With the end of the semester approaching faster and faster, seniors are finishing up the final steps for graduation. Whether you’re a senior about to graduate, a junior trying to get ready for your final year, or a sophomore looking to plan ahead, here are some important steps to remember and tricks for getting them done!
1. Print out a checklist for all of your major, minor, and general education requirements.
Check off all the courses you’ve already taken or are currently in, and figure out what you have left. Then add up all the credits and make sure you know how many credits you need to reach your graduation minimum. For most undergraduate programs it is around 120 credits, but make sure to double-check and plan accordingly so you graduate on time!
2. Figure out your cumulative GPA at this point in your college career.
Figure out what you need to do to reach the GPA you want by the end of your final semester. This can just be a personal goal for you or if you’re planning on going to Grad School it’s important to know what the programs you’re planning on applying to require.
3. Take advantage of your adviser’s help.
Academic advisers are there to help you stay on track to graduate and can be great resources if you have questions about Grad School and career tracks.
4. Register for graduation on time!
Make sure you pay attention to the deadline and whatever you need to bring with you/send in to register. If not, you’re probably going to be charged a late fee!
5. Go to your campus’s career services office.
An important step of graduation preparation is post-graduation planning. You want to be prepared for what comes after you get your diploma. Don’t put it off until you’re out of school; ideally you’ll have a job or graduate program lined up so you’re not stuck worrying about not knowing what you’re going to do.
6. Mark your calendar!
Figure out the dates of your departmental graduation ceremony and the larger convocation ceremony as soon as possible (these dates are usually made available during the Spring semester of the previous year in the Academic Calendar). Then let your family/friends/whoever you want to attend know so they can plan for it. If they need to travel, book a hotel, or take off from work, it will be much easier if they have advanced notice.
7. Order your cap and gown!
Your school will likely send a graduation packet home in the mail so make sure you meet all the ordering and RSVP deadlines.
8. Make sure you don’t slack during your last semester.
Make sure you keep your grades where they need to be and prepare for finals. You don’t want any last minute surprises and you certainly don’t want to fail a class and have to come back for another semester.
Once you’ve done everything you need to do, relax and enjoy your last moments as an undergrad! Graduation can be a very emotional and stressful time for a lot of college students, so stay on top of it and relax once you’re in the home stretch. Spend time with your friends and appreciate your relatively limited responsibilities because adulthood is just around the corner!