Graduation & Commencement

Commencement 2017

  • Commencement is scheduled for May 2017 at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center.
  • Date and time will be announced in the Spring 2017 semester.
  • Students who apply for Fall 2016 Graduation will receive an invitation to participate in Commencement in December (check your UH email).
  • Commencement is an optional activity.

Graduation & Commencement

What is the difference between graduation and commencement?

  • Graduation is when a student is awarded an academic degree or certificate upon successful completion of all academic requirements of their declared program of study. In other words, Graduation is the technical obtainment of credits to receive a certificate or degree. Notification for pickup or mailing of certificates and diplomas usually takes 12 weeks after semester grades are recorded.
  • Commencement is the annual ceremony that allows students, family, friends, and the KCC ‘Ohana to celebrate in the student’s academic accomplishments. All students who have completed their program requirements are eligible to “walk” in the Commencement Ceremony. Check with your academic counselor if you have questions regarding your graduation eligibility. Students do not receive their certificates or diplomas at the ceremony.

Graduation Requirements

  • Students should consult with their Academic Counselor for a graduation evaluation prior to registering for their final semester. Candidates for all certificates and associate degrees must file an Application for Graduation with the Graduation Office online or in-person at the Kekaulike Information Service Center (KISC, ‘Ilima Room 102)
  • Applications received after the Diploma Order Deadline will be processed for graduation, however diplomas will not be printed until the next semester.
  • A $15.00 graduation fee ($15 extra for a Hawaiian Language diploma) will be charged on the student’s MyUH account after submitting an Application for Graduation (Please allow 5-7 working days for the fee to appear on your account). This covers the cost of ordering and printing the diploma and diploma cover. If the student does not meet the requirements of the program (certificate/degree) in the semester they apply for, another Application for Graduation will need to be completed and the student will be assessed another graduation fee.
  • Graduation requirements are based on approved program requirements. In determining graduation eligibility, the terms “Major Courses”, “Courses in the Major”, and “Credits in the Major” refer to the following:
    • Courses which are program specific, i.e., the course title or the course description indicates that the course is specifically for students in the major (e.g., HWST 100 for Hospitality Majors),
    • Courses which satisfy program requirements and have the alpha associated with the major.
  • To graduate with a degree (AA, AS) from a University of Hawai‘i Community College, a student must have earned a minimum of 12 credits of program courses in the degree/major from that college and maintain a 2.0 institutional grade point ratio (GPR).

Degrees and Certificates

The college offers the Associate in Arts degree (AA), the Associate in Science degree (AS), Certificate of Achievement (CA), Certificate of Competence (CO), Advanced Professional Certificate (APC) and Academic Subject Certificate (ASC). These degrees and certificates differ in the numbers and types of courses required to fulfill all requirements.

A “degree” is an academic credential awarded in accordance with University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents’ approval and consists of the components of general education core requirements; college/program requirements; major requirements, if any; electives, if any; and additional degree requirements, such as total credit requirements, minimum overall cumulative GPR, which is 2.0, minimum GPR or grades for courses applied to the “major or program requirements,” and other related requirements such as writing-intensive, Hawaiian Asian and Pacific emphasis courses, a speech/oral communication course and foreign language.

Please see Academic Programs for the majors offered and the degree requirements per specific major.

Graduation Options

Enrolled Students: (students maintaining continuous enrollment at Kapi‘olani Community College) may graduate according to:

  • The requirements in effect at the time they enrolled; or,
  • The requirements in effect at the time of graduation.

Students who change their major while enrolled may graduate according to:

  • The requirements of their major in effect at the time they changed their major; or,
  • The requirements in effect at the time of graduation.

IMPORTANT: Students who have a break in enrollment and apply for graduation will graduate according to the requirements in effect at the time of graduation. Students must also have a declared major in order to be awarded a degree.

Reverse Transfer and Automatic Notification of Credentials

For students who have successfully completed all program requirements for a degree or certificate will be made aware of the earning of the degree or certificate. Once verified, the earned degree or certificate will be noted on the academic record unless requested not to do so by the student. The notation will be at no cost to the student.

Applying for Graduation

To be awarded a diploma from the College, you must Petition to Graduate by submitting an “Application for Graduation”. We strongly recommended that you schedule a “Degree/Certificate Check” appointment with a counselor before applying. Send an email to your academic counselor to set up a Degree/Certificate Check now.

Apply for Graduation


A non-refundable and non-transferable $15 fee is required for an Associate Degree or Certificate of Achievement. Applications for a degree/certificate will be denied if all requirements, including incompletes, have not been met by the end of the graduating semester. An “I” grade, regardless of the contingency grade assigned, is considered non-completion of a course. You will be eligible for graduation in the semester that the “I” grade has been changed and will be required to reapply for graduation and pay the $15 fee.

Application Deadlines

  • October 15 for Fall graduation
  • March 15 for Spring graduation
  • June 15 for Summer graduation


Step 1 : See your academic program counselor for a graduation check.

Make an appointment with your academic program counselor for an official graduation check before the graduation application deadline.

Step 2 : Submit a graduation application form.

Complete and submit a graduation application form by the application deadline. (NOTE: You will need to log in with your email address to gain access to this form. Please make sure you are signed in with your own UH username.)

