In order to graduate students must:

  • Complete all necessary coursework.
  • Have a college GPA of 2.0 or higher.
    • Please note: some programs may require a higher GPA for graduation.
  • Completed at least 25% of all program-required courses at Blackhawk.

Students who do not meet the criteria identified and/or deadlines may not be able to participate in the formal ceremony and receipt the diploma will be delayed.

Students who previously submitted graduation applications that did not meet the graduation criteria must re-submit an updated application.

Associate of Arts and Associate of Science Degree and Graduation Requirements  

The Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree is awarded to graduates of the University Transfer Programs. The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree is awarded to graduates of all other degree programs. To qualify for an AA or AS degree, a student must meet the following requirements:  

  • Satisfaction of all course requirements for the program of graduation.  
  • Program requirements can be met by completion of BTC courses, transfer credit, Transcripted Credit, satisfactory scores on Advanced Placement exams or by Challenge Exams. Note: Advanced Standing courses do not meet course requirements in the AA or AS degrees.  
  • The World/Foreign Language requirement may be satisfied by taking one year of world/foreign language in high school and earning a “C” or better in both semesters as documented on the high school transcript. While the category requirement is met by the high school course. the credits in the category are not earned. Students will need to take additional college-level coursework to earn 60+ credits for graduation.  
  • At least 15 credits must be earned in residence at BTC 
  • The final semester of the program must be taken in residence or with a BTC collaborative partner unless prior arrangements have been made with the General Education and Transfer Pathways Dean.  
  • Achievement of a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (or higher, depending on the academic program) in all courses that are taken in residence.  
  • Successful completion of PASS and Capstone Symposium unless arrangements have been made with the General Education and Transfer Pathways Dean. 

Embedded Technical Diplomas

If a student’s main program encompasses an embedded technical diploma, students will receive the credential once the requirements of the degree have been met without needing to apply for graduation. The embedded technical diploma credential will be displayed on the student’s transcript.


Commencement is currently held two times a year, in December and May, for students who meet the following requirements:

  • Are graduating from a program with 12 or more credits.
  • Are within six (6) credits of completing a program (diploma or degree programs) by the end of the spring semester for the May commencement or by the end of the summer semester for the December commencement. 
  • Apply for graduation by the application deadline.
  • Pay the cap and gown fee.

Commencement Information

  • Graduation caps and gowns will be worn for Commencement. Information regarding the purchase of the cap and gown will be provided by the College when a student informs us of their intent to graduate and/or walk at Commencement.
  • If a student is unsure of whether they plan to attend the ceremony, it is best to mark "yes". If plans change, a notification to would be appreciated.
  • Students and guests requiring special accommodations must contact at least two (2) weeks before Commencement.
  • Commencement will be recorded and live-streamed.


Graduates from degree and/or diploma programs at Blackhawk Technical College will receive a digital diploma available through Parchment.

Paper diplomas for programs with 12 or more credits will be mailed to the address provided on the graduation application within the following timelines:

  • Diplomas for the Fall semester will be mailed in early February.
  • Diplomas for the Spring semester will be mailed in early July.
  • Diplomas for the Summer semester will be mailed in early September.

Honor Cords

The Honor Cord program recognizes graduating students who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or above at the end of the semester prior to completing their program requirements. Qualifying students will receive a complimentary gold cord that can be worn on the graduation gown recognizing this achievement of academic excellence. This honor is sponsored by Student Activity Fees. Those who qualify will be notified through the Blackhawk student email. For further information regarding the Honor Cord, contact the registrar at