Information for Graduates

Important Dates and Deadlines

DateDeadline
September 12, 2013 Begin ordering personalized announcements and cap/gown/tassel/hood online at http://colleges.herffjones.com/college/missouristate/. See below for other options.
October 16-17, 2013 Graduation Celebration at MSU Bookstore (10 a.m. - 6 p.m.). Cap and gowns may be ordered for pick up during Commencement week or home delivery.
October 25, 2013 5:00 p.m. deadline for submitting an Application for Graduation for printed Commencement Program.
November 1, 2013 Midnight deadline to order cap and gown online for delivery to bookstore during Commencement week (no shipping fee)
November 15, 2013 Midnight deadline to order cap and gown online for home delivery (shipping fee will apply)
December 9-12, 2013 Purchase cap/gown/tassel/hood at the bookstore
December 13, 2013 Commencement ceremonies at 12:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. (see below for more information)
December 17, 2013 Grades available on the "My Missouri State" system
December 19, 2013 Transcripts available with Fall 2013 degrees posted
January 9, 2014 Diplomas begin being mailed by Office of the Registrar to permanent address.

Additional Deadlines for Masters and Specialists Degree Candidates

DateDeadline
November 25, 2013 Thesis deadline: last day to submit approved thesis to the Graduate College
Seminar deadline: last day to submit acceptance sheet of approved research project to the Graduate College
December 5, 2013 Comprehensive examination results due in the Graduate College by noon.

Undergraduate Graduation Checklist

  1. Apply to graduate through My Missouri State
    On the Academics tab, look for “Apply to Graduate” in the Commencement channel. In order to be in the printed commencement program, you must file your intent to graduate by the date listed in the Important Dates and Deadlines above. 
  2. Review your degree audit
    On the Academics tab in My Missouri State; look for “Degree Audit” in the Student Records channel. Make sure you have met all of your degree requirements. If you have any questions about your degree audit contact your academic advisor or the Office of the Registrar. 
  3. Complete the University Exit Exam
    Register for the Exit Exam by adding the course GEN 499 to your current semester schedule. See the University Exit Exam website for more information. 
  4. Clear all holds
    Clear all holds such as overdue library books and fines, outstanding financial obligations to the University, etc. While a hold does not prevent participation in the commencement ceremony or awarding of the degree, it does prevent the release of your diploma and/or transcript. 
  5. Complete Exit Counseling for Federal Stafford Loans
    Students who have borrowed a federal Stafford student loan are required to complete exit counseling prior to graduation at http://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds_SA/SaEcWelcome.do. While failure to complete exit counseling does not prevent participation in the commencement ceremony or awarding of the degree, it's important to follow through with this procedure so that your lenders will be updated regarding your graduation date.

Masters, specialists, and doctorate graduate checklist

  1. Submit an Application for Graduation
    You can apply online at: https://www.missouristate.edu/secure/graduate/onlinegradapp.htm or in person at the Graduate College (Carrington Hall 306). In order to be in the printed commencement program, you must file your application for Graduation by the date listed in the “Important Dates and Deadlines” above.
  2. Verify that you will meet all graduation requirements
    You should check with your academic advisor and/or the Graduate College to ensure that you will meet all graduation requirements.
  3. Clear all holds
    Clear all holds such as overdue library books and fines, outstanding financial obligations to the University, etc. While a hold does not prevent participation in the commencement ceremony or awarding of the degree, it does prevent the release of your diploma and/or transcript. 
  4. Complete Exit Counseling for Federal Stafford Loans
    Students who have borrowed a federal Stafford student loan are required to complete exit counseling prior to graduation at http://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds_SA/SaEcWelcome.do. While failure to complete exit counseling does not prevent participation in the commencement ceremony or awarding of the degree, it's important to follow through with this procedure so that your lenders will be updated regarding your graduation date.

Graduation Announcements

Option 1: Order personalized announcements online at: http://colleges.herffjones.com/college/missouristate/.

Option 2: Go to the Graduation Celebration at the MSU Bookstore on October 16-17, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to purchase announcements from Herff Jones and for special offers on announcements, rings, and diploma frames.

