Families of Advanced Degree Candidates-Spring

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Greetings and Congratulations...

to the families of graduates! Commencement is a joyous occasion and provides a very important and meaningful culmination to all of the efforts made by graduates and their families. The ceremony on Friday, May 5, 3:30 p.m., Breslin Center includes the conferral of degrees and the individual recognition of candidates. Graduates and their guests are asked to be respectful as each graduate's name is read. Please remain for the entire ceremony.

There is construction at the Breslin Center.  The Hall of History (Southeast) entrance is closed.  Parking is limited in the area.  We encourage all participants and their family and other important guests to use the Commencement Shuttle Bus Service. Golf cart transportation from the Birch Road shuttle stop will be available for those requiring assistance. Buses are accessible. There is no charge.

Admission tickets are NOT required.

For the safety and security of all of our participants and guests, please be aware:

ALL bags are subject to search. To avoid delays, it is strongly recommended that bags are NOT brought to the Breslin Center.

NO food or beverages or other liquids are to be brought into Breslin Center. Please leave these items in your vehicle or discard before entering the facility.

For family and guests of our graduates, concession stands will open one hour prior to the start of the ceremony and remain open through at least the first 90 minutes of the ceremony. Menu is limited to hot and cold beverages and some snack items. 

The processional will begin at 3:20 p.m. Degree candidates are asked to report to assembly by 2:30 p.m., and must be in academic apparel to participate. Below you will find information about the ceremony, academic apparel and announcements, graduate photos, commencement shuttle service, and parking.

On behalf of the Commencement Committee, congratulations on your graduate's achievements. It is our hope that the information we provide will assist you in your visit to Michigan State University during the commencement weekend.

John D. Gaboury, Ed.D.
Associate Provost for Academic Services
Chairperson, Commencement Committee

Judith Stoddart, Ph.D.
Interim Dean of the The Graduate School,
and Associate Provost for Graduate Education,
and Member of the Commencement Committee

Advanced Degree Commencement Instructions and Diagrams (pdf)


General Information 


Academic Apparel and Announcements

In support of the University commitment to sustainability, the master's degree cap and gown is manufactured using recycled materials and may be returned to the Spartan Spirit Shop for additional recycling.

Cap and Gown is available at the Spartan Spirit Shop, MSU Union Building , 49 Abbot Road. Store hours: Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 12:00 noon-5:00 p.m. Or order online at the Spartan Spirit Shop   website. The last day to order online is Sunday, April 23.

 The master's degree keepsake cap and gown is $68.00 plus sales tax.

Doctoral Degree and Educational Specialist Degree Students:
Deadline and late fee apply to rental of academic apparel. Reservation for rented academic apparel is $75.00 plus sales tax and are taken at the Spartan Spirit Shop (phone/email/hours below) or online at the Spartan Spirit Shop website. A $15.00 late fee applies on Monday, March 27. Last day to reserve rental apparel is Monday, April 17. Pick up your rentals at the MSU Union Building , 49 Abbot Road, 4th floor, 1925 Room, Monday, May 1-Thursday, May 4, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Following the ceremony, return academic apparel rentals at your assembly location (Auxiliary Gym). Or you may return on Monday, May 8 to the Spartan Spirit Shop, MSU Union Building  , 49 Abbot Road. There is a late fee after May 8.

With questions about ANNOUNCEMENTS or cap and gown, please contact the Spartan Spirit Shop (MSU Union Building, 49 Abbot Road) at spirit@msu.edu or 517-355-5116.

Visit the Spartan Spirit Shop to order CAP AND GOWN.

Visit www.michiganstategrad.com to order ANNOUNCEMENTS. 


Announcements, diploma frames, and other graduation-related items may be purchased at the Spartan Spirit Shop in the MSU Union Building , 49 Abbot Road or online at  Spartan Spirit Shop.  Last day to order online is Sunday, April 23. The shop hours are: Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m.; Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 12:00 noon-5:00 p.m. With questions, email spirit@msu.edu or phone the Spartan Spirit Shop at 517-355-5116.


