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Graduation FAQ

COVID-19 Note: Please refer to the Graduation Information (left navigation) page for all updates. The FAQ are answered for a "standard" year and may not currently apply. Thank you.

Here are some questions we hear most frequently regarding graduation. Please take a look and familiarize yourself with the process. If you do not see your question answered here, you may email the Honors Academic Auditor:

I haven't gotten my Senior Audit yet - what do I need to do?

All LSA students must receive an Official Senior Audit in order to be eligible to graduate.  You have to have 1) applied for graduation in Wolverine Access and 2) have release forms submitted for every major/minor/supplemental studies program you have declared.  Once all of those items are received, you will be put in the queue for an audit.  Within 2-4 weeks you will receive an Official Senior Audit email from the Honors Academic Auditor:

One of my release forms says I need a class that I'm no longer taking. Do I need a new audit?

YES.  You must have a departmental advisor submit a new release form.  Once that is received, you will be put back in the queue and will receive an updated audit.

I no longer want to pursue my minor (or second major or certificate program). What should I do?

Email a request to remove the program to the Honors Academic Auditor:

I applied for the wrong graduation date - or my plans have changed and I am graduating earlier/later than originally anticipated. Do I need to do anything?

YES.  Once students have applied for graduation in Wolverine Access, they cannot make changes to their graduation date.  If you need to change your graduation date, you can send the request via email to the Honors Academic Auditor:

I'm graduating in August, can I still participate in the Spring Commencement?

YES.  There are no commencement activities in August.  Summer degree-candidates can choose to attend the previous Spring ceremony or the following December’s.  There is nothing special you need to do in order to be eligible to walk at Spring Commencement.  You will, however, want to check periodically for information regarding Graduation Ticket Pick-up and other commencement related news.

When and where is Honors Graduation?

Additional information about graduation events can be found by utilizing the navigation bar on the left side of the webpage. For mobile users, please use the graduation page menu to select the appropriate webpage. 

How long does Honors Graduation last?

Honors Graduation lasts between an hour and an hour & a half.  There is a faculty speaker, three student speakers, and the presentation of Honors Cords & Certificates.  All Honors graduates have their names read as they walk across the stage to shake hands with the Honors Director and receive their cords & certificate.  (Plenty of photo ops for Mom & Dad, too!)

Is there a limit to how many guests I can bring to Honors Graduation?

No, there is no limit, but please note the current pandemic policies in place at Crisler Center. Please note that there is a limit for tickets to the Spring Commencement at the Big House on Saturday.  See for details about campus-wide commencement.

When will Honors Graduation tickets be available?

By mid-April, at the latest.  We will update this section as we get closer to graduation.

When will campus-wide Commencement tickets be available?

Please visit for details about the campus-wide Spring Commencement.  If you have questions, please select “Contact US” on their website.

Do I have to wear a cap & gown to Honors Graduation?

Academic Attire (cap & gown) is required of all graduates who plan to participate in the campus-wide Spring Commencement.  Academic attire is strongly recommended, but not required for Honors Graduation.  The majority of Honors graduates opt to wear a cap & gown.  Attire is available for purchase at Barnes & Noble @ UM (in the Union) and Ulrich’s Bookstore.

Do I need to buy the "Honors" cords at the bookstore?

You cannot purchase genuine Honors cords: you can only be given them by the Honors Program.  (They are handed out at Honors Graduation.) The cords available at the bookstores are cords for distinction (GPA) and for the various honors societies and service organizations.  There is no limit to the number of cords you may wear when you graduate, so feel free to purchase the other cords you’ve earned along with the Honors cords we’ll present to you.

The maize cords at the bookstores are for graduates who earn Distinction/High Distinction/Highest Distinction.  The College of LSA does not award Latin Honors (cum laude, etc.).  Instead, degrees ‘with distinction’ are awarded on the basis of rank in class.  Students who have completed at least 58 credits in residence, at least 45 of which are “graded” (A+ to D-), and rank in the top 3% of their class are recommended for a degree “with Highest Distinction.”  Those students who rank in the top 10% of their class, but not in the top 3%, are recommended for a degree “with High Distinction.”  Those students who rank in the top 25% of their class, but not in the top 10%, are recommended for a degree “with Distinction.”  A notation is made on the diploma and the transcript.  The GPA ranges for the distinction notations are determined each May, based on the cumulative GPAs of LSA graduates of that May degree period.  Those same numbers are used for the August and December degree periods of that calendar year.

Distinction ranges will not be calculated until all grades are posted for all graduates for the Winter term.  This means you will not officially know at the time you participate in commencement activities.  How do you know whether or not you should buy maize distinction cords they sell at the bookstores? A best estimate reflects general ranges from the past:

Highest Distinction: 3.940-4.000
High Distinction: 3.847-3.939
Distinction: 3.686-3.846

Another graduation event conflicts with Honors Graduation. Can I still get my cords & certificate?

While we are sorry to hear that you won’t be at Honors Graduation, we will have another opportunity for you to celebrate your accomplishments with us. Please visit the Graduation Events subpage for information on how/when to pick up your certificate and cords.