Graduation Information

Commencement 2016

THIS SITE CONTAINS INFO FOR LAST MAY'S GRADUATION.  Information for 2017 will be posted here as soon as it's available.

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 Commencement program has gone to press, so it's too late to be in it. You will need to speak with your Advisor ASAP and then email Student Life for a parking pass.

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

If you are finishing in August, 2016,  you can apply to walk in the ceremony in the May ceremony.  You will then apply to graduate via Banner in late May. You will need to speak with your Advisor ASAP and then email Student Life for a parking pass.

    If you graduated in December, you should have already ordered tickets.  If you have not ordered tickets, please contact Kari Scott for the main campus ceremony or Crisbel Baez for the Ambler Campus ceremony ASAP.

    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. You should plan to report to Pearson 145 (in the same building as McGonigle) at 3:30 pm for hooding and to pick up your name card and line up. The doors to McGonigle Hall open for open seating at 3:30 pm as well. 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.  There is an information page for the Ambler Ceremony here.

    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 for the Main Campus and Ambler ceremonies have already been reserved.  If you did not reserve tickets already, contact your Commencement Representative (see top of page) ASAP! All tickets are free and graduates do not need tickets--only their guests. Here are ticket numbers you can request:

    Temple Ceremony: you can request a maximum of 4 guest tickets.

    Tyler Main Campus Ceremony: your guests will NOT need tickets.  We should have enough seats for everyone who wants to come, but seating is first-come/first-served and if you are late, there may not be seats.

    Tyler Ambler Campus Ceremony: you can request a maximum of 6 guest tickets.

    The number of tickets available has to do with the size of the venue.  In most cases, additional tickets may become available as the ceremony comes closer.

    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. McGonigle Hall is 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 our venue, 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.

    The wheelchair accessible entrance to McGonigle Hall is on the north side of the building, closest to the 15th Street Parking Lot. If you have guests with mobility issues, we suggest you park in that lot. There is a ramp from the Broad Street sidewalk on that side of the building that goes right into the side entrance of McGonigle Hall, which is very close to the wheelchair seating.  If you have someone who uses a walker or cane, we will reserve the seats one row UP and one row DOWN from the main walkway so your guests will only have to manuever 2 small steps to get to their seats.  These are pictures of McGonigle Hall. Please note that if you come in the main entrance, you will have to maneuver either stairs or one of those mini open elevators to get to the pedestrian level of the building. It will be easier to come in the north side entrance with the ramp.

    This is the official accessibility information for the Temple Ceremony:

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

    Parking for the big day: Main Campus

    All students who ordered tickets will receive ONE (FREE) main campus parking pass per day to attend ceremonies on the main campus.  You must have a parking pass to park on the main campus. You will only get a pass for days you order ceremony tickets--ie, you will only have a main campus parking pass for Friday, May 6 if you order tickets for the Temple Ceremony in Liacouras Center. We will have a very limited number of additional (free) parking passes for those students needing more than one pass, and those will be available for pickup on a first-come/first-served basis while supplies last when you pick up tickets the week of April 18 from the Advising Office.

    Tyler has been assigned parking in the Diamond Street Lot (the one right across the street from Tyler) and the 15th Street Lot (next to McGonigle Hall).  if you and members of your family are able-bodied, we ask that you please park in the Diamond Street Lot so that those with mobility issues can park in the 15th Street Lot so grandmothers using walkers don't have to walk so far! The Diamond Street Lot is easier to get into and leave from anyway--you can turn left onto Broad Street from Diamond, and it's not on a one-way street.  The 15th Street lot can only be accessed from the north (ie, Diamond or Norris Streets) as it's a one-way street heading south. If you are coming the the reception, the Diamond Street Lot will be really convenient for you and your family.

    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:

    Parking for the big day: Ambler

    Family and friends of Landscape Architecture, Horticulture and Community and Regional Planning graduates may park in the Learning Center Parking Lot, directly behind the Ambler Learning Center. There is no charge for parking. Once the Learning Center lot is full, guests may park in the Visitors Parking Lot on Meetinghouse Road.

    Parking for the big day: Harrisburg

    For the Harrisburg Celebration of Graduation, we cannot validate parking for friends and family. If you are a graduate, your parking ticket/receipt can be validated only in the Walnut Street Parking Garage as usual. You will need to present your student ID and your own parking ticket when you sign in/check in at the Whitaker Center. No more than one ticket per student/ID presented will be validated. Friends and family, please visit for parking locations, information, and rates.

    There will be a rehearsal for the Main Campus ceremony

    Right now this is scheduled for Tuesday, May 3 at 11 am in Pearson Hall.  This date is subject to change, but will be finalized by April 27 (or before).  The rehearsal is more like a walk-through so you can see the venue, and get a sense of how the ceremony is going to go.  It is NOT a dress rehearsal and you do not need your cap & gown. You will be able to see your annoucement card--the card that Dean Carmina will read your name from--and make changes if you want.  If you do not come, you will still be able to make changes on the day of commencement, so if you are taking a final, working, or not in town that day, do not worry. But we encourage you to come if you can, because it will make you much more comfortable on the day of the ceremony if you do.

    There will be a cookies & punch reception before the ceremony at Tyler

    We will be serving cookies and punch in the Tyler building on Thursday, May 5 from 2-3 pm. This will be an opportunity to take pictures of your friends and show off the building to your family. We will have photo props, and the Distiguished Alumni Mentorship Exhibition featuring Hope Ginsburg and Misha Wylie will be open in Temple Contemporary. Please note that if you are getting Latin Honors, this is the same time, but there will also be a small reception after the Latin Honors ceremony.

    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“).

    Associates Degree students wear a black robe with wide, loose sleeve, a mortarboard (square fabric-covered cardboard cap).

    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 any major: white
    BFA: brown
    BS in any major: 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, M.Arch, ML.Arch: brown
    MS: yellow
    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 helpful video from Texas State University about how to wear the hood (thanks Kari Leaver at TU Harrisburg!). 

    (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 should have RSVP'd for the Honors Ceremony when you ordered Commencement tickets online in March. This ceremony is always full, and if you did not RSVP you may not get in. Contact your Commencement Representative (see top of page) for help if you did not RSVP. 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 for this year.  This year's cut-offs were calculated LAST July (so if you brought your GPA up in the fall, you might not be invited to the Convocation):
    Summa Cum Laude (with highest honor):  3.89 (top 2% of the class)
    Magna Cum Laude (with high honor): 3.80 (next 5% of the class)
    Cum Laude (with honor):  3.70 (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. Your correct honors will be calculated after your FINAL grades are determined and will be reflected on your diploma so they may be higher or lower depending on your FINAL GPA.

    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 weeks before graduation in order for everything to clear.  Please note: having a hold does not prevent you from walking in the ceremony!  It only keeps you from getting a diploma until the hold is cleared.

    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!