Bob Jones University confers degrees in December, May and August with one commencement ceremony (in May) each academic year. Commencement activities are scheduled for Thursday, May 7, and Friday, May 8, 2020.
All students finishing degree requirements in December are encouraged to return to the campus to participate in commencement. Students finishing degree requirements in May by online courses or transfer work are encouraged to participate in Commencement. Prospective graduates not in residence II Semester will receive information about commencement around mid-March.
Eligible prospective graduates who are in residence II Semester and are receiving their degrees in May are to participate.
Students completing degree requirements during the summer for an August degree conferral may be eligible to participate in our annual May commencement procession and should review the Procession Concession requirements for eligibility. August degrees will be conferred on the Friday prior to the official opening of the academic year for the fall term.
Prospective Graduates for December, May or August
Students completing degree requirements in December, May or August must complete a diploma order. Under certain circumstances a candidate for a degree may be permitted to participate in the commencement procession prior to completion of all coursework or requirements. (See Prospective Graduates for diploma orders, commencement activities and procession concession qualifications.)
The student must use his/her full legal name—absolutely no initials.
A woman who is married prior to the conferral of her degree may opt to use either her maiden or married last name. Example: first, middle, maiden OR first, middle, maiden and/or married.
Note: Oct. 1 is the last day to cancel a December diploma order without being charged the graduation fee. Feb. 1 is the last day to cancel a May diploma order without being charged the graduation fee. Diploma changes must be made with the Registrar’s Office. Students whose conferral date is changed after Oct. 1, Feb. 1 or July 1 will be charged a $50 reorder fee.
Each prospective graduate will receive a Graduation Status indicating the completion or anticipated completion of degree requirements. Prospective graduates finishing in December and/or not in residence II Semester will receive one in November and an updated copy in March. All prospective graduates finishing in May or August will receive a copy in March.
All students who are candidates for graduation will be charged the graduation fee. This fee covers the cost of the diploma, the rental of academic regalia and administrative costs, and is payable in full whether the candidate receives the degree in person or in absentia. Diplomas for December conferral are ordered from the engraver in October (For December conferral, diplomas will be released after the semester ends in January). May graduation are ordered from the engraver in February, and August diplomas are ordered in June. If graduation plans are canceled or changed after the diploma has been ordered, the student is charged for the unused diploma.
Graduation fees will be billed to the student’s account and should be paid by December 5 (December conferral) or April 5 (May conferral) or August 5 (August conferral), whether or not the candidate participates in Commencement.
Associate Degrees — $100
Bachelor’s Degrees — $100
Master’s and Specialist Degrees — $100
Doctoral Degrees — $115
Incompletes: Students who have an outstanding incomplete in any course, including online learning courses in progress but not completed, will not be eligible to participate in the Commencement procession.
Transfer Work: All coursework taken in residence or by online learning at another institution must be approved in advance by submitting a Transfer Work Request form to the Registrar’s Office.
For Commencement, the Administration does not have a special speaker but prefers to give members from the graduating class (associate, bachelor and master’s degree candidates) the opportunity to share with family and guests how the Lord has worked in their hearts during their college years. Every prospective graduate participating in Commencement is encouraged to submit a testimony (100 words) for selection by April 1 to the Registrar’s Office.
Students whose degree conferral is in December must inform the Registrar’s Office by April 15 of their Commencement participation plans. Diplomas (in a diploma case) will be released in January. For Commencement participation, you will receive another diploma case on the platform to be turned in after Commencement during regalia rental return.
All degree requirements must be successfully completed prior to Commencement. Grades for any coursework taken from another institution must be reported to the Registrar’s Office by 5 p.m. on the Monday prior to Commencement in order for the student to participate in the Commencement procession. BJU will accept a phone call from the institution indicating satisfactory completion of the course for the purpose of marching; however, an official transcript must be received before the diploma can be released.
