Requirements for Graduation

It is each student’s responsibility to inform the university when graduation is expected. This information is entered through the individual’s Student Center in My UW–Madison. Students may also call or visit the Degree Audit and Diploma Services Office (Suite 11101, 333 East Campus Mall, 608-262-3782) to declare their intent to graduate.

After each term begins, an email will be sent to all students with 100 or more credits who have not yet indicated their intent to graduate. This reminder also provides instructions on how to inform the university if the expected graduation and/or commencement will be at the end of the current term.

NOTE: Students who do not indicate their intention to graduate and/or attend commencement will not have their academic record checked for graduation purposes at the Registrar’s Office and will not receive commencement information (schedule, attire, etc.).

Students who indicate their intention to graduate will not be able to enroll for subsequent semesters. Students who find that they still need additional UW–Madison courses to graduate and cannot enroll in these courses should contact the Degree Audit and Diploma Services Office (608-262-3782) for assistance.

The School of Education celebrates its graduates in a variety of ways in May and December. Visit the School’s commencement page for more information.

Visit for information about UW–Madison’s commencement ceremonies.


Degrees are granted in May, August, and December. Commencement ceremonies are held in May and December. August graduates may attend the ceremony of their choice. By campus policy, all work for the degree must be completed and all degree requirements satisfied before the degree can be granted. If an undergraduate student completes all degree requirements, does not apply for graduation, and this is discovered in an audit of records, the student will be graduated retroactively to the appropriate graduation date.

Graduation Checking

Students should check their degree completion status before registering for their last semester on campus. Students will be held to all degree requirements—including courses and grade point averages—regardless of plans for graduate work, professional school, or employment. Students can check their degree status via the Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) on their own or in consultation with an advisor. Students in programs for which a DARS report is not available will receive a summary of completed requirements from the Registrar’s Office.

Degree Audit Reporting System

The Degree Audit Reporting System (DARS) provides students with an automated summary of their academic progress toward a degree. DARS reports show which requirements have already been completed and which remain unsatisfied. The report can also offer suggestions about appropriate courses that may be taken to meet specific requirements.

The “what-if” function allows students to explore options in other schools/colleges or other majors within a school/college. What-if DARS reports show how completed or in-progress courses may be used in different degree programs.

Students may request a DARS report on the web through My UW-Madison—Student Center—My Academics. DARS reports for declared majors and “what-if” options can both be requested. Please report problems encountered in requesting a DARS report by calling 608-262-5926 or emailing

Students should run a DARS report before enrolling in classes each semester to check remaining degree requirements, and then run a DARS report again after enrolling to ensure that the courses chosen will indeed fulfill the anticipated requirements. Questions about your DARS report can be directed to Barbara Gerloff, School of Education Student Services Assistant Dean,, 608-262-4544.

Students for whom DARS reports are not available should be in touch with their Student Services advisor and, in some cases, with their faculty or program advisor. When planning their registration for their last semester on campus, these students should contact the Degree Audit and Diploma Services Office at 608-262-3782 and request a degree summary (also referred to as a “degree audit”). A degree summary is a manually produced degree audit. Students should check their degree summary immediately upon receipt and contact their Student Services advisor if it indicates any unexpected graduation deficiencies.

Why is this requirement not met?

Students will sometimes find that their DARS report or degree summary will indicate a requirement not fulfilled even though their advisor has agreed that the requirement has been met. This means that either a DARS exception or an academic action has not been taken to reflect the completed requirement. Since many exceptions and actions are taken during a student’s last semester on campus, it would not be unusual for students to find requirements indicated as unmet on their DARS report or degree summary. In these cases, contact your EAS advisor immediately (by email is fine) and ask about the status of the requirement exception or action.

Graduating with Honors and Graduating with Distinction

School of Education undergraduates are recognized as Graduating with Honors and are invited to wear an honors stole at graduation if they have indicated they expect to graduate at the conclusion of the current semester, have earned or will earn at least 60 credits in residence at UW–Madison, and have a current cumulative GPA that places them in the top 20% of students expecting to graduate in the School of Education.

Students may also qualify for a Graduating with Distinction designation on their transcript if they have received their degree, have earned at least 60 credits in residence at UW–Madison, and have earned a cumulative GPA that places them in the top 20% of degree recipients in the School. Because the Graduating with Distinction calculations include the final semester’s grades, unlike the Graduating with Honors calculations, students may be recognized for one academic achievement but not the other.

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