  • Please fill out all of the required information. A $15.00 fee is assessed upon submission of the form and will post on your student account. Please allow 5-7 working days for the fee to appear on your account. You may pay this fee via your student account or at the Cashier’s office. The deadline to apply for graduation (notation of credentials) is the last day of instruction in the semester or summer session that you are completing your program graduation requirements.
  • If you would like to order a diploma, you will need to submit your Application for Graduation by the deadlines stated above. If your Application for Graduation is submitted after the deadline, your diploma will not arrive until the end of the following semester.
  • Students applying for multiple degrees MUST submit multiple application forms with fees. Students who do not submit their applications by these deadlines will not not have their names printed in the KCC Commencement Program. However, you are still eligible to participate in the Ceremony.

Step 3 : Pick up your diploma.

Diplomas are available at KISC in Ilima 102 approximately two months after the end of the semester. KISC will contact you via email or regular mail indicating when diplomas are available, please do not call or come to the center before you are notified to do so.


All students who petition to graduate will receive an email from the Graduation Office to register for the Spring Commencement Exercise. Commencement is an optional activity. The Commencement Registration Deadline is April 15.

Step 4 : Commencement Preparation

Check your UH Email for your invitation to register for commencement. Once registered, you will receive more information and instructions.

Step 5 : Purchase cap and gown.

The KCC Bookstore will have your monarch blue cap, gown, tassel, collar (for women) available for purchase the second week of April. Cost for cap and gown is approximately $40.00 (subject to change).

Commencement Information

Graduation is one of the most rewarding experiences in your academic journey. The Commencement Ceremony is held once a year in mid-May. Students who obtained their degree/certificate at the end of the preceding Summer or Fall semesters are encouraged to participate in May.

This 2017 Commencement will be held at the Hawai‘i Convention Center in May. Exact date and time will be announced by Spring 2017.

Things students need to know

Commencement “Walk” Policy “Walking” is the term used to indicate student participation in Commencement. Walking in KCC’s Commencement, however, does not necessarily indicate program completion or a guarantee thereof. Only when all requirements are completed will a student’s degree/certificate be awarded.

To participate in the annual Commencement Ceremony, student must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Candidates for the Associate Degree or Certificate Program must be in your final semester and petition to graduate or have graduated in the preceding Summer or Fall semesters. If you are completing your final classes in the upcoming Summer term but would like to “walk” in the Spring Commencement Exercises, you must first check with your academic counselor for clearance and they will notify the Graduation Office that you will be walking early.
  • Conditions: “Walkers” who have not completed all degree/certificate requirements will not have their names printed in the Commencement program.
  • Students who have completed more than one degree or certificate will ONLY be able to walk under one degree or certificate.
  • Honors: Students who have met the 3.5 cumulative grade point ratio (GPR) requirement in the preceding summer or fall semesters will be recognized as graduating with honors in the commencement program and may pick up honors cords at commencement check in.
  • Honor Society: Students are in Phi Theta Kappa (Honor Society) will be recognized in the commencement program, Honors tassels and cords will be distributed through Phi Theta Kappa.
  • Kapi‘olani Scholars: Students in the Honors Curriculum Program and have successfully completed two honors courses (earning a ‘B’ or better in both) and have maintained a cumulative GPR of 3.5 or higher, will be recognized as Kapi’olani Scholars in the commencement program.
  • Valedictorians: Students who have earned a 4.0 cumulative GPR in the preceding Summer or Fall semester will be recognized as a Valedictorian in the commencement program.
  • Veterans: Students who have served in the US Military may pick up a veterans cord at the Military and Veterans Program (MVP) office.

Things “TO DO” Prior to Commencement

  • Apply for Graduation. If you have been been awarded or applied for graduation in the summer or fall preceding the Spring commencement, you will receive an email invitation to register for commencement. If you Petition to Graduate in the Spring, you will also receive an email invitation to register for commencement upon submission of your application.
  • Purchase your tassel, cap, and gown from the KCC Bookstore. Cap and gowns usually go on sale the 2nd week of April. The cost is approximately $40.00. Announcements will also be available for purchase.
  • Check your UH Email often. Announcements will be sent to all students who have registered to participate in the commencement ceremony on when they can sign up to participate in the commencement orientation.

Registering for Commencement

Students who graduated from KCC in the preceding summer and fall semester will receive an email invitation to register for Commencement in February via your UH email. If access to a UH email is no longer possible, contact

Students who apply for graduation in spring will receive an email invitation to register at their UH email address.

Commencement registration is REQUIRED to participate in the ceremony. Deadline to register is April 15.

Upon registration for commencement, students will receive information and reminders about commencement. The Commencement Website provides additional information for students and their guests.

Things students need to know

Parking is limited and available at the Hawai‘i Convention Center on a first come, first served basis. A parking fee of $10.00 can be paid at the parking kiosk machines at the entrance to the parking garage. Please consider being dropped off or car-pool.

Cap and Gown Information

Beginning in Mid-April, the KCC Bookstore will sell graduation cap and gowns (monarch blue cap, gown, tassel, collar-for women) and formal commencement ceremony invitations. Cost for the graduation cap and gown is $40.00 (subject to change).

Restricted Items

Balloons of any type and signs will NOT be allowed into the Convention Center. Please advise family members and guests of this restriction.

Diploma Information

Diplomas will not be presented at the ceremony. Diplomas will be available at for pickup Kekaulike Information and Service Center (KISC) in ‘Ilima 102 approximately 12 weeks after the end of the semester. Your diploma will not be released if you have outstanding financial obligation. See STEP 3 in the APPLICATION TAB for additional information.

Disability Accommodation

For disability accommodations advance notice requested. Contact the Graduation Office at or 808.734.9532 at least two weeks prior to the event.

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