Graduation Resources

The 2022 Midyear Commencement Ceremony will be held on Thursday, December 15th, starting at 6:30 p.m.  This ceremony includes the summer and fall 2022 graduates. The ceremony will take place at the Alliant Energy Center Veterans Memorial Coliseum located at 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, Madison, WI. 

Please review each step below to make sure you have completed all the necessary requirements before the commencement ceremony in order to participate and to receive your degree/diploma.

If you are looking for information on the GED/HSED ceremony please contact the School of Academic Advancement.

Madison College graduates with cap and gown
  • 1. Confirm your graduation status

    If your Degree Progress report indicates all requirements for your degree will be completed by the end of the semester, you are eligible for graduation and the system will apply for you.

    If you are finishing, and your records still do not indicate a graduation applied status by mid-term, please contact Advising Services to evaluate your situation.

    Graduation Steps

    1. Log into your myMadisonCollege student account
    2. Check Degree Progress report to be sure all requirements have been met for your program
    3. Mid-term, check to see if you have an applied graduation status under Academic Record in your student center
    4. Check your name for accuracy - if it should appear differently on your diploma, complete a Name Change Form
    5. Verify your address in your myMadisonCollege student account to ensure receipt of your diploma
    6. Once grades are posted at the end of the term, your course and program requirement completion will be verified by the college. If all requirements are fulfilled, your degree will be marked complete and your graduation status will be assigned to your record. 

    If you are completing your degree in summer, you are automatically included in the following semester's midyear ceremony (held in December).

  • 2. Sign up to participate in the Commencement Ceremony

    Sign-up for the midyear commencement ceremony begins 4 weeks before the ceremony date. The 2022 midyear commencement will be held on Thursday, December 15th at 6:30 p.m. in the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Students are encouraged to check their student portal and e-mail frequently to ensure they receive all instructions for participation. 


  • Nominate a Graduate Speaker

    Nominations will open for the 2022 midyear commencement ceremony approximately 4-6 weeks before the ceremony date. The ceremony will be held on Thursday, December 15 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Student graduates who wish to speak at the ceremony should speak to one of their instructors or mentors at the college and ask them to consider nominating them.

    Staff, faculty and administrators should be sure to have the graduate’s permission to nominate him or her before doing so and verify that they WILL be a graduate for the spring term.


    After all nominations have been received, all nominees will be contacted to present a speech idea to the Communication Arts faculty. The faculty will then interview the nominees with the strongest speech topic and make their decision. The graduation speaker will then be coached by the Communication Arts faculty to assist in their presentation.

  • Commencement Ceremony Dress Policy

    Academic regalia (cap and gown) are required to participate in the commencement ceremony. 

    Only academic-related additions to the regalia will be allowed as follows:

    • White cord: A cumulative GPA of 3.75 or higher within program of study
    • Gold cord: Exceptional Service to the college and community nominated by Madison College faculty or staff
    • Red, white and blue cord: Students who have served in the armed services
    • Blue and white cord: TOPS College Success Program
    • Pins awarded to Nursing 
    • Medallions awarded to Honors Program students
    • The gold stole of Phi Theta Kappa as well as the silver stole for Sigma Alpha Pi Society of Leadership and Success
    • Other items signifying Phi Theta Kappa Membership, including ceremonial tassel, cord, or medallion
    • Stoles distributed by TRIO and by Center for International Education for International Students representing their country of origin
    • Stoles and cords distributed as part of the Scholars of Promise program 
    • Yellow and blue tassel: Delta Alpha Pi International Honor Society
    • Other college distributed adornments approved by Madison College
    • Tasteful adornments to the cap limited to the representation of the degree being granted

    Madison College reserves the right to deny, change, modify, add or withdraw the above dress policy.

  • Honors and Awards

    Academic Honor Awards

    • Candidates for Academic High Honor Awards must attain an overall program grade point average of 3.75.
    • Graduating students become eligible in two-year programs by achieving a 3.75 GPA after completing 75 percent of the total program credit requirements.
    • Graduating students in one-year programs become eligible by achieving a 3.75 GPA after completing 50 percent of the total program requirements.

    Candidates are designated on the graduation program and wear a white cord at the graduation ceremony. Final determination for awarding of Graduation Academic Honors is made at the time of program completion and includes the graduates maintaining a 3.75 GPA in the program. Students who achieve this program GPA will have a special designation included on their diploma.

    Special Service Awards

    Students demonstrating extraordinary service to fellow students and the college are nominated for the Special Service Award. These nominees will have demonstrated leadership in student government, clubs and/or participated voluntarily in college-sponsored educational or recreational activities. Selected students will be designated on the graduation program and will wear a gold cord at the graduation ceremony.

    Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society

    Graduating students who are members of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society for two-year colleges wear gold stoles and tassels at the graduation ceremony. Membership is by invitation only and students must maintain a cumulative 3.5 grade point average.

