Glossary of Terms

Academic Dress/Cap and Gown—The traditional garb for graduates of academic institutions. The traditional Boston University commencement garb is red gown and black mortarboard: wear your tassel on the left for the Metropolitan College ceremony.

Alumna(e)—Female graduate(s) of a college or university.

Alumni—Group of male graduates or a group of male and female graduates.

Alumnus—Male graduate.

Certificate of Graduation—Also known as Graduation Verification, the Certificate of Graduation details the graduate’s name, degree(s) awarded, major(s) and minor(s), applicable honors, graduation date(s), and the awarding school(s). It is signed by the Registrar and is imprinted with the official University seal.

Commencement—Literally, a beginning; the ceremony at which one officially graduates and receives a diploma.

Empty Diploma Folder—What you are handed on stage when you participate in the May graduation ceremony. Do not panic: May graduates will receive diplomas after the ceremony, not on stage.

Graduate Degree Candidate—A graduate student who has fulfilled all academic requirements, completed a Graduation Application, and received approval to graduate from his/her academic department.

Graduation Application—Metropolitan College students must complete the Graduation Application in order to graduate. Your completed application will be reviewed by your academic counselor, who will clear you to graduate. This process ensures that each student has met all degree requirements.

Graduation Appointment—For Undergraduate Degree Candidates, the appointment at which you discuss your graduation application with an academic counselor. Your academic counselor will explain exactly what requirements you have left to complete for graduation. This appointment should take place before you begin your second to last semester.

Honors—A title of distinction granted to undergraduates who achieve high grade point averages. Among graduating seniors in each school and college, the Latin honors expressions are defined as follows: Cum Laude—“with praise” or “with distinction”; Magna Cum Laude—“with great praise” or “with great distinction”; and Summa Cum Laude—“with highest praise” or “with highest distinction.” For specific grade point average ranges, please contact your advisor, view the ranges posted on the bulletin board outside Undergraduate Student Services, or visit the Office of the University Registrar’s website.

Graduation Verification—See entry for “Certificate of Graduation.”

Official Graduate—The designation given to those students who have successfully completed all the requirements of their degree program as certified by their academic counselor (Undergraduate Degree Candidates) or academic department (Graduate Degree Candidates).

Red Book—A common reference to the official program of the University-wide commencement exercises, which lists all graduates. To appear accurately in the Red Book, students must follow the recommended graduation procedures detailed for undergraduate or graduate degree candidates. Please note: Due to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations, students who have restricted the release of degree-related information cannot have their names printed in the Commencement Book. To check whether you have restricted this information, login to the Student Link and click on “Personal,” then “Data Restriction.” If the box “Degrees, honors, and awards received” is checked and you would like to have your name included in the Commencement Book, please uncheck the box and/or email your academic department or program office granting permission to print your name. If you have questions or are unable to login to the Student Link, please contact the Office of the University Registrar.

Residency—All Metropolitan College bachelor’s degree candidates must complete a minimum of 12 courses at Boston University, of which at least six courses must be in one’s concentration at the College. Consult with your academic counselor if you have questions about residency.

Residency Waiver FormUndergraduate Degree Candidates: a requirement for graduation, if applicable. All students are expected to complete all coursework in their final two semesters at Boston University. Students may apply to take approved coursework outside of the University in their final two semesters using the Residency Waiver Form. The completed waiver form will give a date by which official transcripts from the outside institution must arrive in the Undergraduate Student Services office. If official transcripts are not received by that date, the student will not graduate at that time.

Senior—An undergraduate student with 32 or fewer credits remaining as required for graduation.

Senior Breakfast—A University-wide event usually held during the first week in May to honor graduating seniors (undergraduates). The Alumni Office contacts May graduates shortly before the event.

Senior Week—A week of events and celebration for University-wide graduating seniors (undergraduates). Metropolitan College students may participate in any of these events as they wish. Questions should be directed to the Student Activities office at 617-353-3635.

Undergraduate Degree Candidate—An undergraduate who has fulfilled all academic requirements, completed a Graduation Application, and received approval to graduate from an academic counselor.

Walking—The act of participating in the May commencement ceremony before one has completed all of the requirements to graduate (your graduation takes place, and your diploma will be given to you only after your academic counselor or department has certified that all degree requirements have been completed).

  • Undergraduate degree candidates must be within four courses of graduation and receive prior approval from Undergraduate Student Services in order to walk.
  • Graduate degree candidates must be within two courses of graduation and receive prior approval from the appropriate academic department or program office in order to walk.