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Graduation Information

The next degree conferral date is on Saturday, May, 25, 2024. This is also the date of the Annual Commencement Ceremony. All graduates of December 31, 2023 are invited to participate in the Commencement Ceremony on May 25, 2024.

General Information

Date, Time & Location

HJI degrees are conferred at the end of May and the end of December. Commencement is held once a year in May. December graduates are invited to attend the May ceremony.

Date: Saturday, May 25, 2024
Time: 2 pm
Location: Social Hall, 4 West 43rd Street, New York City, NY

Mode (Online or In-Person)

Commencement is planned to be held in-person. (Subject to change if health conditions require.)

Procedures

Application for Graduation

Each graduation candidate must submit an application for graduation. Of specific importance is the information requested for the name you desire to be printed on your diploma, which branding you want for your diploma (UTS or HJI), and whether you want HJI generated digital announcements/ invitations for your friends and family (see below). The deadline for submitting the application for graduation is April 8, 2024. Email the form to registrar@hji.edu”

For your convenience, the application form is available as a fillable pdf and Microsoft Word document.

Degree Audit

The Registrar monitors all graduation candidates for completion of graduation requirements. Please check your HJI email for requests for clarification on concentrations, course substitutions, missing documentation and similar.

Announcement and Invitations for family/guests
  • Pdf announcements/invitations created by HJI staff
    HJI staff is available to create pdf announcements for you to send digitally to your family and friends. An example of a past invitation can be found here.
  • International Invitations
    Invitations to family members of international students who require a US entry visa to attend graduation must follow a specific protocol. Please note that visa approval is not guaranteed. However, if you follow these recommended guidelines, the chances may be higher. Submit the names of the persons you wish to invite to the Registrar. The Registrar will issue letters for each of your invitees stating you have been approved for graduation. In addition, you must create a letter of invitation for your family members according to Immigration Department’s guidelines. Click here for instructions for your letters of invitations. Send both letters (yours and the Registrar’s) to your invitees to carry to the US Embassy or Consulate.
  • Ordering announcements from outside companies
    You are welcome to order commencement announcements/invitations from the company of your choice. HJI works with Jostens for commencement regalia, which has also a variety of cards available. Click here to order cards from Jostens (Note: This link is not to order regalia. For regalia, use the link indicated below.).
Photography and Videos

The ceremony will be recorded and most probably livestreamed. Official photographs will be available. Family and friends are welcome to take photos and videos as well but should be mindful not block the view of others when taking photographs.

Cap, Gown and Hood ordering

HJI does not loan regalia to students, instead, students are responsible to purchase their own regalia.

  • Master’s Degrees
    • Caps, gowns and hoods may be ordered at Jostens (direct link for regalia ordering). HJI Master gowns and caps are royal blue. Please note that although the image on the Jostens website displays the regalia in black, you will receive the correct color.
    • For the MA in Religious Studies, please purchase the hood listed under “Theology”.
    • Due to the time needed by Jostens to customize the hood with HJI colors, the deadline for ordering the regalia is five weeks prior to commencement, and is noted on their website.
    • The total cost for the regalia will be $67.75 plus shipping and handling (normally approximately $15.00). In the past, students living close to each other have ordered gowns together to be shipped to a common location to reduce shipping costs.

Note: the above link is only accessible for approximately two months prior to commencement. At other times during the year, the link is inactive. You may locate our school by entering “Unification” if you do not use the above link. (Note: typing “HJI” will not allow you to locate our institution.)

  • Doctoral Degrees
    • Doctoral candidates may select the company of their choice from which to order the tam, gown, and hood.
    • Students previously opted to use Oak Hall, which has HJI’s school colors on file. The tam may be 4 or 6 cornered, normally deep red in color. Black is also acceptable.
    • The tam may be purchased for around $60.
    • Oak Hall has several options for gowns and hoods. Students may choose either Single use only, at a fraction of the cost but made of a much cheaper material, or more expensive options.
    • HJI doctoral gowns are black (not royal blue as the Master gowns).
    • Single use gowns cost under $100. Other options vary between $450 and $800 depending on the material and style selected. The hood is about $120 -135.
    • Oak Hall has no dedicated registry for HJI. To order, call (800) 223-0429.
    • Their website is here, but you are not able to order online. You must call. The deadline for Doctoral regalia ordering is approximately eight weeks prior to commencement.
    • In recent years, students have ordered gowns from here Please order a gown with scarlet velvet trim (for Theology) and a hood with scarlet velvet, with primary lining color red, secondary lining color white (red and white are our school colors).
  • International Students Living Abroad
    • It has come to our attention that shipping and handling costs, plus custom and duties fees are exorbitant to other countries.
    • For students planning to attend graduation in person in NYC, we suggest that they have their regalia shipped to our NYC campus. In that case, please arrive early enough on Saturday to iron the hood and gown before the ceremony.

