Students wearing their GW regalia and smiling at CCAS Celebration

Congratulations to you as you near the end of your time as a CCAS undergraduate student. Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the necessary terms and deadlines as you complete your required courses and plan ahead for your graduation day.

Key Terms



Celebration: The ceremony held by the Columbian College to celebrate your accomplishment. You will sit with other students from your major and your name will be called.

Conferred: This means you have officially been granted your degree. If you have finished your requirements but have not yet been granted your degree, then your degree has not yet been conferred.



Graduation: The point in time when your degree is conferred. This happens after the Celebration and Commencement ceremonies, and is dependent upon your completion of your degree requirements. It is possible to participate in Commencement and Celebration and not graduate from the Columbian College.

Commencement: The university-wide ceremony held on the National Mall. All schools and degree candidates are present for this event.

Reaching Degree Completion

After all of your grades have posted, you will receive an email from your advisor letting you know whether or not you have been cleared to graduate. 


If You Have Been Cleared

  • Your degree will be conferred 5-10 business days after you receive the email notice from your advisor.
  • Your degree will be conferred by the Registrar’s Office. Your diploma will be mailed to the diploma address you provided in GWeb in 8 to 12 weeks.
  • In 10 business days from the date you receive the email from your advisor, you can check your unofficial transcript to see if the degree is now included at the top: "Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Arts/Science [date]." If not, check back periodically, as sometimes processing takes additional time.
  • Should you need documentation of your degree, you can request an Official Transcript. Before requesting your transcript, double-check your unofficial transcript on GWeb to see if “Degree Awarded” is showing. If so, visit the Office of the Registrar transcripts page to learn the various ways to request your transcript. 


If You Have NOT Been Cleared

Work closely with your advisor to complete your degree. If you completed the coursework to satisfy your missing requirements during this past semester and your missing requirement(s) is/are the result of an administrative delay, you can still be a graduate in this term. Administrative delays include but are not limited to: missing grades for completed work and/or missing transfer credit from a U.S. institution or study abroad program. Since there is no automated way for your advisor to monitor changes to your transcript, it is your responsibility to monitor your GWeb transcript and contact your advisor when missing requirements have been completed.

If you did not complete the requirements for your degree during this past semester, you must take these steps to complete your degree:

  • Maintain your enrollment at GW, semester by semester, either by taking courses at GW or registering for Continuous Enrollment as you take classes elsewhere, until you complete your degree. You can complete your final six hours elsewhere, but other residency requirements may need to be reviewed before making this decision.
  • Submit a new graduation application for your new graduation term.