Graduation


"Graduation" at the college and university level occurs when the presiding officer confers degrees upon candidates, either individually or en masse, even if graduates physically receive their diploma later at a smaller college or departmental ceremony. After degree completion, graduates can be referred to by their graduating year.

early 15c., in alchemy, "tempering, refining of something to a certain degree; measurement according to the four degrees of a quality," from graduate (n.). General sense of "dividing into degrees" is from 1590s; meaning "action of receiving or giving an academic degree" is from early 15c.; in reference to the ceremony where a degree is given, from 1818.


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