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Participant Policy

Texas State University’s commencement ceremonies, held each fall, spring, and summer semester, are intended to recognize students who will complete all graduation requirements by the end of that semester.  In some cases, students ask to participate (“walk”) in commencement although they will not complete all graduation requirements in that semester.

Effective with the spring 2016 semester, students are only eligible to participate in commencement if they will:

1) complete all degree requirements by/in the same semester they apply to graduate, or

2) complete all degree requirements within the next adjoining semester with no more than one academic requirement remaining.

Examples of one academic requirement include one course, an internship, or any other singular requirement as approved by college deans and/or advising centers.  For example, a student with two classes to take over the summer would not be eligible to participate in spring commencement.  As another example, a student with an internship to complete in the upcoming fall semester would not be eligible to participate in the previous spring commencement.

Students who would like to request to participate in a ceremony outside of their actual graduation semester should complete the graduation application and contact their college's academic advising center (undergraduate students) or The Graduate College (graduate students) for eligibility and approval.

For questions regarding commencement ceremonies or this policy, please e-mail Kristin McDaniel at

The Difference Between Participating in Commencement and Graduating

“Graduating [receiving a diploma]” and “participating [walking across the stage]” in the commencement ceremony are two distinctly different things. Candidates will be considered “graduated” when they have officially met all of the following:
  1. have applied for graduation online by the posted semester deadline
  2. have had their application approved by their respective Advising Center or The Graduate College
  3. have completed all degree requirements
  4. have had final semester grades posted to their Texas State transcript
  5. have paid any outstanding fees owed to the University
  6. the Dean of the respective College, or Graduate College Dean, has certified candidates as graduates
Participating in the ceremony does not mean that a candidate has completed the requirements for graduation. “Walking/participating” at a commencement ceremony is not synonymous with “graduation;” yet the act of obtaining public recognition may provide a false impression that a candidate has met all requirements and has therefore “graduated” with a diploma in hand.
Ultimately, the final awarding of degrees, honors, and mailing of the diplomas is contingent upon the satisfactory completion of the appropriate requirements by each candidate and the Dean’s final certification.