BJU wants all students finishing degree requirements to have the opportunity to participate in Commencement. Because the University conducts only one Commencement each year (in May), some students may have completed applicable residency requirements or will complete them in BJU summer session but may not have completed all of their course or checkpoint requirements by the deadline for participation in the Commencement program. Many students finishing requirements for their degree during the summer will qualify to participate. To be considered for a Procession Concession, the student must meet the following academic criteria and be planning to complete all outstanding degree requirements prior to the August degree conferral date. (Summer degrees are conferred the Friday prior to the official opening of school for the fall term.)
Transfer Work Request and/or Procession Concession Application for August degree conferral must be completed with the Registrar’s Office by April 15.
Associate Degree Candidates:
- Have a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA
- Have completed applicable residency requirements or will complete in BJU summer session
- Lack six or fewer credits scheduled through BJU or another approved institution
Baccalaureate Degree Candidates:
- Have a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA
- Have completed applicable residency requirements or will complete in BJU summer session
- Lack 11 or fewer credits scheduled through BJU or another approved institution
- May lack recital or show if check has been successfully passed.
Master’s Degree Candidates:
- Have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA (2.6 MDiv with concentrations)
- Have completed applicable residency requirement
- Lack credits scheduled through BJU or another approved institution in residence or via online class
- May lack MA Religion Comprehension Exam or Portfolio
The following do not fulfill procession concession qualifications: language proficiencies or thesis/dissertation.
Before the Ceremony
The rehearsal for Commencement is Friday, May 8, at 9:45 a.m. and Commencement is at 2 p.m. in Founder’s Memorial Amphitorium. Eligible prospective graduates participating in Commencement should plan to stay until dismissal before 11:30 a.m. We ask that they make arrangements for work, picking up relatives, etc., so that they can attend the entire rehearsal. Regular class attire is appropriate. All out-of-town prospective graduates participating in Commencement should return to Greenville no later than Thursday evening.
Each prospective graduate participating in Commencement will be given five complimentary tickets at the end of the Commencement rehearsal.
Seat/Marching Line Assignments: Assignments may be picked up after the Baccalaureate Service or the morning of commencement day.
- Residence hall students: PO Box (Johnson; Mary Gaston)
- Day students and students without a PO Box:
- Thursday, May 7, 8–10 p.m. at the Welcome Center (Student Center)
- Friday, May 8, 8–9:30 a.m. at the Student Services Hub (Student Center)
For commencement, prospective graduates should arrive in academic regalia by 1:30 p.m. in front of the Alumni Building.
The University’s Bruins Shop is the source for official Bob Jones University graduation products through a partnership with Herff Jones. Prospective graduates may order graduate products during the Grad Fairs or online at Herff Jones. Online regalia rental ordering opens with II Semester’s Grad Fair and closes April 1.
Grad Fairs for Prospective Graduates
Tuesday, Dec. 10 — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Bruins Shop (Student Center)
Tuesday & Wednesday, Feb. 25 & 26 — 11:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., Bruins Shop (Student Center)
Prospective graduates who do not meet the deadline for placing announcement/invitation orders may inform family and friends of graduation through one of the following means:
- Individual handwritten announcement/invitation.
- Individual computer-generated announcement/invitation—not mass-produced by a commercial supplier.
Note that only official announcements/invitations obtained through the Bruins Shop or the Herff Jones website may feature the university crest or logo or indicate that the request or announcement is from the president, faculty and/or graduating class of the University. These are not to be added to handwritten or computer-generated invitations/announcements. These announcements may include the name (and degree) of a prospective graduate; therefore, name cards are not necessary.
