Ceremony Information

Main Content

What to Wear

Business or business-casual attire is appropriate under your academic regalia (cap and gown). The Commencement Team requests your help in upholding the dignity and tradition of our Commencement by avoiding any action that may be distracting or inappropriate to other graduates or guests.

Regalia (Cap and Gown) Information

Regalia is required of all graduates. The deadline to order your custom regalia is April 1. You may order your regalia from the University Bookstore in the Student Center or from Herff Jones directly at (https://colleges.herffjones.com/college/siuc/). Graduates may pick up their custom regalia from the University Bookstore beginning May 6. University Bookstore will be open May 11.

Doctoral students must order hood and regalia; hood will be delivered to the Troutt-Witmann Center prior to graduation.

We encourage you to return your regalia at the SIU Arena after your ceremony the day of commencement or it can be returned to the University Bookstore in the Student Center.


Students are welcome to wear honor, organization or other affiliation stoles, however, SIU stoles and cords should be displayed above all others.

Active Military, Police Officers and Firefighters

SIU Commencement permits active duty military, police officers and firefighters to wear their dress uniforms instead of traditional cap and gown regalia


Processional line-up will begin 45 minutes before the ceremony. 

  • Undergraduate and Master's candidates will report to the northeast parking lot (Lot 89) of the SIU Arena to line up. Staff will be there for assistance.
  • Doctoral candidates and MFA Candidates and their faculty will meet in the Troutt-Wittmann Academic Center for processional line-up.
  • Graduates arriving late may not be seated on the floor with their college or degree. Late arrivals may be seated to the side of the stage.


Graduate seating will be on the floor of the SIU Arena. All colleges will sit together, but there will not be a certain order on the floor within each college. Students will not line up alphabetically, but will line up with their college. Graduates arriving late may not be seated on the floor with their college or degree. Late arrivals may be seated to the side of the stage. All Doctoral degree candidates will sit together with their faculty in front of the undergraduate and master’s degree candidates.

Guest seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be no ticketing system implemented, but we urge guests to be seated before the processional begins 15 minutes before the ceremony.

What do I do with personal items during the ceremony?

SIU does not provide a secure location for graduates to leave purses, bags, jackets, and other personal items and is not responsible for items left unattended. Given the seating arrangement, you may not be seated in the same chair after receiving your scroll or diploma, so do not plan to leave personal items under your chair. Please make arrangements beforehand for a friend or family member to care for your belongings during the ceremony.

Discouraged Items

To be mindful of other guests attending commencement, balloons, balloon bouquets, signs or anything that obstructs the view are discouraged in the Arena as they may obstruct the view of other guests.  Please leave these items in your car.

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 State Postal Service. Doctoral graduates will receive their diploma at the ceremony, if all financial obligations to the University have been met. You may monitor the status of your graduation application in SalukiNet by going to the Registrar -- Academic Records & Graduation task center and then launching the View Your Filed Graduation Application Status task. If you have changed your diploma address (changing your address on Salukinet does not change where your diploma is mailed), please email the Graduation Office staff at graduation@siu.edu.

Ph.D. Candidates

Hooding Instructions for Ph.D. Candidates

The Graduate School of Southern Illinois University Carbondale calls for Ph.D. students to be hooded by their Major Professors/Advisors at the commencement ceremonies. If the Major Professor or Advisor is not available, then another committee member may hood the candidate.  In the event that none of the committee members are available, then the Department Chair or Director of Graduate Studies or the College Dean may hood the student.  A family member cannot hood a doctoral candidate.

Procedures for Ph.D. Candidates

Assemble at least 45 minutes prior to the beginning of the ceremony at the Troutt-Witmann Center 2nd floor hallway adjacent to the Arena.  Faculty Doctoral Advisers walking with a doctoral candidate should line-up with their doctoral candidate at the Troutt-Wittmann Academic Center hallway.

Each candidate should be in their academic regalia (cap and gown).  A Reader card and the hood ordered by candidate will be distributed by the Graduate School staff at check-in.  Please carry the hood on your left arm as you process to the Arena floor.  A Marshal will direct you to appropriate places. Each advisor should be seated with his or her advisee(s).

For the hooding, the candidates, accompanied by their advisors, will approach the platform from the floor.  Hand over the Reader card to the Reader on stage; your name will be read; the Ph.D. student will move forward and be hooded by his/her advisor.  After hooding, you will proceed toward the middle of the platform to receive your diploma from the Provost or the Graduate Dean.   

You will shake hands with University Administrative Officials on the stage and leave the stage from the middle and return to your original seats.

May 11 Ceremony Time

9:00 a.m.

  • College of Agricultural Sciences
  • College of Liberal Arts
  • College of Science
  • School of Medicine

1:30 p.m.

  • College of Business
  • College of Education and Human Services

5:30 p.m.

  • College of Applied Sciences and Arts
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Mass Communication and Media Arts

Commencement ceremony is expected to be 2 to 2 1/2 hours in length.