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Advanced Degrees

Educational Specialist and Master's Degrees

Friday, April 26, 2024
9:00 a.m.
Jack Breslin Student Events Center
534 Birch Road
East Lansing, MI 48824

Doctoral Degrees (PHD, DNP, DMA, EDD)

Friday, April 26, 2024
3:00 p.m.
Jack Breslin Student Events Center
534 Birch Road
East Lansing, MI 48824

All candidates* must register to participate in commencement ceremonies.

*Except Human Medicine (MD) and Veterinary Medicine (DVM)

Register to Participate


Doors open one hour prior to ceremony start time. Each ceremony is about two hours. Babies, children, and other guests are NOT permitted on the Arena floor or in the degree candidate assembly or seating areas.

Please review the clear bag policy on the Breslin Center's website.  

There are no limits on guest attendance, and no tickets are required. Please refer your guests to the Guests page for more information.

Instructions to Advanced Degree Candidates

  1. Apply to graduate - you MUST apply to graduate with the Registrar's Office. Complete the application before Friday, February 23, 2024 for the Spring 2024 semester. This will ensure your name is included in the printed commencement program. If you have FERPA restrictions on your account or apply after the deadline, your name will not print in the program.
    • To check FERPA restriction status, login to SIS, click "My Profile," select “FERPA Restrictions” in the left navigation, then "FERPA Activities View." To remove restrictions, simply un-check the box.
  2. Register to participate in your ceremony. The deadline to register is Friday, April 12, 2024.
  3. Arrange for your cap and gown with the MSU Official Graduation Store, the Spartan Spirit Shop. Academic regalia can be purchased online or in-person at their MSU Union location. Questions about academic apparel can be emailed to spirit@msu.edu or by calling their 517-355-5116.
  4. Doctoral Degree Candidates ask one MSU faculty member to hood you.
  5. Optional: Order announcements at the Spartan Spirit Shop or at www.michiganstategrad.com.

Please bring your cell phone, if possible. You will need your cell phone to register for the graduation photos.

ASSEMBLY

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

  1. Processional (walking in)
  2. The Star-Spangled Banner
  3. Moment of Silence
  4. Presentation and Conferral of Honorary Degrees
  5. Commencement Keynote Address
  6. Special Music
  7. Presentation of Degree Candidates, Conferral of Degrees, and Diploma Presentation
  8. Alma Mater
  9. Recessional

THE PROCESSIONAL
The processional begins about 10 minutes prior to ceremony start and proceeds as follows:

  1. University Mace Bearer
  2. Alphabetically by college, the Associate Dean will lead the Doctoral Degree candidates & hooding faculty
  3. Faculty not hooding
  4. 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.

THE RECESSIONAL

After the Alma Mater, the recessional proceeds as follows:

  1. University Mace and the remaining members of the Platform Party
  2. Doctoral Degrees with their MSU faculty member who hooded them, and faculty not hooding
  3. 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.

ADVANCED DEGREE CANDIDATES WITH DISABILITIES

Please contact the commencement office at commencement@msu.edu or 517-353-3993 by Monday, April 1, 2024, 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 #126 (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. Breslin Area Parking Map.