Graduation, also known as commencement, is a time of transition. Whether it be graduation from a preschool, kindergarten, high school, technical school or college, graduation requires a mortarboard, a tassel, and, of course, the graduation certificate. Certificate wording may vary by graduation ceremony, but should be formal and appropriately explain who is approving the graduation, or conferring the degree, and the type of program completed. Additionally, the individual should be named on the certificate. Following a few basic steps can result in a certificate that can be printed for multiple individuals within a class.

Step 1

Open the word processing program on the computer. Most programs have a "page setup" selection under the "file" menu. If you would like to orient the diploma horizontally, select "page setup" and choose landscape orientation. Close the window to return to the document.

Step 2

Insert a header including the school, or program, name and logo, or seal. This is generally in a larger font than the rest of the certificate. All lines are centered, including the header.

Step 3

Enter a statement about who the certificate is given to, for example, "This diploma witnesses that" with the full, legal name of the individual entered underneath.

Step 4

Insert a statement of what has been accomplished. "has fulfilled the prescribed requirements and is recommended by the faculty of the " is often used. For home school diplomas, the site of the requirements may be listed as "has fulfilled the prescribed requirements as identified in ." This may span two lines. Both should be centered, and the school name may comprise the second line.

Step 5

Identify the degree. For example, "for the degree of ." Generally, the type is Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Associates of Fine Arts, etc. Any honors such as magna cum laude, summa cum laude, or cum laude, should immediately follow the degree type with a comma separating the type from the honor. Again, this may take two lines, and both should be centered.

Step 6

Enter text regarding what the diploma means. Generally, this is stated as, "which is conferred with all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto." This is the only statement that ends in a period, as it completed the decree.

Step 7

Enter who is giving the degree, as an institution. For example, "Given under the seal of at . No punctuation should follow this statement. Center the date underneath.

Step 8

Create a line, or multiple if appropriate, to be signed by the individual representing the organization or university. Type the title of the individual who will sign under the line in small print. This may include the president, dean, chancellor, director or chairman.

Step 9

Print the certificates on the selected paper.

Step 10

Sign, or obtain the appropriate individual, to sign the certificate. Generally, those in authority at the institution sign the diploma.


Embossing or seals make the certificate look professional, if appropriate. The wording may be customized, based on the age of the graduate and the type of ceremony held.


Generally degrees are confirmed with the registrars office when offered during a job interview, so use these guidelines to create certificates for programs, or sanctioned school graduations, not to embellish one's own academic record.

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