Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

All activities related to Commencement are managed by the Office of University Events and Protocol, Anthony Hall Room 015, (618) 453-7424. Email us at


Where are commencement ceremonies taking place?

All commencement ceremonies will be held at Saluki Stadium, 1415 Arena Drive, Carbondale, Illinois.

Download a Saluki Stadium Commencement map.

Plans could change if restrictions are increased, or in case of inclement weather. Significant updates will be emailed to students, as well as posted on the Commencement website and on social media. Information about our plans for weather is included below.

What if there is bad weather?

If it's cloudy or rainy, we will proceed with Commencement. Graduates will be provided clear ponchos to wear over their regalia. Guests should dress appropriately for the weather - warm layers, rain jackets, boots - as necessary. Small umbrellas are permitted in the stands, provided they do not obstruct the view of other guests.

We have several alternate plans in case of severe weather, including possible delay or rescheduling of ceremony or move to a virtual ceremony (2021 graduates). Since 2020 graduates have already had the virtual experience, we plan to provide an in-person opportunity, even if it has to be modified from a typical ceremony to move indoors.

Hope for sunny skies, but know we have plans in place for any scenario. Continue to monitor for updates.

When should I arrive for commencement?

In an effort to reduce crowds and facilitate social distancing, SIU will schedule entry times to Saluki Stadium for Commencement. Guest tickets are for specific seats (not general admission), so it is not necessary to arrive early to claim the best seat. Graduates will be seated on the field, according to their degree and college/school.

Commencement Schedule
Tent open
(grad info and items)
Gates Open A-L (Grad last name) arrival time M-Z (Grad last name) arrival time
2 p.m. ceremony 12 p.m. 1 p.m. 1-1:20 p.m. 1:20-1:40 p.m.
6 p.m. ceremony 4 p.m. 5 p.m. 5-5:20 p.m. 5:20-5:40 p.m.
9 a.m. ceremony 7 a.m. 8 a.m. 8-8:20 a.m. 8:20-8:40 a.m.
12 p.m. ceremony 10 a.m. 11 a.m. 11-11:20 a.m. 11:20-11:40 a.m.
3 p.m. ceremony 1 p.m. 2 p.m. 2-2:20 p.m. 2:20-2:40 p.m.
6 p.m. ceremony 4 p.m. 5 p.m. 5-5:20 p.m. 5:20-5:40 p.m.
12 p.m. ceremony 10 a.m. 11 a.m. 11-11:20 p.m. 11:20-11:40 a.m.
3 p.m. ceremony 1 p.m. 2 p.m. 2-2:20 p.m. 2:20-2:40 p.m.

The Graduate Information Tent, located in Lot 89 directly west of Saluki Stadium, will open 2 hours prior to each ceremony. Graduates are not required to check in at the tent. The tent is only for those students who are missing an item for the ceremony (cord, medallion, regalia, reader card). Graduates who need something from the tent are advised to arrive early to avoid crowds and delays. Graduates (bachelor’s, Master’s, and doctoral) should proceed directly to the field for seating. Graduates will not process into Saluki Stadium.

Gates are expected to open 1 hour before each ceremony. Please keep in mind Saluki Stadium will need to be cleared of graduates and guests from a previous ceremony before guests for the next ceremony can be seated. Guests may enter through the north or south entrances on the west side of Saluki Stadium. Graduates may enter the field through the south entrance (near Saluki Row), or the northwest entrance.

Arrival times have been staggered, to avoid crowds and promote social distancing. Graduates and their guests should plan to arrive at the times listed above, based on the graduates’ last name.

What COVID-19 Safety Protocols will be in place?

 All ceremonies will be conducted according to the protocols required by the Restore Illinois Plan. Social distancing and masks will be required for all participants, guests, and staff. Students or guests should not attend Commencement if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 (including but not limited to fever, cough, shortness of breath), have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days, or have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days. Graduates who are unable to participate due to illness, exposure, or safety concerns may participate in a future Commencement ceremony. All ceremonies will be broadcast live online for those who are unable to attend.

Will I need a ticket to attend?

Due to COVID-19 regulations, all Commencement ceremonies will be ticketed. Graduates do not need tickets. Each graduate may claim up to 4 guest tickets. Tickets will be in “pods” of 4, and should be limited to guests from the same household. Guests under the age of 3 do not require a ticket, provided they do not require a seat. There is no charge for any Commencement ticket.

Guest tickets are now available. Please see Guest Tickets for details.

SIU staff, students, and community members who wish to attend Commencement can participate in one of two ways.

  • As a ticketed guest of a graduate
  • As a Commencement volunteer

Will there be a sign language interpreter?

There will be an American Sign Language interpreter at all commencement ceremonies.

When will I receive my diploma?

Pending successful completion of your degree requirements and after all outstanding financial obligations to the University have been met, you will receive your diploma via United States Postal Service. The process of degree evaluation, degree posting, and diploma mailing takes up to ten weeks after the end of the graduation term. Doctoral graduates will receive their diploma after the ceremony, if all financial obligations to the University have been met.