Graduation Information


Commencement 2019

This site was updated on Friday, April 12 with final details for Commencement 2019.

The deadline to apply to graduate in May, 2019 was Friday, February 1. If you missed the deadline, make sure you apply ASAP! Then send an email to so you get added to the ticket list. You apply online through Self-Service Banner: Student Records -> Apply to Graduate. It's free! Make sure your name is exactly the way you want it to appear on your diploma (ie, if your name is McDonald, make sure it doesn't say Mcdonald). If your name has changed, you need to make sure you legally change your name with Records and Registration; otherwise your diploma will have your current name in Banner. Also make sure you have it mailed to a permanent address--your diploma won't get mailed until about 6 weeks after Commencement; if you have it sent to your current address and you move on May 30, it may get lost. 

If your finishing in the summer and you want to walk in Commencement in May, you need to petition to walk. The deadline was also February 1 so do is ASAP. You fill out the form online. Make sure you're logged into your TU Mail account before you fill out the form. Note: there has been some confusion, so here's the scoop: You only need to "petition to walk" if you won't be finished with all your classes by this (spring) semester. You are automatically set up to walk in either or both commencement ceremonies by applying to graduate if you will be done with all your classes in either December 2018 or May 2019.

Please note that both Temple and Tyler only have one ceremony each in May. If you graduate in December, you will be invited back to participate in the May Commencement Ceremonies. You will get information about these through your Temple email address. 

Here's what you need to do to get ready to graduate this year:

Are you a parent or loved one of a graduate looking for information?

As Commencement time draws near, we regularly send informational emails to graduating students reminding them of things they need to do/information about the ceremonies. If you are a parent or guardian of a graduate, you may subscribe to this list and get the emails for informational purposes.  But please note, when steps to participate in Commencement are announced in the email, they must be completed by the student and not a parent.

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

The first ceremony is the big Temple Commencement at Liacouras Center. This ceremony starts at 9:30 am on Thursday, May 9 (you will need to be there about 8:00 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 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 second ceremony is just for Tyler Students. This one will take place at 10 am on Friday, May 10 at McGonigle Hall on Broad Street.  This ceremony takes less than 2 hours, and includes a student speaker from Tyler. You should plan to report to Pearson 145 (in the same building as McGonigle) at 9 am for hooding and to pick up your name card and line up. The doors to McGonigle Hall open for open seating at 9 am 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 diploma envelope from the Dean. Your diploma is actually mailed to you 6-8 weeks after the ceremony. This ceremony is coordinated by Kari Scott. You should plan on just under 2 hours for this ceremony.

Both ceremonies are optional–you may attend both the 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.

TicketsYou want tickets?

There will be no physical tickets printed for the Tyler ceremony on Friday, May 10. You may bring all of your guests.

What does that mean? It means your guests will not need tickets, and you can bring as many as you like within reason. So if you were waiting for a few extra tickets for extra guests, you don't need to ask for them, you can just bring your guests.

Please note that only students may request tickets/parking passes. Families will need to contact their students to obtain tickets. I will not give tickets to family members unless a student requests it. This is for the protection of all who attend the ceremony. 

You'll still need free parking passes.

Even though you won't need tickets to the Tyler ceremony, you'll still need parking passes to park on campus. We've been assigned the Tyler lot (between Architecture and Tyler at 13th & Diamond Streets) and the Diamond Lot (across the street from Tyler at 12th & Diamond Streets). You will not be able to park on campus unless you have a parking pass. You will receive 2 passes for each day you ordered tickets, so if you're bringing several people, consider carpooling or using public transportation.

If you did not order tickets, you need to do so ASAP so you can have parking passes. If you're not on the ticket list, you will not get parking passes and we won't know you are planning to come so your name won't be read at graduation. It's important that you're on the ticket list if you want to participate.

Order tickets here.

There are no more tickets available to order for the University-wide ceremony on Thursday, May 9. If you didn't order tickets and want some, the next best thing to do is check with your friends to see if anyone ordered extras.

Parking passes and tickets for the University-wide ceremony will be available for pick up at the Advising Office on the 2nd Floor of the Tyler building the week of April 22.

If you're on the Ambler Campus, tickets will be sent to that campus for you to pick them up from Gina Funches in the West Hall Lobby.

PLEASE drop by and pick up your tickets during business hours (8:30 am-5 pm) during that week. Free yearbooks should also be available that week when you pick up your tickets.

If you're not on either campus, or you are too busy to stop by the advising office to pick them up, please let me mail them to youYou can fill out this form (carefully--this writes directly to the mailing labels), and I will mail them to you.

