Since December 2011, Drake University has held two commencement ceremonies each year; one in December, the other in May.
Students must file an application for graduation by the deadline set as follows:
The graduation application is used by college or school personnel for degree clearance and preparation of the annual Commencement programs and diploma presentation. It is the student’s first step toward participation in either the May or December Commencement ceremony.
Once requirements have been fulfilled and verified, the Office of the Registrar will post the degree and mail the diploma with the established graduation date in May, August or December. The student must complete and the college office must verify all requirements within 45 days of graduation to have the degree posted with the applied-for graduation date. Students who meet the requirements for graduation at a later point in time will have an effective graduation date of the established graduation date in the following May, August, or December.
Once graduate, pharmacy, and law students have filed an application for graduation and are certified to meet the requirements of graduation by their respective college/school office, the Office of the Registrar may post the degree dated the 15th of the following month. Pharmacy students cannot graduate prior to the established graduation date in May.
Graduating students who have attained academic excellence and high scholastic achievement on the basis of cumulative grade point average (G.P.A.) for 60 or more undergraduate hours at Drake University are recognized in the Commencement program with the following honors:
Students who do not qualify for the above honors but who have attained a 4.00 average in their last 30 credit hours or a 3.80 average or better in their last 60 hours at Drake are graduated Cum Laude. A transfer student who does not complete 60 hours at Drake is graduated Cum Laude if he or she has attained a 4.00 average in the last 30 hours or a 3.80 grade point average or better in the last 45 to 59 hours.
Departmental honors are awarded to a Cum Laude (or higher) graduate who has 18 or more credit hours in his/her major department(s) with a minimum G.P.A. of 3.80.
The appropriate overall honors designation is recorded on the transcript and diploma of an honors graduate. Departmental honors are recorded on the transcript.
Principal features of academic dress are the gown, the cap, and the hood. It became necessary for universities to set rules to preserve the dignity and meaning of academic dress. Since the 15th century, both Cambridge and Oxford have made academic dress a matter of university control, even to its minor details, and have repeatedly published revised regulations. American universities agreed on a standardized system in 1895. The current Drake graduate and undergraduate guidelines with became expanded in 2017. Previous regalia description had been in place with minor changes since 1960.
Whereas the Commencement ceremony is a formal affair, academic attire is required. For all Drake University degrees, the black gown is appropriate. The bachelor’s gown has pointed, open sleeves with a closed front. The master’s gown has closed sleeves with an open or closed front. The doctoral gown has full bell sleeves with wide cuffs. It should be faced down in front with black velvet and three bars of velvet across the upper sleeve.
The cap is a Cambridge-style cap (resembling a large beret) for all doctoral degrees and a square mortarboard (Oxford style) for all other degrees. The cap should be adorned only with a tassel of the discipline color. The gold metallic tassel is appropriate for all doctoral degrees. The hood is worn by candidates for master’s degrees and higher. The inside silk lining is the Drake blue with a single white chevron. The outside of the master’s or specialist hood is black with velvet trim of the discipline. The outside of the doctoral hood is a wide velvet band in the color of the discipline.
Honor medallions are worn by students graduating with college or university honors. Academic honor cords or pins may be worn if earned from a Drake college- or school-recognized academic organization. Leadership of the particular academic organization will inform the President's Committee on Commencement (P.C.C.) of the academic honor item. The P.C.C. needs to review and approve the items to be worn, which is then subject to approval by the University President.
Registered Student Organizations (R.S.O.) may propose an organizational stole to the Office of Student Inclusion, Involvement, and Leadership (S.I.I.L.). The stole will express cultural expression and identity expression appropriate for the R.S.O. The S.I.I.L. Office will inform the President's Committee on Commencement (P.C.C.) of the requested stole design. The P.C.C. needs to review and approve the stole to be worn, which is then subject to approval by the University President. The R.S.O. must be in good standing with the University at the time of the Commencement Ceremony. The stole design and intent must align with the Mission, Vision, and Non-Discrimination Statement of the University. Students may wear only one stole per ceremony.
Any student who has earned a degree and has not participated in a previous Drake Commencement ceremony for that degree is encouraged to participate.
Those who expect to complete all degree requirements in December (registered, with appropriate number of hours, adequate G.P.A., and all requirements met).
Those who completed their requirements the previous August, had have degrees awarded, but chose to participate in the December ceremony rather than the previous May.
Those who graduated the previous December but did not participate in the December ceremony.
Those who expect to complete all degree requirements (registered with appropriate number of hours, adequate G.P.A. and all requirements met) in either May or August are encouraged to participate in the May ceremony.
If a student desires to participate in a ceremony for which he or she does not meet the eligibility guidelines, the student may appeal to the Provost. The appeal must be in writing with supporting documentation attached 30 days prior to event. The Provost may consult an ad hoc advisory panel of deans and/or Commencement officials prior to making a final decision.
The following are the criteria for considering ceremony participation on the exception basis for students with a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.0 or higher.
The student must meet one of the following:
1. The student has only the student teaching requirement remaining to be completed during the upcoming semester, OR
2. The student can document a serious hardship associated with participation in the commencement ceremony (ie. documented illness, religious observance, sports event, etc.) on the day established.
Complete information about commencement is available at the commencement web site.
Names to be included in the December Commencement program are students who will be participating in that event. Students are expected to meet the stated program preparation deadlines to ensure their name is printed. These dates are published at the commencement web site.
Names to be included in the May Commencement program are students who are expected May or August graduates, previous December graduates who did not participate in the December Ceremony, or students who will be participating in that event. Students are expected to meet the stated program preparation deadlines to ensure their name is printed. These dates are published at the commencement web site.