Whether you think Valentines Day is a silly made-up holiday or not, this Valentines Day is just a prelude to the day after Valentines Day, which is the last day to apply on line for May graduation from UMBC. Yes, February 15, 2014 is the last day to file your on-line application to be awarded a bachelors degree from UMBC in May 2014. Last May more than 2,000 UMBC students proudly wore their caps and gowns at the First Mariner Arena, but in order to do that they had to apply to graduate.
Not to overwhelm you, but applying to graduate is only one of several important things you need to take care of to ensure you will receive that May diploma. Here is our top five list based on years of experience:
FIVE OTHER THINGS TO DO NOW TO ENSURE MAY GRADUATION
1. Check your degree audit right now to make sure you have all requirements covered. Schedule adjustment ends February 7, which is IMMINENT (SAT word: look it up!).
HOT TIP: If you find out on Feb. 12 that you lack 2 credits, you can still add an internship or independent study course to your schedule. Those courses have a March 2 deadline.
2. Submit transcripts for summer courses you took elsewhere, apply for a foreign language or PHED waiver (if you meet published criteria), send an AP score report to UMBC; wait no longer! Do these graduation-related tasks immediately. These are all “graduation deficiencies” waiting to happen.
3. Make sure your UMBC record reflects your plans accurately—the major, minor, certificates you actually plan to complete. Out of date programs have the potential to greatly delay your graduation clearance. Walk, do not run, to your laptop to print out a copy of the Declaration of Major form and submit it to the Registrar’s office via electronic attachment to a “HELP” ticket or by dropping old fashioned paper into the slot on the main counter.
4. Do not slack off (much) in your final semester. No diploma will be awarded if your GPA slips below 2.0 or if you fail to earn at least a C in courses needed for your major or for general education requirements. And poor grades in your final semester could actually jeopardize your admission to graduate or professional school; remember that you will need to submit a final transcript once grades are posted in May.
5. Do not confuse participating in the commencement ceremony (“the celebration”) with actually being awarded a degree (“the diploma”). So what do we mean by that?
• You need to apply for graduation whether or not you plan to participate in the commencement ceremony!
No application means no degree, no diploma. No exceptions!
• Walking across the stage and shaking hands with President Hrabowski does not mean that you have actually completed your degree!
You will not be awarded your diploma and transcript notation for your degree until every single grade for every required course has been posted and reviewed. Until then, you are a “graduation candidate” and not a “graduate” of UMBC.
Foreign Language Waiver Form (click on "Language Proficiency for International Students")
Extra Credit Discussion Question:
How does the famous maxim “Trust but verify” relate to preparing to graduate from UMBC?
NOTE: Although this adage was popularized by President Ronald Reagan in the 1980’s, it is a translation of an old Russian saying….