Request to Participate in Commencement

Students who will complete degree requirements one summer or fall semester after their matriculating class may request to participate in the annual commencement ceremony the May preceding their degree conferral date. If approved by the Dean of Undergraduates, the student will walk with their residential college and their name will be called, but they are not receiving a degree, their name will not appear in the commencement program and a diploma will not be ordered for them.

Prior to submitting a request, students should review the policy carefully to ensure they meet all requirements. Qualified students, must complete the Undergraduate Request to Participate in Commencement Form completely, and obtain appropriate signatures from the Major Advisor(s), the Office of Academic Advising, and the Office of the Registrar. The form must also be submitted to the Dean of Undergraduates no later than 5:00 pm, February 23, 2024.

Policy Governing Participation in Commencement by Undergraduate Students not on the Graduation List

Rice will consider a request from an undergraduate student to participate in commencement without appearing on the graduation list for that commencement under the following circumstances:

  1. By participating in that particular commencement ceremony, the student will be commencing with his/her matriculating class.

  2. The request must be made in writing to the Dean of Undergraduates not later than the end of the 7th week of classes (coincident with the university’s “drop” deadline in the Spring).

  3. The remaining degree requirements must include no more than 12 hours of credit. This must be documented by the Registrar’s office degree audit.

  4. The request must include a specific academic plan for completion of all degree requirements. The student must be able to and must plan to complete all remaining degree requirements in time for degree conferral in December of the following academic year. This must be documented by the student’s major academic advisor and the Office of Academic Advising. The remaining degree requirements must include no courses that can only be taken in a Spring semester.

  5. An Application for Degree must be on file in the Office of the Registrar for the August or December degree conferral.

  6. The student must be in good academic standing and must not be on probation or suspension for any disciplinary or honor code violations.

A committee appointed by the Dean of Undergraduates will consider requests and make recommendations to the Dean, who has authority for final approval. Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis including the individual student’s academic record, other record of accomplishment at Rice, and personal integrity. Consideration of the request will be determined by a careful analysis of the reasons why the student has not completed degree requirements with his/her matriculating class. Valid reasons for consideration include but are not limited to:

  1. leave of absence for internships, external academic experiences, civic engagement projects, illness, or family emergency

  2. degree programs which require more than 120 hours of credit and therefore more than 8 semesters

  3. varsity athletic participation

A request from a student who missed a semester due to a prior suspension, whether academic, disciplinary, or honor code (including Article XII exceptions), will not be approved.

If a student is approved by the Dean to participate in commencement, the student’s name will not appear in the commencement brochure but will be read by his/her college master per the usual traditions.

A student may only participate in a single commencement ceremony for each degree received. However, students who receive more than one bachelor’s degree in different years may participate in the commencement ceremony for each of those years. (For example, a student receiving a B.A. in Architecture and B. Arch in different years may commence once for each of them.)

A student who is on the graduation list leading up to commencement but who fails to complete and pass all courses required for degree completion may petition the Dean of Undergraduates for permission to participate in commencement, consistent with the guidelines listed above, even though this will probably occur after the published deadline.