1. What is the difference between a degree and a diploma?
A degree is an academic title given to a student who has completed a prescribed curriculum, such as Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science.
A diploma is the paper document showing that you have earned your degree. BACK
2. What is the difference between graduation and commencement?
Graduation is when the College reviews your record and, if you have met all the requirements, adds a degree statement to your transcript.
Commencement is the ceremony held each year at the end of the spring semester. BACK
3. When should I apply for graduation?
In order to have the College review your record and post a degree statement to your transcript, you must submit an application before the date of the degree. Applications received after each semester’s degree date will be processed the following term.
Students wishing to participate in commencement must file their application for degree in March. The exact date will be posted on the online academic calendar. BACK
5. I want to participate in the May commencement ceremony, but I still need to take one or two classes in the summer. What can I do?
If you are within six credits of your degree, you may participate in the May commencement if you do all of the following:
a. your application is filed by the published March deadline.
b. you have registered for your final course(s) AND
c. your summer tuition is paid.
7. I applied for graduation, but now my plans have changed and I want to defer my graduation to a later term. What can I do?
Just send an email from your John Jay email account to Ivette Rivera at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sara Scaldafferry at email@example.com. Let us know what semester you want to graduate. BACK
8. I would like to make a slight change to the name on my diploma. Can I add my middle name?
Sure, you can! Just send an email from your John Jay email account to Ivette Rivera at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sara Scaldafferry at email@example.com. Let us know how you’d like your name to appear on your diploma. Be sure to let us know if your name has any extra spaces or accent marks.
Certain name changes may require documentation. We will let you know if that is the case. BACK
9. After I have applied for graduation, will there be any updates from the College?
Yes, you will receive a notification telling you what we discovered when we audited your record and what your next steps are.
If all of your degree requirements are satisfied (or you are registered for the last remaining requirements), you will receive an email with an attachment indicating that you are on track. If you successfully complete the last courses you are taking, we will record your degree.
If our audit shows that some requirements are missing, your email will let you know what those requirements are and what you must do in order to graduate. BACK
10. I worked really hard, and I have a really good GPA. Will I receive any honors?
Undergraduate students are eligible for honors. To be eligible, you must complete at least 56 credits at the College. If you entered with an associate degree, you qualify if you complete at least 52 credits at the College. All courses taken at John Jay and elsewhere are used to compute the honors.
Breakdowns are as follows:
Summa cum laude (with highest distinction), awarded to students whose cumulative grade point average is at least 3.9.
Magna cum laude (with great distinction), awarded to students whose cumulative grade point average is at least 3.75.
Cum laude (with distinction), awarded to students who cumulative grade point average is at least 3.5. BACK
11. What if I have an incomplete (INC) or a failing grade (F) on my record? What if I need to drop one of my required classes this semester?
You do not need to reapply. However, if you are missing any graduation requirements—if you do not have a passing grade in every required class—your degree will not be posted. We will keep your degree application on file, and as soon as you pass the required classes, we will notify you of your next steps. BACK
12. When can I get my diploma?
Diplomas are ready about three months after the actual degree date. It takes a few months to review everyone’s records and verify names. You will be notified by email as soon as they are ready.
You may wish to note that your diploma will not be released to you if you have a balance on your account. BACK
13.I can not wait that long for a diploma! I have a great job offer and my employer needs to know that I have graduated!
No problem! Most employers prefer transcripts anyway, and those are ready as soon as your degree is conferred. You may order your transcript online.
If your employer will not accept a transcript, we will write a verification letter letting your prospective employer know that you have met all of the requirements for your degree. If you need such a letter, send an email from your John Jay email account to Ivette Rivera at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sara Scaldafferry at email@example.com. BACK
14. I graduated a few semesters ago, and I think I have lost my diploma. Can I get another one?
Easy! If you still have your John Jay email account, send a note from that account to Ivette Rivera at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sara Scaldafferry at email@example.com. We will let you know what you need to do. If you do not have a John Jay email account, you may send a letter through the U.S. Mail or stop by in person. There is a $30 reprinting fee. BACK
15. Who can I talk to in order to verify that I am on the right track to graduate?
Make an appointment with an academic counselor (Academic Advisement Center, L.73.12NB). A counselor will assist you with the various aspects of your degree. BACK
16. What if I have more questions about participating in the actual commencement ceremony?
The Office of Student Transition Programs is responsible for commencement. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the graduation web page. You are also encouraged to LIKE “John Jay Commencement” on Facebook for up to the minute updates, reminders and general information concerning commencement. BACK