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Glossary of Terms


Also referred to as a degree audit, this is the review of your completed coursework as it applies to the requirements of your degree program and all University policies and requirements, including but not limited to GPA and residency requirements.  Learners will be audited when they Petition to Graduate and again as they approach the anticipated date of conferral.


Learners who do not complete all degree requirements by their anticipated date of conferral will be “bumped” to the next date available, based on their outstanding requirements and current registrations.


Events celebrating graduates such as hoodings, lunches, receptions and regional celebrations.


The formal celebration for those who have completed or are near completing all requirements for their chosen program.  Learners may have already had their degrees conferred or may be completing final requirements and anticipate conferral at a later date.  Participation in the Commencement ceremony does not mean that your degree is conferred (see below). There are two Commencement ceremony weekends for SNHU: One held in May following the end of the spring semester, and the other held in December following the end of the fall semester. Learners may participate in one commencement ceremony for each degree conferred.


The actual posting of a degree to your academic record (transcript). This is the SNHU’s official seal of approval, indicating that all degree requirements are complete. Conferral can take place before or after the Commencement ceremony and conferrals take place once a month.

Conferral Date

The date on which a degree is effective.  Degrees are conferred 15 times per year, the first of every month and the days of the May and MFA commencement ceremonies.


An honor cord is a token consisting of twisted cords with tassels on either end awarded to members of honor societies or for various academic and non-academic achievements, awards, or honors. Honors Cords are for undergraduates only.


A qualification awarded to learners upon successful completion of a course of study.  A degree will be conferred only when all program requirements are complete and all grades are received and verified by the Office of the University Registrar within the University’s information system prior to or on the last business day of the month.  SNHU awards Associates, Bachelor’s, Masters and Doctorate degrees.  Also referred to as a credential.


A document awarded by SNHU to show that learners have successfully completed a course of study.


Based on their Petition and Eligibility, learners will receive an invitation to their SNHU email prior to their Commencement ceremony where they must respond with their decision to attend a ceremony or not. During this process learners will also order regalia, and register guests for guest tickets.

Your completion of your Petition to Graduate and graduation questionnaire does not indicate your attendance to a ceremony 


Acronym for Global Campus or online learners.


A term used interchangeably to refer to both Commencement and Conferral.  It is more accurate to refer to these two events separately, as they have different requirements and one does not necessarily include the other.  For example, attending Commencement does not guarantee the conferral of a degree. 


Anyone you have registered for a guest ticket for your commencement ceremony. 


(Undergraduate only. Graduate learners not eligible for Latin or Ceremonial Honors)

The university acknowledges outstanding academic performance through Ceremonial Honors and Latin Honors. Ceremonial and Latin Honors apply only to associate and bachelor's degrees completed through non-direct assessment programs. Graduate programs are not eligible for academic honors. To be recognized with Ceremonial or Latin Honors, the student must meet the criteria specified in the academic catalog.

3.500- 3.699 Honors | Cum Laude
3.700- 3.849 High Honors | Magna Cum Laude
3.850- 4.000 Highest Honors | Summa Cum Laude

  • Ceremonial Honors

Ceremonial Honors serve as a way of recognizing students’ outstanding academic performance during Commencement ceremonies for those students who either do not qualify for Latin Honors at the time of Commencement or who do not have enough institutional credits to be eligible for Latin Honors upon degree completion.

Ceremonial Honors are not recorded on the student’s permanent record, transcript and diploma.

For Commencement purposes, Ceremonial Honors are assessed as of the first business day after the petitioning deadline of March 1 for the Spring ceremony and October 1 for the Fall ceremony and are based on GPA at that time.

Students who are still completing course work as of the petitioning deadline are eligible only for Ceremonial Honors at the Commencement Ceremony. Latin Honors will be assessed at the time of conferral.

  • Latin Honors

Latin Honors (highest honors, high honors and honors for associate degrees; summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude for bachelor's degrees) signify varying levels of academic achievement. Latin Honors are assessed at the time of conferral. Students must complete a minimum of 60 institutional credits for a bachelor's degree or 30 institutional credits for an associate degree to be eligible for Latin Honors upon conferral.

Only Latin Honors are recorded on the student’s permanent record, transcript and diploma.

Students who meet the criteria for either Ceremonial Honors or Latin Honors are recognized as honors recipients as they cross the stage at commencement. They receive honors regalia indicating their achievement.


Spring Commencement ceremony: Learners who have an anticipated conferral degree date between Jan. 1 and May 31 can participate in a Spring Commencement ceremony and must Petition to Graduate by March 1.

Fall Commencement Ceremony: Learners who have an anticipated conferral degree date between June 1 and Dec. 31 can participate in a Fall Commencement ceremony and must Petition to Graduate by October 1.

Learners must be in good academic standing with at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA (undergraduate) and a 3.0 cumulative GPA (graduate).


This is a required first step in the conferral process.  The Petition to Graduate is the learners request to the Registrar’s Office to begin the audit process as the learners approach the end of their degree programs. 

You must submit a Petition to receive your diploma and you must submit your petition by March 1 to be considered for eligibility to participate in an upcoming Spring Commencement ceremony, and October 1 to be considered for eligibility to participate in an upcoming Fall Commencement ceremony. For questions regarding the Petition process, please contact the Registrar’s Office.


After the completion of the initial degree audit, learners will receive a link to a Qualtrics survey that is commonly referred to as the “Graduation Questionnaire”.  This questionnaire will ask the student to confirm understanding of a number of University policies. Please note: completing this questionnaire does not indicate your intent to participate in Commencement or serve as your registration. You must respond to your Commencement ceremony invitation sent to your SNHU email address.


A learners’ SNHU-issued cap, tassel, gown and hood. 

Regional Celebrations

A regional celebration is an event held outside of Manchester, NH to bring together members of the SNHU community who are recent, eligible or past graduates. There are no diploma covers distributed during this program and attendees do not wear regalia. More information will be sent out to students, alumni and graduates within a given radius of the location, all are welcome.    


A graduation or academic stole is a decorative vestment worn by learners who are members of various organizations for the purpose of denoting outstanding achievements in academics. Stoles (or sashes) may also be used to indicate membership in a professional organization.


The official list of the courses taken, grades earned and degrees conferred by a learner through a course of study. You are entitled to one complimentary copy of your official transcript after your degree is conferred. Please visit mySNHU to request copies.


Acronym for University Campus or on campus learners.