Cap and gown rental orders must be placed with Herff Jones for prospective graduates participating in Commencement and regalia distribution will be as follows:
Greenville Area Prospective Graduates
Thursday, April 30 — 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Bruins Shop (Student Center)
Friday, May 1 — 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Bruins Shop (Student Center)
Out-of-Town Prospective Graduates
Friday, May 8 — Immediately after the graduation rehearsal until 12:30 p.m. (Alumni Building, East Entrance by Bellis Copy Center)
Please plan ahead and make arrangements to borrow clothing or shoes, if necessary. The University reserves the right to restrict any prospective graduate from participation in Commencement whose personal appearance or deportment does not uphold university standards.
Men: White dress shirts with dark neckties, dark (black, charcoal gray or navy) dress pants, dark socks and dark dress shoes.
Women: White or dark (black or navy) dresses (not longer than regalia) or dark skirts with white blouses and dark dress shoes. Hair should be styled off the face. Please do not wear dangling earrings, bracelets or necklaces that call attention.
The only other items to be worn with the regalia costume are:
- Medallions: Undergraduate candidates who receive medallions as a BJU award recipient or an alumni legatee recipient are to wear these medallions for Commencement.
- Honors Ribbons: Qualifying baccalaureate candidates will be notified concerning honors earned as well as when and where to pick up ribbons on Friday afternoon. Students in residence II Semester, Thursday afternoon before commencement day, via email; others, with seat and marching line assignment.
Prospective graduates needing accommodations for marching and/or seating due to physical limitations should contact the registrar’s office prior to the Wednesday before Commencement.
After the Ceremony
Following Commencement, please return regalia (cap, gown and hood) to the Alumni Building (East Entrance by Bellis Copy Center) then proceed on to the diploma distribution stations. All regalia must be returned by 6 p.m. on Commencement day.
For your diploma to be released your account must be cleared by Financial Services.
|Conferral Month||Commencement Participation
|Absentia and/or December/August|
|Greenville area, pick up 8 a.m.–5 p.m., weekdays (Student Services Hub)||Outside Greenville area, mailed|
|December||Turn in diploma case after Commencement until 6 p.m.||Beginning January 2|
|May||Pick up after Commencement until 6 p.m.||Beginning May 11|
|August||Turn in diploma case after Commencement until 6 p.m.||Beginning August 28|
Each prospective graduate participating in Commencement will be given five complimentary tickets at the end of the Commencement rehearsal. Additional tickets are available only from other students who do not need all of their tickets. Tickets are not to be sold.
Founder’s Memorial Amphitorium will open at 1 p.m. (main entrance and tower 3 and 8 doors opposite the Student Center and Unusual Films). Guests should arrive on the campus in plenty of time to secure parking and to get to the amphitorium. Tickets are valid until 1:30 p.m. at the amphitorium’s main entrance and guarantee seating on the main floor or reserved sections of the balcony. All guests and students without tickets will use the amphitorium’s tower 3 and 8 doors opposite the Student Center and Unusual Films for seating in the balcony. Individuals with children (infant to 5 years of age) may view the closed-circuit program in Levinson Hall in the Student Center.
Guests and students should be seated by 1:45 p.m. The academic procession will move into the amphitorium at 1:55 p.m. The program will last about 2 hours and 15 minutes. After the program has begun, guests will not be readmitted to their seats. Those who must leave during the program may view the remainder of the program at Levinson Hall.
BJU.edu is offering live coverage of commencement for friends and family that are unable to join us on campus at bju.edu/live. The week following commencement, the program will be posted on bju.edu and YouTube.com.
Wheelchair Accommodations: Guests using a wheelchair enter the tower 3 doors at Aisle 3 (opposite Student Center) or tower 8 doors at Aisle 11 (opposite Unusual Films) and may be accompanied by another individual. No tickets will be needed for a person in a wheelchair or the one person who will be seated in a chair next to him. Tower 3 and 8 doors will open at 12:50 p.m. for these individuals.
For prospective graduates who want to stay in a residence hall, contact the Welcome Center between 7:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays to make a reservation at (864) 370–1800, ext 4208. The cost per day includes three consecutive meals in the dining common. Students are responsible for supplying their own linens.