Your degree, major, and time of ceremony are printed on the announcement. If you do not know your degree or title of your major, use the My Missouri State find the information on record. If you are unsure of your college, check the list of majors and colleges. See below for the division of ceremonies.

Caps, Gowns, Tassels, Hoods

All graduates are required to wear authorized caps, gowns, hoods (as applicable) and tassels. Cap and gown package purchase prices are bachelors-$29.99; masters-$58.99 (including hood); specialists-$64.99 (including hood); doctors-$69.99 (includes hood); extra tassel-$8.99

Option 1: Order online at: http://colleges.herffjones.com/college/missouristate/  and have your cap/gown mailed to the MSU bookstore for pick up during Commencement week or home delivery.

Option 2: Go to the Graduation Celebration at the MSU Bookstore on October 16-17, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to order cap and gown for pick up during Commencement week or home delivery and for special offers on announcements, rings, and diploma frames.

Option 3: If you miss the deadline for ordering online, you may purchase your cap/gown at the Bookstore on December 9-12, 2013 or at the main floor of Hammons Student Center at Commencement on December 13, 2013 one hour prior to each ceremony.

Scholastic Honors

Students who have questions regarding their scholastic honors eligibility should first read the Scholastic Honors Policy and then contact the Office of the Registrar, (417) 836-5520, Carrington 320 with further questions. Students who are eligible for scholastic honors recognition may pick up their cordon on the main floor of Hammons Student Center on the day of Commencement. Scholastic honors are automatically calculated by the University, so the student does not need to do anything in advance related to scholastic honors.

As noted in the policy, recognition for honors at the Commencement ceremony is based on GPA eligibility at the conclusion of the preceding semester. Current semester grades have not been officially submitted at the time of Commencement. There are no exceptions to this policy. Final scholastic honors eligibility will be recognized on the diploma and academic transcript.

Note: Transfer students must complete a minimum of 60 undergraduate credit hours at Missouri State University prior to official graduation to qualify for any honors. Additionally, honors are based on the LOWEST GPA of your Missouri State GPA and your combined GPA.

Note: Graduate students are not eligible for scholastic honors.

Note: Students who participate in Missouri S&T's cooperative engineering program are eligible to participate in Missouri State's commencement ceremony. They do not need to submit an Application to Graduate. Their scholastic honors (based on Missouri S&T scholastic honors requirements, which are different from Missouri State) will be listed in Missouri State's printed commencement program and will be read aloud during name announcement. Since Missouri S&T does not issue honors cordons, cooperative engineering students do not wear honors cordons.

Veterans Recognition

Missouri State University graduation candidates who have served in the military or who are scheduled to receive ROTC commissioning will be recognized with a red, white, and blue cordon. Eligible graduation candidates will be contacted by Veteran Student Services. The cordon may be picked up through the Veteran Student Services office prior to commencement.

Division of Commencement Ceremonies

Friday, December 13, 2013
12: 30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
JQH Arena

There are two ceremonies and undergraduate division is by college of major (program of study).  If you are unsure of your college, check the list of majors and colleges.  

  • Masters and Specialists degree candidates will march together with all other graduate degree candidates.

  • Education majors will march with the college of their major. Please see the following examples:
    • Business Education majors would walk with the College of Business.
    • Music Education majors would walk with the College of Arts and Letters since the Department of Music is in the College of Arts and Letters.
    • Physical Education majors would walk with the College of Health and Human Services since the Department of Kinesiology is in the College of Health and Human Services.
    • Child and Family Development, Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle School, and Special Education majors are in the College of Education. Secondary education majors do not walk as part of the College of Education.
  • The Administrative Studies (Master of Science) major is a cross-disciplinary program with multiple option areas. Students are encouraged to participate in the ceremony of the college to which their selected option area is assigned.
  • Individualized majors (Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science) are interdisciplinary by nature. Students pursuing an individualized major are encouraged to walk with the college to which their primary department (and advisor) are assigned.

