What is Commencement?Commencement vs Graduation
There are important differences between commencement and graduation with which you should be familiar.

Graduation is the completion of all degree requirements as recorded on the official transcript. Commencement is the ceremony held in May of each year that celebrates the completion of a degree. Participation in the Commencement ceremony does not imply that you have officially graduated.

If you are looking to graduate, whether or not you plan to participate in the Commencement ceremony, you must file for graduation by completing the Graduation Petition form and submitting it to the Information Center in the Student Services building.

If you plan to participate in the Commencement ceremony, then you should view the Commencement Calendar and complete any remaining requirements for the ceremony.

Commencement Ceremony Basics
There are several basic steps that you need to complete in order to participate in the Commencement Ceremony:

  1. File For Graduation: Eligible graduates must complete the Graduation Petition form.
  2. Order Your Cap & Gown: You should order your cap and gown before the deadline in order to be fitted properly.
  3. Pay Your Graduation Fee: You must pay this fee by the deadline in order to graduate and participate in the ceremony.
  4. Get Your Announcements & Rain Tickets: Help your guests to be better informed and prepared for your special day.
  5. Pick Up Your Cap & Gown: There will be three opportunities for you to pick up your cap and gown.
  6. Attend Commencement Rehearsal: Join your fellow graduates for breakfast and practice for the ceremony.
  7. Arrive Early For Commencement: Arrive an hour before the ceremony for the assembly of academic procession and robing.
  8. Purchase Photos: It's not a requirement, but you may want to purchase personal pictures taken at the ceremony.
  9. Obtain Your Diploma: Your official diploma will be available a few days after the ceremony.

News & Announcements
Be sure to check the Commencement Website for news and updates on the ceremony. For example, if we have inclement weather on the day of the Commencement Ceremony, it will be announced on the Website.