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Candidate Instructions


Commencement is a special time to celebrate your academic achievements. There is no rehearsal, so please review the following carefully.


The location of any in-person commencement ceremonies for spring 2021 will be announced as soon as more information regarding safe public gatherings is available.

Virtual Commencement

The decision to implement virtual commencement ceremonies for spring 2021 will be announced as soon as more information regarding safe public gatherings is available.

Commencement Procedures

In the case of in-person commencement ceremonies, face coverings and social distancing will be required for all attendees.

Processional: Graduates/candidates will be seated in their appropriate seat prior to the ceremony; an official processional march will not take place.

Diploma Presentations: After degrees have been conferred, you will be recognized by name, walk in front of the stage, take a professional photograph (optional), and return to your seat for the remainder of the ceremony.

Recessional: Following the Alma Mater, the graduates/candidates will be released from the ceremony; an official recessional march will not take place. Please follow the instructions of commencement staff and security personnel on appropriate exit locations.

Specific details and maps will follow.

Graduation Application

The Graduation Application for spring 2021 will open on January 19, 2021.

For more information, please contact your Academic Advising Center (Undergraduates) or The Graduate College (Graduate students).


To be eligible to participate in your commencement ceremony, the following requirements must be met:

  • Applied for graduation during the official period
  • Cleared all university holds for financial obligations
  • Registered for In-Person Commencement using the Sign-Up tool (link will be emailed to graduates/candidates)*
  • All candidates will appear in the virtual commencement ceremony automatically unless they have a privacy hold or choose to opt-out. Candidates with privacy holds will be contacted prior to the ceremony in order to give consent, if desired*
  • Graduates/candidates must claim tickets for themselves and any guests (information will be emailed to graduates/candidates)*

*requirements may change as decisions about in-person and/or virtual ceremonies are made

Your Name at Commencement

While applying for graduation, you may have noticed that your name needs to be updated in the University database. For example, adding your full middle name instead of just a middle initial.

In order to change your name with the University, you must submit a Personal Information Update Request with The Office of the University Registrar.

This name change will affect your diploma, the commencement program, how your name is displayed during the ceremony, and all other university documents.

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.
The Participant Policy can be found here.

Checking in at Commencement

Specific instructions for candidate check-in at the commencement ceremonies will be announced at a later date.

If you have questions about how your name will be pronounced during diploma presentations, please contact your Academic Advising Center (Undergraduates) or The Graduate College (Graduate students).

In order to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for all in attendance, please review the list of prohibited and allowable items.

For security purposes, all persons attending commencement are asked to keep all items to a minimum. All articles brought into the facility will be subject to search. A "clear bag policy" will be in effect for commencement.

There are no secure places to store personal items before or during the ceremony. Small personal items such as phones and wallets must be carried in a pocket or a small clear bag held under the gown. Candidates are not permitted to hand carry items during diploma presentations other than their Reader Card, which they will hand to the Reader before they cross the stage.

More details will be posted to this website as soon as they are available. If you have any questions about the ceremony, please email Kristin McDaniel, Commencement Coordinator, at

Reader Cards

Please keep this card in hand at all times prior and during the ceremony. When you approach the stage during diploma presentations, you will hand your card to the Commencement Reader.

If you have questions about how your name will be pronounced during diploma presentations, please contact your Academic Advising Center (Undergraduates) or The Graduate College (Graduate students).

Academic Regalia

All undergraduate candidates must wear the official regalia (black cap and gown, maroon and gold tassel) which can be purchased through Balfour, All regalia will be shipped directly to graduates. The Bobcat Store also has regalia in stock should graduates wish to shop in person.

Wearing cords and stoles and cap decorating is permitted as long as it is appropriate and relates to academic celebration. Gowns may not be altered in any way including, but not limited to, patches, embroidery, paint, flowers, beads, or the addition of fabrics or other materials.

NOTE: Undergraduate students should wear their tassel on the right side of their cap until degrees are conferred and then the tassel may be moved to the left side of the cap to signify degree confirmation.

Graduate Master’s and Specialist candidates must wear their official regalia (cap, hood, Master’s gown, and tassel) which can be purchased from Balfour at  Hood colors vary depending on your academic program; see here for hood colors.

Graduate Doctoral candidates may rent their official regalia (tam, Doctoral robe, and tassel) through Balfour, For information on Texas State gown and hood colors, please visit The Graduate College website.

Regalia is not required for virtual ceremonies.

For information regarding honor cords and stoles, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Undergraduate Students Graduating with Texas State Honors

To be eligible for graduation with honors, a student seeking a bachelor's degree must have completed at least 54 semester credit hours preceding graduation at Texas State. Calculation of the GPA to determine honors status is based on all Texas State work applied to the first bachelor's degree, including work completed in the final semester.

Hours earned through Texas State correspondence courses and extension courses count toward GPA and honors eligibility. Hours earned through Texas State credit-by-examination, work/life experience, and other courses that offer only “CR” (pass/fail) grades also count toward honors eligibility, but they do not count toward GPA. Remedial courses with a “CR” grade and graduate courses do not count toward honors eligibility or GPA.

Transfer students who have earned at least 54 semester hours at Texas State are eligible to graduate with honors if their Texas State GPAs meet the above criteria. Students earning second bachelor's degrees are eligible for graduation with honors if they complete 54 or more hours at Texas State in pursuit of their second degrees.

Undergraduate students earning a Texas State GPA of:
3.40-3.59 will graduate Cum Laude
3.60-3.79 will graduate Magna Cum Laude
3.80-4.00 will graduate Summa Cum Laude

A decision on the distribution of honor cords will be posted at a later time.

Commencement Program

The Commencement Program will be available online prior to the commencement ceremonies. PDFs of the commencement program will be available here.

Accommodations for Candidates and Guests with Disabilities

Special services are available to accommodate the needs of guests and candidates with disabilities at all Texas State Commencement ceremonies.  Accommodations include accessible parking, accessible seating, and captioning services. More information regarding parking and seating for individuals with limited mobility will be available soon.

If you have a guest that requires accommodations due to a disability, please visit the Office of Disability Services (ODS) website or call the ODS at 512-245-3451.

Candidates with disabilities are asked to contact their Academic Advising Center (Undergraduates) or The Graduate College (Graduate students) at least two weeks prior to commencement.


Graduates will receive their diplomas by mail after commencement. Diplomas for fall graduates are scheduled to begin mailing in February 2021.

For questions about your diploma and mailing address, please contact the Office of the University Registrar.

Commencement Survey

Share and rate your commencement experience by participating in the Student Commencement Survey which will be emailed to you after the virtual commencement ceremonies.

Thank you!