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Candidate: Ceremony and Security Screening Instructions

Baccalaureate Service, McFarlin Auditorium

 (undergraduate candidates only)

Friday, May 18, 2018; 8:00 p.m.  Doors open at 6:45 p.m.

See the Description of Events page to learn more about Baccalaureate and the Rotunda Recessional.

Candidates wear full SMU regalia including the red stole of gratitude. No other adornments may be worn. For more information regarding the proper attire, see Academic Regalia.

Students line up begins at 7:20 p.m. on the historic Main Quadrangle in front of McFarlin. The candidates, lined up two abreast in three columns, begin moving to the auditorium at 7:55 p.m. In the line of march, keep a distance of four feet between pairs. Upon reaching your seat, remain standing until the President is seated.

In the event of rain, candidates will be seated directly in McFarlin upon arrival.

All guests, regardless of age, must have a pass for seating in McFarlin Auditorium. Candidates may request up to 2 guest passes. Seating is limited and is on a first-come basis. A pass does not guarantee a seat. Saving seats is not permitted. Parties should enter together. Go to Ceremony, Passes and Security Information for details regarding guest passes. The ceremony is simulcast in the Hughes-Trigg Theatre and streamed online at
Candidates do not need a pass.

Rotunda Recessional

 (undergraduate candidates only)

Friday, May 18, 2018 following the Baccalaureate Service

The Rotunda Recessional, from McFarlin Auditorium across the historic Main Quadrangle and through the Dallas Hall Rotunda, follows the Baccalaureate Service. Guests are dismissed and invited to line the walk to Dallas Hall. In case of rain, there is no formal recessional, but Dallas Hall is open for an informal walk of remembrance.

See the Description of Events page to learn more about Rotunda Recessional.

Commencement Convocation, Moody Coliseum

 (all graduating students)

Saturday, May 19, 2018; 9:00 a.m.  Candidate lineup begins at 7:30 a.m. and close at 8:45 a.m. Late admission will be denied.

See Description of Events for more about Commencement Convocation. The ceremony lasts approximately two hours.

Student line-up begins at 7:30 a.m. in Crum Basketball Center and Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports. Flash Photography begins taking formal portraits at 7:30 a.m. You should arrive early to avoid graduation-day traffic.

Candidates must have declared their intention to participate in order to request passes for their guests to attend the ceremony. Candidates who failed to register their participation and now wish to participate can request to participate by emailing by no later than 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17

Candidates wear full SMU regalia. No other adornments may be worn. For more information regarding the proper attire, please see Academic Regalia. Students without regalia or with altered mortar boards will not be admitted.


Please allow ample time for security screening.

All candidates are screened with a hand wand; all bags are checked. 

Do NOT BRING any of the following prohibited items, including but not limited to, animals (except licensed service animals), backpacks, banners, binocular cases, briefcases, camera bags, cans, cinch bags, computer bags, coolers, diaper bags, fanny packs, firearms, flags, glass bottles, guns, inflated balloons, knives of any size and type, laser pointers, luggage, noisemakers, purses larger than a small clutch, radios, seat cushions with zippers, pockets or compartments, selfie sticks, signs, stun guns, throwing objects, umbrellas (unless threat of rain or raining), and weapons.  All bags must be clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and may not exceed 12 X 6 X12 inches.  Bags may be one-gallon clear plastic resealable storage bags.  Small clutch purses with or without straps, no larger than 8.5 X 5.5 inches, are permitted.  The clutch does not have to be clear and may be carried separately or within an approved plastic bag.  Items that are medically necessary are evaluated individually.   

Candidates are not allowed to bring clear bags, food or drinks into Moody, Dedman Center and Crum Basketball Center.  Please leave personal belongings with one of your guests or in your car, as there is nowhere to store these items during the ceremony. We cannot secure anything left behind. The building is not accessible after the event.

Candidate Assembly Locations

(Subject to change

Doors close at 8:45 am
Late arrivals will be denied admission
  Crum Basketball Center
Enter thru the southeast door that faces the Mustang Parking Center
Dedman Center for Life Time Sports
Enter thru the main doors or thru the northwest doors next to the sand volleyball courts
 Column I  Column II  Column III

All PhDs and DEs

Dedman College







Dedman Law


Data Science


The student procession begins moving at 8:50 a.m. Faculty marshals direct you to your seat. Remain standing until invited to sit.

Please silence cell phones.

Note regarding guests: Each guest, regardless of age, must have a general admission guest pass. Seating is limited and on a first-come basis. A pass does not guarantee a seat. Saving seats is not permitted. Parties should enter together. When seats in Moody Coliseum are filled, guests are directed to overflow seating at simulcast locations (Bolin Plaza and the Laura Lee Blanton Building) and to the livestream at Go to Ceremony, Passes and Security Information for more information on guest passes.

Diploma Presentation Ceremonies

 (all graduating students)

Saturday, May 19, 2018
The Guildhall at SMU and the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development have their diploma ceremonies on Friday, May 18. See Full Schedule

Wearing full academic regalia, graduates are individually recognized in school or departmental ceremonies. Honor ribbons, stoles and other decorations may be worn for the afternoon diploma presentation ceremonies.  Some diploma ceremonies require tickets.

Contact information for the Diploma Presentation Ceremonies is listed on the Events Schedule page.