12:30 p.m. Ceremony

College of Arts and Letters
College of Health and Human Services
College of Humanities and Public Affairs
College of Natural and Applied Sciences
William H. Darr School of Agriculture
Global Studies majors

4:00 p.m. Ceremony

College of Business
College of Education

Commencement Day Instructions

  • The ceremony will start promptly and will last approximately 90 minutes.  No tickets are required and there is no reserved seating. The event is open to the public.
  • The doors to both Hammons Student Center (for graduate candidate lineup) and JQH Arena (for Commencement guests) will open one hour prior to the beginning of each ceremony.
  • Graduates are to assemble on the main floor of Hammons Student Center no later than 45 minutes prior to the start of their assigned ceremony. Further directions will be given at that time.
  • Please do not bring umbrellas, cameras, purses, or any other items with you to either Hammons Student Center or JQH Arena.  You are not permitted to carry them in the Procession and there will be no place to secure them.
  • Graduates will be required to march from the main floor of Hammons Student Center to the main floor of JQH Arena.  If you need special accommodations of any type, you should notify Mr. Andrew Wright, Commencement Chair and Assistant Vice-President/Director of Admissions, at (417) 836-5517 no later than four weeks before commencement.
  • Graduates will be led down to the arena floor in two lines. The right hand line will be seated on the left side of the arena floor (facing the stage): the left hand line will be seated on the right side of the arena floor (facing the stage). If you want to sit next to someone, that person must either be in front or behind you, not to the side of you.  The chairs on the arena floor are in rows of 10.  So there is a 1 in 10 chance that you will not get to sit next to that person.
  • At a certain point the President and the Provost will introduce the various candidates for degrees. The graduates will proceed forward to have their names read and to receive a diploma cover by one of the Board of Governors. At this moment your picture will be taken by a professional photographer and you will receive a proof within three weeks plus information on ordering prints.
  • When all graduates names have been announced, the ceremony will end with the singing of the Alma Mater and a recessional of Platform party, faculty, and graduates out of the arena. 
  • In fair weather the graduates will be marched out of the northwest entrance of JQH Arena. Graduates are requested to prearrange a meeting place with their guests at a location outside the Arena.

Special Accommodations

Graduates will be required to march from the main floor of Hammons Student Center to the main floor of JQH Arena. If you need special accommodations of any type, you should notify Mr. Andrew Wright, Commencement Chair and Assistant Vice-President/Director of Admissions, at (417) 836-5517 no later than one week prior to the ceremony.

The University must have at least one week notice of any disability accommodation (other than seating) for  guests in order to serve the needs identified. That notice must be to Mr. Andrew Wright, Commencement Chair and Assistant Vice-President/Director of Admissions, at (417) 836-5517. There is no need to contact Mr. Wright for seating accommodation, which is described below.

Special (non-reserved) seating areas are available for guests with permanent or temporary disabilities. No stairways are encountered. Guests in wheelchairs as well as those who are unable to climb stairs are permitted in these areas. Due to space limitations, we ask that only one other family member be seated with the guest in the special areas. There are no reservations taken for these seats. To seek assistance in locating this seating, you may see one of the ushers located at the entrances the day of the ceremony. 

Proper Dress and Decorum for Commencement

  • Please make sure that the clothing you wear will appear in good taste when the gown is removed. Tassels are worn on the left side of cap. Caps are worn flat on the head.
  • Only appropriate academic regalia can be worn in the ceremony. No scarves, jewelry ,or corsages may be worn on the outside of the robe. Regalia provided by academic departments or student organizations, such as pins and cordons are allowed to be worn by graduates.
  • Ceremonial procedure follows closely the code adopted by the American Council on Education. This code calls for all persons, men and women, to wear the cap during all purely academic activities. Neither men nor women will remove caps for the National Anthem.
  • Commencement guests are requested to remain in their seats during the entire ceremony and to respect the rights of others to view the ceremony in its entirety, without being distracted or having their view blocked by others.
  • Persons are also requested to refrain from applauding except at times when invited to do so. Loud applause, cheers, etc., often cause the names of some graduates to be "drowned out." Each graduate deserves equal recognition for his/her accomplishment. Guests will be given the opportunity to applaud their graduate.
  • The awarding of a college degree comes at the end of many years of hard work and dedication. The dignity of the college degree and of the academic community should be recognized. Each person who achieves this goal might view it in a slightly different manner. Each student must respect the rights of his/her colleagues and not celebrate that achievement in a way which infringes on the rights of others. Thank you for your cooperation in observing these guidelines.

