Graduation Requirements

Below you will find general information regarding expected graduation dates, applying for graduation, diplomas, and honors.

Expected Graduation Date

It is important that your expected graduation date stay current, especially if you have financial aid or any type of loan. The expected graduation date is also used for processing Applications for Candidacy to Graduate. If your expected graduation date changes at any time you should contact the Law School Registrar's Office so that it can be changed in my.SMU.

Applying for Graduation

Candidates for graduation must file an Application for Candidacy to Graduate before a diploma will be issued and before they can participate in the graduation ceremony. The Law School Registrar will send an e-mail to all candidates regarding the deadlines for applying. Candidates will fill out their ACG on-line via my.SMU.


Graduates must complete all obligations before receipt of their diploma. This includes filling out an Application for Candidacy to Graduate, paying library fines and parking tickets, and completing Public Service hours and any exit interviews. May graduates will receive their diploma during the Law School Hooding Ceremony. Any diplomas not handed out at the ceremony will be mailed to the graduate's home address listed in my.SMU. August and December graduates will receive their diploma by mail, also sent to the home address listed in my.SMU. If you prefer to have your diploma mailed to an alternate address, please update this information in my.SMU under your personal information. Graduates who misplace their diploma, have a name change, have a damaged diploma, or would like an additional diploma may go to the Registrar's Office Marketplace.

*The name printed on your diploma is extracted from the Primary Name field in my.SMU. You also have the option of adding a “Diploma Name” but it must meet the University Registrar’s Office name change policy. Expansions or additions of middle names do not require documentation. However, all first and last name changes require that documentation be presented to the University Registrar’s Office located in the Laura Lee Blanton Student Services building, room 101. Documentation may be in the form of an SSN card, the receipt from the SSN Office that a name change has been requested, or a valid passport. Copies of documents will be made by RO staff and processed. All name changes will be reviewed and students may be contacted if their requested name change does not meet University policy.


The Order of the Coif is a national law-school scholastic honor society. Not more than 10 percent of all graduates during the academic year may be elected to membership by vote of the faculty.

Candidates for the JD Degree having superior grades may, by vote of the faculty, be awarded the degree cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude. The minimum grade averages for honors are:

Cum Laude - 3.2
Magna Cum Laude - 3.6
Summa Cum Laude - 3.8

*Those graduates who receive honors will receive a plain diploma (without honors listed) during the Law School Hooding Ceremony. A new diploma with honors listed will be mailed to the graduate after graduation. Graduates should make sure their home address is correct in my.SMU.

Family Hooders

A longstanding tradition of SMU Dedman School of Law has been for a family member to participate in their graduate's ceremony as a "Family Hooder." Family Hooders must be graduates/alumni of SMU Dedman School of Law and be related to the graduate. Click here to fill out the family hooder form and for more details.