Commencement Day

When you receive your regalia, remove it from its packaging and hang it on a hanger. Steaming the garment will help to smooth out wrinkles.

Share the live broadcast link,, with any friends and family who cannot join in person so they can celebrate virtually.

  • Your robe
  • Your cap and tassel
  • Your stole of gratitude (if you are a bachelor’s graduate)
  • Your hood (if you are a master’s graduate)

Do not bring in any bags or purses for security reasons. Please leave personal items with a friend or family member. The university cannot be responsible for items left in the Joyce Center. We also recommend you wear lightweight clothing under your gown. You may not wear anything over your cap and gown except honor cords and Honors Program medals.

Parking is free and available in the lots off of Joyce Drive. Please follow the directions from the parking attendants.
For those concerned about walking, please plan to be dropped off near the southwest corner of the Joyce Center at Joyce Drive and Moose Krause Circle.

Please check your IU email the morning of Commencement. This is how the university will communicate any necessary updates.

Graduates need to be in the Joyce Center by 5 p.m. Before entering Gate 3 of the Joyce Center, please give all your valuables and personal belongings to a family member or friend to hold.

Doors open for family and guests at 5:30 p.m. at the main entrance (Gate 9) of the Joyce Center. General admission seating is available on a first come, first served basis.

Check in with your school/college/division to receive your name card. Your walk card will indicate the order you will line up, be used to identify you to the photographers, and for announcing your name during the ceremony.

Once everyone is lined up the processional will begin at 6:30 p.m. Please hold onto your name cards.

Each school will be led by its faculty marshal, who will direct graduates on where and when to be seated.

Graduates will be invited to the stage to have their name read and receive their diploma covers.

  • Diploma covers presented during the ceremony will not contain actual diplomas.
  • December graduates should have already received their diplomas.
  • Diplomas for May, June, and August graduates should be available approximately six weeks after you have been certified for graduation.
  • Spring and summer graduates will be notified via email by the registrar’s office when their diplomas have arrived.

Faculty marshals will lead graduates to the stage, instruct them on how to cross the stage, and return to their seats.

All graduates wear custom IU apparel, including a black gabardine robe with braided crimson piping and a cap adorned with the tassel from the school they’re graduating from.

Undergraduates receive and wear a crimson Stole of Gratitude embellished with the Indiana University seal. Master’s degree graduates receive and wear a velvet hood in a color representative of their academic discipline. There are satin accents in a chevron pattern draped down the back representing the university colors.

Tassels on the cap are worn on the right for those receiving their first degree and moved to the left after the degree conferral. Graduates who already have a degree wear their tassels on the left side.

Students graduating with Distinction, High Distinction, and Highest Distinction wear fourragères pinned to the left shoulder of their gowns. Pin the fourragères halfway between the shoulder seam and the collar. The loop will drape over the outside of the sleeve with two cords hanging in front and two in the back of the sleeve. Your arm should not go through the loop.

Graduates who are members of the nearly 60 nationally recognized honor societies may also wear their societies’ honors cords or medallions during Commencement. Cords are available for purchase directly from the various society headquarters and become the property of the student.

View a list of insignia from greek honor societies

Graduates with a minimum GPA of 3.9 and who complete at least 60 credit hours at IU South Bend are graduated with highest distinction; those with a minimum GPA of 3.8 and who complete at least 60 credit hours at IU South Bend are graduated with high distinction; and those with a minimum GPA of 3.65 and who complete at least 60 credit hours at IU South Bend are graduated with distinction. These honors are noted on diplomas and students who earn academic distinction are invited to wear university provided fourragéres, looped cords worn from the left shoulder, at Commencement.

Some programs limit the number of students awarded distinction to the top 10 percent of the graduating class. Others may use different criteria for awarding distinction. Bachelor's degree candidates may check with their school’s recorder about graduating with academic distinction.

Fourragéres will be distributed by your academic unit, not the Alumni Office.

Walk List

The walk list will be updated in April and will include those who have ordered their cap and gown through Herff Jones. Please contact with any questions or concerns.

Questions? Our Commencement team can help!

Connect with us

Indiana University South Bend

1700 Mishawaka Ave
South Bend, IN 46615
Phone: 574-520-4872