Graduation Information

Visit the University Commencement Website for information on Commencement ceremonies.
Have a question? Here are some Graduation FAQs

BA/BS and BLS Students

Graduation Photo While students begin preparing for graduation the first day they set foot on campus, by the middle of the junior year we send you an email announcement, that the Registrar’s Office is accepting Degree Applications for the graduating class of the
following year. You must stop by the Registrar’s Office to pick up and submit a
degree application.  This little card gets the ball rolling by telling us that you expect to be a member of the class to graduate a year and a half later. For BA and BS students, it prompts a complete degree audit to be prepared and waiting in your advisor’s office when you return to campus for the beginning of your senior year.  You must meet with him or her to verify your agreement with the audit or to make corrections or other remarks.

Throughout the senior year, there will be important contacts concerning your graduation status sent to you via your campus email account. Please be diligent and check for notifications.

Graduating seniors in the following degrees should contact Evelyn Torres on the Fredericksburg campus at 540-654-1549.

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Bachelor of Science (BS)

Graduating seniors in the following degree should contact Suzanne Stewart on the Fredericksburg campus at 540-654-2050.

  • Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS)

MBA, MEd, MS and BPS Students

Each Adult/Graduate UMW student, in preparation for graduation, must complete the following procedures and paper work.


All undergraduate and graduate students must submit a degree application to the Office of the Registrar one year prior to the anticipated graduation date. While all other degree requirements may have been met, no student is allowed to graduate unless the application has been filed appropriately. Degree applications are available in the Office of the Registrar and in the Office of Advising Services.


Students are subject to the degree requirements in effect at the time of acceptance into the program. To graduate, students must satisfy all stated curriculum requirements.


Candidates for graduation should review their Degree Evaluation on EagleNet to ensure that all requirements are met. If there are any questions, please contact the Senior Associate Registrar or an academic advisor.

Graduating seniors in the following degree should contact College of Education on the Fredericksburg campus at 540-654-1034.

  • Master of Science in Education (MS)

Graduating seniors in the following degrees should contact Kevin Caffrey on the Stafford campus at 540-286-8008.

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Master of Science in Information Science (MS)
  • Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS)

Graduation FAQs


Q. What is the size of the diploma?

A. The diploma is 12 in. X 15 in. and is displayed landscape.

Q. How many hours are needed to complete the Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree?

A. If you matriculate prior to Fall 2008, 122 hours minimum, are required, fulfilling all major and general education requirements. If you matriculate in Fall 2008 or later, you are required to complete a minimum of 120 credit hours.

Q. I completed my major in Mathematics and a double major in History. Why can’t I get two different degrees from Mary Washington?

A. If both majors are completed prior to graduation , you could apply for either a B.A. or B.S. but not both degrees. Both majors are recorded on your transcript. In order to receive both a B.A. and a B. S. degree from UMW you will need to complete an additional 30 hours of coursework, including the general education and the major requirements in effect at the time you begin the pursuit of the second degree. You must contact the Office of Admissions to re-apply as a transfer student.

Q. I almost finished my second major before graduation. Can I come back after graduating to complete my second major?

A. Arrangements can be made in advance for you to return after graduating to complete your second major and have it recorded as a post-baccalaureate major on your transcript.

Q. Will my major be printed on my diploma?

A. No. Your diploma only has the actual degree printed on it, your major/s appear on your transcript.

Q. Can I walk with my class at graduation, even though I didn’t finish all my requirements by May?

A. All students who are on the pending list of degree candidates for the Baccalaureate degree as determined by the Office of the Registrar and who have completed all graduation requirements by the end of the spring semester other than one remaining course may participate in undergraduate Commencement exercises.
Students who finish in Summer or Fall prior to May are expected to participate in the ceremony. These students receive their diploma following their term of completion and all transcripts are brought up-to-date at that time. Any student who is unable to attend commencement should contact Rhonda Stills at and ask to graduate in absentia. At that time please indicate 1) whether you will be able to pick-up your diploma beginning the Tuesday after graduation, or 2) whether you will need your diploma mailed to you, being sure to give a good address.

Q. When will I get my diploma?

A. For students who finish in May, you are presented your diploma when you walk across the stage at Commencement.

Q. If I am finishing my requirements earlier than May, when can I expect my diploma?

A. If you completed your requirements in the summer or fall semester prior to the May ceremony, you are expected to attend the May commencement; however your diploma will be mailed to your home mailing address following your completion term. You should expect it at your mailing address within approx. 12 weeks following the semester’s end.

Q. Is there a fee for missing Commencement?

A. Absolutely not. Word of this mysterious fee surfaces every year, but there is no fee.

Q. Will I graduate with honors?

A. If you have completed a minimum of 60 residential credits on which GPA can be calculated you are a candidate for honors. A GPA of 3.7500 or higher receives Summa Cum Laude , 3.5000 to 3.7499 receives Magna Cum Laude , and a GPA of 3.2500 to 3.4999 receives Cum Laude. Effective May 1997, students who have completed between 30 and 59 residential credits on which GPA can be calculated will be eligible for Distinction honors. Students attaining a 3.3000 GPA will receive Distinction and students with GPA’s of 3.7500 will get Highest Distinction. This is noted on your diploma and on your permanent record. The GPA for honors is calculated through the completion of the senior year. Graduate students are expected to maintain a high level of academic performance, and therefore no academic honors are bestowed upon graduation.

Q. What is the Darden Award?

A. The Colgate Darden Award is given to the undergraduate student with the highest GPA on a minimum of 94 UMW graded credit.

Q. What are Departmental Honors?

A. Many academic departments have programs in place to recognize exceptional work in the major or in another area. Departmental Honors may include an extensive research paper or project. Whatever type of work is required by the individual department, must be submitted to the library after honors have been awarded. In the middle of the Spring semester, each department will be solicited for potential candidates for honors. Departmental Honors are noted on the students permanent record and in the Commencement Program.