Candidate Information

Apply for Graduation

You will be contacted by your school of record informing you that you are eligible to apply for graduation. Applications are completed online through the Student Center in my.SMU. Additional information and filling deadlines are found under Graduation & Diploma Services.

Ceremony Instructions

Rotunda Recessional for Undergraduate Candidates

Plans for Rotunda Recessional are being finalized. Please check back in late October.

December Commencement

Saturday, December 19, 2020 
Ford Stadium, 1:00 p.m.

Candidates wear full SMU regalia. No other adornments may be worn. Students without regalia or with altered mortar boards will be directed to the SMU Bookstore to rent a cap and gown. Graduates must be in their assigned seat by 12:45 p.m. Arrive early to avoid graduation day traffic. Late admission will be denied. Face coverings are required and must be worn at all times.

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. Find your assigned seat using information found on your walk card.

Leave bags, purses, coats, and other personal belongings at home or in your car. There is nowhere to store these items during the ceremony, and the stadium will not be accessible after the event.

Graduates are encouraged to wear warm clothing under their regalia as the temperature in December may be cold. Low-heeled shoes for women are strongly suggested to avoid tripping on the turf.

Please silence cell phones.

In the event of inclement weather, our backup option is to hold two ceremonies in Moody Coliseum, one for undergraduate candidates and the other for graduate candidates with times to be determined. 

Grad Fair

The Grad Fair is a one-stop shop to help you prepare for graduation. The fair will be held virtually this year.

Academic Regalia

Orders for renting academic regalia must be placed through the Herff Jones website by Monday, November 23, 2020. Your regalia order will be sent to your home address. You must enter your current shipping address on the online order form. 

If you miss the deadline, a limited selection of regalia is available at the SMU Bookstore beginning Monday, December 14. Your size may be available, but there is no guarantee. A $10.00 late fee is assessed to walk-ins. Telephone and in-person orders are not accepted. 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.

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.

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.

Regalia Order Information

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.
  • 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. This includes all law graduates.
  • Doctoral candidates (DE, DLS, Ed.D., and Ph.D.) - 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.

Returning Regalia

Orders must be returned to Herff Jones. Instructions will be included in your packet along with a pre-paid return label. 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 (DE, DLS, Ed.D, and Ph.D.) given a hood during the ceremony may keep them as a gift from the University.

Candidates with Impairments

Please contact us at by November 6 with requests for accommodations for the ceremony. Requests made after this date will be met when possible. 

Diplomas and Transcripts


By default, your Primary/legal name listed in my.SMU will print on the diploma. You can add or update a Degree name in my.SMU using the following guidelines.

  • A first name may be shortened to an initial (e.g. Larry is now "L").
  • An initial can be expanded (e.g., J is now Judy).  
  • A middle name can be added that is not currently listed in my.SMU (e.g., John Doe is now John "Michael" Doe). 

All other changes to the first or last name must submitted to the University Registrar's Office. Please visit Graduation and Diploma Services for more information.

Diplomas will be mailed to the Home or Diploma address listed in my.SMU at the end of January. Please make sure to verify you have a correct address listed. 


Transcripts with degrees posed will be available starting at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, January 8, 2021.

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.

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. You will 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.