Graduate looking forward.

Graduate School Commencement

St. Thomas is excited to announce the return of in-person commencement ceremonies to celebrate our graduates!

On Sunday, May 23, 2021, the university will host two outdoor graduate commencement ceremonies for students based on their St. Thomas school or college:

  • 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 23, 2021 - College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, Morrison Family College of Health, and School of Divinity
  • 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 23, 2021 - Opus College of Business and School of Engineering

Ceremonies will also be video live-streamed and recorded for those who cannot attend in person. Our ceremonies will recognize individual graduates participating virtually.

Graduates who participate in person will be allowed to bring up to four guests. Guests of any age count as a guest; including infants, toddlers and children. Guests do not need to check in with their graduate and tickets are not needed. All guests will be greeted and seated by volunteer ushers when they arrive at the stadium.

Commencement Participation:

  • Graduates were invited by email to participate in commencement ceremonies. The deadline to complete the graduation application was Monday, April 26, 2021.
  • All graduates who completed the graduation application and indicated they will participate in commencement in person or virtually will automatically have their cap and gown ordered. There is no cost for regalia. Regalia will be mailed directly to graduates.

COVID-19 Safety Precautions: All events will follow social distancing and face covering guidelines and requirements. Face coverings are still required for all participants and guests. We will update this site if things change. We encourage attendees to social distance with others outside your household. Read the safety and health protocols required for all commencement attendees (graduates and guests, along with faculty and staff).

As new details are finalized, we will continue to provide updates on this website. Graduates will also receive information via email.
(This page updated on 5/14/21.)

Ceremony Details

We are hosting multiple smaller and shorter ceremonies. Each ceremony will be approximately 60 minutes. Graduates who participate in person will be allowed to bring up to four guests. Ceremonies will be also be video live-streamed and recorded for those who cannot attend in person.

Graduates should arrive 30 minutes prior to the start of your assigned ceremony and check in at the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex (AARC) to pick up your name reader card. You will then proceed to the stadium to be seated. 

Graduates who choose to participate virtually will be recognized during the ceremony. Virtual participants will not be allowed in-person guests.

The ceremonies will be held outdoors, rain or shine, in O’Shaughnessy Stadium on our St. Paul campus.

In the event of extreme weather, the ceremonies will be moved indoors to the Field House within our Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex. In order to maintain safety protocols, only our graduates for each ceremony will be invited into the Field House. No guests will be allowed and there will be no viewing locations available on campus.

Commencement Day Schedule

Be prepared to arrive on time for the day of commencement. In following safety protocols, guests and graduates will not be allowed to gather on the field or in the stadium before or after the ceremony.

Time Time
Ceremony Starts 1:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m.
Doors Open 12:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

Attire and Etiquette

  • General Standards
  • What is Prohibited?
  • Cap and Gown
  • Tassels on Mortarboard
  • Hoods
  • Announcements and Diploma Frames
  • General Standards

    In keeping with the significance of the occasion, graduates must wear University-issued academic regalia, including cap and gown. Only University-issued honor cords, medallions, and pins are approved for wear during the ceremony. Other personal adornments, such as flower leis, hats, signs, ribbons, or scarves, are not acceptable.

    • Jeans and flip-flops are not acceptable.
    • Wear comfortable shoes with low heels. High heels are not recommended due to safety concerns on the stadium surface. You will be walking a significant distance across artificial turf from the lineup area to your seat.
    • Be Weather Prepared. Come prepared with sunglasses, sunscreen, and/or rain ponchos/raincoats for the outdoor ceremony. Umbrellas are not permitted.
    • Do not leave your valuables unattended. St. Thomas cannot take any responsibility for lost, stolen, or damaged items. 

    What is Prohibited?

    Do not bring items into the stadium that might detract from the dignity of the ceremony. Do not take any action that interferes with the ceremony. Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to:

    • Umbrellas are not permitted in the stadium or field house due to visibility and safety concerns.
    • Picture-taking near or on the stage by the graduates, family members or friends. A professional photographer is hired by the university to provide high quality images as the graduate receives their diploma. Proofs will be sent to you in the week following the ceremony. However, there is no obligation to purchase.
    • The stage is for students only and approved faculty and staff. No children, infants, or guests are allowed on the stage at any time.
    • Balloons, beach balls, and noisemakers are prohibited at all ceremonies.
    • Alcohol is not to be brought to and/or consumed at the ceremony.
    • St. Thomas is a tobacco-free campus and smoking, or vaping, is not permitted.
    • Strollers are not permitted within the stadium or field house due to limited space. There will be a stroller corral where guests can leave strollers outside the southwest entrance of O'Shaughnessy Stadium. Ushers will direct guests to the stroller corral. The corrals will supervised during the ceremony. However, St. Thomas cannot take any responsibility for lost or damaged strollers. 

    Cap and Gown

    Both Doctoral and Masters-Level caps, gowns, and hoods are provided by the university at no cost to graduates. They are yours to keep. (You may recall that completing the Graduation Application in Murphy Online automatically orders your cap and gown.)

    Graduate students will have their cap, tassel, and gown shipped.

    How to Wear Your Cap
    The cap should be worn with the mortarboard parallel to the ground and without any additional modification to the appearance. Graduate candidates should wear the tassel on the left side.

    Tassels on Mortarboard

    Tassels are included in the cap and gown purchase. Additional tassels are available for purchase from the St. Thomas Campus Stores.

    For graduate students, tassels are worn on the left side of the mortarboard.

    The student’s area of study determines the tassel color.