Latin Honors

If you think you are getting Latin Honors (GPA of ~3.83 or above), you should have received an invitation to that ceremony and needed to RSVP for the ceremony by April 8. This ceremony is held the day before the main Temple Ceremony, so Tyler is participating in the morning ceremony on Wednesday, May 8.  Note that you are typically only permitted to bring 2 guests--seating is extremely limited, so this is not something you'll invite your whole family to. If you missed the RSVP, you won't be able to attend the ceremony. Note that Tyler has no control over the guest list--it's organized by the Provost's office--so we can't get you on the RSVP list.

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 three able-bodied companions 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 Pollet Walk). If you have guests with mobility issues, you will be able to drop them off on Broad Street near the ramp just past the 15th Street Lot (ie, near the Pollet Walk crosswalk across Broad Street). 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 three rows UP and three rows DOWN from the main walkway so your guests will only have to maneuver 2-6 small steps to get to their seats. These are pictures of McGonigle Hall. Please note that if you come in the main entrance at Pearson Hall, 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 easiest to come in the north side entrance with the ramp.

Note that many of the seats are simply benches; we've heard from past graduates that their older relatives are not very comfortable in these seats. You are welcome to bring stadium seat cushions with you. If your guest needs back support, make sure you get one with a self-supporting back (like the straps holding the back up). Ask around. If your family doesn't have any, you may have friends who are sports fans who have some you can borrow for the day!

Handicapped parking is in the same lots as regular parking, so you will be using the free shuttle bus, which is supposed to have wheelchair lifts. The shuttle will drop you off in front of the Temple Performing Arts Center (TPAC), which is right across the street from McGonigle's handicapped ramp.

This is the official accessibility information for the Temple Ceremony:

We will have a sign-language interpreter. If you let me know ahead of time, we can arrange for your guests to sit in the section to best see the interpreter and reserve those seats for you. If you need an interpreter AND have guests with mobility issues as well, let me know that so we can reserve seats accordingly.

Parking for the big day: Main Campus

You must have a parking pass to park on campus.  Parking passes are free, and you will pick them up when you pick up your graduation tickets. Parking plans are usually announced in April. You must have a parking pass to park in any lot at TemplePlease note that public transit is a viable and attractive option!

We have been assigned parking in the Diamond Street Lot and Tyler Lots. Tyler lot is the small lot between Tyler and the Architecture building. Diamond Street is the lot across 12th Street from Tyler. Both lots have entrances from Diamond Street. Note that if you are driving south (towards downtown) on Broad, you can turn left on Diamond, so this is an easy lot to get to from either direction. You must have parking passes to park in either lot--no cash will be accepted.

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. Temple has minimal 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 lunch 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 will be a rehearsal for the Tyler ceremony

This is an important chance to make sure you're ready for this big event. This is more like a walk-through and not a dress rehearsal. You will be able to see where you check in, where you'll get your diploma, and get your questions answered. It's NOT a dress rehearsal, and will only take about 45 minutes. This is not exactly mandatory--if you are in a final or will not be in town, you are excused. But please come if you are able. Questions will be answered and you'll be more relaxed on the day of the ceremony if you attend.

The rehearsal will be Wednesday, May 8 at 2 pm. Meet at the Pearson entrance at 2 pm. If you don't know where to go, you can meet in the Tyler Lobby at 1:45 pm and walk over with us.

There will be a reception after the ceremony.

Tyler will host a festive reception in the lobby of the Tyler School of Art immediately following the school-wide ceremony on Friday, May 10. We'll have food and festivities and will it will be an opportunity for you to celebrate with your guests, classmates and Tyler faculty. Please RSVP here so we can plan on your and your guests' attendance.

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“).

You should be able to order regalia now. I suggest that if you're in town you have it shipped to the bookstore and pick it up there to save yourself the $16 shipping fee. You don't need to order it, however; you can just go to the bookstore after April 22 when they'll have it in stock for you to pick up and take with you. 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.  Note that new this year, the gowns will have a Temple "T" embroidered on them. For this year only, you'll be able to wear gowns without the T, but next year they will be required at the all-Temple Liacouras ceremony. The full kits cost $42 for Associates, $75 for Bachelors, $81 for Masters, and $94 for Doctoral degrees. Note that you can buy parts if you find a basic black cap & gown somewhere else.

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, ML.Arch: brown
M.Arch: Purple
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.

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 on Wednesday, May 9 at 11 am in the Temple Performing Arts Center.  

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. If you are not invited to RSVP for the Honors Convocation and you think that you should have been, check with your advisor before the RSVP in March.

Here is the list of cut-off GPAs for Latin honors at Tyler for last year.  This year's cut-offs were calculated the previous 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

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 Advising Office when you pick up your tickets in late April.  You may take one if you want one. They are free.

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!