Graduation Information

Any student who is graduating and wishes to earn their degree/certificate, must apply to graduate by completing an Intent to Graduate form. The form is located on CougarNet...My Account / Registration Tools & Forms / Graduation. The intent form is term specific so the student will need to be sure to choose the correct term in which they plan to complete their degree/certificate requirements. Summer graduates participate in the Spring Commencement Ceremony, but the Summer Intent to Graduate form is required. Once your intent has been received and processed, you will be added to the graduation list and will reeive all notifications and information pertaining to graduation. 

This form must be completed in order to graduate and receive your diploma, regardless if you plan to participate in the ceremony!

Spring 2023 Intent Deadlines

Ceremony Participation - Monday, April 17th

Final Deadline - Friday, May 5th

Summer 2023 Intent Deadlines

Ceremony Participation - Monday, April 17th

Final Deadline - Friday, August 4th


Join us for the Spring Grad Party Drive Thru to pick up all the items needed for graduation. During this event, graduates will receive their regalia including cap/gown and tassel, honor cord and/or military recognition cord, and complimentary Alumni t-shirt. PTK regalia will not be available during the event, but can be purchased in the Business Office beginning Monday, April 17th. 

If graduates are unable to attend the event, they can pick up their cap and gown from the Bookstore during normal hours beginning Monday, April 17th - May 4th. Graduates will have to contact the Alumni Office to get their complimentary Alumni t-shirt if they are unable to attend the Grad Party Drive Thru. The Alumni t-shirts will not be available for pick up in the Bookstore.

If the event has to be cancelled due to inclement weather, graduates will be notified by noon on Friday, April 14th and it will not be rescheduled. Items will be available in the Bookstore beginning Monday, April 17th. 

Exit Exam
All Associate degree graduates are required to take the Exit Exam. In order to test at the Cleveland
campus, you must make a reservation through your CougarNet account. In order to test at the
Athens campus, you must contact their Testing Center at 423-472-7141 ext. 463. You should
complete this requirement in the same semester you plan to graduate. Please do not test early.
Exit Exams must be completed prior to final exams. Be sure to take a photo ID to the Testing Center
on your test date.

Fall Grads: August – December
Spring Grads : January – May
Summer Grads : June – August
Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I complete the Exit Exam? The Exit Exam can be taken in the Testing Center or it can be taken remotely. This exam does not have to be proctored.

How do I schedule to take the Exit Exam in the Testing Center on the Main Campus?  Reservations are made on your CougarNet account. In CougarNet, click on the Academics Tab. Then, look for the Testing Center Reservations link at the bottom left of the screen. 

How do I schedule to take the Exit Exam in the Testing Center in Athens at the MHEC Campus? Contact their Testing Center at 423-745-8486. 

If I want to take the Exit Exam remotely, what do I need to do? Reach out to the Testing Center via email ( and they can send you the instructions and testing code you need to take the exam at home. Once you have completed the exam you must email the Testing Center to let them know you have completed it, otherwise it will not be marked as completed in our system. 

What do I need to do after I complete the Exit Exam at home? Email the Testing Center immediately so they can mark your exam as completed. If you do not contact them, then this graduation requirement will not be marked at completed until they are notified.

How long does it take to complete the Exit Exam? Approximately 45 minutes.

Do I need to study for the Exit Exam? No, there is no need to study for this exam. 

Is there a certain score I need to make on the Exit Exam in order to graduate? Although you will want to do your very best, there isn’t a certain score you have to make. You just have to complete it. However, if you do not take the exam seriously you will be asked to retest.

What is the deadline to take my Exit Exam? All Exit Exams must be completed by the last day of the semester.

Program Test
Some departments require a separate Program Test. This is notated on your Intent to Graduate
form if your degree requires this test. If you have already completed the Program Test previously,
you do not have to complete it again. This test does not fulfill the Exit Exam requirement.
Please contact the appropriate departmental secretary with any questions about the Program Test.

Caps & Gowns
Caps and gowns will be available at the Grad Party Drive Thru Saturday, April 15th.
If graduates are unable to attend the event, graduates can pick up their cap and gown from the Bookstore during normal hours beginning Monday, April 17th - May 4th. There is no charge for the initial set of caps and gowns. Replacement costs are as follows...

