Each spring and fall semester the University schedules the main university ceremony and department ceremonies. For the most current schedule and for other information regarding graduation, please visit the Commencement website.


The Graduation Process

The University via the Chancellor confers degrees at the end of each fall, spring, and summer term. All coursework and all other degree requirements must be completed prior to the degree conferral date for the graduation term. Consult with your academic advisor to ensure your Degree Works audit is complete or will be completed on time.

How to Apply for Graduation

The catalog you are following will be used to determine your requirements for graduation.

​All coursework and all other degree requirements must be completed prior to the degree conferral date for the graduation term—INCLUDING YOUR SENIOR EXHIBITION, PORTFOLIO, or REEL, MFA Thesis Exhibition and Document, or MAEd thesis or project.

An application for graduation must be completed online through Pirate Port at least one semester prior to completing the requirements of the degree as stated by the University Catalog. Consult with your advisor to ensure that your degree requirements on your Degree Works audit are complete or will be completed by the term you wish to graduate. Apply to graduate for the term in which ALL degree requirements are completed. This may not be the term you plan to participate in commencement.

Before you apply to graduate online you must make sure that your degree information (including minors, concentrations, certificates) is correct. Check your transcript to verify programs you are enrolled in. If there is an error, contact your adviser to get your degree information corrected.

Final degree certification is processed by Graduation Services using your Degree Works audit.​

Complete the exit survey when emailed a survey link by IPAR. Call 328-9492 with questions about the survey.

Check your DegreeWorks audit or Pirate Port for holds. Certain holds will prevent the mailing of your diploma or release of final transcripts.

If you are receiving Financial Aid, you must complete the Financial Aid Exit Interview. A hold will be placed on your record that will prevent the release of your final transcript if the exit interview is not complete. To complete the Financial Aid Exit Interview, log on to with your FAFSA pin number.

Graduating in May or December? Check your ECU email

If you are eligible to graduate during the current semester, check your ECU email account for important Commencement information including how to RSVP for the University Ceremony, as well as things you need to know about department ceremonies, parking and how to stay connected for updates as Commencement gets closer.

Frequently Asked Questions for Graduates

Do I need to let someone know that I am participating in the main university commencement ceremony?

Yes. An RSVP link will be available later.

I registered to participate using the Student and Faculty RSVP tool but now my plans have changed.  Do I need to let someone know that I will not be attending?


Where do I get my cap and gown?

Contact or visit Dowdy Student Stores for your cap and gown and other items such as announcements, invitations and frames. Student must complete and return the Cap and Gown Form.

How do I know if I have met all the necessary academic requirements to graduate?

Review your Degree Works audit accessed through your Pirate Port account. If you have concerns with your degree audit, contact your academic advisor or contact Graduation Services at

When do I get my diploma?

Diplomas are mailed 8-10 weeks after graduation using the address provided in the graduation application submitted by the student.

What size is my diploma?

Diplomas, both graduate and undergraduate, are 11”x14”.
Certificates, both graduate and undergraduate, are 8 1/2”x11”.

Which ceremony do I participate in if I am a summer graduate?

Students who will complete all degree requirements in Spring are eligible to participate in the University Spring Commencement ceremony. Students who complete degree requirements in Summer have the option to participate in the University Fall commencement ceremony.

To participate in the School of Art and Design’s recognition ceremony, ALL DEGREE REQUIREMENTS must be met during the semester of the ceremony. You may not have any outstanding credits or degree requirements (e.g. senior portfolio, exhibition, or reel). This is a firm policy.

How do I change the address for where my diploma should be mailed? Graduation applications cannot be updated by a student once they are submitted. Contact the Registrar’s Office  ( for any updates that need to be made to the graduation application, including the address to where a diploma or certificate should be mailed.

Frequently Asked Questions for Families and Guests


A member of our group is a person with a disability.  Do we need to make advanced arrangements?

Individuals with Disabilities in need of accommodations for University Commencement should contact the Department of Disability Support  Services at or call (252) 737-1016 no later than one week prior to the event. Please be mindful the University does not provide personal care items such as wheelchairs.

Several local pharmacies rent mobility aids for personal use.