Commencement is the ceremony recognizing any degree candidates for the current semester who choose to participate.
Graduation is the official granting of a degree after having met all degree requirements. Graduation does not take place until after the current semester's grades are posted which actually occurs after the commencement ceremony. Diplomas are not presented to students at commencement.
Students that complete two or more majors are awarded one degree. The transcript indicates the one degree and the majors completed. The commencement ceremony that the student participates in is determined by the first major. The student participates in the ceremony of the College of the first major and is seated with the first major.
All students must apply for graduation. The application must be submitted, and the graduation fee paid, by the application deadline to be considered a candidate for degree as well as to participate in the commencement ceremony. Additional application information is available at the Office of the University Registrar for undergraduate students and through the Graduate School for graduate students.
Diplomas will be mailed to graduates when all requirements are met, usually eight to twelve weeks following commencement. The mailing address used will be the one listed on the Undergraduate Application for Graduation or Application for Completion of Graduate Degree that you completed. Undergraduates report any address changes directly to the Office of the University Registrar. Graduate students report any address changes directly to the Graduate School.
Diploma covers are presented at the commencement ceremony. If you did not participate in the ceremony, you may request a diploma cover by contacting Evaluation Services at (309) 438-2282 or at the Office of the University Registrar.
Students graduating in a teaching program will receive a separate letter informing them how to apply online for a teaching certificate.
The size of the diploma is 10" x 8".
Contact the Office of the University Registrar to order transcripts.
To graduate with an honor distinction a student must have earned a minimum of 30 semester hours at Illinois State University as well as a cumulative GPA of 3.65 or higher after the last completed semester as grades and hours for the current semester will not be posted at the time of commencement. Only Illinois State University course work is included in the computation of the GPA.
|Cumulative GPA||Honor Distinction|
|3.90 - 4.00||Summa Cum Laude, Gold Cord|
|3.80 - 3.89||Magna Cum Laude, Lavender Cord|
|3.65 - 3.79||Cum Laude, White Cord|
Students who have earned 30 semester hours at Illinois State University and a qualifying GPA both based on the last graded semester prior to commencement are recognized with the respective honor distinction at commencement.
Once grades for the current semester are posted, cumulative hours and cumulative GPA are recalculated and final honor distinction determined. The final honor distinction will be permanently noted on the student's diploma and transcript as noted below:
Degree Honors include Major (Department) Honors and Latin (Laude) Honors. These Degree Honors will display on a transcript along with the degree earned. They will also print on the diploma.
Term Honors include Presidential Scholar, Honors Program Scholar, Honors Program Scholar with Distinction, Honors Program Scholar with Merit, and Bone Scholar. Term Honors will print after the appropriate term on the transcript, whether it is the term of admission or the term of graduation. Honors Program Scholar with Distinction is the only Term Honor that also prints on the diploma.
If you have earned the honors designation you will be notified by e-mail from the Office of the University Registrar and provided with instructions for honor cord pick-up.
Honor cords are also available for undergraduate students in the Honors Program who complete at least three semesters and nine Honors credit hours in the program and who graduate in good standing. Presidential Scholars who meet these requirements and who complete the Presidential Scholars Program also receive a cord. Honors students who meet these requirements will be provided with instructions to pick up their cords prior to commencement.
There is no fee for participating in commencement, however graduates are responsible for purchasing their keepsake cap and gown.Illinois State University has partnered with Jostens, Inc.to provide a convenient shopping experience for our graduates and their families. Purchase cap and gown for winter commencement through Jostens.
Undergraduate students completing degree requirements during the fall semester participate in the December ceremony. Undergraduate students completing degree requirements during the spring or summer semesters participate in the May ceremonies. The University Registrar located in Moulton 102 must approve any exception to this regulation in writing.
Instructions for participants page contains the information you need. This will also be sent via e-mail to each student registered to participate in commencement.
The Office of the University Registrar sends out all diplomas to Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral Degree recipients.
Diplomas are mailed 12 weeks after commencement.
Purchase cap and gown for winter commencement through Jostens by calling 800-854-7464. An expedited shipping fee will apply. All degree candidates participating in commencement should wear appropriate academic attire
Undergraduates wear red and white tassels. Graduate students wear black tassels for master's degrees and gold for doctoral degrees.
Redbird Arena and Braden Auditorium have adequate seating for family members and guests. Tickets are not required. Doors will open one hour prior to the start of the ceremony for guest seating.
The length of each ceremony differs by the number of degrees granted. In spring, the ceremony typically lasts two hours with the exception of the 7 p.m. Friday evening College of Arts and Sciences ceremony and the Noon College of Applied Science and Technology ceremony. Please plan on approximately three hours for those ceremonies. In winter, the ceremonies typically last two hours.
YES! Students must participate from the start to the end of the program. For ceremonies in Redbird Arena, students must exit from the northeast ramp of Redbird Arena after the ceremony. They are not permitted to return to the Arena floor. Please make arrangements prior to the event for a meeting location with family and friends outside Redbird Arena.
No. Diploma covers are presented during commencement ceremonies. Diplomas are mailed to everyone who has met degree requirements approximately 12 weeks later.
Contact the Office of the University Registrar.
The doors open one hour prior to the ceremony start time.
No bags, backpacks or boxes, except for purses and medical equipment, will be permitted in Redbird Arena for commencement.
As a courtesy to all guests attending commencement, items such as balloons, balloon bouquets, signs, banners or other visual obstructions are discouraged in Redbird Arena. In addition, please refrain from using any type of noisemaker as graduates cross the stage. Loud noises and outbursts will distract from recognition of the next graduate.
Graduates and guests should check the Graduation Services website or listen to the Bloomington/Normal radio and television stations for cancellation information. If there is a cancellation due to inclement weather commencement will not be rescheduled.
August graduates participate in spring commencement ceremonies.
Students should participate in the commencement ceremony held in the semester in which they complete degree requirements. Participation in an off campus internship, off campus study program, or student teaching is not considered a reason for early commencement participation. If significant extenuating circumstances prevent a student from participating in commencement at the time of graduation the student must request permission to participate early by writing to the Office of the University Registrar.
Please contact Graduation Services at (309) 438-2836 or graduationservices@IllinoisState.edu.