Diplomas and Transcripts

  • Diplomas will be printed approximately four weeks after commencement provided all degree requirements have been met and all holds have been cleared.  
  • The name on your diploma will be as you requested on the Application To Graduate form. The degree, major, scholastic honors, and Honors College citations are printed on the diploma. Options within a major and minors are not printed on the diploma but are included in degree information on the transcript. Students who have two majors under the same degree receive one diploma (one degree) listing both majors.
  • Transcripts with final grades and degree earned will be available the following Friday after commencement provided all degree requirements are met and all holds cleared. See Transcript Requests for information. One complimentary copy of your transcript will be mailed with your diploma.
  • Replacement diplomas are available for a $20 fee ($30 for diploma and diploma cover) from the Office of the Registrar, Carrington Hall 320, (417) 836-5520.

Career Center

Visit the Career Center to discover the many resources available to Missouri State students and alumni as you continue your job search. It's not too late to register with Career Center to participate in on-campus recruiting and to have your resume referred to employers.  

Don't forget to complete the Graduate Follow-Up Survey which you will be receiving in the mail. This information is confidential and helps us better serve Missouri State students and may result in your winning a $25 Bookstore gift certificate.

Alumni Association

Visit the Alumni Association table at the cap and gown pick-up area in the bookstore during finals week from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and commencement day from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m.  We have a GIFT for you!  We are proud of your accomplishments and want to keep in touch with you after you leave Missouri State. Complete an Alumni Record Form and pick up your graduation memento from the Alumni Association. Not picking up a cap and gown? Drop by anyway. All graduates are invited to receive a gift. After commencement day, call (417) 836-5654 to find out where to pick up your memento.

The goal of the Missouri State Alumni Association is to be your lifelong link to the University--to keep you informed and involved with your alma mater for the rest of your life. All alumni (with current addresses on file) receive:

  • Three issues annually of Missouri State magazine, your official alumni publication
  • 12 issues of the Bear Bulletin, your monthly e-newsletter
  • Event information for Homecoming
  • Invitations to alumni gatherings in your area
  • Special reunion and event invitations
  • Access to Missouri State's online community which offers a personal profile, directory of alumni, permanent University e-mail address, resume posting, upcoming event information and much more

News Release of Graduation Candidates

Each semester, the Office of University Communications sends the names of Missouri State University graduation candidates to their hometown newspapers. See the Office of University Communications web site for more information about how and when this list is distributed. For more information, contact the Office of University Communications at (417) 836-6397. 

Commencement Photography

Grad Images will be taking individual portraits one hour prior to each commencement ceremony on the main floor of Hammons Student Center. No appointment is necessary and portrait sittings are free. A candid photograph will also be taken at the student's moment of recognition in the ceremony. 

Graduates will be sent a free passport sized digital proof of these photos with ordering information within 5 to 7 days following the commencement ceremony. Graduates will also receive an email notification with a secure link to photos. Students may place orders or obtain answers to questions at www.gradimages.com or 1-800-424-3686. There is no obligation to purchase, and Grad Images guarantees complete satisfaction.

Commencement Eligibility

Students must have ALL graduation requirements in-progress during their intended semester of graduation (includes transfer work from other institutions) in order to be eligible to participate in Commencement.

The only possible exception to this policy are those students who will complete all their graduation requirements during the subsequent intersession. Undergraduate students who meet this criteria may request permission to participate in an early commencement ceremony by petitioning Dr. Rachelle Darabi in the Office of the Provost after they have actually registered for their intersession class(es). The contact person for submitting such an appeal to Dr. Darabi is Lori Roessler (Academic Assistance Program Coordinator for Student Development and Public Affairs). Appeals may be submitted via e-mail to Ms. Roessler at LoriRoessler@missouristate.edu. Graduate students would request permission to participate in an early commencement ceremony by petitioning Dr. Tom Tomasi, Assistant Dean of the Graduate College.

Those given permission to participate in an early cermeony should understand that, although their name will be read during the ceremony, it will not appear in the commencement program nor will they officially graduate until the conclusion of the semester in which all graduation requirements have been completed. Per University intersession policy, fall intersession (August) is part of the following fall semester, winter intersession (January) is part of the following spring semester, and summer intersession (late May/early June) is part of the following summer session. Students who receive permission to participate are not eligible to be recognized for scholastic honors during the Commencement ceremony.

