No bags or purses are allowed in any commencement facility. Please bring your cell phone, if possible. You will need your cell phone to register for the graduation photos.
Please arrive one hour prior to your ceremony start time in your academic apparel. Name/photo cards are distributed at assembly. Degree candidates assemble at the Breslin Center in locations based on the degree being conferred. Instructions on assembly locations are listed below. Commencement staff will direct all candidates at arrival. BRESLIN ENTRANCE MAP (PDF)
The University is not responsible for coats or other belongings left in the assembly or seating areas. Please leave your coats and other belongings with guests.
Babies, children, and other guests are NOT permitted on the Arena floor or in the degree candidate assembly or seating areas.
MASTER’S DEGREE & EDUCATIONAL SPECIALIST CANDIDATES
Assemble in the Arena. Enter the Breslin Center by taking the Service Drive/Tunnel (south side) to the Arena level. If you enter at any of the entrances at the street level, proceed to the Gilbert Pavilion Gate (southeast). Take the stairs down to the Arena level. Pick up your name/photo card from commencement staff. Proceed into the Arena and to your college’s assigned section. Master's Degree & Educational Specialist Candidates do not process into the ceremony.
DOCTORAL DEGREE CANDIDATES
Assemble in the Auxiliary Gym. Once you enter the Breslin Center, proceed to the Gilbert Pavilion Gate (southeast) and take the stairs down to the Mezzanine level. Exit at the Mezzanine level and proceed to the Auxiliary Gym. Please line up at your college sign with the MSU faculty member hooding you. There will be faculty members available to hood doctoral degree candidates who do not have an accompanying faculty member. Name/photo cards will be distributed by Graduate School staff. Doctoral Degree Candidates process into the ceremony.
ORDER OF CEREMONIES
- Processional (walking in)
- The Star-Spangled Banner
- Moment of Silence
- Presentation and Conferral of Honorary Degrees
- Commencement Keynote Address
- Special Music
- Presentation of Degree Candidates, Conferral of Degrees, and Diploma Presentation
- Alma Mater
The processional begins about 10 minutes prior to ceremony start and proceeds as follows:
- University Mace Bearer
- Alphabetically by college, the Associate Dean will lead the Doctoral Degree candidates & hooding faculty
- Faculty not hooding
- Platform Party
CONFERRAL OF DEGREES AND PRESENTATION OF DIPLOMAS
DOCTORAL DEGREE CANDIDATES wear tassels on the LEFT. Doctoral degree candidates are individually hooded.
Candidates rise at the invitation of the dean of The Graduate School. The president, joined by the Board of Trustees, confers the degree. Degree recipients are seated and then escorted to the platform. The dean directs the hooding process. Graduates make their way to the stage. Each graduate’s name is read, their hooding faculty member’s name is read, and then that faculty member hoods the graduate. The graduate (and faculty member) then cross the stage. The president presents the token diploma.
There will be at least one photo provided: 1) as you are hooded/presented with the token diploma, or 2) a posed photo before you return to your seat. Degree recipients are escorted back to their seats.
MASTER’S DEGREE CANDIDATES wear tassels on the RIGHT. EDUCATIONAL SPECIALIST DEGREE CANDIDATES wear tassels on the LEFT.
Educational Specialist candidates rise at the invitation of the dean of the College of Education and master’s degree candidates rise at the invitation of the dean of your college. The president, joined by the Board of Trustees, confers the Educational Specialist Degree first and then the master’s degrees en masse and invites the master’s degrees to shift tassels from right to left. All recipients are seated. Educational Specialist Degree recipients are escorted to the platform. Master’s degree recipients will follow. Each student’s name is read, and the president presents the token diploma.
There will be at least one photo provided: 1) as you are presented with the token diploma, or 2) a posed photo before you return to your seat. Degree recipients are escorted back to their seats.
After the Alma Mater, the recessional proceeds as follows:
- University Mace and the remaining members of the Platform Party
- Doctoral Degrees with their MSU faculty member who hooded them, and faculty not hooding
- Master’s degrees and Educational Specialist
FOLLOWING THE CEREMONY
Doctoral Degree graduates and will return to the Concourse level at the Hall of History area. Master’s degree and Educational Specialist degree graduates will exit through the Service Tunnel/Drive on the south side of the Breslin Center.
We strongly suggest that you meet guests outside the facility.