The Application for Graduation is completed through your DataVU student account – please log in to complete the Application for Graduation.  Applicants should apply for graduation based on the following deadlines:
  • November 1 for May graduates
  • February 1 for August graduates
  • August 1 for December graduates

The Application for Graduation is available through your student account on  When you log in and click on the Student tab, you will see Graduation Application listed under the Academic Profile heading.  Follow the prompts to complete the application.  ​If you are applying for a master’s or doctorate degree and a graduate certificate, you must complete an application for each program.


Grad Finale is designed to help you prepare for the May and December Commencement ceremony and remain a member of the Valpo community after graduation.  Please visit the Grad Finale website for details.

Distinction and Highest Distinction

At the time of graduation, graduating students with grade point averages of 3.80 to 3.89 are recognized as “graduating with distinction,” and graduating students with grade point averages of 3.90 or higher are recognized as “graduating with highest distinction.”

For the purpose of this recognition in Commencement ceremonies, including the printed Commencement program, the grade point average is calculated at the conclusion of the semester prior to the semester in which the student graduates (e.g., May graduates’ grade point averages are calculated after the due date for final grades in December).

If a student’s final cumulative grade point average increases by completion of the degree program to a qualifying grade point average for honors, it is the student’s responsibility to contact the Graduate School within one month after Commencement to request a certificate of recognition.

Graduate Leadership & Service Award

This award recognizes a graduating student who has consistently made contributions that benefit others in alignment with the University mission to lead and serve.  The contributions may be in the form of leadership through academic and/or extracurricular accomplishments, volunteer work, community activism, or public service.


Student completing a Valpo graduate degree in May/August or December.  Student must be in good academic standing (minimum 3.00 GPA).  Part time and full time students are eligible.

Up to 3 awards will be given at each Graduate School Commencement banquet.


The Athenaeum is an honor society sponsored by the Graduate School that recognizes the scholarly, creative, and intellectual pursuits of graduate students. Students meeting the following criteria may be nominated for membership and recognition:

  1. Completion of 24 credits of coursework at the time of nomination
  2. Attainment of an overall graduate grade point average of 3.80
  3. Presentation or publication of scholarly or creative work in a public forum (this may include the Symposium for Graduate Research at Valparaiso University)
  4. Evidence of good character

Nominees for the Athenaeum are recommended by members of the Council of Graduate Program Directors, selected by the Graduate School Academic Services team, and recognized each May and December at the Graduate School Commencement Banquet.

Questions about academic honors at graduation?

Contact Jessica Segally, Assistant Director of Student Services, by email at or by phone at 219.464.5313.

Hooding is a special recognition for master’s degree candidates. A faculty member places the hood over the head of the graduate, signifying his or her success in completing the graduate program. This event is for faculty members and graduating students and will occur prior to the Commencement ceremony. A professional photographer will be there to capture the moment for each student so that photos may be shared with family and friends. More information about hooding will be sent by email.

Event Details
May 16
1:00 pm CST
Christopher Center Library, CCLIR 205

Due to unforeseen circumstances of COVID-19, the Graduate School has made the decision to cancel the May 2020 Graduate Banquet. The Banquet cancellation has no impact on the University’s decision to cancel, delay, or restructure commencement. The University will release plans concerning commencement, one those have been finalized.

Graduate students will still be recognized for Distinction, Highest Distinction, Graduate Leadership & Service, and Athenaeum awards.

The university holds ceremonies for the conferring of degrees in May and December.  May and December Commencement will be held in the Chapel of the Resurrection.

Students completing degree requirements in May or August participate in the May Commencement; students completing degree requirements in December participate in the December Commencement. Dual degree students have the option of not counting their crossover credits from Law as unfinished credits for their graduate degree for the purposes of participation in Commencement. Students earning a standalone certificate are not eligible to participate in a biannual university Commencement, unless the certificate is earned in conjunction with another graduate degree.

Students are strongly encouraged to celebrate their accomplishments with the university community by participating in the ceremony. Please visit the Commencement web page for more information including:

  • Commencement ceremony dates
  • Tickets (not required for Graduate School commencement)
  • Guests with special needs
  • Receptions
  • Shuttle Service
  • Lodging
  • Photos/DVD/Webcast

Fall Commencement will be held on May 16, 2020 in the Chapel of the Resurrection.  The Graduate School welcomes applications for graduating students to be one of four featured Commencement Speakers.


Graduating students interested in delivering a speech at commencement must meet these criteria:

  • Be eligible for graduation in May or August. 
  • Be in good academic and disciplinary standing.
  • ​Commit to attend and participate fully in the commencement ceremony in May and attend a mandatory rehearsal
  • Speakers are also invited to attend the President’s Commencement Dinner after the Commencement Ceremony


  • The address should be between 3 – 5 minutes, approximately 400 – 650 words or 2 – 3 double-spaced pages.  
  • Include examples from your graduate student experience such as common coursework, research or experiential learning, service, and reflection on the mission and values of Valpo.
  • We encourage you to incorporate a variety of emotional content into your speech, including humor, seriousness, joy and sorrow.

Submission Pr​ocess

​​Eligible and interested students are required to submit an online application, which must include a draft of your commencement speech. 

Selection​ Process

A selection committee will review entries and choose 3-4 student speakers.  The selection committee will consider the following when making their selection of student speakers:

  • Clarity of ideas
  • Appeal to a broad audience & common experiences of Valpo students
  • Quality of speech content
  • Length of presentation (appropriate word length)
  • Extent to which the speech represents the mission of Valpo
  • Taking into account the above, the committee will also seek a diverse representation of Valpo students.

The selection committee will announce the selected speakers. The selected speakers will work with the Academic & Student Services team to refine their speech and delivery.