Student Handbooks

MBA for Professionals Student Handbook - Commencement Ceremony Policies and Procedures

Candidates for graduation must submit a "petition for degree" at the beginning of their final semester in the program.

It is the student's responsibility to be certain that he or she has completed all graduation requirements and is in good standing within the policies of the Atkinson School and Willamette University. Graduation requirements are listed in the Academic Regulations section of this handbook.

The Willamette University Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree will be conferred on MBA for Professionals students who have satisfactorily completed all requirements as determined by the registrar's office.


Participation in the Commencement Ceremony - Graduating Students

MBA for Professionals students who are in good standing within the policies of the Atkinson School and Willamette University and have satisfactorily completed all the requirements of the MBA degree as determined by the registrar may fully participate in the Atkinson School Commencement Ceremony. Graduating students who participate in the Commencement Ceremony:

  • Will have their name called and may walk across the stage
  • Will receive their diploma cover and diploma at the Commencement Ceremony
  • May be considered and selected for academic honors
  • Will be listed in the commencement publication distributed at the MBA for Professionals Commencement Ceremony
  • Will be listed in the official Willamette University Commencement publication distributed at Willamette University's Commencement Ceremonies in May.


Participation in the Commencement Ceremony - Walking Students

MBA for Professionals students who have not completed all of the requirements for the MBA degree, are in good standing within the policies of the Atkinson School and Willamette University and for whom one of the following circumstances has been verified and approved by the Dean, may "walk" with their class at the Commencement Ceremony.

  • The student is within 8 credits (two courses) of the 48 credits of MBA course work required for graduation and will complete the remaining 2 courses within the two semesters following the Commencement Ceremony
  • The student's cumulative grade point average drops below the 3.0 minimum required for graduation as a result of a grade received in the final semester
  • The student received a failing grade in a required course taken during the final semester

Students eligible to "walk" with their class who participate in the Commencement Ceremony:

  • Will have their name called and may walk across the stage
  • Will not receive their diploma at the Commencement Ceremony
  • Will temporarily receive a diploma cover when they walk across the stage. The diploma cover must be returned to Atkinson School personnel at the end of the Commencement Ceremony. (Students will receive their diploma and diploma cover in the mail, at a later date, after they officially graduate.)
  • Will not have an opportunity to be selected for academic honors for the ceremony in which they walk. Will have the opportunity for consideration for academic honors as a member of their actual graduating class.
  • Will be listed in the commencement publication distributed at the MBA for Professionals Commencement Ceremony
  • Will be listed as "on completion" in the official Willamette University Commencement publication distributed at Willamette University's Commencement Ceremonies in May of the year in which they walk unless their official graduation date qualifies for inclusion without the notation of "on completion."

Students who have questions about participating in the Commencement Ceremony should contact the Atkinson School Recorder or the Assistant Dean/Director of Admission.


Academic Honors at Graduation

Only students who are "graduating students" may be considered for academic honors at graduation. The graduating class includes all members of the Portland and Salem MBA for Professionals cohorts who are "graduating."

Graduating Student with the Highest GPA: The graduating student with the highest Atkinson School cumulative grade point average for the MBA for Professionals graduating class will receive a Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Stole to be worn during the Commencement Ceremony.

Atkinson Honors: Atkinson Honors is bestowed upon graduating students who have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.8 or higher in all Atkinson course work. Students who receive Atkinson Honors will receive white honor cords to be worn during the Commencement Ceremony and "Honors" will be noted on their diploma.

Beta Gamma Sigma: Beta Gamma Sigma is an international honor society that recognizes outstanding academic achievement of students enrolled in business and management programs. Membership in Willamette's chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma is limited to students whose Atkinson MBA for Professional's cumulative grade point average ranks in the top 20% of the graduating class (as measured at completion of all MBAP graduation requirements). Members of Beta Gamma Sigma will receive blue & gold honor cords to be worn during the Commencement Ceremony.