    Military Veterans Service Awards

    Madison College honors its graduating military veterans by presenting them with special red, white and blue cords to wear during the commencement ceremony. Please join us in thanking them for their dedicated service to our country.

  • Commencement Ceremony Broadcast

    Commencement Ceremony Live Broadcast

    Anyone who is unable to attend the commencement ceremony can watch the live broadcast (link available Friday, May 13 at 5:30 p.m.). If you have a slow internet connection or have problems viewing the primary link, please use the backup video broadcast link (available Friday, May 13 at 5:30 p.m.). After choosing the link, you will be presented with either the video page or a page recommending you download software. Note that this will only be live on a computer and not on any mobile device or in the Chrome browser.

    If you are not able to watch the commencement ceremony live, an on-demand video will be posted approximately one hour after the end of the ceremony.


    2019 Spring Commencement Video

    2018 Midyear Commencement Video

    2018 Spring Commencement Video

    2017 Midyear Commencement Video

    2017 Spring Commencement Video

    2016 Spring Commencement video

    2016 Midyear Commencement video

  • Requirements to obtain a degree/diploma or certificate

    Associate degrees or diplomas are issued when you:

    • Complete the required curriculum both in hours of attendance and in terms of achievement
    • Have obtained satisfactory achievement (C or 2.0 grade point average) in their major field subjects
    • Have maintained an overall C or 2.0 grade point average in the program and;
    • Are recommended by the department instructors and the dean/chairperson of the division

    Twenty-five percent requirement: At least 25 percent of the credit requirements necessary for obtaining a diploma/degree in any program must be taken at Madison College. In some situations, a higher percentage of core courses are required to be taken in residence. Check with the division office for information.

    Verify Your Status

    You should run your Degree Progress report (previously called an advisement report), to verify you have completed, are in progress with, or are registered for all course requirements. You can view your Degree Progress report by logging into your myMadisonCollege student center, navigate to Academic Progress and select Degree Progress Report. You can view the report as a summary or download a PDF. If all courses are satisfied or in progress, you will automatically qualify for graduation.


    Associate degrees/diplomas are mailed six to eight weeks after the semester or summer session ends and graduation is confirmed by your school office. If you receive any grades of incomplete or have other deficiencies on your records, your associate degree, diploma or certificate will be sent at the end of the semester during which all obligations have been satisfied. If you had terminated your attendance for a semester or more, you may be required to meet the current graduation requirements of the program in which you re-enrolled.

    Additional Degree/Diploma

    Only one diploma/degree may be awarded at a semester commencement. To obtain an additional diploma/degree, you must:

    • Meet all of the requirements of the second diploma/degree
    • Meet Madison College graduation requirements
    • Acquire a minimum of 25 percent of the second degree/diploma credit requirements of new, additional credits in residence (for example, if the second program has 64 credits, a minimum of 16 credits must be taken in residency while meeting the requirements above.

    Any exceptions to these policies shall be approved in writing by the dean of the school in which the program or second degree/diploma is offered (refer to the Credit for Prior Learning page).


    Certificates are not included in the commencement ceremony, with some exceptions. The certificate credential is not a degree, therefore, you complete a certificate, not graduate from it. 

    You must apply and be admitted to a certificate in order to be awarded a certificate. At least 50 percent of the credit requirements necessary for obtaining a certificate must be taken at Madison College. Certificates are mailed six to eight weeks after the semester or summer session ends (either after the course work has been completed, or the term admitted if courses were completed prior to application/admission to the certificate).

    If you have terminated your attendance and have been discontinued, you will be required to re-apply to the certificate, and must meet the current requirements of the certificate.

Graduation Rates/Student Right-to-Know Information 

Graduation rates for Madison College are available from Institutional Research and Effectiveness, 1701 Wright Street, Madison, WI 53704 or phone 608.243.4433. These rates are calculated and made available as required by the Student Right-to-Know and Campus Security Act.

Guaranteed Retraining

As a graduate, you may be eligible for up to six additional credits of free retraining if your employer certifies that you lack certain skills or if you have been unable to secure employment. Details of retraining available under this policy can be found in the Policy and Procedures Manual located in the Career & Employment Services office.

Graduate Feedback

Every year, Madison College surveys recent graduates to find out how they are doing in the labor market and how Madison College helped prepare them for their careers. Please help the college by returning this survey promptly after your graduation. Future graduates will benefit from your willingness to share.

Repeating a Program

Madison College does not award a new diploma or certificate for the completion of the same program. Prior to seeking an exception for repeating a program, students are encouraged to consider repeating specific coursework for updating skills, determine if an Individualized Technical Studies degree is an option, and review professional development offerings and digital badging opportunities

Students seeking an exception should contact their Academic School to discuss their options; if approved for an exception, the entire curriculum of the program must be completed and would not be eligible for financial aid. Students interested in Liberal Arts Transfer are able to earn both an Associate in Arts (AA) and an Associate in Science (AS) without special permission.