To qualify for graduation from Wartburg, students must:

1. Earn 36 course credits, including four May Term course credits. Transfer students must complete one May Term course credit for each year of classification at Wartburg.
2. Complete the Wartburg Plan of Essential Education for the degree for which they are candidates.
3. Complete courses in a major.
4. Achieve a minimum grade point average of 2.0 in: (1) all courses comprising a major; and (2) all courses taken at Wartburg. When Wartburg courses are repeated, only the last grade is used in calculating grade point average. Some departments require a higher grade point average in the major.
5. Take at least seven of the last nine course credits from Wartburg offerings.

When to declare your major
Individuals should declare their major(s) and/or minor(s) by the end of the first term of their second year. To do this, students must obtain a form in the Registrar’s Office and complete the form with the appropriate adviser and department chair signature. 

Each major includes separate requirements which are listed in the Wartburg College academic catalog. This catalog is available in the Registrar’s Office.

Diploma Application
During the third year, students must complete a diploma application which starts the graduation process. Advisers, together with the Registrar’s Office, exercise all possible care in checking students’ records for graduation. However, it is the sole responsibility of the student to fulfill all requirements for a degree.

Commencement Information

Graduating seniors are required to attend Baccalaureate and Commencement. If you are unable to attend and wish to graduate in absentia, please e-mail the Dean’s Office with the reason for your absence.

Dress for Commencement should be business casual to formal. The following official regalia are the only items to be worn during Baccalaureate and Commencement: Wartburg College approved cap, gown, honor cords, and scholarship medallions.

The purpose of this award is to recognize high school teachers who have inspired students in Wartburg’s graduating class and who have thereby significantly contributed to the accomplishment of earning a baccalaureate degree from Wartburg College. Two high-school teachers are selected and recognized Commencement weekend.  Winners will receive $500 each, and a $500 scholarship for a student from their high school would be made available to a rising senior.

Virtual Commencement
The College will conduct a virtual Commencement, streamed by Knight Vision, on May 24. The virtual ceremony will use the same program, the same script, and the same participants. The Chair of the Board will welcome students; the Dean of Faculty will present students for conferral, a student speaker will offer remarks, and President Darrel Colson will charge the class. In advance of that day, the College will send students their regalia, including the caps, gowns, tassels, and cords, as well as their diploma cover.  A PDF of the program will be posted on this website. The virtual Commencement will be archived. The official diploma and a printed program will be sent to each student following the ceremony.

Special Senior Dinner and More 
The president and his wife will host a special version of the Senior Dinner for the Class of 2020, at Homecoming in October, complete with the College sword and dubbings into Knighthood for all who want a refresher, and the champagne toast that was postponsed. On that weekend, the official Commencement photographer will be available to take traditional pictures of students in their caps and gowns. The college also will carve out a time during Homecoming weekend for the campus community to celebrate their graduation.

Chances to Walk Across the Stage
When we conduct Commencements in December 2020 and in May 2021, the Class of 2020 is invited to walk across the stage with their classmates in a dedicated observance of their class.

Questions about Commencement? Contact Janeen Stewart at

Sunday, Dec. 15
10:30 a.m., Wartburg Chapel (Doors open at 9:45 a.m.) A reception for graduates and families will be in the Bachman Fine Arts Center foyer immediately following the service. 
Presiding Pastor: Rev. Dr. Brian Breckstrom, Dean of Spiritual Life
Wartburg Medal Recipients: Harold ’58 and Grace Jahn ’61 Kurtz
Graduation brunch is available in the Mensa from 11:15 a.m.-1 p.m. Graduates can use their board plan for the brunch. Cost is $11 for adults, $5 for children 5-12 years, and under five are free.

Degree Completion

–  Graduation Agreement
–  Graduation Guidelines