    • Arts and Letters: White
    • Business: Spice
    • Catholic Studies: White
    • Economics: Copper
    • Education: Light Blue
    • Engineering: Orange
    • Fine Arts: Brown
    • Humanities: White
    • Journalism: Crimson
    • Music: Pink
    • Philosophy: Dark Blue
    • Physical Education: Sage Green
    • Public Health: Salmon Pink
    • Science: Golden Yellow
    • Social Work: Citron
    • Theology, Peace and Justice: Scarlet

    Hoods

    The colors of hoods are listed below:

    • Arts and Letters: White
    • Business: Light Brown
    • Business Communication: Dark Blue
    • Catholic Studies: White
    • Counseling Psychology: Light Blue
    • Doctor of Counseling Psychology: Dark Blue
    • Doctor of Education: Light Blue
    • Education: Light Blue
    • English: White
    • International Studies: Aqua
    • Manufacturing Engineering: Orange
    • Music: White
    • Social Work: Citron
    • Software Design and Development: Gold
    • Theology, Doctor of Ministry: Scarlet

    Announcements and Diploma Frames

    Graduation Announcements
    Announcements can be purchased at the St. Paul or Minneapolis Campus Stores after April 15. Students can also order personalized announcements here. Make sure to allow 5-7 days for shipping.

    Diploma Frames
    Diploma frames are available through the St. Paul and Minneapolis Campus Stores.

    General Standards

    General Standards

    In keeping with the significance of the occasion, graduates must wear University-issued academic regalia, including cap and gown. Only University-issued honor cords, medallions, and pins are approved for wear during the ceremony. Other personal adornments, such as flower leis, hats, signs, ribbons, or scarves, are not acceptable.

    • Jeans and flip-flops are not acceptable.
    • Wear comfortable shoes with low heels. High heels are not recommended due to safety concerns on the stadium surface. You will be walking a significant distance across artificial turf from the lineup area to your seat.
    • Be Weather Prepared. Come prepared with sunglasses, sunscreen, and/or rain ponchos/raincoats for the outdoor ceremony. Umbrellas are not permitted.
    • Do not leave your valuables unattended. St. Thomas cannot take any responsibility for lost, stolen, or damaged items. 

    What is Prohibited?

    What is Prohibited?

    Do not bring items into the stadium that might detract from the dignity of the ceremony. Do not take any action that interferes with the ceremony. Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to:

    • Umbrellas are not permitted in the stadium or field house due to visibility and safety concerns.
    • Picture-taking near or on the stage by the graduates, family members or friends. A professional photographer is hired by the university to provide high quality images as the graduate receives their diploma. Proofs will be sent to you in the week following the ceremony. However, there is no obligation to purchase.
    • The stage is for students only and approved faculty and staff. No children, infants, or guests are allowed on the stage at any time.
    • Balloons, beach balls, and noisemakers are prohibited at all ceremonies.
    • Alcohol is not to be brought to and/or consumed at the ceremony.
    • St. Thomas is a tobacco-free campus and smoking, or vaping, is not permitted.
    • Strollers are not permitted within the stadium or field house due to limited space. There will be a stroller corral where guests can leave strollers outside the southwest entrance of O'Shaughnessy Stadium. Ushers will direct guests to the stroller corral. The corrals will supervised during the ceremony. However, St. Thomas cannot take any responsibility for lost or damaged strollers. 

    Cap and Gown

    Cap and Gown

    Both Doctoral and Masters-Level caps, gowns, and hoods are provided by the university at no cost to graduates. They are yours to keep. (You may recall that completing the Graduation Application in Murphy Online automatically orders your cap and gown.)

    Graduate students will have their cap, tassel, and gown shipped.

    How to Wear Your Cap
    The cap should be worn with the mortarboard parallel to the ground and without any additional modification to the appearance. Graduate candidates should wear the tassel on the left side.

    Tassels on Mortarboard

    Tassels on Mortarboard

    Tassels are included in the cap and gown purchase. Additional tassels are available for purchase from the St. Thomas Campus Stores.

    For graduate students, tassels are worn on the left side of the mortarboard.

    The student’s area of study determines the tassel color.

    • Arts and Letters: White
    • Business: Spice
    • Catholic Studies: White
    • Economics: Copper
    • Education: Light Blue
    • Engineering: Orange
    • Fine Arts: Brown
    • Humanities: White
    • Journalism: Crimson
    • Music: Pink
    • Philosophy: Dark Blue
    • Physical Education: Sage Green
    • Public Health: Salmon Pink
    • Science: Golden Yellow
    • Social Work: Citron
    • Theology, Peace and Justice: Scarlet

    Hoods

    Hoods

    The colors of hoods are listed below:

    • Arts and Letters: White
    • Business: Light Brown
    • Business Communication: Dark Blue
    • Catholic Studies: White
    • Counseling Psychology: Light Blue
    • Doctor of Counseling Psychology: Dark Blue
    • Doctor of Education: Light Blue
    • Education: Light Blue
    • English: White
    • International Studies: Aqua
    • Manufacturing Engineering: Orange
    • Music: White
    • Social Work: Citron
    • Software Design and Development: Gold
    • Theology, Doctor of Ministry: Scarlet

    Announcements and Diploma Frames

    Announcements and Diploma Frames

    Graduation Announcements
    Announcements can be purchased at the St. Paul or Minneapolis Campus Stores after April 15. Students can also order personalized announcements here. Make sure to allow 5-7 days for shipping.

    Diploma Frames
    Diploma frames are available through the St. Paul and Minneapolis Campus Stores.

    All programs offered by the University of St. Thomas shall be readily accessible to individuals with disabilities. For details, read about accessibility as it relates to commencement, or call (651) 962-6315.