Candidate Instructions

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 Dashboard in my.SMU. Additional information and filling deadlines are found under Graduation and Diploma Services.

Ceremony Instructions

Baccalaureate and Rotunda Recessional

(Undergraduate students only)

Friday, May 12, 2023
McFarlin Auditorium, 5:00 p.m.

All undergraduate candidates should arrive by 4:30 p.m. in full regalia and take their seats in the auditorium.

An entry ticket is required for all candidates. Each candidate is also allotted two guest tickets. You must declare your intention to participate in the ceremony in order to request a candidate ticket and guest tickets.  Please see Request Weekend Tickets for more information.

We do not anticipate offering extra tickets for Baccalaureate at this time. If extra tickets become available, they will be distributed on the steps of McFarlin at 4:00 p.m.

Rotunda Recessional, a final walk through Dallas Hall, follows the Baccalaureate Service.

All-University May Commencement Ceremony

Saturday, May 13, 2023
Moody Coliseum, 8:30 a.m.

All candidates begin arriving to Moody Coliseum at 7:30 a.m. in 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. Arrival and procession line-up information will be communicated closer to the ceremony. Arrive early to avoid graduation day traffic. Late admission will be denied.

An entry ticket is required for all candidates. You must declare your intention to participate in order to request a candidate ticket to attend the ceremony. Tickets are required for guests in Moody Coliseum. Please see Request Weekend Tickets for more information.

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 items will not be accessible after the event.  

Please silence cell phones. 

Degree Recognition Ceremonies

Friday, May 12, 2023 and Saturday, May 13, 2023

Graduates are individually recognized in school or department ceremonies. Check with your school or department to confirm if honor cords, stoles, and other decorations may be worn. Some ceremonies require tickets. Contact information for the degree recognition ceremonies is listed on the Events Schedule page.

See Full Schedule


Tickets for Baccalaureate and the All-University Commencement Ceremony may be requested beginning Tuesday, April 25 at 9:30 a.m. central time from our Commencement Ticket website. You must have a candidate entry ticket to participate in the morning ceremony. Instructions on how to request tickets are found under Request Weekend Tickets. Guests also require tickets to attend the All-University Commencement Ceremony.

Academic Regalia

Academic regalia rentals are made through Herff Jones. The deadline for ordering regalia is Wednesday, April 12. Your 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, May 8. Your size may be available, but there is no guarantee. A 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 May, please place an order. If you do not need the regalia, you are not responsible for the rental fee.

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 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. You are also responsible for checking that you 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 to move them to the left during the All-University ceremony on Saturday morning.
  • 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. Doctoral candidates (DE, DLS, Ed.D, and PhD.) will be given hoods during the ceremony. The hood is a gift from the University to these students who attend the All-University ceremony.

Returning Regalia

Orders must be returned to Herff Jones. Instructions and a pre-paid return label are included in your regalia package. Students who do not return their regalia will have a hold put on their SMU account.

All Baccalaureate candidates and master's candidates may keep their cap and tassel. Baccalaureate candidates may also keep their red stole of gratitude. Doctoral Candidates (DE, DLS, E.D., and PhD.) attending the Saturday morning ceremony are given a hood and may keep them as a gift from the University. Law and Theology students must return hoods and gowns. However, Law and Theology students may keep their tams and tassels. 

Candidates with Impairments

Please contact the Office of Academic Ceremonies at by Monday, April 3 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 on or after June 15, 2023. Please make sure to verify you have a correct address listed. 


Transcripts with degrees posted will be available starting on  Friday, May 19, 2023.

Please Note: If you owe money to the University, you may participate in the commencement ceremony, but your diploma and transcript 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.