Commencement FAQs


Am I on the list to graduate?

All graduate (Master's and PhD) students must submit a Commencement Application form ten (10) weeks prior to commencement.

All undergraduate students must submit an online Graduation Application. This form should be filled out two (2) semesters before graduation. The form needs to be filled out by all prospective graduates—including those who will not be participating in the ceremony. A separate application is required for each undergraduate degree.

Prospective graduates’ names will be added to the online commencement list weekly.


When is Commencement?

Midyear Commencement is 10:30 am on Saturday, December 19, 2015, in the SDC wood gym.

The SDC is an alcohol-free facility.


Are tickets required and how many tickets to the ceremony will I receive?

Yes, tickets are required for the ceremony. For the spring ceremony, students will receive four (4) tickets each. For the mid-year (December) ceremony, students will receive five (5) tickets each. Children who will be sitting on an adult’s lap will not need a ticket.


How much do tickets cost?

They are free! Under no circumstances should tickets be bought or sold.


When and where do I get my tickets for Commencement?

For the Saturday, December 19, 2015, ceremony, tickets can be picked up between the hours of 8:00 am and 5:00 pm beginning Monday, December 7, 2015, through Thursday, December 17, 2015, at the Buyback Window at the Campus Bookstore. There is open seating for the audience.


What if I need extra tickets?

Any unclaimed tickets or those students who need extra tickets may pick them up from the Central Ticket Office at the SDC, starting the day before the ceremony, Friday, December 18, 2015. They will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Am I able to participate in an earlier commencement ceremony than my expected graduation date?

Master's and PhD Graduate students should contact Nancy Byers-Sprague, nspr@mtu.edu or 906-487-2755.

Undergraduate students who wish to participate in an earlier commencement ceremony must get permission from the Degree Services Office, degree@mtu.edu.


I am not able to participate in commencement—can I participate in a later commencement ceremony?

Master's and PhD Graduate students should contact Nancy Byers-Sprague, nspr@mtu.edu or 906-487-2755.

Undergraduate students can walk at their expected graduation ceremony or any thereafter - make sure the correct degree completion term and ceremony term are on your Graduation Application.


How do I order my graduation cap and gown?

Undergraduate students can order their caps and gowns online.The gown is the property of the graduate. Rental commencement regalia is not available.

Master's and PhD Graduate students will need to place their order for rental commencement regalia. Graduate degree candidates rent their commencement regalia and must be returned after the ceremony.  Please click on the link located on the graduation page to print a measuring tape for caps or stop by the Campus Bookstore to get measured for an exact cap size before placing your order online

The deadline to order is Sunday, October 18, 2015 at midnight. Orders placed after October 18th may be assessed a late fee. Orders placed after Wednesday, November 25th at 4pm are not guaranteed to arrive in time for graduation. 

Students participating in the Spring Commencement 2016 will order their caps and gowns beginning in February 2016.

Please contact the Campus Bookstore at 906-487-2410 or capandgown@mtu.edu.

Students who wish to purchase extra tassels may do so for $5.50 from the Campus Bookstore.


Do I have to wear a cap and gown?

Yes! Caps and gowns are required to participate in commencement.

ROTC commissionees are dressed in uniform and do not wear caps and gowns.


How do I know if I qualify for honor cords and how do I get them?

Honor cords represent outstanding academic achievement and are provided by the University. The Campus Bookstore will have a list of those who qualify for honor cords. Honor cords designations are based on overall GPA accumulated prior to the graduating semester and are determined by the Registrar’s Office: Summa Cum Laude (3.90 and above) designated by a gold cord, Magna Cum Laude (3.70-3.89) designated by a silver cord, and Cum Laude (3.50-3.69) designated by a copper cord.

Honor cords are available for pick-up at the Campus Store with your cap and gown.


When do I pick up my cap and gown?

Students can pick up their caps and gowns at the Buyback Window at the Campus Bookstore in the MUB between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm beginning Monday, December 7, 2015, through Thursday, December 17, 2015.


Where do I purchase announcements?

Graduation announcements can be purchased directly from Balfour.


When and where is rehearsal?

Commencement rehearsal is on Friday, December 18, 2015, at 1:30 pm. Undergraduate students will line up around the SDC multipurpose room. Signs will be posted by department and then your name. Simply find your department and get in line. Graduate students will line up in the center of the multipurpose room.


How long does rehearsal last?

Rehearsal lasts approximately 1 hour.


What time should I arrive at the commencement ceremony?

All prospective graduates participating in the ceremony should arrive no later than 9:45 am on Saturday, December 19, 2015.


How long does the ceremony last?

The exact time depends on the number of graduates, but usually the mid-year commencement ceremony lasts approximately 2 hours. The spring commencement ceremony lasts approximately 2 ½ hours.


What time do the doors open for the commencement ceremony?

The doors to the SDC Ice Arena and the SDC Wood Gym will be open by 8:30 am on the day of the ceremony.


How do I get my picture taken at commencement?

Arrangements have been made with a professional photographer to take a photo of each degree candidate as he or she is congratulated on stage. Ordering information will be mailed to your home address or emailed within 4-6 weeks. Please make certain that your current home address is on file with the Registrar’s Office.


Will my guests be able to take pictures or video tape during the ceremony?

Yes, but we ask that they remain seated during the ceremony. We discourage guests from disrupting the ceremony.


If I or my guest(s) have mobility limitations (wheelchair, walker, etc.), who do I contact?

Please contact the Registrar’s Office, 906-487-2319 or registrar@mtu.edu by Thursday, December 17,  2015. Space for wheelchairs will be provided; however, Michigan Tech is unable to provide wheelchairs.


Will my guest(s) be able to sit together, or does the person with mobility limitations sit alone?

The person with mobility limitations does not have to sit alone. A maximum of four people may sit together.


Is there a 'signer' for those who are hearing impaired?

Yes, a sign language interpreter will be present throughout the ceremony to assist the hearing impaired.


Is there First Aid available?



Is there anything happening after commencement?

Yes, the Alumni Association invites all graduates and their families to the SDC Multi-purpose room for the Graduates Reception taking place directly after the commencement ceremony. There will be light refreshments as well as areas set aside for taking photos. Stop by and sign your class of 2015 banner and pick up your Michigan Tech Alumni Association pin.

There is no brunch for the Mid-Year Commencement ceremony in December.


When will I receive my diploma?

Diplomas will be mailed 60-90 days after the end of the semester that all degree requirements have been successfully completed provided all financial obligations to the University have been met. Diplomas are mailed to the address noted on the Graduation Application. Changes to this address must be made with the Degree Services Office. A $30 processing fee will be assessed for diplomas that have to be reordered due to an incorrect address.

If you are not attending a commencement ceremony and you would like a cover for your diploma, please stop by the Student Service Center in the Administration Building to pick yours up prior to leaving campus.

NOTE: Diploma covers will not be mailed.


What side do I wear the tassel on?

Graduates sitting on the left hand side will wear the tassel on the left and graduates sitting on the right hand side wear the tassel on the right. Michigan Tech asks graduates to wear their tassels like this so the photographer will have a clear opening to take your picture.


What can I take into the commencement ceremony with me?

Purses, diaper bags, cameras and video equipment bags will be allowed into the ceremony. Please be aware that Public Safety and Police Services will be on hand to check bags.