Baccalaureate Degree Ceremonies

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Jack Breslin Student Events Center
534 Birch Road

East Lansing, Michigan

Each ceremony is about two hours
NO admission tickets are required


10:00 AM-12:00 PM Ceremony

Doors Open: 8:45 AM

Degree Candidates Assemble: 9:00 AM

Processional Begins: 9:45 AM

Colleges Included:

Arts and Humanities (Residential)

Arts and Letters

Broad College of Business


James Madison


Social Science


2:00 PM-4:00 PM Ceremony

Doors Open: 12:45 PM

Degree Candidates Assemble: 1:00 PM

Processional Begins: 1:45 PM

Colleges Included:

Agriculture and Natural Resources

Communication Arts and Sciences


Lyman Briggs

Natural Science



Babies, Children, and other guests are NOT permitted on the Arena Floor or in the degree candidate assembly or seating areas.

We ask your cooperation in observing graduation etiquette. Any items visible and worn with your academic regalia should be appropriate to the occasion and not detract from the recognition of your fellow graduating seniors. Do not wear flowers or decorative jewelry on your academic gown. Low-heeled shoes are recommended. Please silence cell phones, pagers, or other devices. Please be respectful as names are read, so that each and every graduating senior receives the proper recognition.

Please note that the academic apparel does NOT have pockets.  We ask that you keep this in mind for cell phones.  You do need both hands when you cross the stage. 


1.  Apply to graduate on the Office of the Registrar's Website: on or before the end of the first week of the semester you expect to complete your degree requirements.  This will assure your name is included in the commencement program, and that you have a pre-printed name card at the ceremony.

2.  Arrange for your cap and gownPlease see the Cap and Gown page for information on how to order.
With any questions about academic apparel, please email or call 517-355-5116.

3.  If you are Honor/High Honor: Pickup your honor cords from your Academic Advising/Student Affairs Office within your College.  These cords will be available after November 19, 2018.




Please arrive one hour prior to your ceremony time in your academic apparel.  The processional (walking in) will begin 15 minutes prior to the ceremony start time. Report to the Breslin Center Arena Level Loading Dock Area to receive your name card.  Enter the building through the service Tunnel/Drive.  You will then assemble in the back hallways of the Arena Level at your designated college sign.
Please have your guests hold your coat or other belongings.  Items are not allowed to be left unattended.
TASSELS - Wear your tassel on the RIGHT of your cap. 



The processional (walking in) will begin about 15 minutes prior to the ceremony start time.  


1. Processional

2. President's Welcome

3. The Star-Spangled Banner

4. Moment of Silence

5. Conferral of Honorary Degrees

6. Commencement Keynote Address

7. Special Music

8. Board of Trustees' Greetings and Remarks

9. Graduating Senior Address*

10. Senior Class Gift Presentation

11. Recognition of Members of Platform Party

12. Presentation of Degree Candidates**

13. Student Recognition (Honors College, etc.)

14. Presentation of Diplomas***

16. Congratulate Graduates

17. Presidents Concluding Remarks

18. Alma Matter

19. Recessional****


*The Senior Class Council will select two graduating seniors to deliver the student speech at the ceremonies (one in the morning and one in the afternoon). Speeches are to be no longer than 4-5 minutes.  If you are interested in representing the Class of 2018, please view this page for more information:  

**The Deans present the degree candidates within their colleges and invite them to rise.  The candidates remain standing.  After all the Deans present their degree candidates, the President, joined by members of the MSU Board of Trustees, confers the degrees en masse and instructs degree recipients to shift tassels to the left.  Following conferral of degrees, the degree recipients are seated.

***The Provost invites graduates to the platform.  The graduates bring their name card and photo card with them to the platform.  Each graduate's name is read.  The President will present the token diploma to the graduate after their name is read.
Professional photographers will provide at least one photo: as the President presents the token diploma or the posed photo before all are seated.

****Graduates are the last in the processional, after the Platform Party and Faculty.  Weather permitting, graduates will exit the Arena through the Service Tunnel/Drive on the south side of the Breslin Center (outside).  Weather not permitting, graduates will exit the arena and arrive at the Hall of History (inside), southwest corner of the concourse.  Please arrange to meet family and friends in other locations as this area is very congested.



Please contact Heather Bailey at or 517-884-4957 by Monday, November 12, 2018 with requests for accommodations for the ceremony. Requests made after that date will be met when possible.

Parking is limited in the area. We encourage all participants and their guests to use commencement shuttle bus service. Shuttle buses are accessible. There is no charge.
Barrier-free parking is located in the Breslin Center lot #63 (EAST SIDE OF THE SERVICE DRIVE/TUNNEL). Please enter from Shaw Lane. Parking in this area is limited to those with a State of Michigan or other State-issued disability placard. Please see the diagrams in the Family & Friends tab.


There is NO charge for Commencement SHUTTLE BUS SERVICE. The commencement shuttle bus service IS STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.

Shuttle buses will run every 10-15 minutes from 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 15, 2018.  Shuttle Buses will run from the following parking areas:

  • Ramp 5 - Trowbridge Road access (at the Communication Arts and Sciences Building), stopping at the bus shelter in front of the ramp

  • Lot 79 - South side of Spartan Stadium, stopping on Shaw Lane for passengers 

Shuttle buses are accessible. Please see the campus map, indicating the recommended parking lots/ramps and bus stops.

Baccalaureate Degrees Map with Directions

Instructions for Degree Candidates (PDF)



Mailed approximately one month after your degree has been awarded. Questions regarding your Graduation Application or Diploma, please email the Registrar’s Office at or call 517-355-3300.