Candidate Instructions

May Commencement Weekend is May 13 and 14, 2022. The information below was for May 2021. The University is in the process of finalizing details for the 2022 weekend. Please check back in January for updates.

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

May Commencement

Saturday, May 15, 2021
Ford Stadium, 8:00 a.m.

All candidates may begin arriving to Ford Stadium at 6:30 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. Graduates must be seated on the field by 7:45 a.m. You will be sitting by degree level (Doctoral, Professional, Master, Bachelor). Arrive early to avoid graduation day traffic. Late admission will be denied. Face coverings are required and must be worn at all times.

An entry ticket is required for all candidates. You must have declared your intention to participate in order to request a candidate ticket and tickets for your guests to attend the ceremony. Please see Request Weekend Tickets for more information.

Candidate entry is through the Loyd All-Sports Center Lobby. You will be directed downstairs and onto the stadium field. Staff will be on hand to assist you in finding a seat in your degree level section.

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.

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

Please silence cell phones. 

Dallas Hall Rotunda Walk

Saturday, May 15, 2021 
Historic Main Quadrangle and Dallas Hall, 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Dallas Hall will be open for a self-guided, self-paced walk through the Rotunda following the All-University Commencement ceremony. A ticket is not required for this walk-thru. A face covering is required in Dallas Hall.

Degree Recognition Ceremonies

Friday, May 14, 2021 and Saturday, May 15, 2021

Graduates are individually recognized in school or program ceremonies. Honor cords, stoles, and other decorations may be worn for the degree recognition ceremonies. Some ceremonies require tickets. Contact information for the degree recognition ceremonies is listed on the Events Schedule page.

See Full Schedule


Tickets may be requested beginning Wednesday, April 26 at 9:00 a.m. from our Commencement Ticket website. You are allotted 4 guest tickets for the All-University Commencement Ceremony. Additionally, you must have candidate entry ticket to participate in the morning ceremony. Instructions on how to request tickets are found under Request Weekend Tickets.

Academic Regalia

Orders for renting academic regalia must be through Herff Jones by Monday, April 19. 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 10. 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 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. 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 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 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 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 graduates may keep their cap and tassel and undergraduates may keep their stole. Doctoral candidates (DE, DLS, Ed.D, and PhD.) attending the Saturday morning ceremony are given a hood and may keep them as a gift from the University.

Candidates with Impairments

Please contact the Office of Academic Ceremonies at by Monday, April 5 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 16, 2021. Please make sure to verify you have a correct address listed. 


Transcripts with degrees posted will be available starting on May 21, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.

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.