December Commencement Convocation

December Graduation

Information for Graduation Candidates

Rotunda Recessional for Undergraduate Candidates

Friday, December 20, 2019 
Line up starts at 4:45 p.m. at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Commons


Undergraduate candidates wear full official SMU regalia including the red stole of gratitude and gather at 4:45 p.m., where they are greeted by the Student Body President and Chief Marshal of Academic Ceremonies. After brief remarks, students are lead through the front doors of Dallas Hall for a walk through the Rotunda, and then exit through the back. This is a symbolic departure from campus as well as a welcome to the SMU Alumni family. 

You do not need to RSVP for this event. Hot cider will be served, and family and friends are invited to come watch the candidates walk from Hughes-Trigg to Dallas Hall.   

December Commencement

Saturday, December 21, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. 
Moody Coliseum 
3009 Binkley Avenue 
Dallas, Texas 75205

Security Screening and Prohibited Items

Please allow ample time for screening. All candidates/guests are screened with a hand wand or metal detector; all bags are checked. 

DO NOT BRING any of the following prohibited items, including but not limited to, animals (except service animals), backpacks, banners, binocular cases, briefcases, camera bags, cans, cinch bags, computer bags, coolers, diaper bags, fanny packs, firearms, flags, glass items, 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.  No outside food or drink is permitted into Moody Coliseum.

For guests, 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 and Dedman Center. A small clutch is permissible.

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.

Policy on Alcohol and Drugs

Graduation is a time of celebration with family and friends, but candidates are reminded that appropriate behavior and decorum is expected. Any student not acting appropriately will be asked to leave the ceremony.


Candidates line up in Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports. You must have regalia to be admitted. No honor cords, pins, or other adornments are worn to this ceremony. Students without regalia or with altered mortarboards will be directed to the SMU Bookstore to rent a cap and gown. Doors open at 8:00 a.m., groups begin forming at 8:45 a.m., and doors will close at 9:10 a.m. Arrive early to avoid graduation day traffic.

Signs will be posted and faculty marshals will be on duty to help you assemble by school and degree type. Faculty Marshals start leading the student procession at 9:20 a.m.

Leave bags, purses, coats, and other personal belongings at home or in your car. There will be nowhere to store these items during the ceremony. We can not secure anything left inside Dedman, and the building will not be accessible after the event. Please silence cell phones.

Guests, for more information please go to Guest Information.

Seats for Guests

Candidates are not limited on the number of guests at December Commencement in Moody Coliseum, and passes are not required. Seating in Moody Coliseum is not guaranteed and is on a first come basis. Saving seats is not permitted. If the venue reaches capacity, guests will be directed to a simulcast location. The ceremony is a lengthy and formal event not suitable for infants or young children. The ceremony will also be live streamed at

For more information please go to Guest Information.


Personalized announcements may be ordered at the SMU Bookstore or directly from Herff Jones.

The announcements contain the name and degree of the candidate. For additional information, please call the SMU Bookstore at 214-768-2435.

Grad Fair

The Grad Fair will be held in rooms 108, 110 & 112 of the Laura Lee Blanton Building on:

Friday, October 25 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

The following will have representatives available at the Grad Fair to help you get ready for graduation:

Academic Ceremonies Receive ceremony instructions and guest information
Herff Jones Order regalia and announcements
Flash Photography

Take professional cap and gown photographs. Regalia provided. 

Michael Sutter Receive information about diploma frames.

Academic Regalia

Regalia Instructions

All participation candidates must wear SMU custom academic regalia. Candidates may order their regalia at the Grad Fair on October 25. Regalia may also be ordered through Herff Jones no later than November 8. Students are strongly encouraged to place their orders early. If students miss the Herff Jones deadline, the SMU Bookstore will have a limited supply of regalia available for walk-ins beginning Saturday, December 14. A $10.00 late fee is assessed on walk-ins. All students may pick up regalia at the SMU Bookstore beginning Saturday, December 14.

Per University administration, honor ribbons, pins, cords, sashes, medals, flowers, stoles (other than part of the official SMU regalia), decorated mortarboards and other adornments may not be worn during the ceremony. Adornments are confiscated and damaged mortarboards are replaced at the student's expense. Students without regalia or with altered mortarboards will be directed to the SMU Bookstore to rent a new cap and/or gown.

