graduatesGraduation vs. Commencement

Graduation refers to the conferring of an academic degree. At Harford Community College, you must meet specific requirements in order to graduate, and you must apply for graduation.

Commencement is an optional College-sponsored ceremony in which graduating students dress in regalia, process, and are formally conferred a degree or certification. In order to participate in the Commencement ceremony, you must meet all graduation requirements and reserve a spot in the ceremony. You are eligible to participate in the May 21, 2020 Commencement Ceremony if you are:

  • an August 2019 graduate
  • a December 2019 graduate, or
  • a May 2020 candidate

To apply for graduation there are three steps that must be completed:

  1. Meet with an academic advisor
  2. Verify that the Registration and Records Office has current information on the intended degree and/or certificate. All requirements for the degree or certificate must be fulfilled, these can be found in the college catalog.
  3. Complete an online graduation application in OwlNet (in the Quicklinks section of the My Academic Life tab) or complete paper application.

August 2018 and December 2018 graduates received prior notification regarding the status of their degree or certificate and have met all graduation requirements. May 23, 2019 candidates must have applied for graduation by the March 1, 2019, application deadline and received confirmation of their intent to graduate.

Awarding Degrees and Certificates

Diplomas are conferred in August, December, and May of each year. May graduation requirements must be met by May 31; December graduation requirements must be met by December 31; August graduation requirements must be met by August 31. Students will receive notification from the Registration & Records Office when diplomas/certificates for each graduation term are available for pick up. If the student has an outstanding financial obligation to the College, diplomas will not be issued until the obligation is resolved. The Registration and Records Office is authorized to issue letters of completion to students who need verification of program completion at other times. Formal commencement ceremonies are held once a year in May for all graduating classes within the academic year.

The College reserves the right to award all degrees or certificates earned.

The policies stated above are effective Fall 2013. For policies relative to prior years, please refer to the appropriate year's catalog.