A student sitting down in a lounge chair working on her laptop in a colorful room.

Apply to Graduate

It is the student’s responsibility to complete the curriculum prescribed in the University catalog in effect, or as modified, when he/she matriculates. Students who will be completing their curriculum requirements for degrees, teacher certification or post-baccalaureate certificates must complete the Application to Graduate through their NEST account in order to be evaluated for completion of requirements and subsequently become eligible for degree conferment, certificate or recommendation for teacher certification.

Please Note: Once a student has applied to graduate, he/she is not eligible to register for continued coursework unless he/she has been accepted to the Graduate School, or applied as a second BA or visiting student. Any extraneous coursework will be administratively dropped by the Office of the Registrar.

Special Note: Please view below explanation about the difference between “Graduation” and “Commencement ceremonies.”

How to Apply to Graduate through NEST View Commencement Website

Graduation Application Deadlines

The following deadlines are for your application to graduate upon completing your degree program requirements:

  • August 1, 2023 for August 2023 graduation.
  • September 1 – December 1, 2023 for January 2024 graduation.
  • October 1, 2023 – February 15, 2024 for May 2024 graduation.

Important Notes

  • You will receive an email at your Montclair State University email address prior to your final term. This email will direct you to review the “Notes” and the “Saved” audit to be found in your Degree Works audit available through NEST.
  • If you will not complete your current academic program requirements and need to refile for a subsequent term, please email registrar@montclair.edu. You will be notified when you can file for the next term.
  • A one-time non-refundable $95.00 University fee will be assessed to degree candidates for administrative costs related to your diploma.
  • For the Addition of Special Characters on your diploma please use the Graduation Accent Form.

New Jersey Department of Education Certification

Baccalaureate and master’s degree candidates, as well as post-baccalaureate certificate candidates, who have been evaluated through the Office of the Registrar for New Jersey teaching, educational services or administrative certificates, have the option of either having Montclair State University apply on their behalf or applying, on their own, directly to the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE). If a student chooses to have Montclair State University apply on their behalf, students must complete the Educational Credential Application and pay the required fee (as assessed by the NJDOE) by the deadline indicated on the application.

All degree/certification requirements must be met before your recommendation is sent to the NJ Department of Education.

Certification fees range from $95.00 to $190.00 per certificate. More information is available on the NJ Teacher Education website.

Recommendations are sent to the NJ DOE approximately four weeks after the degree conferment dates shown below:

  • Fall – January 31
  • Spring – Third week of May
  • Summer – August 31

Graduate with Honors

Undergraduate students who have completed a minimum of 51 undergraduate credits taken at Montclair State by the end of the semester prior to their commencement will be recognized for graduation honors.

School of Nursing students who have completed a minimum of 32 undergraduate credits at Montclair State by the end of the semester prior to their commencement are recognized for graduation honors.

Grades of “A” through “D-” must be received for a minimum of 48 of these 51 credits.

Cumulative GPA of 3.700 – 3.799 cum laude
Cumulative GPA of 3.800 – 3.899 magna cum laude
Cumulative GPA of 3.900 – 4.000 summa cum laude

Graduation vs Commencement

Graduation and Commencement are frequently confused terms.


To graduate, a student must complete all undergraduate degree or graduate program requirements, apply for graduation through NEST and be certified by the Registrar’s Office for graduation. A student can complete all requirements and graduate in August, January or May.

Apply to Graduate

To be certified by the Registrar’s Office, you should Apply to Graduate as follows:

  • Apply between July 1, 2022 – February 15, 2023 for May 2023 graduation.
  • Apply between February 1, 2023 – August 15, 2023 for August 2023 graduation.
  • Apply between September 1, 2023 –  December 1, 2023 for January 2024 graduation.

Again, graduation is the certified completion of your undergraduate degree or graduate program requirements. It is not a ceremony. When you apply for graduation you are not registering for any ceremony.


Commencement is the symbolic ceremony that marks the closing of a your academic career where you receive commendation for your graduation. It is an opportunity for you, your family, friends and the Montclair State University community to celebrate your achievement.

Commencement Exercises are held each year for students. In order to participate in Commencement, a student must be certified by the Registrar’s Office as a graduate of their undergraduate degree or graduate program.

Please visit the University’s Commencement website for information related to upcoming undergraduate and graduation commencement ceremonies.

Diploma/University Certificate

Available approximately four weeks after the date of conferment for those student who have completed all program requirements.

Diplomas and University Certificates will be mailed directly from the diploma company to the address provided on the graduation application, to those students who have no outstanding financial obligations. You may track your Diploma/University Certificate order at DiploMatic. Covers for diplomas are given out at Commencement. Diploma covers will also be available at Red Hawk Central.

Transcripts With Program Completion Information

Students should not make this request until their Graduation Application Status reads “Awarded” on DegreeWorks:

Screenshot of Degree Works with Graduation Application Status highlighted.
Students can request either a certified PDF etranscript, or a printed copy of the official transcript via the National Student Clearinghouse. 

Please plan in advance when a transcript is needed. Standard processing time for a paper copy of the academic transcript is 7–10 business days.

Before their degree is posted, students can request a Statement of Completion of Degree/Certification/University Certificate Requirements to show for employment, examination, or graduate school purposes other than Montclair State University.