Graduation and commencement often get confused. Graduation is the actual process of being awarded a degree whereas commencement is a ceremony you participate in to celebrate the attainment of a degree.

Whether or not you choose to attend the commencement ceremony, you will still need to apply for graduation. Actual degrees are not awarded at the commencement ceremony and a final degree audit must be completed before a degree is officially awarded. A degree audit will not be completed unless the candidate applies for graduation in the term in which they plan to graduate.


Graduation is the process of being awarded a degree. To be awarded a degree, candidates must apply for graduation, have a degree audit by their advisor, and meet all degree requirements.


Commencement is the congratulatory ceremony (walking across the stage) held each fall and spring in which the attainment of a degree is recognized by the University community, friends, and family. Actual degrees are not awarded at the commencement ceremony.

When is Commencement?

UTSA hosts two commencement ceremonies a year – one in the fall (December) and one in the spring (May). Please note there is no ceremony offered in the summer. Summer graduates who wish to participate in commencement can choose to participate in the December commencement or May commencement.

Will my name be in the Commencement program?

After the September 15 or February 15 graduation deadline, the student’s name may not be in the Commencement Program. Additionally, any changes to the diploma name must be made before these deadlines.

Which ceremony will I walk in?

The link below is a list of undergraduate majors by college. This is the college you should be walking with in the commencement ceremony, the college your name will be under in the program, and the college dean’s signature that will be on your diploma. College/Major Information

Attention Doctoral Students

Doctoral students may participate in commencement ceremonies only after completing all requirements for graduation, including the successful defense of the dissertation and subsequent acknowledgment by the Graduate School of all required documentation. Summer term graduates are welcome to participate in the December commencement ceremony following their summer term graduation.

Can I defer my participation in a commencement ceremony to a future semester?

Yes, we understand circumstances may arise where you cannot attend your commencement ceremony. At the same time, alumni who graduated during the pandemic may want to return with their family and friends for a Commencement experience in the Alamodome.

Students who are interested in this option should submit a Petition to Defer Commencement to Graduation Coordination for consideration. Requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

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