2023_Commencement 2

Applying for Graduation

CWI confers degrees and certificates at the end of each semester - fall, spring, and summer. To be considered for graduation, students must apply for graduation. Students should meet regularly with their advisor to create a plan of study that leads to graduation. Students should submit the graduation application within one semester of completing the requirements for their chosen degree or certificate. 

Students can apply for graduation online through myCWI. Graduation applications must be submitted by the census date of the student's intended graduation semester (see Academic Calendar). After the census date, the Registrar's office will review the application. Once reviewed, the student will be notified of their candidacy status. The student is considered an eligible candidate through verification that they are on track to complete all requirements by the end of the semester. At the end of the semester, the degree and/or certificate will be conferred, and the diploma will be issued if all graduation requirements have been met. Students must apply for graduation whether or not they plan to participate in the commencement ceremony.

Whether transferring to a four-year school or entering the workforce upon graduation, it is very important to apply for graduation. An associate degree or certificate can help a student further a student's education and career. The number of credits students can transfer to four-year schools and their transfer status may also be impacted.

Graduation with Honors

CWI recognizes the following academic distinctions at graduation based on the institutional GPA for graduation:

  • Summa Cum Laude: Graduating with highest praise; students who graduate with a 3.90–4.00 GPA.
  • Magna Cum Laude: Graduating with great praise; students who graduate with 3.70–3.89 GPA.
  • Cum Laude: Graduating with praise; students who graduate with 3.50–3.69 GPA.

These distinctions are recognized on a student’s final transcript and diploma. Graduation honors are based on all semesters completed at the time a degree or certificate is awarded. The May commencement ceremony takes place before Spring grades are finalized. Therefore, honors recognition at commencement is based upon the institutional GPA for graduation from the student's most recently completed semester. Eligible graduates may wear gold cords during the ceremony.

Grades of Incomplete ("I") or missing grades will prevent a student from receiving these honors, and only the institutional GPA for graduation will be considered (excluding developmental coursework and transfer credits). Graduation honors are awarded to students receiving Associate degrees (AA, AS, and AAS), Academic Certificates (AC)1, Advanced Technical Certificates (ATC), Intermediate Technical Certificates (ITC), Basic Technical Certificates (BTC), and Specialized Certificates (SC).


Honors are not awarded for completion of the General Education Academic Certificate (AC).

Catalog Policy for Graduation

CWI issues a new catalog for every academic year. The academic/catalog year begins in the fall, followed by the spring and summer semesters. Students seeking to earn a degree or certificate from CWI are subject to the following catalog policies:

  • Students must satisfy program graduation requirements in a single catalog year, as requirements may change from one catalog to the next. All requirements for graduation outlined in the applicable catalog must be met before the degree or certificate is awarded. Students need to follow the catalog in its entirety–they may not elect to follow different catalogs for their college requirements, general education requirements, and major requirements.

NOTE: Catalog rights do not exempt students from changes in course prerequisites. Students must follow prerequisites stated in the course descriptions in the current catalog at the time of registration.

  • CWI recognizes only one declared major; however, students may earn two or more degrees and/or certificates simultaneously, providing students complete the catalog requirements for each program.
  • Students are evaluated based on the graduation requirements stipulated in the catalog at the time the student matriculates or enters the major.
  • An overall GPA of 2.0 is required to graduate with a degree or certificate. Refer to the Grading Policies catalog page for more information.

​NOTE: Students are required to complete at least twenty percent (20%) of the credits required for a certificate or degree through CWI in order to graduate from the College.

Changes to Declared Major and Catalog Year for Continuing Students

  • If while enrolled at CWI, a student changes or declares a new major, the student must change to the catalog of the current year at the time of the change in major. The student will be held to the requirements in that year’s catalog.
  • Students who have maintained “continuous enrollment” or enrolled at CWI for at least one term per academic year, have the option of meeting the graduation requirements stated in the catalog in effect under a more current year.
  • Changing the declared major or catalog year is completed by meeting with your advisor

Changes to Declared Major and Catalog Year for Returning Students

  • Students who lose continuous enrollment status are considered “returning students” and are subject to graduation requirements outlined in the catalog in effect at the time of re-enrollment in a declared major as a degree-seeking student. Students must renew their catalog after a non-enrollment period of six consecutive terms (two calendar years). Students will be classified as “inactive” in our system after a non-enrollment period of six consecutive terms (two calendar years).