Idol Winner Carrie Underwood Graduates

05/08/2006 at 03:40 PM EDT

Idol Winner Carrie Underwood Graduates
Paul Hellstern/The Oklahoman/AP
Making good on her vow to go back and finish school, last year's American Idol winner Carrie Underwood is now a college graduate.

The country singer, 23, graduated magna cum laude, receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree from Northeastern State University on Saturday, reports the Associated Press.

Underwood was among 1,800 students who walked across the stage at Jack Dobbins to claim their degree from university President Larry Williams.

Shortly before her victory on the FOX talent hunt a year ago, Underwood (who withdrew from school just three credits shy of graduating) told PEOPLE she planned to finish her Northeastern journalism degree – at some point.

"This is my time to see the world," vowed the native of Checotah, in eastern Oklahoma (pop. about 3,800). "Home will be there when I get back."

And back she went, majoring in mass communications with an emphasis in journalism.

Already under the new grad's belt are hits that include "Jesus, Take the Wheel," the video which won her two Country Music Television video awards in April. The song also won a Dove Award from the Gospel Music Association last month.

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