gold cord and will also be noted in the Commencement Program with one asterisk (*) by their name.

The names listed in the commencement program with the designations Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Cum Laude are based on grade point averages at the beginning of the final term. Students’ official honors designation will be listed on their transcript once grades from their final term are posted.

Diplomas and Outstanding Bills

Your diploma will be mailed to your permanent home address approximately six weeks after grades have been reported by the faculty and eligibility for graduation has been determined. You can check the accuracy of your permanent home address or make changes to it prior to Commencement through your MyUNIverse account. A tutorial is available online here.

If you wish your diploma to be mailed to a different address other than your home address after the Commencement Ceremony, notify and include your student UID. Please do this within one week after the Commencement Ceremony.

A diploma will not be mailed to any student who, at the time of degree conferral, has account holds with the university. Once the account hold has been removed, notify

International students who wish their diploma be sent to their home country, or to an address outside of the U.S. border, send an e-mail to with your complete international address and international phone number. International diplomas will be sent out by DHL express mail service.