Graduation Information

Commencement 2015

Here’s What You Need to Know for this year's commencement.

This site was updated on April 13 with parking and handicapped accessibility information.


IMPORTANT: IF YOU ARE GRADUATING in May, you need to apply to graduate ASAP (the deadline was February 2!)

  • Self Service Banner:  Student -> Student Records -> Apply to Graduate

If you are finishing in August, you can apply to walk in the ceremony in May.  You will need to complete a Petition to Walk ASAP.

If you are applying or petitioning late, your name will not be included in the Commencement program.  You also missed ordering tickets for the Temple ceremony, and they have all been spoken for.  You may be able to ask around, or if unwanted tickets are turned into Student Life, they may be available for redistribution.  In any case, if you plan to participate in EITHER commencement ceremony, please contact to get on the RSVP list and let us know you're planning to come.

There are two, count ‘em, 2 separate Commencement ceremonies for students at Tyler (but only in May).

The first ceremony is just for The Center for the Arts Students.  This one will take place at 1:30 pm on Thursday, May 7 at Liacouras Center on Broad Street.  This ceremony takes just about 2 hours, and includes a student speaker from the Center for the Arts.  The Dean makes a few brief remarks, and then your names are called by degree (PhD, MFA, MS, MED, BFA, BA, BS).  This is where you will march across the stage and pick up scroll from the Dean.  Your diploma is actually mailed to you 6-8 weeks after the ceremony.

The second ceremony is the big Temple Commencement at Liacouras Center.  This ceremony starts at 10 am on Friday, May 8 (you will need to be there about 8:30 am), and this is the ceremony with the big, named speaker.  This year’s speaker is yet to be announced.  There is also a student speaker, and Neil D. Theobald, Temple’s president, also gives a short address. This ceremony lasts about 90 minutes and you do NOT walk across the stage or have your name called.  At this ceremony, degrees are “conferred” on a school by school basis.  This is a nice ceremony; there is usally a great "famous" speaker, and it can be very inspirational.  Last year's speaker, the late Lewis Katz, was named the top Commencement Speech in the US for 2014!

All ceremonies are optional–you may attend either, both, or neither ceremony.  You will receive your diploma in the mail whether you participate in the ceremony(ies) or not.  The University encourages you to attend the morning Liacouras ceremony, but you don’t have to in order to attend the Tyler ceremony.  You will order tickets separately for each ceremony, and make sure you order tickets for the ceremony(ies) you wish to attend.

If you graduate in December, you will be invited to attend the ceremony in May.  Neither Tyler nor Temple has a commencement ceremony in December/January.  Note that some schools do, but we don't.

Details for these ceremonies are currently being worked out, and more information will be here once it's  been finalized.

Tickets?  You want tickets?

This year we are in a much larger venue, Liacouras Center.  Despite the combined ceremony with Tyler, Boyer, and TFMA, Liacouras Center seats LOTS of people, so we are not going to give out tickets to the Center for the Arts ceremony.  That's right, you do not need tickets!  Bring whomever you like!  Just remember that seating will be first come/first served, so have your family come early to get the best seats.  You will still need to pick up a free parking pass if you ordered tickets (scroll down to parking for more information).

You read that right: There will NOT be tickets for the Center for the Art Ceremony.

Tickets for the Temple Ceremony were spoken for in March and have bee reserved.  If you ordered tickets, you can pick them up starting the week of April 13.  Watch your email for details.  If you didn't order tickets, you will have to ask around to see if someone you know doesn't need tickets, or ask Student Life to see if anyone has turned in unneeded tickets.  I will give out Temple Ceremony tickets not picked up by April 30, so if you have these tickets and want them, please pick them up no later than April 30.

Please note that NO BALLOONS are allowed in Liacouras Center.  Please leave balloons at home or in your car.

Do you have a guest with special needs?

If you have a guest who is handicapped, please know that Liacouras Center is fully accessible.  There will be accessible seats if one or more of your guests uses a wheelchair or walker. Liacouras center is fully wheelchair accessible, and there will be staff members at the accessible entrances available to assist your guests in finding accessible seats.  Because of the layout of the wheelchair accessible seating at Liacouras center, guests in wheelchairs will be limited to one able-bodied companion next to their seat. Unfortunately, the rest of the party will be seated elsewhere.

This is the official accessibility information for the Temple Ceremony.  Since we're in the same venue for our ceremony, it will likely be similar:

Here's the official information for Liacoras Center.  Please note you do NOT need to call the number on the website for handicapped seats for the Commencement Ceremony!

If you or a guest needs a sign language interpreter, please email as soon as possible so we can arrange for one!

