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Graduation and Certification

Contact your advisor with any questions related to your graduation or certification status.

Graduate Students

Please work with your advisor and consult the information posted at Commencement Steps for Master's Candidates or Doctoral Candidates.


  • Make sure you have grade modifications completed for any courses you have repeated. Once your degree is posted on your transcript, you cannot modify your grades.
  • Make sure your name, address and phone number are listed correctly with UMSL. You can do this from your Student Center in MyView.
  • RSVP to participate in the commencement ceremony if you want to walk. (Remember, this is separate from graduation.) You will receive an email with instructions for this when the RSVP site opens. PAY ATTENTION TO DEADLINES! Consult Commencement for updated information about the ceremony.
  • Attend the Graduation Fair at the UMSL Triton Store to get your graduation apparel. You can order online.
  • BSEd/P2 students: Retake the MOCA examination if needed.
  • August Graduates: You have the option to participate in the May or December Ceremony. On your graduation application, please indicate the ceremony you plan to attend. If you plan to attend the May ceremony, you must apply by April 1.

After Graduation

Apply to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for your Initial Teacher Certification

You must have completed all requirements particular to your situation, including achieving all required GPAs, completing all courses, minimum course grades, MEES (during Practicum 2) and MOCA exam.

Apply now to DESE for your Initial Professional Teaching Certification:

  • Log in to your DESE Secured Web Application account
    • You created this account when you applied for the MO Substitute Certification
    • If you are having trouble signing in, please use the links on this website for assistance
    • Select the Application: Initial Professional line on the left side of the screen
    • An Initial Application Checklist will pop up on the screen. Make sure to review this checklist thoroughly to make sure all tasks are completed.
    • While you are signed into the DESE system, check to make sure they have received ALL transcripts from colleges and universities you have attended and that your fingerprint check is up to date.
  • Request an official UMSL transcript to be sent DIRECTLY to DESE from the National Student Clearinghouse
    • BSEd Candidates: REQUEST THE “HOLD FOR DEGREE” OPTION. Your transcript MUST have your degree printed on it in order for DESE to issue your certification
    • If possible, include your DESE Educator ID Number or SSN on all transcripts

TIMELINE: Total of 8 - 10 weeks. Your Initial Professional Certification should be posted to your DESE account by mid/late February for Fall graduates and mid/late July for Spring graduates. This is the normal timeline every semester, consisting of the following:

  1. Six weeks for UMSL to confer and record your grades and degree to official transcripts. This is done by the Registrar’s office and they confer degrees for the entire campus.
  2. After degrees are conferred, 2 weeks for processing
  3. Two weeks for DESE to process the application and post to your DESE account

Please keep in mind that the timeline could possibly take longer. DESE does not send/email any notifications about your certification status. It is your responsibility to frequently log in to your DESE account and check the status on your own.

Reach out to your advisor if you have any questions.