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UCLA General Catalog 2017-18

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    Academic Policies



The awarding of degrees is the culmination of several steps that begin when students identify the term in which they expect to complete degree requirements.

Undergraduate Students

Approximately nine out of every 10 UCLA undergraduates eventually receive a bachelor’s degree, either from UCLA or from another campus or institution. One-third of all UCLA bachelor’s degree recipients go on to graduate school.

Declaration of Candidacy

To initiate the steps leading to the award of a bachelor’s degree, students must identify the term in which they expect to complete degree requirements, through MyUCLA, by the time they complete 160 units (172 units for engineering students). The identified term must be within the academic year (four quarters) subsequent to the term in which students reach or expect to reach the 160- or 172-unit limit. Once they complete 160 or 172 (or more) units, a fee is assessed each time students identify or change the degree-expected term. Current- or past-term candidates over the unit limit must file a Declaration of Candidacy form with the Registrar’s Office.

Friday of the second week of the term is the last day to declare candidacy for the current term (with fee depending on units completed). Declaration of candidacy after week two incurs a late fee, and may result in a degree-award date for the following term.

Students can verify the degree-expected term through MyUCLA. For questions about degree candidacy status, Letters and Science students may inquire at the Registrar’s Office. Arts and Architecture; Engineering; Music; Nursing; and Theater, Film, and Television students should contact their school office; a photo ID is required. Declaring candidacy is not a guarantee of graduation.

In Absentia Graduation

Students who intend to complete degree requirements while nonregistered (those who take a course through UCLA Extension or at another institution, remove an Incomplete grade, and so on) must file a request to graduate in absentia with their degree auditor in 1113 Murphy Hall by the week-two candidacy deadline. Students graduating in absentia are assessed the undergraduate in absentia degree processing fee in addition to the declaration of candidacy fee if they were also not registered in the term immediately prior to their degree-expected term.

Final Degree Audits and Graduation

Degree auditors (at the Registrar’s Office for Letters and Science students; 2200 Broad Art Center for Arts and Architecture students; 6426 Boelter Hall for Engineering students; 1642 Schoenberg Music Building for Music students; 2-147 Factor Building for Nursing students; and 103 East Melnitz Building for Theater, Film, and Television students) are responsible for verifying each candidate’s eligibility for a bachelor’s degree. Degree auditors have information pertaining to a student’s graduation only if that student declared candidacy and completed 160 quarter units (172 units for engineering students).

During their graduating term, students should inform a degree auditor of grade changes, petitions for substitutions or exemptions, transfer credits, or similar changes that may affect their degree. Degree auditors notify students whose graduation eligibility cannot be verified of any requirements still outstanding and other problems in completing the degree.

Student records are closed to revisions in enrollment, grading, and academic actions on award of a degree. Students are responsible for requesting review of their record prior to award of their degree.

A Summary of Shortages for the bachelor’s Degree statement is sent to each current-term candidate who does not satisfy degree requirements that term. Students who receive such notices should contact a degree auditor immediately. If students expect to satisfy degree requirements in a later term, they must change their degree expected term through MyUCLA or at 1113 Murphy Hall. They may be assessed applicable fees.

Contact degree auditors only for questions about degree audits. Telephone numbers are published on the Registrar’s services directory. For graduation ceremony procedures, contact the College or schools.

Graduate Students

Candidates for both master’s and doctorate degrees must be advanced to candidacy and complete all degree requirements—including the master’s thesis or capstone, or doctoral dissertation—before the degree is conferred. See the filing deadlines calendar for thesis/dissertation filing deadlines. For graduate degree requirements and procedures, see Program Requirements for UCLA Graduate Degrees and Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA.

Degree Date

Degrees are awarded at the end of fall, winter, and spring quarters and at the end of summer session C. School of Law and School of Medicine degrees are normally awarded at the end of fall and spring semesters. Refer to the UCLA quarter, semester, and summer session calendars for the degree award date, which is the final day of the term.


The College, each school, and Graduate Division conduct ceremonies for their graduates. Ceremonies feature addresses and recognize candidates who have achieved high academic distinction and honors.

Check with the College, school, or department for eligibility requirements, programs, and time schedules. More information—including the schedule of ceremonies, maps and parking, and updates—is on the commencement website. Information on the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony can be found on the Graduate Division information for candidates web page.


Names of students who request that no public information be released do not appear in commencement ceremony programs. Students may change their privacy status on MyUCLA.


Diplomas for both undergraduate and graduate students are available approximately three months after the degree-award date. After week three of their expected term of graduation, students should provide instructions for obtaining the diploma in person or by mail using the diploma request feature on MyUCLA. To expedite receipt of diplomas, instructions should be provided no later than one month after the last day of the degree term. Students may also request diplomas in person at 1113 Murphy Hall or by returning a Diploma Mail Request form. Recorded diploma availability information is available at 310-825-8883.

Change of Name

To be reflected on the diploma, a name change must be submitted on a Legal Name Change or Correction form, with supporting documentation, to the Registrar’s Office, 1113 Murphy Hall, by the last day of the degree-expected term. Once the degree is awarded, only a court order will be accepted to make a name change and the replacement diploma fee applies.

Replacement Diploma

If an original diploma is destroyed, a replacement may be ordered by using the diploma request option on MyUCLA. Students may also order a replacement diploma in person at 1113 Murphy Hall, or by returning a Replacement Diploma Request form. There is a fee for the replacement diploma, and it bears a reissue date and the signatures of the current officials of the state and University.

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