Policies

Who May Attend Commencement

Master students may attend the ceremonies if they have fulfilled all required academic work. There are exceptions based on certain circumstances, as indicated below.

If a student has one incomplete academic requirement (Course, Independent Study, Thesis, Field Education Internship etc.) from the current term, the student may participate in the graduation ceremony but is not eligible to receive their degree or a diploma.

Per HJI guidelines, if a student has more than one incomplete academic requirement, the student will not be permitted to participate in the graduation ceremony.

Any incompletes, Distance Learning courses, or Field Education from previous terms must be cleared one week prior to graduation.

The deadline for Theses submission is three weeks prior to graduation. Please make sure that your professors receive your work in time so that any edits can still be made before the date of graduation.

Doctoral students may not attend graduation unless the oral dissertation defense has been successfully completed, and the dissertation has been submitted to the Library and Proquest.

Receiving a Degree

Invited guests attending graduation may expect you to have been granted your degree from HJI. However, participation in the ceremony alone is not evidence of receiving your degree. HJI allows candidates to participate even if certain degree requirements remain incomplete (see previous section). If remaining requirements are successfully completed within 30 days after the conclusion of the semester, the student will be deemed a May graduate. If this deadline is not met, the degree conferral date will be the next graduation date after the completion of all outstanding requirements. This does not apply to Doctor of Ministry candidates who have to complete all requirements for the degree prior to commencement.

Receiving a Diploma

You may also expect to receive your diploma from HJI during or soon after the ceremony. However, for your diploma to be signed and delivered to you, you must have completed the following (check with staff indicated below to confirm you are cleared):

  • Academic requirements completed (check with Registrar, Ute Delaney)
  • Financial obligations paid including graduation fee (check with Bursar, EJ Rapada)
  • Library books returned (check with Librarian, Robert Wagner)
  • Thesis and Dissertation submission
    • Master candidates

One electronic copy in pdf format of Thesis/Project emailed to Library and submitted to Proquest. For directions on how to submit thesis/project to Proquest, click here. (check with Librarian Robert Wagner)

    • Doctoral candidates:

One electronic copy in pdf format of Dissertation emailed to Library and Dr. Drissa Kone and submitted to Proquest. For directions on how to submit dissertation to Proquest, click here. (check with Librarian, Robert Wagner, and DMin Director, Dr. Kone)

  • Financial Aid Exit Interview (federal aid recipients only)

All students who received federal direct loans are required to complete a brief Exit Counseling questionnaire at: https://studentaid.gov/exit-counseling. Upon completion, please notify Mr. Henry Christopher so he may inform the Registrar to release your diploma. (check with Chief Administrator of Financial Aid, Henry Christopher)

Deadlines for May 2024 commencement ceremony

Gown ordering, Thesis, Dissertation Submission, etc.
April 1 Deadline for Doctoral degree regalia ordering from Oak Hall; other regalia providers please check with them
April 8 Application deadline for May graduation
April 14 Deadline for dissertation project defense
April 18 Deadline for Master degree regalia ordering (after this date rush fee applies)
May 6 Theses and projects due for May graduation (Master programs)
May 17 Last day of regular scheduled classes: Deadline for previous incomplete
May 20-23 Examination Period
May 25 Graduation Day:   48th Commencement

Other

Important Contact Information
  1. Registrar: Ute Delaney, registrar@hji.edu

  2. Director of DMin Program: Dr. Drissa Kone, d.kone@hji.edu

  3. Bursar: E.J. Rapada, bursar@hji.edu

  4. Library Director: Robert Wagner, r.wagner@hji.edu

  5. Chief Administrator of Financial Aid: Henry Christopher, h.christopher@hji.edu