Graduation Policies

Please review the Graduation Guidebook to learn of all of steps required to complete your CIIS career.

"Graduation" refers to the recording of the conferral of the degree on the transcript and is administered by the Registrar's Office.

"Commencement" refers to the ceremony and is administered by Student Affairs.

Doctoral Students Applying for the MA Credential

There are two circumstances where a doctoral student will submit a graduation application for the Master of Arts degree:

  • Clinical Psychology students seeking to acquire the MA credential while still pursuing the PsyD degree. (This is a "non-terminal" MA.)
  • PhD students who've decided to discontinue the pursuit of the doctoral degree. (This is a "terminal" MA.)

The Graduation Application does not offer an option to select the MA degree. Apply to graduate for the doctoral degree and then submit an email to requesting it be changed to the MA. 


The degree is conferred only when:

  • All academic requirements have been fulfilled and grades have been submitted for all courses, even those not required for the program
  • All financial obligations have been fulfilled
  • All Library materials have been returned
  • The Graduation Application has been submitted (see the academic calendar for the submission deadline) and the Graduation Application Fee has been paid
  • Financial aid recipients have conducted exit loan counseling
  • MCP students have submitted all case notes, termination forms and case summaries, monthly reports, outstanding debt letters to clients, and practicum site keys
  • PsyD students have completed the department’s exit survey
  • PhD and PsyD students have paid the Dissertation Publication Fee

The graduation applicaiton is valid for three consecutive semesters, including summer. Students who have not had their degrees conferred within those three semesters must reapply and repay the Graduation Application Fee to be eligible to graduate. 

The application fee is applied to students' accounts after the application deadline. It pays for the cost of evaluating the student’s eligibility to graduate, the diploma, the diploma cover, one official transcript, postage, and administrative expenses. All students must apply and pay this fee, even if they do not participate in the commencement ceremony. These fees, like all CIIS fees, are nonrefundable, even should it be determined that the student is ineligible to graduate.  

PhD and PsyD students must also pay the Dissertation Publication Fee. There are two publication options, each of which has a different fee amount: Traditional or Open Access. The differences between these options are described here: See the Tuition and Fees page for the fee amount. After the student publishes the dissertation, the Center for Writing and Scholarship informs Student Accounts Office of the option chosen, and they then apply the fee to the student's account.

Degree Conferral Dates

The degree conferral date is the final day of the semester in which the requirements listed above are fulfilled. It will not be earlier in a semester, even if all academic requirements have been met. Degrees appear on transcripts approximately two months after the semester of graduation. See the Graduation Guidebook for dates.

Diploma and Transcript

The diploma and one copy of the official transcript are issued approximately three and a half months after the semester of graduation. See the Graduation Guidebook for dates. If the student wants additional copies of the transcript, they must submit a transcript request and applicable fee. 

Counseling Psychology students submitting applications to the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) should request a transcript be issued to the BBS upon the degree’s conferral. When Registrar’s Office issues the transcript, it will include the BBS Degree Program Certification Form with it. 

Graduation Survey

All graduation applicants are sent a link to the university's graduation survey. The information gathered helps CIIS see what we are doing well and what we can to better for the benefit of future students. The survey, while optional, is therefore strongly encouraged.

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