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Graduation Checklist

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Looking for something else? Visit the Graduation Page.

If you are ready to confer your degree(s), this checklist will help you ensure you’re completing the necessary requirements to graduate.

  • Enroll in Classes
  • Check Degree Plan(s)
    • Prior to submitting your application to graduate, you should review your degree plan(s) and type(s) to ensure your record is correct.

      Undergraduate students: You can make any changes to your major, minor, and department honors in Axess. See the Declaring Undergraduate Majors, Honors, and Minors for more information.

      Graduate students: To make changes, contact your department’s Student Services Officer for assistance.

      • To add a new degree program, submit a Graduate Program Authorization.
      • To discontinue an existing degree program, submit a Request to Permanently Withdraw from Degree Program eForm. 
        • Note: While the Graduate Program Authorization process does allow students to drop an existing degree program, the Permanent Withdrawal form should be submitted instead to ensure the program discontinuation takes effect immediately.
      • To declare or change a graduate field of study (subplan), submit a Declaration or Change of a Field of Study for Graduate Students eForm.
      • To add a Ph.D. Minor, submit the Application for Ph.D. Minor eForm.
  • Apply to Graduate
    • After confirming your degree plan(s) and type(s) are correct, you can apply to graduate in Axess. Visit How do I apply to graduate? for detailed instructions on how to submit your application and the related deadlines.

  • Complete the Senior or Exit Survey
    • Undergraduate students: You must complete the Senior Survey as part of the application to graduate process.

      Graduate students: The Exit Survey is a required part of the application to graduate process for students earning Ph.D., DMA, or Master's degrees (with the exception of MBA students).

  • Review Transcript and Course Placement (for Coterminal students only)
    • Confirm that all of your coursework is applied to the correct undergraduate or graduate career. You can review your course-career placement by visiting the Grades by Career page in Axess (in the My Academics drop-down menu). For more information about the Grades by Career page, visit Coterm Course Transfer.

  • Coterm Course Transfer
    • If any of your courses must be moved between the UG and GR careers, you must submit a Coterm Course Transfer form to initiate the change. The official deadline is the Late Application to Graduate, but it is best to submit this form as soon as possible during the quarter in which you are planning to confer your degree(s). Once the undergraduate degree is conferred, no courses can be transferred between careers. See Coterm Course Transfer for more information about course transfer policies and instructions for submitting your course transfer request.

  • Check Completion of University Degree Requirements
    • If conferring an undergraduate degree

      Ensure that you will complete the university requirements for the undergraduate degree by the end of the quarter. Refer to the Student Policies section for a detailed list of undergraduate degree requirements. You should resolve any issues before the Application to Graduate deadline for the quarter.

      If conferring an undergraduate degree with a minor, multiple-major, or dual degree:

      Submit a Major-Minor and Multiple Major Course Approval (electronic) form. If you have a dual degree, multiple major, or a minor and do not submit this form, you will be denied graduation. This form verifies that you did not overlap ("double count") courses for completing major(s) and minor(s) requirements. The final deadline to submit the form is the Final Study List deadline of your terminal quarter. Refer to the Academic Calendar for quarterly deadlines.

      If requesting undergraduate credit for any external test (e.g., AP, IB, GCE) or transfer credit:

      To request transfer credit, submit the Transfer Credit Evaluation Request form. To request external test credit, submit a help request to the Student Services Center. Visit the Transfer Credit and Advanced Placement page for more information about test and transfer credit policies and procedures. You should have all requests for credit submitted by the Final Study List deadline of your graduating quarter.

      If conferring a graduate degree

      Ensure that you will complete the university requirements for your graduate degree by the end of the quarter.  See the Student Policies section for a detailed list of graduate degree requirements. You should resolve any issues before the Application to Graduate deadline for the quarter.

  • Check Department/School Requirements
    • Confirm with your student services administrator in your department(s) or school(s) that you have completed, or are on track to complete, all program requirements for your degree, including milestones such as the master's thesis/project and doctoral dissertation. Note that departments may have earlier deadlines for milestones.

