A student walking down the graduation gauntlet

Graduation and Commencement

Congratulations! The big day is almost here!

The final steps to getting your diploma are applying to graduate and then registering for commencement (if you want to participate in our ceremony).

Learn how to take these two steps below.

What You Need to Know About Graduation

Step One: Apply for Graduation

You must apply to graduate in order to receive your degree. You will not officially earn your degree until you have applied for graduation. You cannot participate in Commencement without first applying for graduation.


Applying to graduate does NOT mean that you have to participate in the Commencement ceremony; it simply alerts the Records Office that you have finished (or are near finishing) all your coursework so that they can perform a pre-audit, process the final degree requirements and send you your well-deserved degree. Similarly, applying to graduate does not reserve your spot in the Commencement ceremony; you must register for Commencement separately.

You will receive a response as to whether you have met (or will meet) the graduation requirements after the pre-audit is complete. After receiving the response, you should then register for Commencement.

The deadline to apply for graduation and be eligible to participate in the May 2021 Commencement ceremony is Friday, February 5, 2021.

Step Two: Register for Commencement

The deadline to complete the Register for Commencement form is February 28, 2021 if you want to participate in the May 2021 Commencement ceremony. You must have already applied for graduation.


Only students who completed their degree requirements following the fall 2020 semester and students who will complete their degree requirements during the spring 2021 and summer 2021 semesters are eligible to participate in the May 2021 Commencement ceremony.

Cap, Gown and Ticket Information

Your cap, gown, and tickets to the ceremony will be available for pick-up shortly before Commencement. You will receive more information about this later this spring. Continue to check your SMC email account.

The number of tickets you receive depends on the number of students who sign up to participate in Commencement. SMC cannot give out additional tickets. If you need more tickets, ask your friends and classmates if they have extras. You can also try posting to SMC’s Facebook page to ask if anyone has extra tickets.

Ferris Dowagiac Students

See Andrew Churchill for graduation information. Tickets and instructions will be mailed in April.

Getting Your Diploma

Diplomas will be available for pickup 5-7 weeks after the end of the semester. If you do not pick it up, it will be mailed to the most recent address we have on file for you.