Things to Know

All students completing a degree (graduating) in the calendar year are welcome to participate in the one annual celebration event we have each year -- Commencement.   There are two steps for being able to join the ceremony: 

  1. students must apply to graduate with a degree term in the calendar year, and        
  2. students are required to purchase rental ceremony attire by July 31 due to the recent rescheduling of the ceremonies from May to September.

7/8/20 Update: 

Plans are underway for a series of smaller ceremonies that meet federal and state safety concerns. The schedule will be announced in early August.  Guests will be limited to 4 per student.  Students who confirm attendance will be given a link on August 14 to obtain tickets for up to four assigned seats for guests.  


Survey input from parents and students from late June revealed a high interest for more guests, which indicates that for most attendees, their full allotment would be used and no seats would be available.  We will make an assessment on 8/21 and implement a lottery system the following week if there are available seats.  


Please know the ceremonies will be web-streamed, and therefore widely available for guests to view in the comfort of a personal space.  We will not be hosting watch locations.  




The vendor for UNDERGRADUATE, MASTERS, and LAW attire is Herff Jones. The site has reopened with a new deadline date of July 31 to accommodate the rescheduled ceremony dates in September.  Orders will arrive in about 20 days, and can be returned with pre-paid postage.  If a student is attending the September ceremony, they should bring the attire set with them, and return the gown and hood at the Zag Shop after the event.  The cap and tassel are keepsakes.

DOCTORAL STUDENTS –  Custom purchase gowns (about $1,000) are shipped to the student.  Rental sets of all items -- gown, tam, and hood (about $125) can be picked up in the Zag Shop beginning September 3 after 1pm, and returned to the Zag Shop after the ceremony.  The Jostens order site for rental attire will not re-open.  Students who need rental regalia will be served with the extra inventory available in the Zag Shop beginning Thursday, September 3 after 1pm.   




Diplomas are not provided at Commencement, as it is a celebratory event.  Diplomas are being mailed in mid-July, along with honor cords.  Students should make sure their mailing address on Zagweb is updated.  Contact the Degree Evaluation Office with questions about diplomas.  Link to the Degree Office is here.



For the ceremony, Latin honors for undergraduates are determined based on their final GPA the semester prior to the ceremony. 

If a student achieves Latin honors at the point of graduation, the transcript and diploma is updated, accordingly. 

See this link for details regarding Honors.


Cords and pins from honor societies are approved ceremony accessories, and receipt of ceremony attire accessory items vary by group.  Check with the society advisor for information.


Unfortunately, ceremony gowns are only intended for rental and cannot be purchased, except for doctoral students who choose a custom purchase set.  The cap or tam and tassel that come with the rental gown sets are keepsakes, and do not need to be returned after commencement.


If you would like to purchase a general/custom attire set or just a hood, please email Howard Byrd at


Doctoral students can choose to rent or purchase the ceremony gown from Jostens.  Please contact Angela Ruff at or 509-313-3572 for details.


Both degrees are acknowledged at commencement at the stage moment.  The student is invited to choose which degree is primary for attire and seating.