Graduation FAQ

Following are questions we are often asked regarding graduation.

When will my degree appear on my transcript?

Your college will review your record and certify your degree following the end of your final term. Your degree will usually be recorded on your academic record approximately 4 weeks after your conferral date.

What is the difference between a degree and a diploma?

A degree is the academic rank or grade earned by completing a specified program of study. A diploma is a paper displaying the name of the degree.

What official documents can the University provide to confirm my degree once it has been awarded?

The University can provide the following as proof of your degree: official transcript, verification of degree, diploma, and certified copy of diploma.

When will I get my diploma?

Your initial diploma will be sent to your diploma address approximately 9 weeks after your conferral date. See Delivery of Your Diploma for further details. If you ordered a replacement diploma, please allow 2 to 3 weeks for domestic addresses and 4 to 6 weeks for international addresses.

Why have I not yet received my diploma?

There are several reasons why you may not have received your diploma:

  • You did not have a current valid address at the time of mailing the diplomas. Once you contact us, we can order your diploma and have it mailed within a week as long as there are no holds on your account.
  • Your diploma was mailed to your current address and was lost in the mail. If you contact the Office of the Registrar within 90 days from the mailing date, we will be able to replace it for free as long as it is sent to the same address. If you contact us after 90 days of the mailing, you will need to order a replacement diploma and pay a fee for the replacement.
  • There is a possibility your diploma may have been returned to the Office of the Registrar as undeliverable. If this is the case, we will be happy to forward it to you at a new address for the payment of the forwarding mail charges.
  • It is also possible the diploma was mailed to an old address and discarded. In this case, you will need to order a Replacement Diploma and pay a fee for the replacement.
  • There may have been a hold on your student account at the time of the mailing. See FAQ Will I receive my diploma if I have a hold on my record?

May I change the way my name is shown on my diploma?

If you wish to change your name on your diploma, please email official documentation of your name to For international students, the name on your diploma must be the same as your passport name and/or in the University of Illinois student academic record.

*Students graduating in August 2020, or later, may choose to create a diploma name with a preferred first name and legal last name. Examples of preferred names include: using a middle name instead of a first name; using an abbreviated name (Tom instead of Thomas); using an Americanized name (Wendy instead of Haiyan); or using a name that better reflects one’s ethnic, racial or gender identity. Instructions for submitting a diploma name will be included in our regular graduation information email that is sent to graduating students about three weeks prior to the end of each semester.  Please be advised that in some situations, the name appearing on your diploma may need to match other legal documents you possess.

May I request that my name appear on my diploma with special characters (e.g. accent marks)?

You may email with your name and the special characters. Most requests will be granted.

May I change the address to which my diploma will be mailed?

You may change your address on Student Self-Service. The diploma address will be used for diploma mailing.

May I make special arrangements for receiving my diploma?

You may call 217-333-6383 or email to hold your diploma for pick-up by you or a designee, or mail your diploma to an alternative address.

I know that I am on the pending degree list, but how can I be certain that I have met all of the degree requirements?

Undergraduate students should consult with the records officer in their college. Graduate students should check with their departmental office. Professional students should check with their college.

Will I receive my diploma if I have a hold on my record?

You may not receive your diploma if you have a past-due account balance. See Diploma Eligibility for more information.

What if I have finished all of my degree requirements but my degree will not be recorded for several weeks and I need written proof that my degree has been earned?

If you are an undergraduate student and you need a formal letter verifying that you have met all degree requirements, contact your college records officer.

If you are a graduate student and you need a formal letter verifying that you have met all degree requirements, contact your departmental office.

If you are a professional student and you need a formal letter verifying that you have met all degree requirements, contact your college office.