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 Center in my.SMU. Additional information and filling deadlines are found under .

Ceremony Instructions

Baccalaureate Service and Rotunda Recessional (Undergraduate Candidates Only)

Friday, May 15, 2020 
McFarlin Auditorium, 8:00 p.m.

Undergraduate candidates arrive at McFarlin Auditorium at 7:20 p.m. in full official SMU regalia. No other adornments may be worn. Rotunda Recessional immediately follows the Baccalaureate Service. See the Schedule of Events to learn more about Baccalaureate and the Rotunda Recessional.

All guests, regardless of age, must have a ticket for seating in McFarlin Auditorium. Please see Request Weekend Tickets for more information.

May Commencement

Saturday, May 16, 2020
Moody Coliseum, 9:00 a.m.

Student line-up begins at 7:30 a.m. in Crum Basketball Center and Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports. Assembly locations are listed below. 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. Doors close at 8:45 a.m. Arrive early to avoid graduation day traffic. Late admission will be denied. Security screening is in place.

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.

Signs are posted and faculty marshals are on duty to help you assemble by school and degree type. Faculty Marshals start leading the student procession at 8:50 a.m.

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 Crum Basketball Center and Dedman Center, and the buildings will not be accessible after the event.

Please silence cell phones. 

Candidate Assembly Locations

Candidate Assembly Locations

Doors close at 8:45 a.m. Late arrivals are denied admission.

Candidate ticket is required for admission.

  Crum Basketball Center
Enter through the southeast door that faces the Mustang Parking Center.

Dedman Center for Life Time Sports
Enter through the main doors or through the northwest doors next to the sand volleyball courts.

All Doctoral Candidates

All Graduate/Professional Candidates


All Undergraduate Candidates


Degree Recognition Ceremonies

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

Graduates are individually recognized in school or departmental 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, May 8 at 9:00 a.m. at You are allotted 2 tickets for the Baccalaureate Service (undergraduates only) and 4 tickets for the All-University Commencement Ceremony. Additionally, you must have an entry ticket to participate in the morning ceremony. Instructions on how to request tickets are found under Request Weekend Tickets.

Grad Fair

The Grad Fair is a one-stop shop to help you prepare for graduation. The fair takes place on Thursday, February 20 from 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Friday, February 21 from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on the first floor of the Laura Lee Blanton Building.

Academic Regalia

Orders for renting academic regalia must be placed at the Grad Fair on February 20 or 21 in the Blanton Building or through the Herff Jones website by midnight, April 10. Payment for all regalia is made online during the ordering process. If you miss the deadline, a limited selection of regalia is available at the SMU Bookstore beginning Saturday, May 9. 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 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 Pick-up

Regalia pick-up begins Saturday, May 9 at the SMU Bookstore. 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

All rented gowns and hoods must be returned to the SMU Bookstore by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19. 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 attending the Saturday morning ceremony are given hoods and may keep them as a gift from the University.

Candidates with Impairments

Please contact the Office of Academic Ceremonies at by April 2 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 8, 2020. Please make sure to verify you have a correct address listed. 


Transcripts with degrees posed will be available starting on May 22, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.

Please Note: If you who 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.