Procedure for Awarding August Diplomas


The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) has two official commencement ceremonies to award degrees: May and December of each year. Degrees are also conferred in August without an official commencement ceremony.  The August conferral date is available to students who complete their degree requirements after the May graduation date and prior to September 1. The procedure below outlines the steps that must be followed to obtain an August diploma.


Students who complete their requirements after the May Graduation Exercises and prior to August 21.

Students in good standing sometimes reach their expected May graduation date without having completed all of their degree requirements. Such students may be allowed to participate in the May graduation exercises with the express written consent of the dean of their college. However, this option is not available in all programs; and, when available, the option is normally limited to those who are likely to complete all remaining requirements prior to the start of the next semester. Students will not receive a diploma until all requirements are met.

The process for final completion of degree requirements and for awarding of an August diploma is as follows:

  • A student who has not completed all degree requirements prior to the May commencement will receive a grade of “I” (incomplete) in each course that has not been completed.
  • Once the requirements are met, the college submits a “change of grade form” to the Registrar.
  • If all requirements are met within 20 calendar days after the May graduation date, the student will receive a diploma bearing the date of the May commencement.
  • If all coursework is not successfully completed within 20 calendar days after the May graduation date, the student must enroll for 3 credits as of July 1 such that he/she is officially enrolled during completion of degree requirements. Continuous enrollment is required in order for a student to remain eligible for loan deferrals.
  • The student is responsible for tuition and fee payments unless the college provides a statement indicating that slow progress was due to circumstances beyond the student’s control.  The college is responsible for submitting a waiver form to the Registrar’s Office.
  • In order to receive a diploma dated August 31st, the student must complete all requirements and the college must submit a change of grade form to the Registrar’s office no later than by August 21.
  • Degrees are officially conferred by the authority of the President of the University of Tennessee. The August diploma, like all others awarded by UTHSC, will bear the name "The University of Tennessee" and be signed by the President, the Governor (as head of the University Board of Trustees) and the Chancellor. Diplomas are ordered and issued by the Registrar.
  • Those completing degrees in August may pick up their diplomas from the Registrar’s office after September 1. Students requiring delivery of their diplomas must make arrangements with the Registrar’s Office for delivery. Fees may be charged for mailing and/or special handling.
  • If the student has not completed all requirements by August 21, he/she must enroll as a full-time student for the fall term. The student will be responsible for full-time payment of tuition and fees for the fall term. If requirements are completed after August 21 but before November 1, the student may receive his/her diploma In December.
  • Students are only allowed to participate in one commencement exercise, however. Those who did not participate in a prior commencement and who wish to participate in December must inform the Registrar no later than November 15 to insure inclusion in the commencement program


This procedure supports compliance reporting of expected May graduates to the United States Department of Education as required by federal regulation 34 CFR 690.80(b)(2)(ii).

PDF version

Approval Date

May 15, 2012


Committee on Academic and Student Affairs

Next Scheduled Review

May 15, 2015

Office of Responsibility

Student Affairs