Senior Year

Overview
The Honors summer mailing, which is sent to all honors students, always includes special information for all students who are expected to graduate in the upcoming year. An email is sent late winter/early spring quarter, with more specific information regarding spring events. Graduating honors students should have met with an Honors Advisor the previous fall/winter quarter (junior year), to talk about their research/thesis & post-graduation plans. The Honors Thesis Proposal should be filed by the end of the 2nd week of Fall quarter, as well as a copy of an updated senior year academic plan and current resume. Extensions of this deadline should be requested promptly by talking with an Honors Advisor. Fall quarter of senior year is a very busy and important time. Deadlines for graduate and professional school applications, as well as those for fellowships and prestigious scholarships come quickly, some as early as October 1. These applications usually require standardized test scores, letters of reference, and personal essays/goal statements. Students should not wait until the last minute to start working on them. In fact, it is recommended to begin some of these application processes the year before you plan to graduate.

Campus Resources
The Career Center, academic units, and the honors sponsor many activities designed to prepare you for whatever your “next step” after graduation will be. Note important deadlines on your calendar and take advantage of the information and help the various workshops/programs provide.

Career Center
The UCI Career Center www.career.uci.edu is a very valuable resource to students getting ready to graduate. Their services are designed to help you explore options, connect with opportunities, and succeed no matter what your career aspirations are. Take advantage of their services early and often to:

For students who plan to work after graduation but think that maybe they might apply to a graduate or professional school at a later date, we strongly recommend attending the Career Center’s workshop on Applying to Graduate and Professional Schools. Just being aware of the process is a good idea, and you’ll get helpful information that you can refer to later on.

Graduate Resource Center
The UCI Graduate Resource Center is a branch of the Graduate Division and is charged with helping current UCI undergraduates to prepare for graduate school through workshops and individual consultations regarding the graduate school application process, funding opportunities (including applying for fellowships), academic career planning, etc.Graduate Division staff hold weekly 20 minute appointments to address undergraduate questions about graduate school. This support includes exploring graduate school options, navigating the application process, understanding funding options, and building research experience. This service is available by appointment. Contact the GRC (GRC@uci.edu) for availability.

Scholarship Opportunities Program
The Search for Graduate Scholarships/Fellowships/GrantsMany honors students apply for, and win, prestigious scholarships and fellowships, as well as grants, for post-graduate research and/or graduate study. At UCI, the Scholarship Opportunities Program is a useful resource for students interesting in applying for such scholarships/fellowships as the Rhodes, Truman, Marshall, Fulbright, Schwartzman, Goldwater, National Science Foundation, etc.Because these scholarships/fellowships are so prestigious, it takes a substantial effort to prepare a competitive application. The Scholarship Opportunities Program advises competitive undergraduate UCI students on their applications, including conducting outreach and managing the campus-level application and endorsement processes. In many cases, applicants cannot apply directly to the funding agency.Students who wish to apply for a prestigious scholarship/fellowship should contact the Scholarship Opportunities Program during junior year.You can also work with the UCI Graduate Resource Center as well as the graduate/professional schools to which you are admitted regarding funding.

Center for Excellence in Writing and Communication
The Writing Center offers a variety of tutoring services and workshops in the areas of writing and communication, and is also home to the Scholarship Opportunities Program. A full-time professional Writing Specialist will work with you to develop you as a writer and can help you with every step of the writing process for your honors thesis as well as your graduate/professional school personal statement/statement of intent/statement of purpose.

Resource Centers in the Academic Units
Many academic units have their own resources for students in their major which can help students obtain the appropriate information to select a career and/or graduate school program, generate professional contacts, and learn how to gain a competitive edge during their undergraduate years. Contact your major advisor and/or review your school’s website for more information.

Graduation
Graduation Application
Graduation is not automatic. You MUST file an Application for Graduation no later than the deadline set by your school (this may be at least two quarters prior to the date you wish to graduate, during your first quarter of your senior year, etc.). This application is available online at www.reg.uci.edu/access/student/. Filing deadlines, which vary from school to school, should be verified with your school’s academic counseling office. If you are completing double majors, you may need to submit more than one application (one for each school). Applications may sometimes be accepted after these deadlines by academic units, but the penalties for being late can vary widely between academic units. Some of those possible penalties are: students might not be considered for Latin honors; they might not be included in the Honors Convocation/Commencement programs; or they might not be approved for graduation until the follow quarter! Our advice is: apply early!!!

Graduate Checklist
There is an online Graduate Checklist at https://commencement.uci.edu/checklist.html. This Web site also includes important information regarding cap & gown orders, Commencement ticketing, graduation announcements, awards and honors, etc. General Commencement information and the Commencement calendar can also be found via http://commencement.uci.edu/.

Grad Expo
The Grad Expo is usually held in April/May. This event is scheduled for graduating students, so they can take care of many of those items listed in the Graduate Checklist mentioned above (for example, placing cap & gown orders; voting for a class gift; and ordering graduation announcements & class rings). Alumni and Commencement staff may also available to assist graduating seniors with any tasks they need to accomplish.

Commencement
The University sponsors several separate commencement exercises at the end of Spring quarter only. Faculty, campus staff and administrators, students and their families gather together to congratulate and recognize the graduates. Students may apply to be the student speaker or a singer of the National Anthem at their respective commencement ceremonies. An informational mailing is sent out in spring quarter to all prospective graduates and copies are also available from academic counselors at that time. Additional information is available from the Commencement Office.

