Graduation Information

Commencement 2016

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

This site was upadated on February 3 with information about graduation applications and Honors Convocation.

IMPORTANT: IF YOU ARE GRADUATING in May, you should have applied graduate by Monday, February 1! If you have not, done so, do so ASAP! The list for the Commencement Program is printed soon, and late applicants may not be in the Commencement Book.

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

If you are finishing in August, 2016,  you can apply by Monday, February 1 to walk in the ceremony in the May ceremony.  You will then apply to graduate via Banner in late May.

If you do not apply to graduate or walk by the February 1 deadline, you may not be in the Commencement Program.  It's important to let us know you are graduating.  There is no cost to apply so do it today!

If you graduated in December, you only need to order tickets in late February/early March online to participate.  I will email you a reminder. If you're no longer using your Temple email account, send an email with your current email address to receive all the commencement emails.

There are three, count ‘em, 3 separate Commencement ceremonies for students at Tyler (but only in May).

The first ceremony is for main campus Tyler Students.  This one will take place at 4:30 pm on Thursday, May 5 at McGonigle Hall on Broad Street.  This ceremony takes just about 2 hours, and includes a student speaker from Tyler.  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. This ceremony is coordinated by Kari Scott.

The second ceremony is the big Temple Commencement at Liacouras Center.  This ceremony starts at 10 am on Friday, May 6 (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 usually a great "famous" speaker, and it can be very inspirational.

The final ceremony is on the Ambler Campus and just for students in Horticulture, Landscape Architecture and Community & Regional Planning (the former School of Environmental Design). This ceremony will be held Friday, May 6, 2016 at 3:30 p.m. in the Ambler Learning Center Auditorium. This ceremony is coordinated by Crisbel Baez.

All ceremonies are optional–you may attend the both the appropriate school ceremony and the Temple ceremony, just the school ceremony, just the Temple ceremony, 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 a 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?

Tickets are generally available online from late February to late March.  They can only be ordered by the graduate.  Details about tickets will be available here when they are announced by the University.

Do you have a guest with special needs?

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 both venues, 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:

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

Parking for the big day

In the past, students were given one parking pass per day to attend the ceremony.  We expect that to be the same this year.  Parking for additional cars is available on a first-come/first-served basis, and generally cash-only.  Details for parking will be announced at a later date, probably in April.

Please note that 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 may be a rehearsal for the ceremony

This will be announced in April.

You need to wear a cap and gown to participate in the Temple ceremony!

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. There will be an Honors Convocation sometime before the Commencement ceremony.  

This ceremony is scheduled for 2 pm on Thursday, May 5 in the Temple Performing Arts Center.  (Note that there are two ceremonies, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, depending on your school; you cannot change ceremonies, because your cords are given to you by your dean who will not be at the other ceremony.) Please note that is before the Tyler Commencement ceremony, and it is just across the street.  Students will be expected to report to McGonigle Hall for the Commencement Ceremony at 3:30, the Convocation ceremony will be no longer than 1 hour, with a small reception afterwards, so you should have no trouble participating in both ceremonies. You will receive your honors cords at this ceremony; given the tight time between ceremonies, it may not be possible to obtain honors cords to wear at the Tyler Commencement if you do not attend the Honors Convocation.

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! If you have more than two guests attending the commencement, they will have to find alternative activities for that time; I am working to make this happen formally.

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 Registrar's web page.

Here is the list of cut-off GPAs for Latin honors at Tyler LAST year.  This year's cut-offs may be higher or lower, but to give you an idea...:
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, in the past, provided us with complementary Temple 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!