I just received my (passing) grades for my last remaining courses for my BSc. I’ve completed all my requirements, but the next convocation ceremonies don’t take place until Summer 2018. Likewise, I don’t think I will receive my diploma (the physical, official certificate) until then. Usually when a résumé says “degree expected in ____”, it reads along the lines of: “I’m not done yet, but if things pan out, I’ll hopefully be done by then“.

This is not my case, so in my résumé, how can I communicate across that I expect to receive my diploma in Summer 2018 as a matter of certainty?

Am I justified to use the term graduated? If so, should I say I graduated December 2017 (when I finished my requirements) or Summer 2018 (when convocation occurs)?

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    To add some trivia; you are a "graduand" while in this state Dec 23, 2017 at 23:12
  • @BenVoigt: There is the issue of the length of the delay in awarding the degree (there will be an intervening semester here, that wasn't the case in the other question).
    – aeismail
    Dec 25, 2017 at 0:19
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    Feels like a different question to me; in this one all the work is actually done and accepted, and it's just waiting on formalities.
    – Jeff
    Dec 25, 2017 at 14:14
  • @Jeff: Sounds exactly the same: "I have completed all the requirements for an M.S. degree and have filed the appropriate paperwork. All I have left to do is walk at the end of this semester." vs "I’ve completed all my requirements, but the next convocation ceremonies don’t take place until Summer 2018." The only difference is the one aeismail recognized, of length of delay, but that doesn't change the correct wording.
    – Ben Voigt
    Dec 26, 2017 at 4:08
  • @BenVoigt You're right, I have no idea what I thought I read when I commented. Fixed my vote.
    – Jeff
    Dec 26, 2017 at 9:15

6 Answers 6


You can use the formulation

Degree to be conferred MM/YYYY

to indicate that you have passed all degree requirements, but are waiting for the degree to be officially awarded. This occurs fairly frequently, particularly for PhD students, who may finish at any time of the year, especially if their university only confers degrees once per year.

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    I would add that the degree is conferred when it posts to your transcript, not when you walk the stage or receive your diploma. (I once received a diploma in the mail six months after a degree had posted, but I use the posted date, not the date I received the diploma, on my CV.)
    – James S.
    Dec 24, 2017 at 6:31
  • That's simply not true for all universities, and I would not believe it is true at a majority either. Physical receipt of the diploma is the graduation, that's why it is printed with a date of conferment. @JamesS.
    – Nij
    Dec 24, 2017 at 6:49
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    If you want to emphasize that it is now unconditional, "All requirements met for XXXX, degree to be conferred MM/YYYY". Dec 24, 2017 at 11:04
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    @Nij And a degree being conferred is not equal to the diploma being issued. You claimed "Physical receipt of the diploma is the graduation". Here, as in many places, the diploma printing is outsourced and show up 6-8 weeks after the registrar updates their records and starts issuing official transcripts/verifications.
    – user71659
    Dec 25, 2017 at 4:49
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    @aesmail It certainly can depending on local laws. Mine says "completed the postgradual doctoral studies by passing ... examinations and defending ... and has been awarded the academic title Doctor (Ph.D.)..." The date is just one day after the defense. You are a doctor the very moment the comittee accepts your thesis acording to the local law. Dec 25, 2017 at 11:09

Ask your institution to give you some sort of confirmation to passed all the requirements for the degree. I don’t know about Canada, but at least in Germany such confirmations are the default¹ because all public institutions (and most companies) will require this for any employment or graduate programme requiring such a degree. Even if this is not a thing in Canada, your institution should be capable of doing this for people who intend to go abroad.

Use the wording from this confirmation.

¹ But then, while most universities in Germany do degree convocations, they are mostly considered a vanity event that is only attended by narcissists, graduates of law, and people from cultures where such things are common – I know nobody who ever attended such a ceremony.


Although correct, aeismail's answer seems bureaucratic. You've passed your degree, list it on your CV, and list your overall grade too. E.g.,

MM'XX -- Dec'17 BSc Subject (Grade), University, country

You can list your classes and grades in those classes too. E.g.,

Class A (X%), Class B (Y%), ...

Anyone reading your résumé wants to know what subject you studied, possibly what classes you took, and what grade(s) you got. Whether your degree has been conferred is less interesting. Moreover, if you're submitting your résumé in the same country as you studied, then the reader will know that your degree hasn't been conferred (because they understand the local system and they've seen lots of résumés).

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    It seems bureaucratic because the question asks about what essentially is a bureaucratic issue.
    – aeismail
    Dec 24, 2017 at 14:50
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    "Moreover, if you're submitting your résumé in the same country as you studied, then the reader will know that your degree hasn't been conferred" Not necessarily. I only finished in December because i took work terms that delayed my academics. The vast majority of people finish in the summer, and convocation very shortly thereafter
    – Alexander
    Dec 24, 2017 at 17:31

This is not my case, so in my résumé, how can I communicate across that I expect to receive my diploma in Summer 2018 as a matter of certainty?

Based on what you've written, conferment of the diploma is merely ceremonial. An academic degree or title means that the academic institution recognizes that you have met the requirements for that degree, for being addressed by that title. That's it.

Caveat: This may differ between countries and institutions. In some cases there needs to be an actual Academic Senate motion (or equivalent procedure), deciding to recognize you and the rest of your classmates as having met the requirements. While it is unheard of for such motions not to be carried, it can happen theoretically. In that case, as @Wrzlprmft suggests, use the wording of whatever confirmation letter you can get.

Am I justified to use the term graduated?

You are justified in using the degree, e.g. "Joe Smith, Bachelor of Science" or "Joe Smith, M.Phil." etc. But again, only if the institute has formally acknowledged you've met the requirements.


General answer: Be absolutely truthful on your résumé. If you have not had the degree conferred on you, then the first answer applies - but you might even want to say "Expected to be conferred: ". There is no harm at all in being explicitly truthful, even if you sound pedantic and overly formal. But the costs of asserting a falsehood are real, and to put it plainly, misrepresenting anything about yourself is generally cause for dismisal, in most organizations. In a commercial or government environment, no one really cares very much about formal qualifications - but everyone hates a liar, and nobody wants to work with one. Old wisdom applies: Honesty is best policy.

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    What exactly is the point of this answer? I mean, the general advice you're giving is good advice, in general, but it doesn't seem to be particularly applicable here, since there's no reason to think the OP is considering not being absolutely truthful.
    – David Z
    Dec 25, 2017 at 10:16
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    @DavidZ It seems fine to me. The asker isn't proposing to lie and the answer says that not lyinh is all they need to do. Dec 25, 2017 at 22:41
  • @DavidRicherby OK, I guess the issue is that I don't get "not lying is all they need to do" from this answer. What I get from it is no more than "it's okay to tell the truth" but, as we know, that wasn't really in question.
    – David Z
    Dec 25, 2017 at 23:03

You're over-thinking this. It really doesn't matter what you say, as long as it's truthful. You can't say that you've graduated until you have actually received your degree.

  • But that's exactly my question: what's truthful to say?
    – Alexander
    Dec 26, 2017 at 6:06

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