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1. What is the difference between commencement and graduation?

Commencement ceremonies are the services held at the end of each Fall and Spring semester. These are ceremonies in which the achievement of the degree is recognized and celebrated by the University community and the students’ friends and family.

Graduation is the process of being awarded a degree. All students wishing to graduate must apply for graduation by the application deadline. Applying for graduation is a University Degree Requirement that must be met by each student wishing to graduate. If you do not apply for graduation, you have not met all your degree requirements. Learn more about Graduation and Graduation Application Deadlines on the Registrar website.

2. What day is commencement?

Dates and times vary from semester to semester. The Fall 2016 Commencement will be held on Saturday, December 17, at the Alamodome.

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3. Are there fees involved with commencement?

There is no fee for commencement participation. There is also no fee to apply for graduation.

There are fees for purchasing of academic regalia for students wishing to participate in commencement ceremonies. Check with Herff-Jones or the Campus Bookstore for price information.

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4. Do I need tickets for my guests and family to attend commencement?

No tickets are required to attend. There will be open seating for guests.

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5. Can I participate in commencement if I have not completed all my requirements?

Only students who have applied for graduation are allowed to participate in commencement ceremonies.

Spring candidates participate in May; Fall candidates participate in December. Summer Bachelor and Masters candidates have the option to participate in either May or December ceremonies but must meet application deadlines in order to participate. See application deadlines.

Doctoral students may participate in commencement ceremonies only after completing all requirements for graduation, including the successful defense of the dissertation and subsequent acknowledgement by the Graduate School of all required documentation. Summer Term graduates are welcome to participate in the December Commencement ceremony following their Summer Term graduation.

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6. Can I participate in a different ceremony other than the one for my college?

Students must participate in the ceremony slated for their college. If you have multiple majors, you may choose the ceremony in which you will participate, or you may participate in both ceremonies.

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7. Can a military student wear their dress uniform in lieu of the cap & gown?

Students in the military must also wear academic regalia. Uniforms may be worn underneath the regalia.

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8. Is there a rehearsal?

No, there is no rehearsal for commencement.

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9. What do I wear and where do I get it?

  • All participants must wear academic regalia.
  • Caps, gowns and tassels are available during Grad Fest or at the Campus Bookstore.
  • Wear dark shoes, since dark accessories have a more favorable appearance with the formal academic wear.
  • The tassel is worn on the right side of the cap until the end of the commencement ceremony when graduates are instructed to shift the tassel to the left side.
  • It is recommended that you take your regalia out of the bag and place it on a hanger a few days before your ceremony in order to decrease the wrinkles.

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10. What time should I arrive for commencement?

You should arrive 2 hours prior to the ceremony in which you plan to attend.

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11. How many guests can I invite to the commencement ceremonies?

There is no limit to the number of guests you may invite, but there is a $15 fee for parking, per vehicle, at the Alamodome. This includes graduates.

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12. Where do I park?

Parking is available at Alamodome.

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13. I walked in the ceremony, does that mean I graduated?

No. Participation in a commencement ceremony does not imply or infer the awarding of a degree at the time of the commencement ceremony; a final degree audit must be completed before a degree is officially awarded.

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14. Why won’t I get my diploma at commencement? I have completed my degree.

Degrees are not officially awarded until after the commencement ceremonies. Diplomas are mailed approximately 60 days after the official close of the semester. Transcripts with degree information are available approximately 30 days after the close of the semester.

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15. Will a summer commencement ceremony ever be considered?

We continually evaluate the need for summer commencement. At this time there are no plans for summer commencement ceremonies since we accommodate summer candidates at the May and December Commencement ceremonies.

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16. My family member is deaf or hard of hearing. Will an interpreter or any other accommodations be provided?

A reserved seating section for deaf or hard of hearing guests requiring sign language interpreting services will be available near the southwest corner of the stage.

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17.Where can I find accessible restrooms at the ceremony?

All Alamodome restrooms are accessible for guests with disabilities. All restrooms are identified by signage with the handicap symbol.

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