Honors at Graduation
Students may graduate with academic/Latin honors regardless of whether or not they complete an honors program at UCI. Latin honors are summa cum laude (the top 1% of graduates); magna cum laude (the next 3%); and cum laude (the next 8%). The selection criteria used by each school are included in each academic unit’s section of the General Catalogue. One general criterion is that students must have completed at least 72 units in residence at a University of California campus in order to be eligible for Latin Honors. Additional criteria (such as no incidents of academic dishonesty) are determined by each School. The student’s cumulative record at the end of the final quarter is the basis for consideration for awarding Latin Honors.Students’ honors may be listed in various places, such as the UCI Commencement Program, their final UCI transcript, and their UCI diploma. The Commencement Program will include awards and honors from summer through spring quarters. Students who are graduating in summer, fall, or winter, will have their awards and honors listed in the subsequent Commencement Program.

School Awards/Prizes, and Honors Societies
Other awards, prizes, and scholarships are given by various academic units on campus. Undergraduate students may be nominated to Honors Societies (such as Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Lambda Upsilon – the Chemistry Honors Society, or Tau Beta Pi – the Engineering Honor Society) or may apply for the prestigious UCI Chancellor’s Award of Distinction. A list of the Honors Societies with chapters on this campus is included in HONOR SOCIETIES WITH CHAPTERS AT UCI (as of August 2017). There are also School awards and prizes (such as the Social Sciences Order of Merit, the Humanities Scholastic Merit Awards, and the Bio Sci Excellence in Research Award). Many of the School awards and prizes are listed in the General Catalogue sections for each school. Students should consult their undergraduate counseling offices, usually in winter quarter, to see what they might be eligible for and which of the awards require an application.

Phi Beta Kappa
Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most prestigious honor society in the United States, which celebrates and advocates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. The top 5% of graduating seniors who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in a broad range of academic pursuits are invited to join. Nomination to this honors society is considered a very prestigious award, one that is recognized through the U.S. and the world.

Honor Cords
All graduating honors students are eligible to receive one complimentary honor cord. If you are eligible for school or Latin honors, be sure to pick up your honor cord from your school. This will be your complimentary cord. More information should follow from your school.Honors cords will also be available for purchase at the end of the quarter by students who qualify for school or Latin honors but aren’t able to attend the Honors Banquet. Cost $5. If you don’t qualify for school or Latin honors, then you will receive your complimentary cord from Campuswide Honors at the end of the quarter. ALL graduating honors seniors who attend the Honors Banquet will receive a complimentary honor cord. More information to follow in Campuswide Honors News.

Diplomas
Diplomas are typically available in the Registrar’s Office three to four months after students’ final quarter at UCI. Degrees are posted on official transcripts approximately six to seven weeks after the end of the quarter in which they are conferred.Students will be notified by the Registrar when diplomas can be picked up. Arrangements may also be made to receive one’s diploma by mail for a fee. Students should make sure their permanent address on Student Access remains up-to-date after you graduate.If a student is a dual major within a single school with the same degree type, then the student will be awarded one degree and issued one diploma which lists both majors. Students with a dual major within a single school with different degree types (B.A. and B.S.) will be awarded two separate diplomas. Students who are dual majors in two schools will be awarded a degree from each school and issued a diploma from each school. Minors are not noted on diplomas, but are posted to academic transcripts.Undergraduates who have graduated with Latin or Campuswide Honors will have this noted on their diploma beneath the University Seal. Latin and Campuswide Honors are also noted on the transcript.

Campuswide Honors Awards
Graduating seniors are eligible to apply for two awards conferred by Campuswide Honors:

  1. UCI Libraries’ Nellie Ansley Reeves & Campuswide Honors Research/Thesis Award recognizes outstanding honors thesis projects by graduating seniors. Up to four $250 awards will be given.
  2. The McWilliams Renaissance Award recognizes one honors student who demonstrates a passion for learning (not restricted to academic fields), expertise in a number of different areas, and universal curiosity.

More information and how to apply for these awards will be sent out in Campuswide Honors News. Application deadlines are usually early to mid-May.

Campuswide Honors Banquet
Graduating seniors should plan to join us for the Campuswide Honors Banquet & Senior Celebration. At this event, which graduating honors seniors attend for FREE, all graduating seniors will be recognized and honored for their accomplishments. ALL graduating honors seniors who attend Honors Banquet will receive a FREE Campuswide Honors Yearbook and a FREE honor cord. Come share a meal, be entertained, watch the end-of-the-year video, and celebrate! Student must sign up in the Honors Office in advance; information about sign-ups will be sent out in Campuswide Honors News.

Campuswide Honors Graduating Seniors’ Yearbook
Each spring, honors students publish a Graduating Seniors’ Yearbook. It includes all honors students who graduated/are graduating during that academic year and is usually distributed at the Honors End-of-the-Year Banquet. Graduating seniors who attend Honors Banquet will receive a Campuswide Honors Yearbook free of charge. A small fee is usually charged of all other students interested in purchasing a Campuswide Honors Yearbook, to help with cost of printing. Be sure to read Campuswide Honors News for information for graduating seniors about updating their pictures and autobiographical information.

Final Thesis Paperwork