Common Questions Regarding Commencement

For the Graduate

Where is commencement held and will there be a rehearsal?

The commencement ceremony will be held in the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum. There will NOT be a dress rehearsal for commencement.

Where should degree candidates report on the day of commencement?

To the Health & Kinesiology Center (HKC) located across from the coliseum. In the case of rain, go the playing floor of the Bernard G. Johnson coliseum. There will be marshals available to line up the degree candidates.

What time should I arrive for commencement?

Arrive ONE HOUR prior to your ceremony.   (Your family is able to be seated in the coliseum at that time.)

What should I bring to commencement?

Cap (including tassel) and gown. (Tassel is worn on your left temple until you are recognized on stage during commencement.) Masters and Doctoral candidates should bring their hoods to commencement.

Where can I get my cap and gown or my hood?

Contact the Barnes and Nobles Bookstore on campus.  Phone # is: 936-294-1862.

What should I wear to my commencement ceremony?

You should dress in accordance with the formality of the event. All candidates must be prepared to walk across the street to the Bernard G. Johnson coliseum from the Health and Kinesiology Center. Once inside the coliseum, all candidates will be led down a steep flight of stairs.High heeled shoes or boots can be a safety hazard when wearing the regalia, especially on stairs. You should consider the heels to your shoes so that you can safely arrive at the floor of the coliseum without falling.

NOTE: There is no place to store purses or cell phones at the Commencement Ceremonies. Items left will behind will go into the HKC lost and found.

About the Ceremony

What is the order of the ceremony?

The marching order for the commencement ceremony is as follows:

  1. President’s Platform Party
  2. University Faculty
  3. Doctoral Candidates
  4. Masters Candidates
  5. Undergraduate Candidates (in alpha order by college)

How will degree candidates be recognized with honors at the commencement ceremony?

Undergraduate degree candidates recognized at commencement with honors (Latin, Academic Distinction, and Honors/Honors College) are corded on stage during the commencement ceremony.  (CORDS ARE PROVIDED BY THE UNIVERSITY.)

The designation of honors at the commencement ceremony is decided by the honors status as of the 12th class day of the graduating term (Fall/Spring terms) or the 4th class day of the first part of term for Summer.(Graduate and Doctoral students are not recognized with Latin Honors as those are honors specifically designated for undergraduate students.)

How much time should I allot for the commencement ceremony?

Approximately two hours

For Your Guests

Will my family be required to have tickets to attend commencement?

No, tickets are NOT issued and there is NOT a limit to the number of guests that may attend the commencement ceremony.

Will there be seating in the coliseum and special parking available for my guests with disabilities?

Yes, seating will be available on the coliseum floor for guests with disabilities.  Only one family member will be allowed to sit with your guest on the coliseum floor.  The entrance for this seating is located at the East Tunnel of the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

Guests with disabilities should arrive at the coliseum 45 minutes prior to the ceremony in order to be aided in the parking lot by our university police staff and the coliseum staff.

Will there be a professional photographer at commencement?

Yes, a professional photographer is commissioned for the event.  Photos will be taken of each candidate individually.  To contact the photographer please call (214) 443-9393 or visit