Information for Students Graduating From a West Plains Completion Program

If you are completing your degree through MSU Springfield at the West Plains campus, you may wish to participate in the Missouri State University-West Plains Commencement ceremony instead of (or in addition to) the Springfield Commencement ceremony. For information on how to participate in this ceremony, please see the MSU-West Plains Graduation Procedures page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I apply to graduate?

A; Log into My Missouri State and click on the Academics tab.  Find “Apply for Graduate” in the Commencement channel.

Q: How do I know my graduation application was received?

A: You will receive a confirmation email to your Missouri State email address. Additionally, you can review what you submitted by returning to the Apply to Graduate page.

Q: I submitted my Application to graduate and need to make a change.  How can I change it?

A: Email the Office of the Registrar at Registrar@MissouriState.edu. Make sure to include your BearPass number and specific information that needs to be changed.

Q: How does a former student who no longer has access to My Missouri State submit an Application for Graduate?

A: Student may print and submit a PDF version of the application. Application to Graduate for seniorsApplication for Graduation for masters, specialists, doctorate students.

Q: I have transfer work from another school that will fulfill my remaining graduation requirements. Do I need to do anything?

A: Please inform the Office of the Registrar that you will have transfer work to come in at the end of the semester. There is an information box at the bottom of the Application to Graduate where you can list specific classes that will be transferring. Assuming your transfer work will fulfill your remaining graduation requirements, you will receive a letter in the mail informing you that you have until the mid-point of the next semester (the specific date is included in the letter) to get your transfer work here and evaluated by the Admissions Office.

Q; Does transfer work have to be here prior to the Commencement ceremony in order to be eligible to participate?

A: No, transfer work does not have to be here prior to commencement to participate in the ceremonyIt is important that you request an official transcript of your transfer work to be sent to Missouri State as soon as your transfer work has been graded.

Q: Do I need to RSVP for Commencement?

A: You do not need to RSVP for Commencement. A name card is prepared for every graduation candidate. You will pick up your name card on commencement day. The name card is used to announce your name during the ceremony. If you are not present, your name will not be read during the ceremony.

Q: Will there be somewhere to leave my personal items during the commencement ceremony?

A: No, please do not bring personal items to the Commencement ceremony as there is no safe place to store them

Q: How will my scholastic honors and or Honors College participation be recognized?

If you are eligible for scholastic honors, you will receive a cordon (Summa Cum Laude-gold, Magna Cum Laude-silver, Cum Laude-maroon). Honors College graduates receive a blue stole. You will be able to pick up this regalia as you check in at Commencement.

Q: Will I receive my diploma at Commencement?

A: No. Final grades are not yet due at the time of Commencement. Once final grades are processed, a review of each graduation candidate's eligibility is completed. Diplomas are typically printed four weeks after commencement. Please see the Important Dates and Deadlines above to find out when diploma mailing will begin.

Q: Will my current grades be considered for scholastic honors at the commencement ceremony?

A: No. Please refer to the scholastic honors policy above. If after calculating your current grades you are eligible for scholastic honors, this will be reflected on your diploma and final transcripts.

Q: I missed the deadline to have my name printed in the Commencement Program. Can I still participate in the ceremony?

A: Yes, students who miss the program deadline may still participate in the Commencement ceremony and may still be recognized for scholastic honors if eligible.

Q: I’m not planning to participate in the commencement ceremony.  How can I get a diploma cover?

A: You may pick up a diploma cover in the Office of the Registrar in Carrington 320.

Q: It has been four weeks after commencement and I have not received my diploma.  Is something wrong?

A: It is likely that one of the following issues is preventing the printing of your diploma:

  1. You have a Hold that prevents your diploma and transcript from being released. A letter will be sent to you approximately two weeks after commencement notifying you of any holds.
  2. You have an unresolved graduation issue. Undergraduate students will be sent a letter regarding the unresolved graduation issue. The Graduate College will communicate with graduate students regarding any unresolved graduation issue.

Q: How does a former student who no longer has access to My Missouri State submit an Application for Graduate?

A: Student may print and submit a PDF version of the application. Application to Graduate for seniorsApplication for Graduation for masters, specialists, doctorate students.