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Graduation and Beyond

While it is possible to graduate at the end of any term, SESP only holds graduation ceremonies in June. Students are eligible to walk in the June ceremony even if they will not graduate until August. However, names of August graduates will not appear until the following year's graduation program.

Petition to graduate

Students must petition to graduate. 

Please download and complete the petition to graduate form (petition-graduation.pdf). In addition, print out your approved plan from Plantastic, and include that with your petition to graduate. The petition must be signed, dated, and indicate the name of your academic advisor (it does not require your advisor's signature -- your advisor will sign the petition after we pull down and review your transcripts). 

The completed petition (including the approved plan from Plantastic) may be emailed to Your advisor will review it and contact you within 2 to 3 weeks to confirm your graduation eligibility. (You do not need to obtain an advisor's signature before sending your petition to the MSEd office -- send it to us first, and your advisor will sign the petition after we perform an audit of your transcript.) 

The submission deadline for anyone graduating in 2024 (regardless of quarter) is Wednesday, November 29If this form is not submitted by the deadline you've been given, your graduation may be delayed.

Elementary and Secondary Teaching students should keep in mind that these petition forms are only intended to verify your graduation requirements. Your licensure and endorsement requirements are handled separately, and are reviewed by the licensure manager.

Completed, signed petitions can be submitted by email to the MSED department at:

Commencement and Convocation

Commencement refers to the university-wide graduation ceremony; Convocation is a smaller, SESP-specific ceremony. You are welcome to attend either or both events. If you choose to only attend one event, we recommend attending the SESP Convocation. In 2024, the ceremonies will be held:

 Central University emails to graduating class: 

Ordering transcripts

Northwestern issues both paper and secure electronic transcripts. The procedures for ordering transcripts can be found on the registrar's website at:

You may wish to verify that your degree has been posted before ordering a transcript. In order to do so, you may either login to CAESAR (if you still have access) to view your unofficial transcript, or you may contact the MSED department at

Ordering diplomas

When you graduate, we will order diplomas for you. They will be mailed to you at the address listed in CAESAR (at the time of the mailing). At the end of the quarter when you take your final class, it is a good idea to login to CAESAR to make sure you have the correct address listed. When your diploma is ready to be shipped (about 3-4 weeks after your degree is posted), you will receive an email with tracking information.

Certified Electronic Credentials

Northwestern University offers Certified Electronic Diplomas and Certificates (CeDiploma/CeCertificate). When your paper diploma is ready to be mailed (3-4 weeks after degree posting) you will receive an email with information about ordering a CeDiploma. You can learn more about how these credentials work on the registrar's website at:

Post graduation email options

Before your netid is deactivated, you will receive an email from the university explaining your options. You may keep your u.northwestern email if you wish, or you can transition to an alum.northwestern email address. (You can't have both -- you can only have one Northwestern email account powered by Google.) More information can be found at: