Graduation Clearance

“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


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2 responses to “Graduation Clearance

  1. Dawn Bennett

    Does this practice make it more difficult for students who have not fulfilled the externships or passed professional exams to find jobs? Also, because many US schools are not so rigorous, do students to come to the US to study find it more difficult to get their degrees accepted?

    Interesting post.

  2. Dawn – Thanks for your question. I’ve noticed that some students who have completed all the course requirements but do not yet have the printed diploma in their hands, are accepted to graduate degree programs here in the U.S. But, if the criteria to graduate and receive the degree is completion of internship, passage of professional licensing exams in addition to coursework, the individual technically has not fulfilled ALL the requirements to graduate and qualify for the award of the degree. In the case of Mexico, for example, those who complete all their undergraduate courses and pass final exams will receive the “Carta de Pasante” (Certificate of Passing) which is sufficient for employment but they are required to fulfill the social service/thesis/professional exams in order to receive their degree (Titulo/Grado de Licenciado) to be admissible to graduate (maestria) level studies at universities/institutions of higher education in Mexico. When we evaluate the Carta de Pasante from Mexico we recommend U.S. undergraduate credit equivalence but do not recommend a U.S. Bachelor’s degree equivalency as not ALL requirements for the program have been satisfied.

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