“Life is my college. May I graduate well, and earn some honors!” ~Louise May Alcott
Once a student has “completed” his/her degree course requirements, passed all the final examinations and satisfied any financial obligations, the institution where the studies were completed may then consider the student eligible to graduate. Clearance for graduation is the process of official compliance with the academic and financial requirements established by the academic institutions. The issuance and printing of the actual paper degree diploma is a process that may take some institutions weeks or months to fulfill. In the event the student has completed the degree coursework and financial requirements and deemed eligible to graduate, the institution may issue an official statement confirming these facts with the promise that the paper diploma will be issued and available at a later date.
There are, however, countries (e.g. Mexico, Russia, Iran, to name a few) where requirements for graduation and award of the actual paper degree diploma require not only completion of courses for the degree, but also submission of a thesis, internship or social service, or passage of professional examinations. In such cases, the student must fulfill all these requirements in order to be considered eligible for graduation and the award of the diploma. However, if an institution issues academic transcripts and an official statement attesting that a student has fulfilled all course (including thesis, internship, etc.) and financial requirements for the degree program and confirms the student’s graduation and eligibility for the diploma/degree, the fact that the paper diploma is awarded at a later date does not imply that the program was incomplete and additional coursework was required.
Jasmin S. Kuehnert
President & CEO ACEI, Inc.
June 8, 2011