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Lake Superior State University

Graduation Procedures

Two semesters prior to intended graduation, students must submit the following to the Registrar's Office:

Graduation Application: Students must complete a Graduation Application for each degree or certificate they plan to receive.

Official Degree Audit: The official Degree Audit for a student’s major or minor specifies all required courses that have been or must be completed. The audit must be signed by the chair of the school or department offering the major or minor program. Course substitutions and waivers of departmental degree program requirements may be granted only by the chair and approved by the dean of the college offering the major or minor program. Course substitutions and waivers for education majors or minors must also have approval from the School of Education.

Exceptions to specific general education requirements may be granted only by the Scholastic Standards Committee. Such exceptions are infrequently made. A petition for exceptions to general education requirements is initiated with the Chair of Scholastic Standards.

The Registrar's Office will verify the students’ Degree Audits and will send a  Degree Audit Verification Form to each student and respective department.  Students are responsible for examining this verification form and requesting clarification of anything that is not consistent with their records or understanding.

A final degree audit verification will be completed after grades are received at the end of the semester, for students planning to graduate as of that semester.  The degree will be awarded if all requirements have been satisfied.  Names of graduates are then sent to the president for approval by the Board of Trustees.  Subsequently, a diploma is provided to each student.

Please Note: Students are not eligible to receive a degree or certificate with an "I" (incomplete) grade on their academic record.

Diploma charge: There is no charge for the first diploma from the University. A fee is charged for replacement diplomas.

Students completing graduation requirements in the fall, spring or summer semester who need documentation of degree completion before their diploma is available, may request a letter from the Registrar's Office certifying that they have completed degree requirements.

Graduation with honors: Honors graduates must earn at least 30 credits at Lake Superior State University.

Cum Laude: Cumulative gpa of 3.50 to 3.69
Magna Cum Laude: Cumulative gpa of 3.70 to 3.89
Summa Cum Laude: Cumulative gpa of 3.90 to 4.00

Graduation diplomas with honors will be awarded to baccalaureate, associate, and certificate recipients. Honors medallions will be awarded to baccalaureate, associate and certificate recipients who graduate summa cum laude.

For the commencement ceremony and program, honors status will be determined based on the Fall Semester cumulative gpa.  Official graduation with honors status will be granted based on students' final cumulative gpa at LSSU.

Honors Degree

The University Honors Program offers highly motivated students the opportunity to develop their abilities and skills in exciting and innovative ways. The central goal of the University honors program is to create a community of scholars characterized by strong student-faculty interaction around the world of ideas. The honors program fosters an approach to education that incorporates the qualities of active participation, intellectual curiosity and an interdisciplinary focus.

Selection is based upon a number of factors, including: ACT scores, high school grade point average, application essay, personal interview and Lake State faculty nomination. Students invited to participate in the program enroll in courses designated for honors credit. The courses are distributed among the requirements for general education, the student’s major, and the University honors program and may include small seminars or independent research projects.

To graduate with an honors degree in a program of study, the honors student must have formal acceptance into the University honors program and have successfully completed 21 honors credit hours with an overall grade point average of 3.5* or better at graduation. The 21 honors credit hours are to be distributed among the University’s requirements for general education, the student’s major and the University honors program.

Upon graduation from the honors program, the student will receive an honors degree in his/her program of study. The honors degree designation is indicated on the student’s diploma and is distinct from graduating with honors (see Graduation with Honors).

*Students who entered LSSU prior to Fall 2005 will be allowed to continue in the Honors Program with a cumulative gpa of 3.3 (i.e. the previous requirement is “grandfathered” in).

Acceptance of Other Institutions' Honors Credits

This policy applies only to the transfer of honors credits which count towards earning an honors degree at Lake Superior State University. It does not affect non-honors course credits and the transfer of those credits to LSSU.

  1. The LSSU Honors Program will accept up to 12 honors credits with a grade no lower than B taken at an accredited college or university. These accepted honors credits will count towards the 21 honors credits required to graduate from LSSU’s Honors Program.
  2. To graduate from the Honors Program at LSSU, students affected by this policy must meet the following requirements at LSSU:
    1. At least one, three-credit 200 or 300 level Honors seminar (e.g., HONR 302)
    2. The completion of the capstone senior thesis project
  3. Students who transfer into LSSU’s Honors Program will receive the same honors benefits given to other students who enter LSSU’s program earlier. These include but are not limited to:
    1. Priority Registration
    2. Optional Honors Housing
    3. Opportunities to participate at Honors Program conferences
  4. Students who transfer into LSSU’s Honors Program will receive the same Honors designation on their Lake Superior State University diploma as other LSSU students who meet its Honors requirements by their graduation date.
  5. This Policy shall commence on January 24, 2012, or as soon thereafter as administratively possible, and shall be in effect until suspended or terminated.
  6. Students already admitted into the Lake Superior State University Honors Program at the time of suspension or termination will be allowed to complete the Program at LSSU under the terms of this policy enumerated (above) in numbers 1 through 4. Suspension or termination will only affect those admitted after suspension or termination of this policy.


From the Graduation Application Forms submitted by students, a potential graduate list is created each semester. The names of students who are listed in the annual commencement program are also compiled from the Graduation Application Forms. Names for the commencement program and diplomas will be the official, legal name as listed in the records of the University.  Students may not be listed in the commencement program unless their Graduation Application Form is filed with the Registrar's Office six weeks prior to commencement. Students are expected to attend commencement exercises unless excused by the Registrar's Office.

Students completing degree requirements during the summer semester may participate in the May commencement ceremony if their Graduation Application Form is received six weeks prior to commencement.

Participation in the commencement ceremony is NOT equivalent to graduation.  Because the ceremony occurs before final grades are submitted, it is not possible to determine if all degree requirements have been satisfied at that time.

Missing Requirements

Students not graduating because of missing requirements will be sent a letter notifying them of the missing requirements and will direct them to the department of their major.

Graduation Audit Policy

Graduation Audits (Graduation Application, Degree Audit, supporting paperwork) are maintained in the Registrar’s Office permanently for students that apply to graduate but ultimately do not graduate due to missing requirements.

If the student re-applies to graduate within two years from original graduation application term, the student will follow the same degree audit previously submitted.

If the student re-applies to graduate after two years from the previous graduation application, the student will be directed to contact their academic department to request a new Degree Audit.  The Registrar’s Office will provide copies of the student’s graduation audit paperwork to the academic department as requested.  The student will also be required to complete a new Graduation Application to be submitted to the Registrar’s Office with the updated, official, signed degree audit from their academic department.

Because degree programs are continually assessed, requirements may change during the student’s absence.  Students will need to work with their academic departments in order to fulfill the department requirements in place at the time the student returns to LSSU.

For degree programs that are no longer available (eliminated/suspended), students having completed the Graduation Application process will be directed to their academic department for advisement.