Carnegie Mellon University

Graduation & Diploma FAQs

How can I request a degree application for graduation? 

It is not necessary to request a degree application. All degree candidates should verify their information on Student Information Online, and make any corrections. After logging in to SIO, select 'Graduation and Diploma' under the 'Academic Info' tab to update information.

What should I do if my new permanent address is not listed on SIO's Graduation and Diploma page?

Current students can make the necessary corrections on Student Information Online by clicking 'Edit' on the 'Graduation and Diploma' page, or contact the University Registrar's Office at cmuregistrar@andrew.cmu.edu or 412-268-1984, and we will correct it for you. Alumni should submit a written request in order to ask for this update.

My program concludes later than the end of the spring semester. Will I be able to participate in the Commencement Ceremony?

While degrees are awarded three times during the year (May, August and December), there is only one formal Commencement Ceremony in May. The commencement program includes those students who graduated during the previous August and December, plus those students expected to graduate in May or upcoming August (except doctorates) before the beginning of the new academic year.

All undergraduate and master’s students who are expected to complete their studies before the upcoming August during a given calendar year will be allowed to participate in that year's Commencement and will be listed in the commencement program as expected August graduates. Doctoral students must at least defend before the last day of classes in the spring semester to participate in that year's Commencement hooding ceremony.

Students who are expected to complete their degree requirements later than the August deadline are typically not permitted to participate and will not be listed in the Commencement Ceremony program. Undergraduates who have fewer than 36 units to be completed and who wish to participate at Commencement should discuss options with their Associate Dean.

Can I add an additional major or minor to my degree once the coursework is completed?

Once the degree has been certified and granted, that degree cannot be amended in any way.

I am attending Commencement, and I need a letter that shows my parents, who are not U.S. citizens, have permission to attend as well. How can I get this?

Many students wish to invite friends and family for a short visit to the United States, particularly for Commencement. Please refer to the Office of International Education website for information regarding a B-2 Tourist Visas.

I need to show proof of my degree for an H1B Visa; what do I do?

For proof of degree for H1B Visa purposes, please see Degree Verifications. If you are planning to graduate early, please also review Early Completion Verification Guidelines.

When are diplomas distributed? 

Diplomas will be distributed to all students who have met degree requirements for May graduation at the May Commencement Ceremony. Diplomas not picked up at Commencement will be mailed at no cost to the student's address as indicated on Student Information Online (under the 'Academic Info' tab, select 'Graduation and Diploma'), approximately one month after graduation.

  • All special mailing requests are subject to additional charges
  • August diplomas are ordered and mailed at no cost to the student during the month of October
  • December diplomas are ordered and mailed at no cost to the student during the month of February

I am scheduled to graduate in May; however, I have one more course to take to have an additional major/minor listed on my diploma. How can I ensure that the additional major/minor is listed?

Minors are no longer listed on diplomas; however, to have the additional major listed, you would want to change your graduation date from May to August, register for and complete the required course during the summer, and have your degree certified for August.

I have earned college honors. Will that be noted on my diploma?

Only university honors are listed on the diploma. College honors are listed on the official transcript.

My name is misspelled/incorrect on my diploma. What should I do?

If your printed name is incorrect due to the fault of Carnegie Mellon, the diploma will be reordered at no charge.

However, if you failed to correct your name on the SIO Graduation and Diploma page, or did not notify us of how you wanted your name to appear on the diploma, you must request a replacement diploma and pay the $50 replacement fee.

What name should I use for my diploma?

The diploma name is the student’s preference. For verification purposes, we will verify a student’s enrollment and/or degree based on the name listed in SIO. We do not suggest using a nickname. If students are applying for H1B Visa and are concerned about the diploma name, they should ask the employer what name they prefer. 

How can I reserve a CeDiploma?

You can reserve your CeDiploma by logging onto Student Information Online and navigating to the 'Graduation and Diplomas' page under the Academic Info tab. You will see a sidebar where you can order your CeDiploma. 

I've already graduated. I didn't reserve a CeDiploma, but I would like one. Is it too late? 

It's not too late! CeDiplomas are automatically produced for all students who graduated Spring 2016 or later. As long as you do not have any financial or student affairs obligations to the university and still have access to your SIO account, you can log in and download your CeDiploma. 

How much does a CeDiploma cost? 

CeDiplomas are provided free of charge. 

When can I download my CeDiploma?

  • May graduates: mid-June
  • August graduates: early October
  • December graduates: mid-February 

I've downloaded my CeDiploma. How do I view it?

CeDiplomas are secure PDFs. In order to view yours, you must have Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader installed on your computer.

I'm using a web browser or Mac computer to open the PDF and am having trouble viewing it. What is going on? 

CeDiplomas are best viewed using Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader, so some features may not be visible if you open your CeDiploma using your web browser's default viewer. Mac users may encounter a similar issue, as the Mac preview application will not display the document correctly.

In order to best view your CeDiploma, it is recommended that you download Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat Reader and change the default viewer on your web browser so that it utilizes Adobe. 

How can I share my CeDiploma?

CeDiplomas are shareable via email and social media channels, including LinkedIn. 

Can I print my CeDiploma?

As a security feature, CeDiplomas cannot be printed. 

