Candidacy Status

A student is eligible for Candidacy when she or he has concluded all degree requirements except those that remain in the final term of degree enrollment. Students must file an application to attain Candidacy in the term before their anticipated final term. The student is responsible for informing the Integrated Student Services (ISS) office of their Anticipated Completion Date (ACD) and any changes thereof. Student may consult their academic adviser in determining their ACD.

In the term before the anticipated Graduation term, the Office of the University Registrar conducts a formal audit, called Candidacy Audit for Graduation, to determine if the student has met the degree requirements, including Satisfactory Academic Progress.

The Office of the University Registrar generates and audits the potential graduate list each term based on the student’s ACD. The designated University Registrar staff distributes Candidacy materials based on the audited projected graduate list. Candidacy packets include specific instructions about documentation that the student must prepare for the Candidacy process, as well as information about deadlines the student must meet. If the student fails to meet the Candidacy deadline, the student must register for Enrollment Maintenance Status in the term following the intended graduation and delay graduation until the end of that term. 

Final Term Status

During the final term, a student in Candidacy must be registered for units sufficient to complete her or his remaining requirements or be on Enrollment Maintenance Status. Students cannot be registered for a Leave of Absence in their final term. By the third week of the final term, the student must submit an Application for Graduation and pay the graduation/diploma fee.

If any degree requirements remain incomplete by the stated deadline for submission, or if the Office of the University Registrar has not received evaluations with Credit Awarded, the student will not be eligible to graduate. The student must register for the following term, pay for Enrollment Maintenance Status, and complete any remaining degree requirements in order to be eligible to graduate. The student must then initiate the candidacy review process again in the Enrollment Maintenance Status term. (This status assumes that such Incompletes have not expired. Students must register anew for expired learning activities in order for these activities to count toward the degree.) 


The AULA’s Annual Commencement Exercise occurs in June. The Commencement Exercise celebrates the completion of academic studies for students who have graduated in the preceding four quarters. The Commencement Committee notifies students who have indicated they will graduate by Spring of that year with details about the Commencement Exercise. The MFA in Creative Writing program conducts a separate Commencement Ceremony each December at the conclusion of the Summer/Fall Semester. In June, at the conclusion of the Winter/Spring Semester, graduating MFA students participate in commencement with students graduating from other academic programs.  

Early Commencement

Students in the quarter programs who will not graduate until the end of Summer Quarter may petition to participate in the June Commencement Ceremony if they have no more than eight units of work outstanding as of the end of Spring term. Petitions to Participate Early in Commencement forms are available in the Office of Integrated Student Services.

For graduate students writing Master’s Documents, approved Forms J and K must be on file at the time of the petition. MANM students must have completed and received four units of credit for the Capstone Experience. Petitions will not be considered for students on academic probation. The advisor's signature must appear on the petition, indicating that the student meets the above criteria.

The Office of the University Registrar through the campus Office of Integrated Student Services will inform the student if the petition has been granted. Students are responsible for all applicable graduation and commencement fees, including any costs associated with late cap and gown ordering. 


The Office of the University Registrar mails diplomas by certified mail approximately 90 days after graduation; AU is not responsible for delivery to students whose addresses are not current. A student can order a replacement diploma through the Office of the University Registrar. No diploma will be released to any graduate until all financial obligations to the University have been satisfied.