  • Complete Milestones
    • Confirm with your department if you need to complete any non-course requirements (i.e., milestones) for your declared programs. Declared programs include major, minor, and honor’s plans. Required milestones may include: submitting an honor’s thesis, completing a capstone project, fulfilling a language requirement or participating in an internship, etc. You should complete these milestones no later than the last day of classes of your conferral quarter, but you should check with your department(s) to confirm the specific deadline; department(s) may have an earlier deadline. For answers to common questions about student milestones, please visit: Milestone FAQs

  • Monitor "To Do" Items
    • Regularly check the status of your "To Do" items. “To Do” items are outstanding requirements that may prevent you from successfully conferring your degree. They are listed in Axess each quarter after you apply to graduate. Incomplete items remain in Axess until you have received a final grade or completed the requirement.

  • Resolve Outstanding Grades
    • Work with your instructor(s) and/or departments to resolve any outstanding grades (e.g., GNRs, incomplete grades) from previous quarters as soon as possible before degree conferral. Outstanding grades may cause you to fall below minimum unit requirements and ultimately prevent your degree conferral.

  • Cardinal Care Early Cancellation
    • If you plan to graduate at the end of Autumn or Winter Quarter, you may be eligible for early cancellation of Cardinal Care. To cancel Cardinal Care, you can submit the Petition for Early Cancellation due to Degree Conferral by the deadline: December 15 if conferring in Autumn Quarter or April 15 if conferring in Winter Quarter. Once your application to graduate is approved by the Registrar's Office, the Petition for Early Cancellation is approved and processed, and the Autumn or Winter Quarter Cardinal Care health insurance charge will be waived from your account.  Your Cardinal Care enrollment terminates on December 31 if conferring in Autumn Quarter or April 30 if conferring in Winter Quarter.  For more information, please visit the Cardinal Care website.

  • Clear Diploma Holds
    • You should resolve current holds and prevent future holds. If you have an unmet financial obligation to the university, you will not receive a diploma or transcript until the obligation is fulfilled.

  • Diploma Distribution
    • Diplomas are mailed by standard USPS First-Class Mail. For expedited shipping options that are available for a fee and diploma distribution dates, visit Obtaining Your Diploma. Diploma covers are distributed at your department’s Commencement ceremony.

  • Student Loans
    • Degree candidates with outstanding student loan debt may be required to complete a loan exit counseling requirement. You should receive instructions for completing this requirement by mid-May. 

      • If you have borrowed an institutional student loan (a loan borrowed directly from Stanford) or a federal Perkins loan, you should contact University Accounting Service (UAS) at 844-870-8701 with questions. 
      • If you have borrowed a federal Direct loan, the Federal Student Aid website provides details about your outstanding federal student loans, including the name and contact information for your loan-servicing agency. You should contact your Financial Aid Office with additional questions. 
  • Update Contact Information
      • Use StanfordYou to forward your Stanford email to a personal email account. Stanford email is discontinued 120 days after graduation. 
      • Update your email and mailing addresses in Axess. 
      • Update your Direct Deposit information in Axess (Student role) > My Finances > Direct Deposit.
  • Withdraw an Application to Graduate
    • If you are unable to successfully complete all requirements for your degree(s), or if you need to postpone your degree conferral, you should withdraw your application to graduate in Axess. A withdrawal link is listed on your actual application to graduate. You can withdraw their application up until the Late Application to Graduate deadline. See Applying to Graduate for more information.

Graduation Resources

Your Undergraduate and/or Graduate Department(s)

The student services administrator in your department can verify that your course of study will complete the requirements for that major. Multiple majors must check with all departments

Graduation Resources

Student Services Center (SSC)

Tresidder Union, second floor

The SSC is available for your inquiries (undergraduate and graduate) regarding graduation status, including graduation requirements, major declaration, transfer credit, special registration statuses, diplomas, and transcripts. They can answer your questions about diploma distribution options and about what information appears on the diploma.

Online help requests
Student policies

Graduation Resources

Academic Advising

Sweet Hall,

Academic Advising is available to assist you with advising related to overall graduation requirements, preparation for graduate or professional studies, and other academic matters.

Graduation Resources

Stanford Bookstore

White Plaza Phone: 650-329-1217
Toll-Free: 800-533-2670

You can rent or buy your cap and gown, engraved Commencement invitations and announcements, class rings, and diploma frames at the Stanford Bookstore.