Early Participation

Guilford College seeks to identify students that may be eligible to participate in commencement ceremonies, although they have not yet completed all graduation requirements.  "Early" participation in commencement is open to eligible students who petition the Provost's Office and meet all five of the following criteria:

(1) The student is within 8 credits of completing all graduation requirements and have completed 128 credits for the 1998 curriculum and 124 credits if you entered fall 2019 or after
(2) has met or exceeded the minimum 2.0 grade point average and
(3) is registered for all the necessary coursework to complete all outstanding requirements and
(4) has cleared all outstanding account balances with Student Accounts and
(5) has no unresolved judicial charges.

Petition forms for early participation are made available by an Associate Academic Dean during the opening of summer/fall registration.  

Students who participate in the commencement ceremony without having completed all graduation requirements will not receive a diploma, be able to wear honor cords, or be listed as receiving graduating honors. Students may only participate in one commencement ceremony.

Important Considerations

  • Preliminary decisions about participation in commencement will be made in late April. Because a student's eligibility to participate in commencement will depend, in some cases, on final grades for Spring semester courses, final eligibility will be determined (and decisions shared with students) shortly after final grades are submitted.  It is important for students to understand that final decisions on participation cannot be made until after the deadline for final grades. 
  • Early participants must notify the Registrar's Office of the semester in which they intend to complete all graduation requirements (i.e. July or December). 
  • Diplomas are issued at the time of degree completion (i.e. July or December).