Full set - $35 plus tax
Mortarboard - $6 plus tax
Tassle - $6 plus tax

The College welcomes the opportunity for students to celebrate this milestone in their lives by
decorating their mortarboard. However, we ask that discretion be used by not displaying
profanities, political messages, advertisements, inappropriate decorations, or phrases. The
College reserves the right to examine the mortarboard and if deemed inappropriate, ask the
graduate to either revise or totally remove the mortarboard. Items should not hang off the sides
of the mortarboard and 3-D objects should not be attached. If the mortarboard is deemed
inappropriate, the graduate will not be permitted to participate in the ceremony without purchasing a new mortarboard. Replacement mortarboard will be $6 plus tax. 

Honor Cords
Graduates are eligible for an honor cord if they are earning an AA, AS, AFA, or AAS degree and
their overall GPA at the end of the Fall 2022 Semester is at least 3.30. Certificate students are
not eligible for an honor cord. Honor cords will be available when picking up your cap and gown.
Graduates must show a photo ID in order to pick up their honor cord. Each eligible graduate will be
given one honor cord free of charge. Replacement honor cords will be available to purchase in the
Bookstore for $12.

3.80 - 4.00 Highest Honors: White & Gold
3.60 - 3.79 High Honors Light: Blue & Gold
3.30 - 3.59 Honors: Navy & Gold

Phi Theta Kappa members have the option to purchase honors stoles and tassels to wear with
their regalia. The Cleveland State Business Office and the Athens Front Desk sell stoles for $26
and tassels for $10. They both accept credit card and check, and the Cleveland Business office will
also accept cash. NJCAA (athletic), STEM, and Nursing stoles are also available at the
Store for $35 + shipping. Please contact Dr. Michele Wollert at
for more information


Military Recognition
Graduates who are currently serving, or who have served honorably, in the Armed Forces are
eligible for this recognition. Please contact Kim Allin in Veterans Services at to ensure your eligibility has been recorded. Cleveland State
prides itself on being a veteran friendly campus.

Military Recognition Cord: Red, White & Blue

Please make plans to attend the Spring Commencement Rehearsal. During rehearsal, graduates will be given important ceremony information as well as information they will need to know before arriving on campus the day of the ceremony. This will also be the last opportunity for graduates to pick up any graduation items needed for the ceremony.

Date & Time: Wednesday, May 3, 2023 at 3:00 pm
Location: L. Quentin Lane Gymnasium

Frequently Asked Questions:
Is rehearsal mandatory for ceremony participation? No, however we do recommend that you make plans to attend if at all possible. 

How long will the commencement rehearsal last? Approximately 1hr

    • Commencement Ceremony

    • The college will host its Spring Commencement Ceremony in the L. Quentin Lane

      Friday, May 5, 2023 at 5:30 pm 
      Gymnasium Opens for Guests – 3:45 pm
      Graduates Arrive – 4:30 pm – 5:00 pm
      * Protocols,  could change and will be determined based upon COVID-19 cases.

      Graduate Instructions (Arrival Time, Location, Etc.)
    • Graduates should report directly to the south entrance of the Student Center (between 4:30pm -  5:00pm) wearing their regalia for check-in. All mortarboards will be inspected at check-in. If deemed inapproproate the graduate will be required to purchase another one in order to participate in the ceremony. Once checked in graduates will be directed to their appropriate line up area. Please do not bring any personal belongings with you! We will not lock the building doors! Graduates will be lined up within their Career Community. Also, please note that graduates will not be permitted to have small children with them in the lineup area or during the ceremony and therefore they should remain in the care of family/friends. No food or drinks will be allowed in the lineup area or in the ceremony. Guests should report directly to the gymnasium. No guests or faculty will be permitted in the graduate line up areas.

