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Commencement Day

General Information


Students: On Commencement Day, South Drive and Jaguar Drive are closed to through traffic. For your convenience, we encourage graduates to use Old Shell Road for easy access to the Graduate only parking lot off of Jaguar Drive.

Handicapped Parking: A limited number of handicapped parking spaces will be available at the Mitchell Center. Entrance to this lot will be from Old Shell Road only. Proper handicapped tags must be visible for access to this lot.

Academic Apparel

Academic apparel will be available for pick up 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday the week of Commencement at the bookstore and on the day of commencement at Noon at HPE 1125.

You must be in your academic apparel before picking up your line-up card in the West Gym of the HPE building.

Gowns, and graduate-level hoods, must be returned to the same room after the ceremony. Financial holds will be placed on accounts of students who do not return their academic regalia.

Student Apparel

We advise men to wear dark slacks, collared shirt, tie, dark socks and dark shoes. Women should wear any colored top, dark pants or skirt or a dark dress. Wear attire that has pockets (to carry keys, phone and camera). Leave wallet or purse inside of the car or with your guests. Wear shoes that are comfortable and easy to maneuver in.

The white collar included with the gown is worn only with the bachelor’s gown. Tassels are worn on the right side of the mortarboard (cap) before the degree is conferred. Only honor cords, honor pins, and honor medallions may be worn with the academic apparel. You may need to bring bobby pins and/or safety pins with you to the ceremony.

All graduate- or professional-level students with the exception of Ph.D. candidates wear their hoods. Ph.D. candidates carry their hoods in the processional and will be hooded during the ceremony.


Diploma covers will be issued on stage. Ph.D., DPT, AUD, DNP, and MD students will receive their diplomas during the ceremony. Diplomas for all other students will be mailed approximately 4 weeks after the end of the term.

Degree Completion/Honors Program Completion/Academic Honors

Only spring candidates are eligible to participate in the spring commencement. Summer graduates and Fall candidates participate in the Fall ceremony. Participation in the exercises does not mean that degree requirements and/or honors program requirements have been completed or that academic honors have been awarded. Final degree and undergraduate honors will be awarded at the end of the term. Questions concerning tentative honors should be resolved prior to commencement. If you have any questions concerning tentative honors, contact the Registrar’s office 251-460-6251(option 4).


All outstanding obligations to the University must be cleared before transcripts or diplomas will be released.

Assembling of Graduates and Ceremony

  • Give your valuables to family or friends or return them to your car.
  • Enter the HPE West Gym at 12:15 p.m. and pick up lineup card. If you are eligible for honors, you will be given your honor cord when you receive your linup card. All participants must be in the gym by 12:45 p.m.
  • Students with names that might be difficult to pronounce should see the readers in the back of the gym.
  • Enter the adjoining gym. Your group number is on the front of this card and the group numbers are posted in numerical order across the front of the gym. After finding the correct group number get in line by college (each college is a different color card) and then by your Lineup #. At the designated time, the student marshals will begin ensuring the correct order of the lines.
  • Students will leave the Gym and walk to the Mitchell Center following their student marshal.
  • Inside the Mitchell Center follow the directions of the marshals and the Registrar's Office staff members to your seat.
  • Marshals will direct the studnets to the stage at the appropriate time. You should bring your card with you to the stage. If you forget or lose your card, do not panic. Stop at the card table at the bottom of the ramp and a Registrar's Office staff member will give you a duplicate card.
  • Go up the ramp, hand your card to the Registrar's Office staff member. When your name is called proceed across the stage. You will shake the Dean's hand and receive your diploma cover, You will continue across the stage and shake the President's hand and walk off the stage.
  • Follow the Marshals instructions and return to your seat.
  • After processing out of the Mitchell Center your robe to HPE 1125 and have your name checked off by the Bookstore representative.

Ph.D. Students:
Ph.D. candidates when instructed by the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs will rise, have the degrees conferred en masse by the President and then proceed to the top of the ramp with your major professors. As you reach the Reader’s podium on the stage, your full name, and the name of your major professor will be read. You and your major professor will then move forward halfway between the Reader’s podium and the President where your major professor will hood you. You and your major professor will then walk to the President who will hand you the diploma and have your picture taken, advance and shake hands with the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Board of Trustees, exit the platform by the front side steps and return to your seat down the center aisle. Marshals will direct you back to your seats.


At the end of the ceremony, you will recess after the platform party. Marshals will direct you out of the arena.


Smoking and drinking of alcoholic beverages are prohibited in the HPE Building and the Mitchell Center. Valuables should not be brought into the HPE Building or the Mitchell Center. Please arrange to leave purses, cameras and other personal items with family or friends. All cell phones must be turned off during the ceremony.

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University of South Alabama - Office of the Registrar
Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002 - (251)460-6251
For questions or comments Contact Us
Last Update: 2007-03-21
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