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Participant Policy

6/23/2020 Effective with the spring 2020 semester, the previous Participant Policy allowing students to participate in a commencement ceremony prior to their official graduation semester has been temporarily suspended.

The Participant Policy will be reviewed again in the future, when the situation with COVID-19 improves and commencement ceremonies can be held in a more traditional manner free of COVID-19 restrictions.

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.