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Commencement

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Commencement FAQs

What's the difference between Commencement & Graduation?

Commencement is different from graduation. COMMENCEMENT refers to the ceremony that celebrates the earning of a Viterbo University degree. GRADUATION is the earning of a degree.


IMPORTANT: Participation in the commencement ceremony is not a guarantee or an indication of degree completion. To officially graduate from Viterbo Unviersity, students must satisfy all requirements for the specific degree.


Your degree becomes official when it is posted to your transcript, not by your participation in commencement exercises. Your degree will be posted to your transcript once all requirements are complete. Your diploma will be mailed to the address indicated on your Application for Degree form approximately six-eight weeks after the end of the semester in which you complete your requirements.

 

When will I receive information about Commencement?

For Students Participating in the Winter and Spring Ceremonies:

  • Several email communications (to your Viterbo University email account) will be sent after approximately mid-semester.

For Students Participating in the Summer Ceremony (MAEd Students):

  • Information will be given prior to attendance at Proseminar  
Do I need tickets or guest passes for the commencement ceremony?

For Students Participating in the Winter and Summer (MAEd) Ceremonies:

  • No tickets or guest passes are required to attend the ceremony, all guests are welcome
  • Map and directions to the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center
  • Parking at Viterbo University is free

For Students Participating in the Spring Ceremony:

  • No tickets or guest passes are required to attend the ceremony, all guests are welcome
  • Map and directions to the La Crosse Center
  • Parking map for the La Crosse Center (note some lots have a fee)
  • Guests may enter through the 2ndAvenue Arena doors
  • Guest seating is on the concourse level and is available on a first-come, first-served basis

How do I obtain a cap and gown for the ceremony?

  • Gown and mortarboard cap are required academic apparel for associate and bachelor degree students and are available in the Viterbo University Bookstore (a regalia set has been ordered for you)
  • Hood, gown and mortarboard cap are required academic apparel for master's degree students and are available for purchase from the Viterbo University Bookstore (a regalia set has been ordered for you)
  • Bookstore phone: or visit the Web site for more information  
What if I need special assistance during the ceremony?

  • Any ceremony participant needing special assistance and/or reasonable accommodations (wheelchair, physical disability, etc.) should contact Jane Eddy at jleddy@viterbo.eduat least two weeks prior to the ceremony to make arrangements
  • A sign language interpreter is on-stage and interprets throughout the ceremony  
What are the requirements for "Graduating with Honor"?

  • Graduation with honor applies only to the baccalaureate degree. Associate and graduate degree students do not graduate with an honor distinction.
  • Honor medallions are given to bachelor degree candidates who have applied for graduation by the deadline date and who have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.50 as of September 1 for the winter ceremony and January 1 for the spring ceremony (spring and summer graduates.) The candidate must also have or be projected to have a minimum of 45 letter graded credits earned at Viterbo University upon degree completion. That is, if the candidate does not have a minimum of 45 credits as of the dates above but the credits earned as of the dates above plus registered credits equal a minimum of 45 credits, the candidate will be given an honor cord. The student must be registered for credits in the graduation term, no later than September 1, for winter commencement, and March 1 for spring commencement, which includes those completing requirements in the summer.
  • Final honors are determined and confirmed after all grades have been issued and credit checks are completed. These honors are noted on the diploma and the transcript. Students are eligible for honors upon degree completion if they have earned the required number of semester hours on a letter grade basis and have met the required grade point average.
    • Academic Distinction – cumulative GPA greater than 3.5 and a minimum of 45 credits completed at Viterbo University on a letter graded basis
    • Cum Laude– cumulative GPA greater than 3.50 and less than 3.70 and a minimum of 60 credits completed at Viterbo University on a letter graded basis
    • Magna Cum Laude – cumulative GPA greater than 3.70 and less than 3.90 and a minimum of 60 credits completed at Viterbo University on a letter graded basis
    • Summa Cum Laude – cumulative GPA greater than 3.90 and a minimum of 60 credits completed at Viterbo University on a letter graded basis
  • NOTE grade-point averages are NOT rounded (for example, a GPA of 3.497 is not rounded to 3.5)
  • NOTE graduation with honor levels are subject to change once final grades are determined and posted to the official academic record
  • Final Graduation with Honor notations are made on the official academic transcript and diploma once all grades have been finalized for the degree
How am I recognized for "Graduation with Honor" at the ceremony?

  • The statement of “with honors” is read after your name and major/minor, if applicable.  
What are the approved honor cords, medallions and stoles that can be worn by candidates?

  • The honor medallion is worn around the neck. The medallion will be given to you at Countdown to Commencement. Criteria for this honor are listed above.)
  • The following are worn around the neck: All are available from the respective student organization.
    Alpha Kappa Delta (sociology), Alpha Phi Sigma (criminal justice), National Society of Leadership and Success, Phi Alpha (social work), Pi Lambda Theta (education), Sigma Theta Tau (nursing), Student Government Association, Tri-Beta (biology), Veterans of Armed Services, Wisconsin Honorary of Involved Leaders
How long will the ceremony last?

  • The Winter ceremony is expected to be approximately an hour
  • The Spring ceremony is expected to be approximately an hour and a half  
When will I get my diploma?

  • Diplomas are mailed approximately six-eight weeks after the end of the term of completion. Degrees will be posted to academic transcripts approximately three weeks following the close of the semester.  
What if I need to change my graduation date to a later semester?

  • All students, except MAEd students: contact the Office of the Registrar
  • MAEd students: contact the School of Education office.
How do I find out about lodging information for my guests?

  • There are a variety of hotel accommodations in the La Crosse area. The Convention and Visitor's Bureau Web page can assist you in selecting accommodations.