Parking for the big day

If you "ordered tickets" for the Center for the Arts Ceremony, I will have one free parking pass for you for Thursday, May 7.  You will need to pick that up or ask me to mail it to you (or your family).  If you ordered tickets for the Temple Ceremony, I will have one free parking pass for you for Friday, May 8.  You will get that with your tickets. Pass Parking for Tyler students will be at the Liacouras Garage and the Diamond Lot (the large surface lot across 12th Street from Tyler, entrance on Diamond).  Since we are the first ceremony to go (besides the much smaller Latin Honors ceremony at TPAC on Thursday morning), Liacouras is likely to be fairly easy to park in on Thursday.  Not so much on Friday.

Note that there are commencement ceremonies on May 7 & 8 all over Temple University.  Traffic and parking at Temple on Commencement day are not pretty.  Bring your patience and allow plenty of time to park and get to the venue.  Philadelphia police require that Broad Street remain open and flowing, so drop offs along Broad Street in front of Liacouras Center may not be allowed.  If you have a handicapped person you want to drop off, I would suggest navigating to Montgomery Street (from 16th) and dropping your guest off on Montgomery at Broad.  The driver will then need to turn right on Broad, and right on Cecil B. Moore to circle back to the Liacouras garage. Please note that I cannot guarantee that you will be able to do that--the police tend to close streets around the venues--but if you can that will probably be easiest.

Guests will enter Liacouras from the front (Broad Street).  Graduates will enter Liacouras from the loading dock (back side/15th Street) for line up.  You will exit the building the same way, so choose a place to meet up before the ceremony so you can find each other again.

Here's a link to the Liacouras center parking information:

Once again, traffic will be like nothing you have seen at Temple.  Public transportation may be your friend.  The subway will be crowded, but unaffected by the vehicular traffic, so you will find it to be much faster than driving and parking.  You may find that it can take a half hour or more just to get into or out of a parking lot that day.  Streets will be crowded, and you may not be able to make some of the turns onto or off of Broad Street that you normally make.  Philadelphia Police (PPD) are out in force to keep traffic running along Broad Street, and our ceremony will be during the commute period for people who work downtown and drive north to get home.  Temple has no control over how PPD directs traffic that day.  You will need to allow plenty of time to get to Temple, park, and get to the ceremony/line-up spot.  You will also need to leave enough time to get out of the parking lot and navigate traffic to get to any dinner reservations you may have after the ceremony.

Information for your traveling relatives
If you have relatives traveling in, and they’re not staying at your house,remember that there are many many institutions of higher learning in this city and they all have graduations around the same time.  Make hotel/motel/etc. and dinner reservations early.  There’s a handy resource guide here:

There will be no rehearsal for the ceremony, but you will need to be at the Liacouras center by 12:30 to check in and line up on Thursday, May 7!

This will give us a chance to make sure you are correctly dressed in your robes (and your hood is not on backwards!), that you are lined up in the proper order so you get your degree, and so we walk into the ceremony in the appropriate way appropriately dressed. You might want to bring a camera or cell phone to take pictures of your friends.  Note that graduates and guests enter and exit the venue separately, so you should arrange a place to meet after the ceremony.

You need to wear a cap and gown to participate!

Commencement is a very special once-in-a-lifetime event, and it celebrates a major milestone in your life.  We treat Commencement as a special ceremony, and we expect that you will too.  In order to make it special, and following history going back to the twelfth century [, we wear caps and gowns (“Academic Regalia“).

Bachelors Degree students wear a black robe with wide, loose sleeve, a mortarboard (square fabric-covered cardboard cap), and a hood.  The hood will be black with a cherry and white lining (symbolizing Temple’s colors) and a “velvet” trim that symbolizes your major:
BA in Art or Art History: white
BFA, B.Arch: brown
BS in Art Ed or Arch: yellow
You will also have a tassel that matches that trim.

Masters Degree students wear a black robe with a weird pocket shape to the bottom of the sleeve.  They also wear a mortarboard and hood, but the hood is slightly more elaborate.  Same colors as above (black, with cherry & white lining) and here are your trim colors
MA: white
M.ED: light blue
MFA or MArch: brown
You will also have a tassel that matches that trim.

Doctoral candidates have a much more elaborate gown, hood and cap.  You should discuss your regalia with your adviser, as it may make sense that you purchase good (ie, very expensive, not the cheap bookstore stuff) regalia.  In any event, the hood trim for Tyler doctoral candidates is dark blue.

Temple’s bookstore will sell (not rent) you the regalia you need.  You can pre-order here: after mid February or you can just go to the bookstore and buy it closer to graduation (usually during most of the month of April).  The gown is made of woven plastic-y-like cloth made from recycled water bottles.  It’s not a top-of-the-line beautiful robe. Don’t buy it if you don’t need to!  Recycle instead!  You can pick it up in the bookstore without a shipping charge, or you can have it shipped somewhere for a fee.  The last day to pre-order is usually in late April.  But seriously, do not buy one if you can find a free recycled one!  Just make sure you get the right hood–you may have to buy that, but you’ll still save a  lot of money if you’re only buying the hood & tassel instead of the whole kit.

