Candidate Instructions

Ceremony Instructions

August Commencement

Saturday, August 15, 2020
Ford Stadium, 8:00 a.m.

Simulcast Location (Ticket not required, but seating is limited)
McFarlin Auditorium
6405 Boaz Lane
Dallas, TX 75205

All graduates may begin arriving to Ford Stadium at 6:30 a.m. in full SMU regalia. Graduates must be in their seats by 7:45 a.m. Arrive early to avoid graduation day traffic. Late admission will be denied. Security screening is in place. Face coverings are required and must be worn at all times.

An entry ticket is required for all graduates. You must have RSVP’d by August 3 in order to obtain a graduate ticket and tickets for your guests to attend the ceremony. The deadline to request RSVP'd tickets is Thursday, August 13 at midnight. Please see Request Commencement Tickets for more information.

Upon arrival at Ford Stadium, go to the football ticket windows on the north side of the stadium to pick up your graduation walk card. Enter the stadium through the Loyd All-Sports Center Lobby entrance where you will be directed downstairs and onto the stadium field. Flash Photography will be setup to take your portrait in regalia. Find your seat using information found on your walk card. You must be in your seat by 7:45 am.

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 cannot secure anything left inside, and the stadium will not be accessible after the event.

Graduates are encouraged to wear light-weight clothing under their regalia as the temperature will be hot in Ford Stadium. Low-heeled shoes for women are strongly suggested to avoid tripping on the turf.

Please silence cell phones.

Dallas Hall Rotunda Walk

Saturday, August 15, 2020
Historic Main Quadrangle and Dallas Hall, 10:30 a.m. -5:00 p.m.

Dallas Hall will be open for a walk through the Rotunda from 10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Due to the expected crowd, graduates and guests will not be able to stop or pause in the Rotunda.

A ticket is not required for the walk-through. If there is a line to enter, please remember that the Rotunda will be open until 5:00 p.m.

A face covering is required on the steps of Dallas Hall and in the building.

A cooling station in the McFarlin Auditorium lobby and restrooms in the lower lobby will be available for graduates and guests.

Commencement Tickets

Tickets may be requested beginning Monday, August 10 at 9:00 a.m. at The deadline to request tickets is Thursday, August 13 at midnight. You are allotted 4 tickets to the Commencement Ceremony and must have reserved your tickets in advance through the RSVP link. The RSVP deadline was August 3. Additionally, you must have a graduate entry ticket to participate in the morning ceremony. Instructions on how to request tickets are found under Request Commencement Tickets.

Academic Regalia

Regalia is required to participate in the August Commencement Ceremony. Please visit Regalia Orders for information about your order, Herff-Jones Homeship option, walk-in orders at the SMU Bookstore, and regalia return.

Per University administration, honor cords, pins, 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.

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.

If you did not pre-order regalia, a limited supply for walk-ins is available for pick-up beginning Monday, August 10 at the SMU Bookstore. Students are responsible for knowing their degree type and discipline color when picking up their orders. Please review your Degree Progress Report and the Inventory of Academic Programs to determine your degree type and discipline color. You are also responsible for checking that you have all needed regalia items and verifying that the discipline color is correct.

  • 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 and Professional 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 pick up their hoods the morning of the ceremony. Details will be sent closer to the event. Doctoral students not in attendance at this special August commencement will be mailed their hoods in the weeks following the ceremony. The hood is a gift from the University.

Returning Regalia

All rented gowns and master’s hoods must be returned to the SMU Bookstore by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 18. Please note that a $10.00 per-day late return fee is applied Wednesday 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 are given hoods and may keep them as a gift from the University.

Graduates with Impairments

Please contact the Office of Academic Ceremonies at by August 5 with requests for accommodations for the ceremony. Requests made after this date will be met when possible.

Graduates Unable to Attend the August Ceremony

We understand current circumstances make attending the August ceremony difficult. For graduates and their families unable to join us in person, the ceremony will be livestreamed at And to make sure you know you’re with us in Mustang spirit, all graduates not in attendance will receive a special graduation box from SMU soon after the ceremony which will include a program, a souvenir print of Dallas Hall and other surprises. Doctoral graduates will also receive their hoods as a gift.

SMU Graduation Survey

By sharing your post-graduation plans, you will help increase the value of your degree by allowing the university to report aggregate post-graduation data to various reporting organizations. This will enhance SMU’s ranking and provide data-informed interactions with employers recruiting SMU students and alumni. Students receive one survey link prior to graduation and one six months after graduation. Students who complete the six month follow-up survey are entered to win a Southwest Airlines gift card.