Graduation from Youngstown State University

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation from Youngstown State University! To graduate, all students earning a degree must apply for graduation via the online Graduation Application located in the Penguin Portal by the deadlines listed below and complete all academic requirements for the degree. Please carefully review the information regarding graduation deadlines, the online application, fees, graduation processing, diplomas, and the commencement ceremony.

All undergraduate students must be approved for graduation prior to applying for graduation by the Advising Office/Dean's Office of their college. If you attempt to apply for graduation and receive a message stating "Your academic advisor has not cleared you for graduation" please contact the Advising Office in your college.

Degrees are awarded 3-4 weeks after the official graduation date/commencement ceremony. Diplomas are mailed 6-8 weeks after the official graduation date/commencement ceremony. 

Graduation Application Deadlines:

All students must apply for graduation by the deadlines below. Students should consult with the Dean's Office or Advising Office of their college to ensure they will meet all degree requirements by the end of the term and are eligible to apply. If you apply for graduation, but do not graduate, you must reapply for graduation.

Students who do not apply by the application close date must defer their graduation to the next graduating term.

Graduation Application Deadlines


Application opens  (first day a student can apply)

Application Deadline (last day a student can apply without paying a late fee)

Application Closes (last day a student can apply - late fee applies) Students who do not apply by this date must defer their graduation to the next term.

Commencement Ceremony

Graduation Date

Guarantee Date that degree will be posted to your transcript (If your degree is posted to your transcript prior to this date it will be printed and released prior to this date)

Fall 2023 August 5, 2023 October 6, 2023 November 1, 2023 December 17, 2023 December 17, 2023 January 5, 2024
Spring 2024 November 23, 2023 February 16, 2024 March 25, 2024 May 4, 2024 or May 5, 2024 May 4, 2024 May 29, 2024
Summer 2024 January 8, 2024 March 25, 2024 (to participate in Spring ceremony) or June 21, 2024 July 12, 2024 No Ceremony – Students can participate in Spring 2024 or Fall 2024 ceremony August 17, 2024 September 5, 2024

Graduation Application Fees:

Students who are not a part of the Penguin Tuition Promise (students admitted/re-admitted to a degree seeking program prior to Summer 2018 and all students graduating from the College of Graduate Studies) will be prompted to pay a $65.00 graduation fee at the end of the application. Your application is not complete unless the $65.00 has been paid. The $65.00 fee is good for three consecutive semesters per degree.

Students who are a part of the Penguin Tuition Promise (students who have been admitted or readmitted Summer 2018 or later) have already had the graduation fee prorated within their tuition and do not have to pay a separate graduation application fee unless the application has been submitted after the deadline.

A late fee of $38.50 is assessed to all students who apply after the application deadline listed above.

Graduation Application Instructions:

Important Note: Undergraduate students must be approved for graduation by their college advisement office before beginning the online application. Most colleges will send an email to your YSU email account indicating you have been approved for graduation and should now apply. If you do not receive an email from your college's advisement office by the end of the first week of the semester you plan to graduate please make an appointment with the appropriate advisor.

Instructions on how to apply for graduation can be found on the Penguin Service Center website. If you have any questions about applying for graduation, please call the Penguin Service Center at (330) 941-6000 before the application close date.

Graduation Processing:

The time from the commencement ceremony to diploma mailing can take up to eight weeks. There are many people and offices involved in processing graduation for a graduation candidate. The commencement ceremony is held prior to the final grade submission deadline for timeliness and to ensure that faculty have an opportunity to celebrate your success. After the grade submission deadline has passed (the week after finals) final graduation honors are calculated and added to diplomas as necessary. Academic colleges have two to three weeks (varies by term) to review and clear each individual candidate for graduation. Once cleared for graduation the Office of the Registrar must verify each graduate's academic information (including curriculum, graduation honors, etc.) before awarding the degree to the academic record (transcript). Once degrees have been awarded each graduate's diploma is checked for accuracy, packaged, and then mailed. Once diplomas are mailed, delivery time is dependent on your mail carrier. Occasionally, a longer processing time is required. Please know that everyone is working as quickly as possible to confirm the accuracy and integrity of not just your degree, but the degrees of all graduates celebrating this term.

