Use the links below to find frequently asked questions about commencement arranged by category.
Don't see your question below? Contact the Office of the Registrar at 301-860-3730.
I missed the graduation application deadline. Will I have a diploma on graduation day?
The Office of the Registrar does not give out diplomas on the day of the ceremony. Diplomas will be available for pick-up, on specific dates, from the Registrar’s Office after final graduation clearance in early January. If students are unable to pick their diplomas up, the diplomas will be mailed to the addresses on record. More details regarding pick-up dates/mailing will be provided by the Registrar’s Office in December.
My name has changed. Is it too late to have it reflected on my diploma?
If you request a name change more than 7 days after the graduation application deadline, you will be required to complete a Replacement Diploma Form and pay a fee. You also will be required to submit to the Office of the Registrar official documentation to support the change of name.
If I don’t plan to attend the ceremony, do I have to apply for graduation?
Yes. All students whether planning to participate in the ceremony or not have to apply and pay all fees to be academically reviewed and cleared by the Office of the Registrar.
Can I be cleared for graduation if I have an outstanding balance?
Yes, you can be cleared for graduation but you will not be able to have your diploma mailed to the address on file.
If I do not complete my degree requirements, will my name automatically roll over to the graduation list for the next semester?
No. You must reapply for graduation but you will not be required to pay an additional graduation fee.
How will I know that I have met ALL degree and financial requirements for graduation?
Check your Bulldog Connection account to make sure that you do not have any negative service indicators. If you do, click on the indicator for additional instructions. Also make sure that you have received all of your grades. If a grade has not been posted or if you have grades of “NG” or “I,” contact your instructor. You are not eligible for graduation with grades of “F”, “NG” or “I” or “D” for your major requirements.
How will I know that I have met the requirements to participate in the graduation ceremony?
Check your Bulldog Connection account to view your graduation status. As long as your status says “Pending” or “Approved,” you are eligible to participate.
Cap & Gown
How do I order my academic regalia, rings, &c.?
Question: How do I know that I have been cleared for graduation and can pick up my academic regalia?
Check your Bulldog Connection account to view your graduation status. As long as your status says “Pending” or “Approved,” you are eligible to participate. Regalia will be shipped to your home if you choose to order it. Regalia is not required to participate in the virtual ceremony.
I haven’t ordered my regalia. Can I still participate in the graduation ceremony?
Regalia will be shipped to your home if you choose to order it. Regalia is not required to participate in the virtual ceremony.
I am a transfer student with 59 Bowie credits. Will I be eligible for Latin Honors?
You need 60 or more Bowie State credits to be considered for Latin Honors. However, a transfer student who has earned 30-59 semester hours at Bowie State University and has a GPA of 3.5 or above will graduate with Academic Recognition.
When will I receive my Honors cord?
Honor cords will be distributed on the morning of graduation at check-in with your name cards.
Why do I need tickets for Commencement?
The building maintains state and federal capacity and fire code guidelines to ensure the safety of all guests. Tickets are required for everyone (including infants and children) to ensure compliance with safety protocols.
How do I receive tickets?
Tickets will be distributed during Commencement week. Digital tickets will be distributed to students that request them.
How many tickets will I get for Commencement?
Each graduate will receive:
- three (3) tickets for guests attending the ceremony at the Leonidas S. James Physical Education Complex
- three (3) tickets for guests attending the ceremony at the satellite locations
Digital and printed options are available.
Where do I pick up Commencement tickets?
Printed tickets can be retrieved from the Bulldog Card Office in the Student Center. Digitial tickets will be delivered separately.
Can I buy additional tickets?
Commencement tickets are not for sale. Tickets should not be sold by any BSU student or BSU official. Students are encouraged to contact other graduates who may not use their full allotment of tickets. BSU is not responsible for facilitating this exchange.
Do children need tickets if they can sit in an adult's lap?
For safety reasons and fire code regulations that require an accurate count of everyone in the building, children of all ages require a ticket.
Where does Commencement take place?
The 2023 Winter Commencement ceremony will take place at the Leonidas S. James Physical Education Complex [#7 on the map], on the campus of Bowie State University.
How long is the ceremony?
The ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. and last approximately two hours.
Is there a secure place to leave my purse or wallet during the ceremony?
We do not have a secure area for your personal belongings. We encourage you to leave all personal items with family members or friends attending the ceremony. The university is not responsible for lost or stolen items. See our policy regarding what bags are permitted in the venue.
How soon can I request my final transcript?
You will be able to request transripts online beginning on January 15, 2024.