Commencement Ceremony

Graduation occurs when the Registrar completes a successful degree audit and awards your degree. Diplomas are mailed to permanent addresses up to six weeks following your final term of study and are not distributed at the commencement ceremony.

The commencement ceremony is held each May at the end of the spring semester to honor the current Buffalo State graduating class. Be sure to file your degree application through Self Service Banner early in the term you intend to graduate. Deadlines and procedures are posted by the Registrar at

The Academic Affairs Office mails commencement ceremony information to eligible participants at their permanent addresses in late March. The commencement website,, provides ceremony details, ticketing procedures, regalia, information for families, and related events.

Dean’s Honor List; Graduating with Academic Honors

Dean’s List

Full-time matriculated students must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for the Dean’s Honor List, which is calculated each fall and spring semester:

  • Earn a minimum term GPA of 3.50.
  • Complete a minimum of 12 credit hours of letter grade work (i.e., A, B, C, or D). Grades of S and P are not considered. Students are ineligible for the Dean’s Honor List if they have an incomplete grade or grades of I, N, X, or U in a course for that semester.
  • All courses must be taken at Buffalo State.

Part-Time Dean’s List

Part-time, matriculated students (students carrying less than a 12-credit-hour course load per semester) will become eligible for Part-Time Dean’s List only after prior completion of 12 credit hours of letter grade work (A–E) at Buffalo State. The Part-Time Dean’s List designation will be determined once a year at the end of the spring semester for courses taken during that semester and the preceding fall semester.

Eligibility also requires the following:

  • A minimum GPA of 3.50 for all coursework taken in that academic year.
  • No grades of I, N, X, or U in a course during that year.
  • Completion of at least 12 hours of letter grade work per academic year.

Baccalaureate Academic Honors

An honors designation is awarded to bachelor’s graduates who achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50 for all work completed at Buffalo State. Graduates with a cumulative average of 3.80 to 4.00 are designated summa cum laude; 3.65 to 3.79 are magna cum laude; and 3.50 to 3.64 are cum laude. A graduate must have completed a minimum of 60 credit hours at Buffalo State to be considered for the honors designation. The honors designation is noted on the diploma and in the graduate’s transcripts once the Registrar has completed the degree audit and awarded the degree.

An honors citation may be noted for spring degree candidates eligible to participate in the commencement ceremony. Spring degree candidates with a minimum GPA of 3.50 who have completed or have in progress 60 credit hours at Buffalo State during the spring semester, may be eligible. A final honors designation will be determined when the Registrar completes the degree audit and awards the degree.

Students who have incomplete grade or grades of I, N, X, or U may not be considered for honors designation upon degree conferral, or honors citation at commencement.

Gold Honors Cord at the Commencement Ceremony

Member of the graduating class who are honors designation graduates, or honors citation degree candidates based on of their current GPA in their last completed term, are invited to wear a gold honors cord at commencement to signify their academic achievement. They are also recognized in the commencement program. All members of the graduating class who are eligible to wear a gold honors cord are notified by the Academic Affairs Office separately from the commencement information mailing that is sent to eligible participants’ permanent addresses in late March. There also will be a gold honors cord eligibility list at the point of sale for caps and gowns. Wearing the gold honors cord is not required.

See Academic Honors on the Commencement website for notification and gold honors cord purchase information.