Master's Candidates - Frequently Asked Questions



When do I file for Graduation?

Graduate students must file their applications with the Registrar's Office by the following deadlines:

Graduation Date Application Deadline
May December 1
August June 1
January September 1

Please note: Graduate Students who completed their degree requirements in August 2015, January 2016 or in May 2016 are invited to participate in the Commencement Ceremony.



Although I will be completing my degree requirements in August, can I participate in the May ceremony?

Students who document that they can complete all degree requirements in Summer 2016 will be granted a permit to march if they register and meet other requirements as prescribed by their College and secure a permit from their respective Associate Dean prior to the specified deadlines set forth annually.  Application to graduate must be filed online with the Registrar’s Office by April 1 in order for the student's name to appear in the ceremony program. The permit must be brought to Pioneer Salute.   If application and permit is secured after April 13 the student may still participate in the ceremony and have their name read at the ceremony.  Deadline for participation in the ceremony is May 7.


College Contact Person
College of Arts and Communication Interim Associate Dean Loretta McLaughlin Vignier
College of Education Associate Dean Dorothy Feola
College of Humanities and Social Sciences Associate Dean Wartyna Davis
College of Business Interim Associate Dean Susan Godar
College of Science and Health Associate Dean Jean Fuller-Stanley



What is the Pioneer Salute and must I attend?

The Pioneer Salute is an opportunity to collect your cap, gown, hood, Commencement day instructions as well as visit with representatives from the Registrar's Office, Student Enrollment Services, and Financial Aid to assure that you are ready for graduation. The offices of Career Development, and Alumni Relations will also be on hand to provide additional information. For those interested in purchasing personalized announcements, rings and diploma plaques, vendors will be available to take your orders. This event is critical to all graduating students.



How long do I need to be at the Pioneer Salute?

The dates for this year's Pioneer Salute are Tuesday, April 12 and Wednesday, April 13 (9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.) in  Ballrooms A & B of the University Commons. You may attend either day at any time convenient to your schedule. The activity is a walk-through event (visit a variety of tables) and most students complete the process within 20 minutes. Please make every effort to attend.



If I am unable to attend the Pioneer Salute, what can I do?

All students participating in the May Commencement ceremonies are encouraged to adjust their schedules and make every effort to attend one of the Pioneer Salute days. This is the best opportunity to meet all the offices at one time and collect your cap, gown, hood and additional instructions. For your convenience, it has been set up on different class days and includes evening hours. Those unable to attend this walk-through event must contact the Registrar's Office, Student Enrollment Services, and Financial Aid and clarify if any items are pending. Late pick-up of cap, gown, and hood will be available on dates to be determined in May.


What's my cap and gown made of?

The University’s commitment to sustainability, environmental stewardship and energy conservation is now evident in your academic regalia. Recycled PET plastic bottles have created your academic regalia. The plastic bottles have been cleaned, chipped into plastic flakes, melted and forced through spinnerets to create yarn which is weaved to produce the fabric. Each cap and gown sewn from recycled bottle fabric prevents approximately 27 plastic bottles from being dumped into a landfill. Your regalia is labeled Ultra Green and is provided by the University Cap and Gown company. This further demonstrates that sustainability is a focus of what’s happening on our campus with the ultimate goal of making conservation a permanent part of campus life.



Is there a rehearsal for commencement?

No, there is no rehearsal. At the Pioneer Salute you are provided instructions that clarify staging areas and seating arrangements. Each College has a designated staging area where faculty and staff are on hand and review the procedures for the day.



What is the dress code, if any, for the ceremony?

Students are encouraged to dress comfortably, but respectfully as this is an important event for all attendees including your peers and their families. You will be processing with your peers and asked to come forward and walk across the stage to be hooded and receive your diploma cover as a symbol of completion. Pictures will be taken as you process to and on stage.



If I am unable to attend Commencement when and how do I receive my diploma and diploma cover?

Diploma covers are given as a symbol of completion at the Ceremony, but if you are unable to attend, please contact us at, and we will mail you the diploma cover. The actual diplomas will be available for pick up upon notification after all requirements are completed and verified by the Registrar's Office.



If I am physically disabled (or a member of my family is), what shall I do?

Pioneer Salute: The University Commons is completely accessible.

Commencement Ceremony: Shea Auditorium is accessible.



Are tickets required for the ceremony?

Yes, tickets are required for the graduate ceremony. Due to seating limitations of the Shea Center for Performing Arts, two tickets will be given per student. Tickets will be distributed at the Pioneer Salute. Additional tickets can be requested at Additional Ticket Request. This request form does not guarantee tickets will be available. Student will be contacted if tickets become available for distribution after May 7.