Graduation Information

Commencement 2019

This site was updated on Monday, September 17 with graduation checklists and application information.

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. Students graduating in the Fall 2018 semester should apply to graduate on Self-Service Banner NOW and students who will finish in May should plan to apply in December or January this year. Students who will finish in the summer and plan to participate in commencement will need to apply to walk by February 1 next semester. Details are on the checklists:

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.

Tickets?  You want tickets?

Tickets are free and will be ordered in late February or March of 2019. You will probably initially be limited to 8 total tickets. Everyone except babies on laps needs a ticket. It is highly likely that you will be able to get a few more tickets if you need them, but we won't know how many until after the initial ticket site closes at the end of March (we have to make sure everyone gets an initial supply, then we see how many seats we have left before we know how many more we can give you). We generally fit into this venue well; we've never not had extra seats after the initial orders, but we have to be cautious at the beginning just in case.

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. 

If you think you are getting Latin Honors (GPA of ~3.83 or above), you will receive an invitation to that ceremony and will need to RSVP for the ceremony. This ceremony is typically held the before the main Temple Ceremony, so plan on Wednesday, May 8. We are assigned either the morning or afternoon ceremony, and the announcement of the exact date and time will happen in January or February of 2019. 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 miss the RSVP, you won't be able to attend the ceremony, so make sure if you want to go to that ceremony you RSVP to that ceremony following the instructions in the email. 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.

If you have a family member in a wheelchair or who needs an ASL interpreter, make sure you let me know when you order tickets so accommodations can be made.

If you are not planning to participate in either ceremony, PLEASE make sure your family is on board. These ceremonies are very meaningful to some family members, and it's much harder to accommodate everyone if you wait until the day before the ceremony to find out your Grandma will be heartbroken if she can't watch you walk across the stage. Talk to your family NOW.

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 maneuver 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.

Note that many of the seats are simply benches; we've heard from past graduates that their older relatives are uncomfortable in these seats. You are welcome to bring stadium seat cushions with you. If your relative 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. Philadelphia Police often don't let people unload on Broad Street, so using the shuttle is a good bet. (Hint: if you're going to try to unload, it's best to do so heading north in front of TPAC. Traffic south on Broad at that time is heavy--it's rush hour--so they're more likely to let you unload at TPAC than in front of Pearson).

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

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!

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 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.

There will be a reception after the ceremony.

We will have a light reception after the ceremony in the Tyler building. Details to follow.

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.

2017 Price List from the bookstore.  Note that you can buy parts if you find a basic black cap & gown somewhere else.

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 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!