Terms and Definitions

View from the back of the Commencement Stage out towards the graduates


Commencement refers to the formal ceremony that celebrates graduation. There is only one annual Commencement ceremony for UNH, held in May, following the end of spring semester. Other ceremonies of celebration such as hoodings, lunches, receptions and pinnings are referred to as Graduation events, not Commencement events.

Degree Conferral

Degree conferral refers to the actual posting of a degree to transcript. This is the university's official seal of approval, indicating that all degree requirements are complete. Students should remember that even though they have finished their degree requirements and "graduated", they can only have their degrees "conferred" if they file an apply-to-graduate form with the Registrar's Office on Blackboard, through Webcat.


Graduation typically refers to the time when students complete their degrees. This term is also used to refer to the ceremony that takes place annually in May (often used synonymously with commencement).