  • Baccalaureate Candidates - Appropriate attire includes mortarboard with tassel, undergraduate robe, and stole of gratitude. Tassels are worn on the right until students are instructed during the ceremony to move them to the left.
  • Post Baccalaureate Candidates - Appropriate attire for Master's candidates includes mortarboard with tassel, master's robe, and hood for the degree to be received. All post baccalaureate candidates rent/purchase hoods from the SMU Bookstore and wear them to the ceremony.
  • Doctoral candidates - Appropriate attire includes a tam with a doctoral tassel and doctoral robe. Candidates will be will be given hoods during the ceremony. The hood is a gift from the University to the students who attend the ceremony.


Acquiring Regalia

Orders for academic regalia must be placed at the Grad Fair on October 25 in Blanton or through the Herff Jones website by midnight, November 8. Students are strongly encouraged to place their orders early. All regalia is pad for when ordering online as is available for pick up from the SMU Bookstore beginning Saturday, December 8.

If you do not pre-order your regalia, a limited selection of regalia is available at the SMU Bookstore. The SMU Bookstore may have your size available but there is no guarantee. Telephone and in-person orders are not accepted at the SMU Bookstore.

Students are responsible for knowing their degree type and discipline color when placing their orders. Please review your Degree Progress Report and the Inventory of Academic Programs to determine your degree type and discipline color. Students are also responsible for checking that they have received all needed items and verifying that the discipline color is correct when picking up the order.

If you are a Doctoral candidate and are unsure if you are graduating in December, please place an order. If you do not need the regalia, you are not responsible for the rental fee.


Returning Regalia

All rented gowns and hoods must be returned to the SMU Bookstore by 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 24. Please note that a $10.00 per-day late return fee is applied Monday morning. Students who do not return their regalia by the due date will have a hold put on their SMU account.

All graduates may keep their cap and tassel and undergraduates may keep their stole. Doctoral candidates given a hood during the ceremony may keep them as a gift from the University.


Paying for Regalia

Payment for all regalia is made online during the ordering process.

If you wish to purchase your regalia, please contact Didi Archilla at the SMU Bookstore at 214-768-2435 to acquire a custom regalia order form and retail rates. Custom regalia takes approximately 8 weeks to arrive after ordering.

SMU Ring and Fall Ring Ceremony

The SMU Ring is a tangible and recognizable symbol of pride in SMU and its history. It is a link with classmates, friends, and alumni spread all over the world, as well as a reminder of accomplishments and experiences during college years. Students wear the ring with the seal facing them until the granting of degrees at Commencement. After graduation the ring is worn with the seal facing outward to symbolize that the graduate is now ready to face the world!

The SMU Ring can be viewed and purchased online at, or by calling 1-800-BALFOUR. Students may also order rings in person at Hughes-Trigg Student Center on Tuesday, October 22 and Wednesday, October 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

SMU's Ring Ceremony will be held on Saturday, April 18.

For more information, please contact Mindy Rowland-Hess, 214-768-4741.


Personal photographs may be taken before and after the Commencement Convocation ceremony. No one is permitted in the aisles during the ceremony. Arrangements have been made with Flash Photography to take pictures of candidates as they cross the stage. If you have questions concerning photographs, please contact Flash Photography at 214-443-9393, Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Preservation Frames

You will have an opportunity to purchase a diploma preservation frame from the Michael Sutter Company after commencement. Each diploma preservation frame order will include a second, complimentary diploma. Please visit Michael Sutter to view the variety of frames available.

Diplomas and Transcripts

Transcripts with degrees posted will be available for pickup on Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.

Diplomas will be mailed to the Home or Diploma address you have listed in my.SMU on or after Tuesday, January 29, 2019. Please make sure to verify you have a correct address listed.

Please Note: Candidates who owe money to the University may participate in the commencement ceremony, but diplomas and transcripts are held until accounts are cleared. For questions regarding your account, please contact Enrollment Services by calling 214-768-3417.

Ceremony Livestream

There will be a livestream of December Commencement for guests who are unable to attend the ceremony. Please visit