(Here's a hint, courtesy of one of last year's graduates:  if you're ordering online and want to pick up your order at the bookstore--saving the shipping charge--once you submit all of the info, it asks for your address and then you just hit "Submit Order" and it takes you to another screen where you fill out your credit card information and shipping info and one of the options is to pick it up at the bookstore. So that's what you do if you want to pick it up at the bookstore.)

If you’re getting your bachelor’s degree, and you have a plain black robe and mortar board (left over from high school, your cousin who graduated last year, your brother who graduates from another institution a week before you), you can (and should!) use that.  You can often find them on free-cycle websites or free or cheap on Craigslist.  Now is the time to use all your Facebook connections.  If you can find one that’s free, by all means, use that and don’t buy one from the book store.  You will need to have the correct hood and tassel, so if you’re not getting one from someone who graduated from Tyler with the same major, plan on getting that from the bookstore; they will sell you just a hood & tassel for about half of what it will cost you to buy the whole kit, or just a tassel for less about $7.

If you’re getting your master’s degree, please note that the sleeve on the master’s robe is different than the standard bachelor’s robe.  So the robe your mom saved from when you got your bachelor’s degree won’t work.  Check to see if one of your friends who graduated last year still has theirs, or if you happen to have a cousin/brother/aunt etc. who got a master’s degree you might be able to borrow theirs.  You’ll still need the specific hood color for your degree, so if you’re getting a kit from someone who graduated last year, make sure they got the same degree.  If you’re just getting the robe/mortar board from someone, you can get the hood and tassel from the bookstore.

You worked extra hard and are getting honors?

Latin honors are given to the top 16% of students in Temple’s (undergraduate) graduating class as determined by GPA.  These are based on your GPA as of LAST spring.  The calculation is handled by the Temple Provost’s Office. The Tyler Student Honors Convocation and reception, which will be held on Thursday, May 7 at 11 am in the Temple Performing Arts Center. At this ceremony, you will receive a set of honor cords to wear with your cap and gown at the commencement ceremony.

If you are receiving Latin Honors you will need to RSVP for the Honors Ceremony when you ordered Commencement tickets online in March, otherwise, you will not be allowed in.  You are strictly limited to 2 guests to this ceremony!

Please note that this list is calculated by the Provost’s office and not Tyler, so we are not able to make any adjustments if you’re under the GPA limit. Also, it is important to note that students are invited to attend the Honors Convocation based their projection to receive Latin honors. Final Latin honors lists are not prepared until students are cleared to graduate and their final grades are recorded. So while you may be listed as Magna Cum Laude now, it is based on your grades up to last spring.  Your final designation could be higher or lower depending on how you do in your final year.  Latin Honors are finalized until your grades are certified, which actually doesn’t happen until after the Commencement Ceremonies.  For specific information about Latin Honors, please see the Latin Honors section of the official Temple Bulletin.

The cut-off GPAs for Latin honors at Tyler this year are:
Summa Cum Laude (with highest honor):  3.88 (top 2% of the class)
Magna Cum Laude (with high honor): 3.80 (next 5% of the class)
Cum Laude (with honor):  3.69 (next 9% of the class)

* Note that GPA cut-offs for Latin honors are determined by school.  You may have a friend in the School of Hospitality and Tourism who has a lower GPA but higher honors than you.  That’s because the Latin honors go to the top 16% of students in each school.  Some schools have higher and some have lower cut-offs than ours.

Invitations and Announcements

The Provost’s office has usually provided us Commencement Announcements.  I anticipate that you will be able to get a few (less than 10) of those from Student Life for free when you pick up commencement tickets in April.  They announce the main Ceremony at Liacouras center, not the Tyler ceremony, but you can mail them to Uncle George to announce that you’ve finally finished.

Formal personalized invitations, picture frames for your diploma, stuffed owls with mortar board hats will be available from the campus bookstore later this spring.  You can also order customized invitations, class rings, and diploma frames from Herff Jones [].  Make sure you’re looking for Temple University and the May Commencement when you order.

Templar Yearbooks

Yearbooks will be available on a first-come first-served basis at the Tyler front desk as soon as they are printed, probably in late April.  They’ll just be at the front desk–take one if you want one.

Other things to think about

Make sure you have all your holds resolved by mid-April!  If you owe library fines or haven’t completed your financial aid exit interview, you will not be getting a diploma.  You will need to check with holds on Self Service Banner and resolve them all in order to officially graduate.  You must allow 2 week before graduation in order for everything to clear.

If you have any questions about whether or not your classes are complete, make an appointment with an adviser ASAP.  Visit for details on how to make an appointment.

Your diploma will arrive in the mail 6-8 weeks after the ceremony.  If you don’t get one, email for help.  Please note, I can’t help you–you will need to contact the Registrar’s Office at that email address. 

If you need transcripts, you order those from this page at Registrar’s Office website.

Need even more info?  Temple has created a handy Commencement page here! Need information specific to Tyler?  Email Student Life with questions!