Candidate: Ceremony and Security Screening Instructions

Baccalaureate Service, McFarlin Auditorium (Undergraduate Candidates Only)

Friday, May 15, 2020; 8:00 p.m.  Doors open at 6:45 p.m.

See the Schedule 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 arrive at McFarlin Auditorium at 7:20 p.m. and will be directly seated. 

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

Candidates do not need a ticket.

Rotunda Recessional (Undergraduate Candidates Only)

Friday, May 15, 2020 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.


Commencement Convocation, Moody Coliseum (All Candidates)

Saturday, May 16, 2020; 9:00 a.m.  Candidate lineup begins at 7:30 a.m. and closes at 8:45 a.m.

Entry ticket required for all candidates. Go to Ceremony, Tickets and Security Information for details regarding candidate tickets.

Late admission will be denied.

See  Schedule 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 and ticket for themselves and tickets 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 13

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 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.

Candidates are not allowed to bring clear bags, food or drinks into Moody, Dedman Center and Crum Basketball Center. Small clutch purses with or without straps, no larger than 8.5 X 5.5 inches, are permitted. 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.

        Candidate Assembly Locations           

Doors close at 8:45 am

Arrive with your candidate ticket!!

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

                     All Doctoral Candidates

All Graduate/Professional Candidates


All Undergraduate Candidates



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 ticket. Seating is limited and on a first-come basis. A ticket 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 the simulcast location (Crum Auditorium) and to the livestream at Go to Ceremony, Tickets and Security Information for more information on guest tickets.


Diploma Presentation Ceremonies (All Candidates)

Friday, May 15, 2020 and Saturday, May 16, 2020

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.

See Full Schedule