Pre-Graduation Guide

Prior to finishing your degree, follow these important steps to meet critical deadlines for graduation.

Fall 2020 Commencement Ceremonies

Weekend of December 11, 2020 –  Exact Dates and Times to be announced

All Spring 2020, Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 graduates may participate in the Fall 2020 Commencement Ceremonies.

Important Steps for Graduation

Follow these steps to ensure that you are eligible to graduate and meet the required deadlines to participate in a commencement ceremony.

1. Submit your Intent to Graduate

You must notify the Office of the Registrar of your intent to graduate when you are registering for your final course(s) of your degree program. Submitting the online Intent to Graduate Survey is required whether or not you plan to participate in a commencement ceremony.  Meet with your academic advisor to discuss your readiness to graduate to ensure you will meet all degree requirements.

The Fall 2020 Intent to Graduate Survey    Deadline: Friday, August 28, 2020.

On the Intent to Graduate Survey you will also indicate how you would like your name printed on your diploma. The date that diplomas are available will be posted on the Diploma web page.

Certificate only (non-degree) students submit an Intent to Graduate but do not participate in commencement ceremonies.

In the myPNW portal, go to the Registration tab. Click the Student Self-Service box and select Personal Information from the menu options to review the address we have on file. If your address is incorrect, update it by completing the Address Change form.

Diplomas for candidates who are unable to pick them up from the Office of the Registrar will be mailed to the graduate’s current mailing address as noted in our student information system. Please verify that your address is correct!

  • If your final classes end in the first week of May, your graduation term is spring and you may participate in the May commencement.
  • If your final classes end in August, your graduation term is summer, and you should complete the Summer Intent to Graduate. Both summer and fall graduates participate in the December commencement.
  • If your final classes end in December, your graduation term is fall, and you should complete the Fall Intent to Graduate. You may participate in the December commencement.

Please note: If you have already completed an Intent to Graduate survey for the semester you plan on graduating and wish to make changes to the information you submitted, please contact the Graduation Coordinator at (219) 989-2334 or at Do not complete another survey. However, if you need to change the semester in which you are graduating, then you should complete the survey for the correct semester above when it is available.

2. Purchase your Cap and Gown

Your cap and gown must be purchased from your campus bookstore by the published deadline. The deadline for fall 2020 is Friday, November 20, 2020 by 2:00 PM.

Be sure to sign the log (at the Office of the Registrar in Hammond, Lawshe 130 or in Schwarz 40 in Westville) when you purchase your cap and gown, as the commencement participation list is generated from the information on this log.

3. Attend a Grad Expo

Spring 2020 graduates are offered the opportunity to participate in the Fall 2020 Commencement Ceremonies.  Therefore, all Spring 2020, Summer 2020, and Fall 2020 graduates and candidates are invited to attend an October Graduation Expo in preparation for participating in Commencement Ceremonies which will take place at the Westville Campus on the weekend of December 11. Dates and times of each individual ceremony will be determined during the early part of the fall semester.

Fall 2020 Grad Expos

  • Westville Campus: October 19 and 20, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Hammond Campus: October 21 and 22, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

4. Get your Guest Tickets

All guests including children (infants and toddlers) must have a ticket in order to attend the commencement ceremony. There is no fee for guest tickets.


PNW will be going to an electronic ticket process. Details regarding this change will be posted here at a later date.

Special Requests

International Students

The Office of the Registrar will provide a letter of invitation to assist graduates whose parents/guests need to apply for a visa to attend the commencement ceremony. You must have completed the appropriate Intent to Graduate survey prior to requesting this letter.

International Student Families Letter Request

A letter in a sealed envelope will be provided for each person that you list in your request. Please allow two weeks to receive the letter. You may pick up your letters in the Enrollment Services Center (Lawshe Room 130) at the Hammond campus or in Schwarz Room 40 at the Westville campus. Be sure to bring your Purdue ID card or other photo ID with you. You can then forward the letter of invitation to parents/guests for use in documenting their visa request.

Receipt of an invitation letter does not guarantee candidate status or your participation in the ceremony.

Candidates for graduation initially receive four guest tickets. The distribution of any extra guest tickets for the various commencement ceremonies is not guaranteed.  Some ceremonies may be at the maximum venue capacity and no extra tickets will be available.

Have questions? Contact the graduation coordinator at (219) 989-2334 or email

Request to Participate in Fall or Spring Commencement

If you are requesting special consideration to participate in a commencement ceremony in a semester other than the one in which you are completing your degree requirements, submit the appropriate form below to the Office of the Registrar with all applicable signatures by the published deadline.

Request to Have a Degree Awarded at Another Purdue Campus

If you wish to participate in a commencement ceremony at a Purdue campus other than your home campus, complete the Degree Awarded at Another Campus form (PDF). This form must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar of your home campus prior to the end of the sixth week of the fall or spring term, or the third week of the summer session.

Questions about what you need to do to prepare for graduation?

Contact the Office of the Registrar.

Phone: (219) 989-2334