Information for Students Planning to Graduate
Students must apply to graduate in the semester prior to completing their program requirements.
For instance, a student planning to graduate in May must apply to graduate by the deadline set in the fall semester. Even if a student does not plan to participate in the commencement ceremony, they must still apply to graduate.
After a student submits their application to graduate, the Office of Academic Records will begin a review of degree progress.
The status of the graduation application and degree audit can be checked in DegreeWorks, or on the Apply to Graduate link in myINFO. An alert is sent to students once the official degree audit has been completed by the office of Academic Records.
2020 May Commencement Ceremony
Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 6 p.m.
The 2020 Commencement will be Thursday, May 21 in the athletic facility gymnasium and begin promptly at 6 p.m. Guests should be seated by 5:45 p.m.
Guests limited to five
There are no tickets issued for commencement, but we ask graduates to limit their guest party to five people.
Graduates should arrive at 5 p.m. and go directly to the BorgWarner Morse TEC Field House and check in at the Academic Records table. Please remain in the field house to prepare for procession.
BALLOONS ARE NOT ALLOWED inside the athletic facility. They may inadvertently cause activation of the College’s fire detection/alarm systems.
Due to limited space, we ask that you please not bring strollers.
The graduates will be led out of the gym following the ceremony directly to The BorgWarner Morse TEC Field House where they are encouraged to attend the reception with family and friends.
Regalia (Cap, Gown, Tassel, and Hood)
Each graduate must wear graduation regalia (cap, gown, tassel, and hood) that is provided at no additional cost through the College Bookstore.*
The graduation regalia belongs to the graduate and does not need to be returned after the ceremony.
In order to receive your graduation regalia, visit the bookstore prior to the end of finals week or any day before commencement to pick up your cap and gown. You will also have the opportunity to purchase a souvenir tassel (which cannot be worn during the ceremony). Bring your TC3 Card when you pick up your cap and gown.
Pick up your graduation regalia at least a few days before commencement and iron it or hang it at home so the wrinkles will fall out.
* The cost of graduation regalia was included in your matriculation fee.
Note: Other graduation-related items (souvenir tassel, class rings, announcements, diploma frames, etc.) are available for purchase online at Herff Jones while registering for regalia.
Reserving Special Needs
If you and/or your guests require any special accommodations (wheelchair space, unable to climb stairs, etc.), please note that in the Commencement survey. When your guests arrive on Commencement night, they should indicate that they have reserved seating, and an usher will assist them.
Assembly & Lineup
Graduates, please be ready for assembly by 5:15 p.m. Ushers and signs will direct you to the robing area (the BorgWarner Morse TEC Field House). You will be given further instructions there.
Parking is available in lots 1-6. The closest parking to the athletic facility entrance is lot 5. There is a drop-off area in front of the entrance.
Island Photography, a company specializing in graduation photos, will take pictures of each graduate as they cross the stage. If you would like to receive a direct link to the photos, visit IslandPhoto.com to register. Enter your email and up to six emails of your friends and family with whom you would like to share your photos. Images will be posted within 72 hours of the ceremony. All inquiries should be made to Island Photography at 800.869.0908. Purchase is optional.
During the ceremony graduates receive a diploma folder. Actual diplomas will be available in the Office of Academic Records (room 101) at a later date (TBA). Photo ID will be required to pick up your diploma and diplomas not picked up by a certain date (TBA) will be mailed to your permanent address. Students with outstanding financial obligations to the College will not be able to receive their diploma.
All graduates will wear graduation regalia (see Regalia). It is best to
wear lightweight clothing underneath.
There is no designated place to leave personal belongings or valuables during the ceremony. All items should be carried with you or given to a friend or family member for safe keeping.
Phi Theta Kappa Members
As a member of Phi Theta Kappa, you may wear a PTK stole and other PTK regalia at your graduation ceremony. These items are available online at PTK.org.
Students graduating with honors will receive their gold tassel on graduation night during the assembly and lineup. To graduate with honors, students must have earned a minimum of 30 credits at Tompkins Cortland and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.20.
Honors College Graduates
Students graduating from Honors College will receive white tassels.
These green and white cords are given to student leaders at the annual Take Pride Awards. Student leaders including club officers, resident assistants, athletic team captains, members of student government, Panther Welcome Crew members, Peer Mentors, and others are eligible to receive an involvement cord. They are also given to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, and PRIDE award recipients.
Sustainability Studies Designation
Students fulfilling the requirements for Sustainability Studies Designation will receive special recognition. The Sustainability Studies Advisory Committee will directly contact the students eligible for this recognition.
(National Society of Leadership and Success)
As a member of Sigma Alpha Pi or NSLS, you may wear an NSLS stole, pin, cord, and/or other NSLS regalia at your graduation ceremony. These items are available to inducted members online at societyleadership.org. All inducted members receive a pin at their induction ceremony and would need to purchase other regalia online.
Flowers for graduates will be available for purchase outside the athletic facility prior to the ceremony. Proceeds from sales will benefit Phi Theta Kappa.
Questions About Commencement
If you have questions or concerns, please contact:
Bryan Chambala, Director of Communications
607.844.8222, Ext. 4225 or email
Nursing Recognition Ceremony
Tuesday, May 19, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.
Join the College as we recognize the members of the Class of 2020 who are graduating with a degree in nursing. This ceremony is one of the oldest traditions at the College, and marks the start of our commencement week activities.
Everyone is invited to attend.