Steps to Graduate

Prepare for Graduation

Congratulations, you are approaching the completion of your program! Below are the important deadlines and steps to graduate and participate/walk in the Commencement Ceremony. 

Difference Between Graduation and Commencement

Graduation means that if you complete all the academic program requirements, you will receive your diploma and have it reflected on your transcript.

Commencement is the event to celebrate your accomplishment. For complete details about the Commencement Ceremony, please click here


Deadlines and Dates for Fall, Spring & Summer Graduates

Fall 2023 Graduates Dates and Deadlines

  • Deadline to Apply for Graduation: In order to participate in the Commencement Ceremony, students have to apply for graduation by the November 1 deadline. 

  • Deadline to Register for Commencement: Participation in Commencement requires registration, which can be done AFTER you officially apply for graduation. Every graduate must register for Commencement by the deadline, November 10. Due to venue capacity, space is limited so please register early.    

  • Commencement Ceremony: Friday, December 15, 2023 (click here for complete details)


Spring 2024 Graduates Dates and Deadlines

  • Deadline to Apply for Graduation: To be announced

  • Deadline to Register for Commencement: To be announced

  • Commencement Ceremony: There will be a morning (9:00 am) and afternoon (2:00 pm) ceremony on Friday, May 10, 2024. 


Please view the complete step-by-step guide below for action items and deadlines to apply for graduation, register for commencement, and attend the Commencement Ceremony.


Graduate Checklist: Fall 2023

STEP 1: Academic Advising Session

In order to apply for graduation, you have to meet with an Academic Advisor first. Your Academic Advisor will determine if you have completed all the academic program requirements to apply for graduation. Approval from an Academic Advisor is required to apply for graduation. Please review "Step 2" below for important details regarding graduation application deadlines. 

Use the Virtual Lobby webpage to contact the Academic Advisor listed in their student center. 

If you do not know your Assigned Academic Advisor, please go to HCC MyEagle and select Student Sign In. Next, log in and select the Academic Progress tile. Lastly, select the Advisor on the left to view your Assigned Academic Advisor.


STEP 2: Submit Graduation Application by Nov. 1 Deadline

If your Academic Advisor determines you have completed all the academic program requirements to be approved to apply for graduation, your next step is to submit the graduation application. The link to apply for graduation will not appear in your Student Center unless an Academic Advisor approves you.

Steps to Apply for Graduation:

  1. Login to your Student Center.
  2. Select the Academic Records tile.
  3. Select the link on left to apply for graduation. 

Graduate Applications Submitted BY Deadline

In order to be eligible to participate in the Commencement Ceremony, graduates must apply for graduation by November 1 deadline AND register for the Commencement Ceremony by November 10.

Graduate Applications Submitted AFTER Deadline

Students who apply for graduation AFTER the November 1 deadline and meet the academic program requirements will receive their diploma and have it reflected on their transcript. However, they will not be permitted to walk across the stage at the Commencement Ceremony


STEP 3: Register for Commencement Ceremony by Nov. 10 Deadline

 How to Register for Commencement

Before you can register for the Commencement Ceremony, you must first meet with your academic advisor to apply for graduation by the November 1 deadline. If you have not already done so, please review the instructions in the section above to complete your graduation. After applying for graduation, please follow the steps below to register to walk in the Commencement Ceremony. 

Regularly Check Your HCC Student Email: Once you have applied for graduation by the deadline, you will receive an email invitation from MarchingOrder. This email will contain instructions on how to register for the Commencement Ceremony.

  • Starting in September, MarchingOrder will send out registration steps to approved graduates' HCC student email addresses every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. To ensure you don't miss any important updates, it's please consistently check your HCC student email. Be sure to also check your spam folder, just in case.

Register for Commencement by November 10 DeadlineTo participate in the Commencement Ceremony, you must register by the November 10 deadline. Please mark this date on your calendar and prioritize registering before this cutoff. Only graduates who are registered by this deadline will be allowed to walk in the ceremony.

Register Early to Secure Your Preferred Ceremony TimeDue to the building's capacity limitations, there is limited space available for each of the ceremony times. To ensure you can attend the ceremony at your preferred time, we strongly recommend registering early. Remember that you will only be permitted to participate during the ceremony time you register to attend.



More About MarchingOrder

In the MarchingOrder Commencement registration platform, graduates will be able to:

  • Choose Ceremony | Register for the Commencement Ceremony. 

  • Download GradPass | GradPass is a student's ticket to enter the Commencement Ceremony. A GradPass will be automatically assigned and can be downloaded. A GradPass will also be scanned when graduates walk across the stage.  A GradPass can be scanned from a mobile device or printed. 

  • Record How to Pronounce Your Name | Use Say It Right to record your name via telephone to assist the professional announcer with pronouncing your name correctly.



Step 4: Degree Posting | Transcript Updates | Diploma Mailing

After the end of the semester, the work begins to evaluate the completion of degree/certificates, post degrees on transcripts, and mail diplomas. Please view the timeline below to understand what to expect. 

  1. Degree Audits
    Registrar's Office performs a degree audit to determine if graduates successfully completed the program requirements. 

  2. Degrees Reflected on Transcripts
    Registrar's Office posts degrees on official transcripts approximately three to four weeks after the official end of the term. The timeline for posting degrees on transcripts is below. 
    • Fall 3-4 weeks after January 2
    • Spring 3-4 weeks after May 15
    • Summer 3-4 weeks after August 15

  3. Diplomas Mailed
    For graduates who choose to have their diplomas mailed at the time of the graduation application, the Registrar's Office will mail diplomas approximately two weeks after all degrees are posted.

You can check your graduation status online by following the steps below. 

  1. Visit HCC MyEagle
  2. Select "Student Sign-In tile/box. 
  3. Select “Academic Progress” tile/box. 


Honors and Honor Cords Eligibility

Associate Degree candidates who meet the criteria below are eligible for Honor Cords for the ceremony. 

  • Honors: 3.35 – 3.59
  • High Honors: 3.60 – 3.79
  • Highest Honors: 3.80 – 4.00
  • Considerations
    • GPA used for the Fall ceremony is through the Summer semester (Fall grades will not be included for the ceremony but will be reflected on the final award).
    • GPA for the Spring ceremony is through the Fall semester (Spring grades will not be included for the ceremony but will be reflected on the final award).
    • Students completing a Certificate of Completion do not receive honor cords.

Prior to the ceremony, qualifying graduates can pick up Honor Cords at the HCC Bookstore locations. Qualifying graduates may also stop by the Honor Cords table on the day of the Commencement Ceremony.


Graduation and Commencement Help

Student Services

For more information regarding Graduation and Commencement, call 713-718-8222 (option 1) or send an email to