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Arranging graduation

You're about to graduate. That means there’s a lot to be arranged. The university expects you to take certain steps, as does your faculty and/or institute. Your faculty has various regulations and procedures in place that you need to follow carefully when arranging your graduation.

Steps towards graduation

Graduation means there’s a lot to be arranged. Below you will find a general overview of the steps to be taken. Make sure to first read the information provided by your faculty and department, as regulations and procedures can vary.

  1. You receive the final grade needed to fulfil your examination requirements.
  2. You request graduation: look under the faculty/study programme tab to find out exactly what steps your programme requires you to take to arrange graduation. You may receive a message from uSis entitled ‘You can graduate’. This message will explain the options available if you wish to delay graduation.
  3. Your student registration will not automatically be cancelled when you graduate. You have to cancel your registration yourself via Studielink. However de-registration is not compulsory if you have a reason for not wishing to do so. Make sure to carefully read the information on de-registering or re-registering.

Requesting postponement of graduation

If you receive a message from uSis entitled ‘You can graduate’, but you don’t yet want to graduate because you are taking additional courses or an internship that you want to be mentioned on your final transcript, you can request postponement of graduation. Look under your faculty or study programme tab for more information.

Conditions of postponement

The maximum duration of postponement you can request is until you have been registered on your study programme for the official programme duration plus one additional year. For Bachelor’s programmes this is 3+1 years, for most Master’s programmes this is 1+1 year. If you are more than a year behind in your studies your request will not be granted.

Official regulations on postponing graduation

The regulations and agreements concerning the postponement of graduation have been laid down by Leiden University Executive Board in the Leiden University Regulations on Postponing Graduation.

Check the Study programme tab for specific procedures. The text below is general and can differ from your study programme.

During the year, if you want to graduate, you have to inform the Science Student Administration at least 5 weeks before you get your last grade (last examination or graduation interview). You can do this via e-mail​ or in person at the Science Student Administration. 
In the Summer Period the processing time is longer, because of the amounts of graduation requests. Therefore, if you want to graduate in Summer it is safe to inform the Science Student Administration two months in advance.

At that time, not all grades are expected to be registered in uSis. But you can already check whether all the grades that are in your course history are also visible in your academic requirements.

Ensure that your academic requirements are properly processed as quickly as possible. You can read how to do this under 'Academic requirements in uSis'. You can also consult uSis-Help, where necessary.

Don’t forget to de-register via Studielink if you have fully completed your studies and will no longer be studying.
If you decide to take a Master’s degree after your Bachelor’s, you also have to register via Studielink for this Master’s degree programme.

Some Study Programmes have specific information. If so, you see a studyprogramme TAB. Check the information there.

The following is general information.

If you want to start your master study at the 1st of September, you have to finish your bachelor study by the end of august. You must then follow the graduation process mentioned below:

The deadline for registration is 1st July. 
When you register at the Science Student Administration, please hand in a graduation programme, that is signed for agreement by the Exam Committee.

At that time not all grades have to be known in uSis, but ensure that your academic requirements in uSis are properly processed as soon as possible and certainly by 15th July at the latest.

Make sure that your final grade, after finishing the course has been handed in to the Science Student Administration as soon as possible. It is you own responsibility to check this! Don’t assume that your lecturer will hand in your grade! 
For some degree programmes there are chances to take a last-minute re-sit. If you still have to obtain your very last grade in the last week, the Science Student Administration staff will take this into account. Let them know your plans and schedule when you register for graduation.

If you do not want to graduate yet, you can request postponement of graduation at the exam board of your institute. To do this, you can use the webform.

The Board of Examiners shall accommodate the request if the student has been enrolled in the programme for which the request has been submitted for no longer than the duration of studies plus one year. If you have already passed this duration your request will most likely not be approved. 

If you want to graduate in the summer, the following process applies. This helps to spread the work load for the student administration department.

The deadline for registration is 1st July. 
When you register at the Science Student Administration, please hand in a graduation programme, that is signed for agreement by the Exam Committee. At that time not all grades have to be known in uSis, but ensure that your academic requirements in uSis are properly processed as soon as possible and certainly by 15th July at the latest.

Make sure that your final grade, after finishing the course has been handed in to the Science Student Administration as soon as possible. It is you own responsibility to check this! Don’t assume that your lecturer will hand in your grade! For some degree programmes there are chances to take a last-minute re-sit. If you still have to obtain your very last grade in the last week, theate Science Student Administration staff will take this into account. Let them know your plans and schedule when you register for graduation.

The “Academic Requirements” section in uSis describes which programme you need to follow in order to pass in accordance with the OER (Course and Examination Regulations). Only when your course history appears under “academic requirements” can a diploma and the respective Diploma Supplement be prepared.

Under “academic requirements” you will see the compulsory subjects on your curriculum and also a number of the most popular elective subjects. 

However, as there are so many elective subjects available, not all of the subjects that you can take have been named. To obtain permission for one of these elective subjects you have to submit a petition request to the Board of Examiners. For students nearing graduation, you could consider the following two scenarios:

  1. In the past you have already obtained permission for a subject. In this case, hand in proof of this permission to the Science Student Administration. The Science Student Administration staff will make sure that this permission is processed in uSis;
  2. You don’t yet have permission from the Board of Examiners to take a subject. In this case you should submit a petition request as shown under Electives.

