Frequently Asked Questions


Are graduate announcements available?

Personalized announcements can be ordered from TommieBooks or through the St. Thomas Bookstore website. Please call the Minneapolis Bookstore (651) 962-4340 or the St. Paul Bookstore (651) 962-6850 with any questions.

Accessible Parking & Seating

Will there be accessible parking?

Please visit the Minneapolis Convention Center's website for parking information.

Will there be accessible seating?

There are designated seating areas at the ceremony for people with mobility issues. These seats are on the floor at ground level. Guests also may sit at the end of a row and ask an usher to remove a chair. Ushers will be available to assist those with mobility impairments. 

Caps, Gowns and Hoods

How do I order my cap and gown?

The cap and gown are ordered by your graduation coordinator after you complete the graduation application. The cap and gown order is part of the graduation application.

What is the cost of the cap and gown? Am I allowed to keep them?

There is no cost to you.  They are yours to keep. The master's degree hood, however, is borrowed and must be returned after the ceremony. 

Where/when do I get my cap and gown?

Depending upon the pick-up location you indicated on the graduation application, your cap and gown can be picked up at the Minneapolis Bookstore (651) 962-4340 beginning May1, or the St. Paul Bookstore (651) 962-6850 beginning May 13.  If unsure of  pick-up location, please contact Pam Phairas. Pick-up times are as follows. You will need a  picture I.D. when picking up your cap and gown at the Bookstore. Please note that the Minneapolis Bookstore will be closed on Saturday, May 24.

Minneapolis Bookstore
Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. - noon
St. Paul Bookstore
May 12-15 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
May 16 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m.
May 19-22 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
May 23 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

On which side do I wear my tassel?

The tassel is worn on the left side of the mortarboard throughout the ceremony.

Where do I get my master's degree hood?

The hoods will be distributed to you at the ceremony. Hoods must be returned following the ceremony.

Can I buy my master's degree hood?

Yes, if you wish to purchase a master's degree hood, they can be purchased through the St. Paul Bookstore at (651) 962-6850, call for further information.

Should I iron the gown?

No. To remove creases and wrinkles, place the gown in the dryer with a moist washcloth or hang the gown prior to ceremony.


Are there any special instructions for the ceremony, how to assemble etc...? How early do I need to get there?

6 p.m.  Doors open for guests.
6:15 p.m. Doors open for graduates. Graduates must check in at Ballrooms A & B and be in line by 6:30 p.m.
7 p.m. Commencement exercises begin with academic procession. The ceremony will take place in exhibit halls C and D.

Where will we assemble for the ceremony?

Graduates should enter Ballrooms A & B. When you arrive in the line-up area, find your name on the alphabetical list. Find your row number and go to that row. The marshal for your row will have your reader card with your name on it. Stay with your row.

How long will the ceremony last?

The ceremony typically lasts 90 minutes.


When will I receive my diploma?

You will receive your diploma when all requirements for the degree are completed. In addition, your tuition account must be paid in full. Diplomas will be mailed approximately eight weeks after all requirements are verified as completed.

If the name printed on the diploma is incorrect, can I change it?

If, by chance, the diploma is mailed to you with incorrect information, you may write directly on the diploma, crossing out the incorrect name and writing in the correct information.  Then, mail it back to the Registrar's Office and the diploma will be re-ordered and mailed to you at no charge.  The re-order process will require approximately 8-10 weeks.

What if my address and/or name have changed?

Please contact our graduation coordinator, Pam Phairas.


Do I need tickets? How many guests can I bring?

No tickets will be issued for this commencement.

Can I bring my children?

Yes, children are welcome.

Can my guests bring balloons?

No, balloons are not allowed. 

How should I and my guests dress?

Business attire is preferred.


Where can I park?

Please visit the university's website for parking information.


Will photos be taken or should I have someone there to take pictures?

Picture taking on or near the stage during the ceremony is prohibited.

A professional photographer from Grad Images ( will take your picture as you receive your diploma. You will receive a passport-sized full-color proof in the mail approximately one week after the ceremony, with no obligation to purchase.


Will weather impact the location of commencement?

The ceremony will be held inside.