When visiting Michigan State University for commencement ceremonies, please visit interactive map at www.construction.msu.edu/index.cfm/detours/ for current road and pedestrian construction and detours.

Please check MDOT (Michigan Department of Transportation) for construction on roads or highways you travel to East Lansing. Be sure to click on "Roads and Travel" at the MDOT Website. A map at mdotnetpublic.state.mi.us/drive/Default.aspx indicates current road construction .

Guests with Disabilities

The Breslin Center is a barrier-free facility. Wheelchair seating is available at the Concourse level (the level at which you enter). Ushers will direct guests to these areas. Since seating in these areas is limited, and we wish to accommodate as many as possible, we ask that one person in your party be seated with the individual requiring wheelchair seating and that other guests in your party are seated in the general seating areas. 

Those unable to climb stairs may be seated in the Wheelchair seating areas. Ushers will direct guests to these areas. Since seating in these areas is limited, and we wish to accommodate as many as possible, we ask that one person in your party be seated with the individual requiring wheelchair seating and that other guests in your party are seated in the general seating areas.

The following are available at Guests Services, the Hall of History (Southeast) entrance. Please arrive early so that accommodations may be met.

  • The "Phonic Ear," for guests requiring sound amplification.
  • Wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You must leave picture identification for the use of the wheelchairs. They are to be used for TRANSPORTATION ONLY and not as seating.
  • First aid.
  • Lost and Found.
  • Information and Referrals.

Open caption will be available on the jumbotron (large videoboard above and at the center of the arena).  If you require an interpreter for the hearing-impaired, please contact Heather Bailey at commencement@msu.edu or 517-353-93993 by Monday, April 17. Please provide your name, contact information, and number of guests. In order to accommodate all requests, the number of seats may be limited to the guest who requires an interpreter and one other guest, and other guests may be asked to be seated in the general seating areas.

Food and Lodging

Please view our Visitors to East Lansing page for information about food, lodging, and other events and activities taking place in the University community and surrounding communities! 


Maps, Parking, Shuttle

Due to construction, the Commencement Shuttle Service is strongly recommended.

Parking for Persons with Disabilities

Parking for persons with disabilities in Breslin Center, lot 63 West (south side of Breslin Center). Enter from Harrison Road. You must have a State of Michigan-issued parking placard or plate for persons with disabilities (other State-issued parking permits for persons with disabilities will allow access as well). Please see diagram below for your ceremony.


Professional photographers will take photos of graduates during the Advanced Degree Commencement Ceremony and the College-level Baccalaureate Degree Commencement Ceremonies. Photo cards will be distributed at assembly unless otherwise noted at the instruction pages for graduates. You can visit the photographer's website here for ordering information after the ceremonies. 

Shuttle Service--Advanced Degree Commencement Ceremony

View Commencement Shuttle Service Map (pdf). Buses run Friday, May 5, Breslin Center. NO CHARGE. Shuttle buses are accessible. Due to the increased volume in traffic and demands on parking, we strongly recommend that graduates and families and other guests use the commencement shuttle service. Golf cart transportation from the Birch Road shuttle stop will be available for those requiring assistance. Shuttle buses run every 10-15 minutes, late morning to late evening, from:

  • Ramp 5 (Trowbridge Road at the Communication Arts and Sciences Building). Stops in front of the ramp.
  • Lot 79 (south side of Spartan Stadium). Stops on Shaw Lane.
  • Lot 89 (Commuter lot) at the northwest corner of Mt. Hope Rd. and Farm Lane. Stops at the Bus Shelter. 

Ceremony Information

Order of Ceremonies

-Star-Spangled Banner
-Conferral of Honorary Degrees
-Commencement Address
-Special Music
-Board of Trustees Remarks
-Conferral of Degrees and Presentation of Token Diplomas

  • Doctoral Degrees 
  • Educational Specialist Degrees
  • Master's 

-President's Closing Remarks


Diplomas are mailed approximately one month after the degree has been awarded with a complimentary copy of the transcript included.

Contact Us

Commencement Office
E-mail: commencement@msu.edu
Phone: 517-353-3993

Advanced Degree Commencement Instructions and Diagrams (pdf)