Graduation Frequently Asked Questions

MSUM Graduates, you have spent countless hours and expended much effort to earn your degree. Now, you have questions about how do I graduate. The list below contains the most frequently asked graduation questions.

Graduation & Commencement Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know what college I am in?

Please check the attached list of Majors by College.

When is rehearsal?

There is no formal rehearsal. Arrive dressed in your cap and gown. Pick up your commencement card at the check-in table and go to Nemzek 113 for lineup and instructions.

How do we get information about the commencement ceremony and events? Do I have to inform anyone that I plan to participate in the commencement ceremony?

Information for undergraduate candidates will be emailed three to four weeks prior to commencement.

Graduates are responsible for informing their family and friends. Formal announcements can be purchased through the University Bookstore.

Is there a fee to participate in the commencement ceremony and what is it used for?

There is a non-refundable $30 commencement participation fee. This fee is used to pay expenses related to commencement such as programs, staging, emergency services, interpreter services, etc.

Are guest tickets required for the commencement ceremony?

Tickets/guest passes are not required for attendance at the ceremony. We ask that you limit your guests to six.

How long does the commencement ceremony last?

The program should last between an hour and a half to two hours. All graduates and guests are expected to remain seated for the entire program. There is no reception following the ceremony.

How do I get a cap and gown for the ceremony?

The letter mailed four weeks prior to commencement will provide information regarding cost details. Caps and gowns will be available for purchase at the University Bookstore. Graduates who are in exchange programs, student teaching or interning out of town can use the MSUM Bookstore bachelors sets or masters sets and hoods or call the Bookstore (218.477.2111) to place an order. You can pick up items in MA 181 any time on, or before, commencement morning.

The Bookstore will hold “Grad Days” prior to commencement. This is an excellent time to purchase all your graduation needs. Information about “Grad Days” will be sent to everyone who has completed their Application for Graduation.

Graduating with honors? (Undergraduate only)

If a graduate meets the requirements, those honors will be indicated in the printed commencement program and read along with the graduate's name during the ceremony. Those graduates will purchase their honor cord at the Bookstore when they pick up their cap and gown.

In order to qualify for graduating with honors, students must complete a minimum of 45 credits at MSUM. Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.4 – 3.59 will graduate Cum Laude; 3.60 – 3.79 will graduate Magna Cum Laude; and students earning 3.80 – 4.00 will graduate Summa Cum Laude.

Honors designation is determined by your current cumulative GPA. Once all grades are in for the current semester, your final GPA will determine your official honors. Your final honors will be noted on your diploma and your academic record (transcript).

Cum Laude graduates will wear white honor cords, Magna Cum Laude graduates will wear red honor cords and Summa Cum Laude graduates will wear red & white honor cords.

Are diplomas presented at the commencement ceremony?

You will not receive an actual diploma at the commencement ceremony. You will receive a holder for you to place your diploma in after you receive it by mail. Your diploma will be mailed to you after grades are finalized and your graduation is confirmed by the Registrar's Office. Diplomas are mailed approximately 8 weeks after graduation.

What if a graduate or guest needs special assistance to participate?

Graduates or guests requiring special accommodations to march in the ceremony should contact the Registrar's Office prior to commencement. All facilities are accessible.

What parking is available?

Parking will be open in all university lots on commencement day. Lots will not be ticketed the day of the ceremony. Street parking will be available as posted.

How do I find out about local lodging for my guests?

Check out local lodging and restaurant listings at the F-M Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Web site.

Will there be a news release to my hometown newspaper?

University Marketing & Communications will send a news release announcing your graduation to your hometown newspaper.

Can I prevent my name from appearing in the commencement program or being released to newspapers in an announcement of graduates?

Please contact Shawn Soderberg in the Registrar's Office.

Will there be a professional photographer?

A professional photographer will take your picture as you shake hands with the President. Proofs will be mailed to your permanent address about two weeks after the ceremony. You will be able to order online at or call 1.800.261.2576.

What if I need to change my graduation date to a later semester?

Please contact Shawn Soderberg in the Registrar's Office to change your graduation to a future term. Office hours are 8:00 am to 4:30 pm and the office telephone number is 218.477.2565.

What if I have additional questions about my graduation and/or the commencement ceremony?

Please contact Shawn Soderberg in the Registrar's Office.

Majors by College