When your grade for the approved elective subject is determined in uSis, it will appear under your academic requirements and you will be a step closer to graduation. Do you still have questions about any of the above? Then send an e-mail to your study advisor (if it is about the contents of the subjects or your programme) or tousis-fwn@edufwn.leidenuniv.nl (if it is a question about uSis).

The official rules concerning graduation can be found on the university website.

Follow the steps below to arrange your master's graduation in Astronomy.

There are two graduation ceremonies per year: one at the end of September, and one at the end of February.

The next graduation ceremony will take place on
September 30th, 2022.

► Graduating without a ceremony

  • Participation in the ceremony is not mandatory. If you prefer not to take part, please indicate this on the Graduation Request Form. You do still need to request your graduation as described in steps 3-5.
  • Your diploma will be ready approximately three weeks after you have fulfilled all requirements for your master’s degree. You can then make an appointment with the Science Student Administration to pick up your degree.

► Verify availability

  • If you would like your supervisor to attend your ceremony, please invite them yourself and verify their availability in advance. This can be a staff supervisor, but you can also invite your daily supervisor (PhD/Postdoc) instead. During the ceremony they will give a short speech on your behalf.
  • If your supervisor is not available on the day of the ceremony, they will be asked to write a short statement that will be read by the ceremony chair.

Send in the necessary documents

  • Send the completed form to the student affairs officer (master@strw.leidenuniv.nl) and the study advisor (studyadvisor@strw.leidenuniv.nl). They will check your request and forward it to the Leiden University Science Student Administration.
  • Along with your Request form Master's Graduation, hand in a validated copy of your Study Plan, signed by both the study advisor and the chair of the Board of Examiners (Prof. Henk Hoekstra, boardofexaminars@strw.leidenuniv.nl). The signatures can be no more than one month old at the time of submitting. 
  • If you graduate in the specialisations Business Studies, Science Communication and Society, or Education: submit your intership report and grade form together with your graduation request (or do so as soon as you have received your grade).

► Deadlines

September Ceremony

  • You can participate in the ceremony of September if your final exam or thesis deadline is in August or earlier.
  • Graduation request deadline: May 15th.
  • You can already submit your request before your final grades are determined (if so, please indicate which grades are still missing on the Graduation Request Form). Your graduation can still be pushed to a later time if it turns out that you have not passed one of your final courses.
  • Deadline for your final grades to be registered in uSis:
    August 18th (if your final exam/thesis deadline is in July or earlier)
    OR
    September 15th (if your final exam/thesis deadline is in August - if this is the case, please indicate this clearly on your Graduation Request Form, or else you might not be able to participate in the ceremony in September)

February Ceremony

  • You can participate in the ceremony of February if your final exam or thesis deadline is in January or earlier.
  • Graduation request deadline: October 15th.
  • You can already submit your request before your final grades are determined (if so, please indicate which grades are still missing on the Graduation Request Form). Your graduation can still be pushed to a later time if it turns out that you have not passed one of your final courses.
  • Deadline for your final grades to be registered in uSis:
    January 13th (if your final exam/thesis deadline is in December or earlier)
    OR
    February 9th (if your final exam/thesis deadline is in January - if this is the case, please indicate this clearly on your Graduation Request Form, or else you might not be able to participate in the ceremony in February)

Graduating without a Ceremony

  • You must submit your graduation request at least two months before your final exam or thesis deadline.

As soon as you have received confirmation from the education office

  • Once the education office has checked your graduation request, you will receive confirmation that they will start to process your graduation. At this point you can terminate your student registration at Leiden University through Studielink. It is important that you select de-registration ‘on the grounds of graduation’. Your de-registration will then come into effect on the first day of the month following the date your graduation is recorded in uSis. You can already de-register even if you have not yet received your final grade.
  • If you don't select de-registration ‘on the grounds of graduation’ when prompted, you will be unenrolled from the first day of the following month, potentially resulting in an incomplete graduation process as your diploma can no longer be registered in uSis. You will then have to re-register before the graduation process and de-register again afterwards which might entail that you cannot take part in the upcoming graduation ceremony and will have to wait for the next ceremony.
  • Please note that it is not possible to back-date the termination of your student registration, in other words you cannot de-register with retroactive effect. It is your own responsibility to de-register on time, not doing so can result in having to pay additional months of tuition fee.

Graduation in August

  • In case it is not completely certain whether you will graduate in August in the current academic year, it is recommended that you re-register for the MSc Astronomy in Studielink. You may then graduate in September and de-register from October, or do so later in the academic year. If you do graduate in August anyway, you can always withdraw your re-registration in Studielink.

► Complete your study elements in uSis

  • Make sure all your study elements and grades are registered in uSis before the deadline if you want to participate in one of the graduation ceremonies (for deadlines, see: Submit your graduation request). 
  • This should include the grade for your Astronomy Master's Research Project, using the Master Research Project Grading Form.
  • During the graduation ceremony you will be asked on stage to give a short pitch about one of your research projects. Your pitch can last a maximum of three minutes. Your pitch is aimed towards friends and family, so make sure they can understand what your research was about. 
  • You can show one slide during your pitch. If you want to show a slide, you need to send it in PowerPoint format to the student affairs officer (master@strw.leidenuniv.nl) by September 15th (September ceremony) or February 15th (February ceremony) at the latest.
  • The Graduation Ceremony will take place in the Academy Building.
  • During the ceremony all candidates will give a short pitch of their research, after which their supervisor will say a few words. The candidate then receives their diploma.
  • After the ceremony you may sign your name on the walls of the 14th century room, called Zweetkamertje (Sweat Room).
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