Graduation & Diplomas

Application Deadlines
Degree applications occur for each graduation term. Students hoping to graduate in a given term, should apply in that given application period.  The "Apply to Graduate" button in the student portal will only be available during the application period.

Application Period for May 2021 Degrees- March 3rd - April 1st.

Pick-up and Mailing
Currently for May 2020 Degrees onward until the Registrar's staff returns to campus, diplomas will be mailed after conferral.  For more information please visit

Replacement Diplomas

In the event that a diploma is lost, stolen, damaged, or you’ve had a name change, a request for a replacement can be made to Please attach a signed cover letter explaining the reason for the replacement request.

Lost or Stolen- If the diploma was lost or stolen, we require some type of proof, be it an insurance claim or notarized statement stating the facts.

Damaged- If destroyed or significantly damaged, the original diploma must be returned with the request for a replacement diploma. Once you have placed the damaged diploma in the mail kindly provide us with the tracking information and we can proceed with your request. If destroyed in a fire or any other catastrophic event, you must submit a police or insurance report.

Name Change- If you are requesting a replacement due to a name change, notarized proof of legal name change documentation that lists your old name and new name must be submitted. The original diploma must be returned with the request for replacement diploma.

The cost for a replacement diploma is $150.00, and the process may take four to six weeks from the time your order is received. The new diploma will bear a statement in the lower margin by the Secretary to the Corporation certifying that the diploma is, in substance, a copy of the original. The names of the officials in office at the time that the original diploma was printed will appear on the diploma without the signatures.

*Replacement Diplomas are not issued to Family members of Alumni.

All students who graduate in November, March and May of the academic year may participate in the Commencement celebration in May. In April, the Commencement Office sends information about the Commencement Day schedule, tickets, and academic regalia to all recipients of November and March degrees and all applicants for May degrees. Please note that if you plan to attend Commencement in May, there is no need to pick up your diploma ahead of time, even if you graduated in November or March.

Graduation Rates:
You can access the Graduation Rates Reports pdf file.



 November 2020

 March 2021

 May 2021

Application Deadline

 August 14, 2020

 December 1, 2020  

  April 1, 2021

Dissertation Deadline

September 8, 2020*

  (September 9, 2020 -

October 9, 2020)*    

 January 19, 2021 

    May 13, 2021  

Degree Conferral

 November 10, 2020

March 2, 2021 

   May 27, 2021 

*Students who wish to retain health coverage for the fall 2020 term (through January 31, 2021) and who would like to be charged accordingly should submit the dissertation from September 9, 2020 - October 9, 2020.

Degree Application:

Students who wish to obtain a degree must formally apply.  The degree application is available through your "My Program" on Detailed instructions on how to apply can be found in the Knowledge Center.

In unusual circumstances late applications may be accepted for the one week past the deadline only; a late fee of $50 will be applied to the student term bill.

If a student applies but does not receive the degree, a new application must to be submitted for a future degree conferral date.

In order for the degree to be granted, the Department must register an official Recommendation in the my.harvard Graduation Tracker. Instructions on how to navigate the Graduation Tracker can be found here.

Tuition Requirements for Graduating PhD students:

All PhD students must register continuously until completion of the requirements for the degree.  PhD candidates must have paid two years of Full tuition and two years of Reduced tuition before receipt of the degree, unless they have completed the PhD in less than four years from initial registration.  All PhD candidates must pay the Facilities Fee in their last term of registration (unless a higher tuition has been paid). This final charge is billed after a student applies for the degree; unless the student has already paid the Facilities fee for the term. Please visit GSAS Policies for more information.

For students receiving degrees in November, the last term of registration is the previous spring term. For degrees in March the last term is the previous fall. For degrees in May the last term is the spring term (except May degree candidates filing dissertations by specific date who do not register or pay tuition for the spring term). Students who are uncertain whether they will finish in time for degrees in November or March are encouraged to register for the fall or spring terms respectively, either in residence or on leave of absence, to avoid late registration fees if they miss the degree deadlines. Should they finish in time, their registration for the term will be cancelled. Student health insurance expires on the last day of coverage for the last term of enrollment. Please visit HUHS for more information. 

Undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences planning to graduate in one of the three official degree periods (November, March, or May) must submit a degree application confirming their intent to complete the A.B. or S.B. degree in a specific degree period. The degree application is available through your "My Program" page on Detailed instructions on how to apply can be found in the Knowledge Center. The application must be submitted by the deadline designated in the Academic Calendar section of the current year Handbook for Students for the period during which the degree is expected to be completed.

Questions regarding the House ceremony on Commencement Day should be referred to your Allston Burr Resident Dean. Please refer to the student handbook for honors information.

The following grade point average thresholds were established by the Faculty for awarding degrees summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude in field for the May 2020 degree period:

summa cum laude in field -- 3.956

magna cum laude in field -- 3.853

cum laude in field -- 3.655

cum laude -- 3.853

Questions about qualifying for honors degrees should be directed to your concentration or resident dean.