When are diplomas ordered and mailed? 

Please see Diploma Deadlines & Distribution for full information on diploma ordering and mailing dates.

What address is used for mailing diplomas?

Diplomas are mailed to the address on the Student Information Online Graduation and Diploma page. This is the only address we look at for diploma mailing. If this address is blank at the time of the order, or if it is not a valid address (e.g. a campus SMC or department office address, or something like "unknown at this time"), then your diploma will be sent to the University Registrar's Office, who will then contact you for a mailing address.

From where are diplomas mailed?

For August and December graduates, if you have provided a valid mailing address on the SIO Graduation and Diploma page as of the date of the order, your diploma will be mailed directly from the printing vendor. You will get an email notification when it is mailed.

If you did not provide a valid mailing address as of the time of the order, your diploma will be sent to the University Registrar's Office, who will then contact you for a mailing address. Likewise, if you have an outstanding financial or Student Affairs obligation to the university as of the date of the order, your diploma will be delivered to us for mailing after the obligation is resolved.

What service is used to mail diplomas?

Diplomas are mailed via the US postal service. Each diploma is packed inside a red presentation case and mailed inside a large (21″ x 17″) white cardboard envelope.

Can my diploma be mailed to an international address?

Yes. You can enter an international address on the SIO Graduation and Diploma page, and your diploma will be mailed to that address. Please note the following:

  • Mail is often delayed to addresses outside the US, sometimes taking 8–10 weeks to arrive.
  • Although the mailing may originate with the USPS, once it arrives in your country, it will be your local postal system delivering it.

How long does delivery take?

Delivery is dependent upon the speed of the postal service and package size. Within the United States, diplomas are usually delivered within 10 business days. Delivery to international addresses can vary (even within the same country) and may take up to 8–10 weeks. Due to the number of diplomas that are mailed, there is no tracking attached to diplomas.

My degree was certified late; when is my diploma coming?

Certification is the process by which academic departments mark degrees as complete. When departments submit late certifications, these diploma orders are placed separately. We order diplomas within two weeks of a late certification being approved and processed. These diplomas are delivered to the University Registrar's Office for processing and mailing.

What if I don't know my address?

If you do not know what address you will be using when diplomas are mailed (October for August graduates and February/March for December graduates), you can put "Address Unknown; will contact later" or something of that nature into your SIO Graduation and Diploma page (use Pittsburgh, PA 15213 for the time being). There will be a delay in mailing your diploma, as it must be returned to us first before we can get your address to mail it. Please also make sure that your personal email address information is updated, either through SIO Graduation and Diploma or SIO My Info.

Can I pick up my diploma in person?

If you are willing to wait until they arrive at our office (roughly five weeks after the order is placed), we can arrange for you to pick up your diploma at The HUB (Warner Hall, lower level). The process works like this:

  1. You notify us via email that you want to pick up your diploma at The HUB.
  2. Diplomas without mailing addresses are delivered to us.
  3. We will send you an email when it is ready for pick-up.

If you would like a friend to pick up your diploma on your behalf, we require that you submit a written authorization to the University Registrar's Office, either by mail, fax to 412-268-6651, or email to uro-diplomas@andrew.cmu.edu. The authorization must state "I, [your name], give permission for [your friend's name] to pick up my diploma on my behalf." This authorization must come directly from you and include your signature.

I'm an August/December graduate attending the upcoming May Commencement Ceremony; can I have my diploma given to my department?

No. Departments are only allowed to distribute May diplomas at their diploma ceremonies. We cannot mail diplomas to academic department offices or hold them to be given in May.

What happens if my diploma gets returned or lost?

If your diploma is returned to us as undeliverable or becomes lost in transit, we will re-order it and re-send it to you. We will contact you via email if your diploma is returned in the mail so that you can review your address before we re-send it. Please remember that diplomas are printed by an outside vendor, so it does take several weeks for printing and shipping.

I have moved since entering my address in SIO or I accidentally mistyped my address. Can it be resent to a new address?

The student is responsible for making sure the diploma delivery address is entered accurately; however, we know that sometimes special circumstances arise and typos happen. If you realize your diploma has been sent to the wrong address, please contact us at uro-diplomas@andrew.cmu.edu and we will wait to see if it is returned to us so we can re-send it. Because it takes several weeks for diplomas to be reprinted and shipped to us, it is often faster for us to wait for it to be returned instead of ordering a new one. If it is clear that it is missing or lost, we will re-order it as soon as we can, but it may take several weeks for printing and mailing.

Can I get an extra diploma sent to another address?

Yes. You will need to visit the Credentials Solutions website to order a replacement diploma. Authorization will be required and there is a $50 fee to complete the order. 

I'm also expecting to receive a Certification of Distinction. Will that come with my diploma?

No. Certificates of Distinction and other departmental honors are bestowed and handled by individual departments, not by the university.

I need my diploma urgently for an H1B Visa application; what do I do while I'm waiting for it to arrive?

Diplomas are not necessary for an H1B Visa application. We can produce a special degree verification letterwhich fulfills the requirements for an H1B Visa application.

Can you scan and send a copy of my diploma to me?

We are unable to scan diplomas. If you need an electronic document to serve as proof of your degree, you may request a Degree Verification.