Diploma & Graduation FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I receive my diploma?

Students will receive both an eDiploma and a printed diploma when all degree requirements have been fulfilled and all outstanding financial balances have been paid in full. A degree audit (review of student transcript and degree requirements) is done for each student 8 days after the semester ends. Concurrently, the Business Office reviews the list of pending graduates to ensure all balances are paid in full. This process takes no more than five business days.

Approximately three weeks after the semester ends, you can expect to receive an email from Parchment with instructions to download your eDiploma. You should also expect to receive your printed diploma and transcript with your degree name and final degree honors (if applicable) in the same timenframe. Please note that your major will appear on the transcript but not on the diploma.

Do I need to attend commencement to receive my diploma?

No. The commencement ceremony is a public recognition of graduates but is not a requirement to graduate. Nor does attendance officially confer the degree. Both the eDiploma and the printed diploma will be mailed to students approximately three weeks after each semester ends (January for Fall semester, June for Spring Semester, and September for Summer semester).

How do I know if I have earned an Academic Excellence Medallion?

As a measure of student academic achievement, all graduates at the baccalaureate (BBA) and master’s (MBA) levels are required to complete a standardized test and end-of-program surveys. The University uses this test to measure and improve curricula as well as to measure how well Cleary students are doing compared to students at other institutions. Although there is no minimum score required, the outcomes are important to the University as a comparison against the national average. The results of this test will be used to determine which students qualify for special honors. Students will receive medallions before graduation ceremonies based on their percentile scores from their Cleary graduating class. This percentile may be different than the national percentile shown on the certificate of completion students receive upon completing the online test.

The honors medallions are determined as follows:                      

  • Students who score in the top 10% (90th percentile and above) in the graduating class will be awarded a gold medallion
  • Students who score in the top 11% - 20% (80th to 89th percentile) in the graduating class will be awarded a silver medallion        
  • Students who score in the top 21% - 30% (70th to 79th percentile) in the graduating class will be awarded a bronze medallion       

Medallion recipients will receive their medallion at the sign-in table on commencement day, and should wear it at the ceremony. Medallions will be mailed to recipients who are unable to attend commencement.

What are academic honors?

Undergraduate academic honors printed on the diploma are computed based on all graded academic work completed at Cleary University. A bachelor’s degree (BBA and BS) candidate who maintains a GPA of 3.5 or above is recognized as follows: 

GPA                 HONORS
3.50-3.69          cum laude “with distinction”
3.70-3.89          magna cum laude “with great distinction”
3.90-4.00          summa cum laude “with the highest distinction”

Students completing an ABA or AAS with a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher graduate ‘With Honors.' Academic honors are not offered as part of the graduate program.

What if I need confirmation of my degree before I receive my diploma?

If you need immediate confirmation of your degree (for example, for a current or potential employer), contact records@cleary.edu to request a confirmation of degree letter.

When is the commencement ceremony held?

The ceremony is generally held at Cleary University’s Howell campus on the first Saturday in May. Due to Covid delays, this year we will hold two ceremonies - one for 2020 graduates and one for 2021 graduates. Details are available on the Cleary website and will be updated in the weeks prior to the ceremony. Additionally, students who are graduating and want to attend the ceremony will receive an email with detailed instructions approximately a month prior to the commencement ceremony.

What happens at Commencement?

Our main focus at this ceremony is to celebrate students who have completed degree programs or earned certificates. We also honor students, faculty and staff with special achievements.        

Although we don’t distribute actual diplomas until all requirements are met (e.g., completion of summer classes), we will bestow a diploma cover on each graduating student during commencement.

We also recognize the significance of this ceremony with some pomp and circumstance, plus words of wisdom from honored guests.

What is the Commencement schedule?

We ask students to arrive 2 hours prior to their ceremony for gowning, getting in line, taking pictures, and more. If you are late, you may miss important instructions or changes in the line-up. We ask graduates to escort their guests to the stadium, then proceed to the Wellness Center to line up with their class.

Commencement will take about 90 minutes. At the end of the ceremony, please allow for another 30-60 minutes to collect personal items, find family, take pictures, and exit campus.

What are the details of the ceremony?

At the start of the ceremony, guests are asked to stand while the Academic Procession of faculty and students enters the area. Everyone remains standing until instructed to be seated. 

The Chairperson of the Board opens the ceremony, and the Interim President gives a welcome address.    

The Senior Vice President of Advancement will introduce graduating students in the following order: Associate degrees, Bachelor degrees, Graduate Certificates, and Master’s degrees. Staff will ask you to move from your seats to the side of the stage, and then onto the stage for presentation. As you approach the stage, students should have their information card ready for the SVP to properly introduce you. Please wait at the marked spot until your name is presented, then walk across the stage to the Interim President. A full length photo will be taken of you as you receive your diploma cover.     

Continue across the stage and down the steps, collect your alumni information and return to your seat. After all graduates have been presented, the Chairperson will invite guest speakers, including student award winners, to share inspiring words.      

When the student representative concludes their speech, the Chairperson will ask graduates and guests to stand for the departure of the Academic Procession.           

At the very end of the ceremony, you will be instructed to flip your mortarboard tassel to the other side to indicate you have graduated. This is the conclusion of the ceremony, and the Academic Procession, including students, will exit the stadium.     

Privacy: Please be aware that we will live-stream commencement on our website for the benefit of family members and friends who are unable to attend. Cleary University will not keep a permanent recording of this live-stream for any other purpose than archival use.