Once your degree has been awarded, no changes can be made to your academic record (filing repetition forms, grade changes, etc.). Please contact your college's Dean's Office or Advising Office prior to the end of the term regarding any changes.


Diploma Distribution

Only Spring and Fall doctoral candidates receive their diplomas the day of Commencement. All other graduation candidates receive a diploma holder as they cross the stage. Diplomas are mailed to the address you provided during the graduation application process. Diplomas are mailed after graduation processing is complete, approximately six to eight weeks after the commencement ceremony or official graduation date. 


Diploma Name

During the online graduation application students have an opportunity to provide the name desired on the diploma (for example: Pete The Penguin vs Pete T. Penguin). The name submitted on the graduation application must be a legal name listed with the University. If another name is desired (maiden name, married name, etc.) that is not on file with the University then appropriate legal documentation must be provided. Please contact the Penguin Service Center at 330-941-6000 for further information and indicate that you are graduating student. 


Diploma Mailing Address

Diplomas are mailed to the address provided during the online application. If you would like to review the diploma mailing address you provided, please do so via the Penguin Portal, Student Dashboard, Active Applications under the Records section. Once you have submitted your diploma mailing address, it cannot be changed in the Penguin Portal.

All diploma mailing address changes should be submitted prior to the end of the term. To change your diploma mailing address visit our Diploma Mailing Request page and complete the diploma mailing form. You can also visit the Penguin Service Center on the 2nd floor of  Meshel Hall prior to the end of the semester to complete the form. If the term has ended and you must change your diploma mailing address call the Penguin Service Center at 330-941-6000 or Records Services at 330-941-3182 - please indicate that you are a graduating student and need to change your diploma mailing address.


Questions About Diplomas?

If you have any questions regarding diplomas please contact the Penguin Service Center at 330-941-6000.

Graduation Honors:

Academic policy dictates the designation of graduation honors to baccalaureate and associate degree recipients. All YSU grades (including those deducted from accumulative totals as a result of an approved Repetition Form) will be counted in determining honors for graduation. Students who have had a Statue of Limitations processed are ineligible for graduation honors.  Final honors designations are not determined until after the commencement ceremony/official graduation date as final grades are not submitted until after the commencement ceremony.  Please see the academic policies section of the Undergraduate Catalog for specific requirements related to graduation honors.

Commencement Ceremony:

The commencement ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate your achievements with family, friends, and the Youngstown State University community.

When applying for graduation you can choose to attend the commencement ceremony to mark this occasion. Fall graduation candidates can attend the ceremony held in December; Spring candidates can attend the May ceremony; and Summer candidates can choose to attend the immediately preceding Spring ceremony or the following Fall ceremony. At the ceremony, graduation candidates receive a diploma holder as they cross the stage. There is no additional fee to participate in the commencement ceremony.

Students who have submitted a Student Privacy Hold Form to the University requesting to withhold their directory information will not be listed in the commencement program or have their name called at the ceremony. To rescind your privacy request please visit the Penguin Service Center on the 2nd floor of Meshel Hall. If you have already applied for graduation and want to rescind your request please contact Records Services at 330-941-3182.

Please know that participating in the ceremony does not indicate that you have completed all of your degree requirements and have graduated from the University. Only after your college has submitted your graduation evaluation to Records Services and your degree has been awarded (posted on your academic record) have you officially graduated.

For information about the commencement ceremony, cap and gown pick up times, etc. Please visit the commencement website for more information or contact the Office of University Events at 330-941-3497.

Questions about coursework?

Each student's academic college is responsible for determining if a student has completed the requirements for graduation.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding your coursework or meeting degree requirements, please make an appointment with an academic advisor.