    Commencement Photographer
  • GradImages will be at the Commencement Ceremony taking professional photographs. Proofs
    will be sent to your home and via email within a week after graduation. Pictures can be
    ordered online, by phone, or by mail. GradImages can be contacted at 800-261-2576 or via email
    at Registering with GradImages provides them with the information they
    need to deliver your graduation proofs to you in a timely manner. Giving them an accurate
    mailing address and email address will allow them to get your proofs to you on the first try. You
    may also provide them with email addresses of up to six friends and family members to allow
    them to celebrate in the accomplishment.
  • Graduates must contact GradImages directly with any questions or issues pertaining to commencement photos. 
    • Ceremony Viewing Options
    • For family and friends of graduates who are unable to attend the Commencement Ceremony, it
      will be broadcast live on the CSCC website on Friday, May 5th at 5:30 pm. A week after the ceremony, DVD copies will be available in the Library. Previous graduation recordings are available on our YouTube channel.
    • Special Accommodations

      Disability Services
      Graduation is held in our gymnasium with stadium seating. Reserved seating on the floor is
      available upon request. Reserved seats will only be held until 30 minutes prior to the ceremony
      beginning. Any student or guest(s) that requires special accommodations should contact:

      Juliann Mathis
      Coordinator of Disability Support Services

      Any questions or concerns about special parking accommodations should contact:
      Campus Police 423-478-6236 or 423-618-1720

Diploma Mailing
All diplomas will be mailed to the address we have on file by the date listed below. If your address is not updated and your diploma is mailed to the wrong address, you will be subject to a $10 replacement diploma fee. There will be no pick up option for diplomas.

Degrees will be posted to students’ transcripts (excluding any issues) by:

                                                                  Spring Grads: May 22nd                                                                                                                                    Summer Grads: August 16th

Once posted, your transcript will show that you have graduated. You can print an unofficial transcript or request an official copy through your CougarNet account. See Transcripts on how to request your official transcript.

Degree Completion
Please note that participation in the Commencement Ceremony does not guarantee that you will
receive a diploma. You will not receive your diploma until all degree requirements and obligations
are met. Please check your CougarNet account to verify that you do not have any holds.

Grade Point Averages
The grade points received for all college level credits earned at Cleveland State
are averaged to determine eligibility for graduation and for honors status.
Transfer courses do not count toward the GPA. A minimum grade point average
(GPA) of 2.00 is required to qualify for graduation.

Any holds on your account will prevent you from receiving your diploma/certificate and transcript. It
is recommended that you check your CougarNet account for any possible holds as soon as

Diploma Covers
Diploma covers are ONLY available to those who participate in the Commencement Ceremony and
are not available for purchase. 

The information we have in our system is the information we will use for all graduation printing.

Name Changes
If your legal name has changed, you will need to complete the “Update Personal Information” form on CougarNet: My Account / Registration Tools & Forms / Records Forms. This ensures
your name is correct on your diploma as well as in the Commencement program.
Spring & Summer Graduates:                                                                                                                      All name changes must be submitted no later than April 26, 2023!

Address Changes
If your address has changed, you will need to complete the “Update Personal Information”
form on CougarNet: My Account / Registration Tools & Forms / Records Forms.  If your address
is not updated and your diploma is mailed to the wrong address, you will be subject to a $10
replacement diploma fee.
All address changes must be submitted no later than the deadline listed below. 

                                                                     Spring Graduates: May 26th                                                                      Summer Graduates: August 16th

 Transcript requests are made through CougarNet: My Account / Registration Tools & Forms /
Transcript Information / Request Printed Official Transcript. This will link you to the National
Student Clearinghouse where the request can be submitted. Once the request is submitted, you
can view the status by clicking the “Track Existing Transcript Order” link.

 Transcripts are provided electronically through the National Student Clearinghouse. Please note
you must indicate on your request that you would like your transcript after your degree is posted. 
Otherwise, it will be sent before the degree is posted to your transcript and a new request will be

Graduation Questions: Ceremony Specific

Contact: Casi Hodges
*Ceremony Information
  *Program Ordering

Graduation Questions: Course Requirements/Degree Information

Contact: Lindsey Mowery
*Intent to Graduate Form
*Regalia and Honor Cords
*Diploma Information

 Exit Exam

Contact: Testing Center

Program Test

Contact: Departmental Secretary


Contact: Michele Wollert

 Military Recognition

Contact: Kim Allin


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