Spring Commencement

Prior to Commencement

Branch Campus Info

Commencement Ceremony

Getting to Campus


What to Expect During Spring Commencement

Academic Procession

Since there is no rehearsal prior to commencement, graduating students participating in the morning ceremony will assemble at 8:15 a.m. for the 9 a.m. morning ceremony or at 1:15 p.m. for the 2 p.m. afternoon ceremony on the main level of the Ronald B. Stafford Ice Arena at the Field House in their academic regalia.

The processional will begin with students marching into the ceremony first. As in the past, baccalaureate degree candidates will follow candidates for certificates of advanced study and master's degrees. The will enter the gymnasium and walk down the center aisle to their chairs.

The faculty will then enter the gymnasium led by the bagpipers and the Faculty Marshal and proceed down the center aisle to the first several rows of seats facing the stage in front of the students. The party platform will then complete the processional. The platform party consists of members of the College Council, College administrators, faculty leadership, representatives of the Plattsburgh College Foundation, Student Association and Alumni Association and visiting dignitaries and honorees.

Once everyone is in position, the Faculty Marshal will present the mace to the President. Several honorary awards will be presented to distinguished individuals during the ceremony, and Student Commencement Speaker will present remarks on behalf of the Class of 2018.

Each graduating student in attendance for the ceremony will be formally and publicly recognized as they cross the stage. Candidates for Certificates of Advanced Study and master's degrees will receive their diploma covers first. Candidates for bachelor's degrees will then receive their diploma covers. During the awarding of degrees, graduates will approach the stage and hand their name cards to the faculty announcer. When their names are announced, graduates will walk onto the stage, receive their diploma covers, cross the stage to be congratulated by the president and then exit the stage.

Once the president concludes his remarks, the Plattsburgh State Gospel Choir will perform the Alma Mater officially ending the ceremony and the recessional will begin. The Faculty Marshal will lead the Platform Party out of the gymnasium followed by the faculty. The bagpipers will then lead the students out of the ceremony.

We ask all parents, family and friends to remain in their seats until the recessional is completed.

How will the degrees be conferred?

During the awarding of degrees, graduates will approach the stage and hand their name cards to the faculty announcer. When their names are announced, graduates will walk onto the stage, receive their diploma covers, cross the stage to be congratulated by the president and then exit the stage.

Participants receiving advanced degrees will carry their hoods to the stage. The deans of the College will confer the hoods as degree candidates walk onto the stage to be congratulated by the president.

Are tickets needed for Commencement?

No tickets will be required for students or their guests to attend Spring Commencement this year. However, college officials may stop the entry of guests if the Field House Gymnasium reaches capacity.

Are name cards needed?

Students participating in Commencement should pick up and complete name cards at the College Store when purchasing their academic regalia, at the Angell College Center Information Desk (or in the Lobby of the Field House on the day of commencement). The completed cards will be used when your name is announced during the ceremony. If you have a name that might be difficult to pronounce, please provide a phonetic spelling of your name on the card so the reader will be able to correctly enunciate your name as you cross the stage. Please Note:  Honor cards are available from the College Store at the time students pick up their academic regalia.

Will there be a rehearsal for Commencement?

No. There is no rehearsal prior to commencement. Graduating students should assemble on the main level of the Stafford Ice Arena at the Field House at least 45 minutes before the start of the ceremony.

The times that students should assemble are:

  • 8:15 a.m. - for candidates majoring in programs within the School of Business and Economics and the Division of Education, Health and Human Services.
  • 1:15 p.m. - for candidates majoring in programs within the Division of Arts and Sciences.

Students with double majors have the choice of attending either the morning or afternoon ceremony.

Am I graduating with honors from SUNY Plattsburgh?

Commencement honors for undergraduate students are estimated based on last semester's cumulative GPA.  Actual honors are calculated after commencement (upon receipt of final grades).  Students also must complete 57 residency credits and 45 credits graded A-E.

Students in combined programs (BA/MST or BS/MSED) are awarded honors based on their undergraduate cumulative GPA and the first 12 graduate credits completed.

Graduate students are not awarded commencement honors.

  • If your GPA is 3.9 to 4.0, you will graduate Summa Cum Laude.
  • If your GPA is 3.7 to 3.89, you will graduate Magna Cum Laude.
  • If your GPA is 3.4 to 3.69, you will graduate Cum Laude.

Undergraduate students who have achieved the honor of summa cum laude, magna cum laude, or cum laude will be recognized in the Commencement Program.  If there are questions about your GPA status, please contact the Registrar's Office at (518) 564-2100 or email [email protected].  If you are a member of an honor society, honor cords are available from the College Store or honor society.  Be sure to order them ahead of time.

What should I wear with my academic regalia?

All degree candidates must wear cap and gown or military dress uniform in order to participate in commencement exercises. While commencement is a formal ceremony, we do ask you to wear appropriate attire underneath your gown. The general rule is light weight, non-restricting clothes. Men do not have to wear jackets, but should wear a shirt and tie. You are requested not to wear shorts, overalls, sandals or sneakers.

I am unable to attend the scheduled ceremony with my classmates. Can I attend the other ceremony?

Contact the Office of the President for more information at (518) 564-2010 or send an e-mail to: [email protected]

Will faculty be there?

Many faculty members participate in Spring Commencement. It is a time for them to see their students successfully finish their college careers at SUNY Plattsburgh. We encourage students to invite your favorite faculty members to participate and meet their family members who are in attendance for this wonderful occasion.

When will I receive my diploma?

Diplomas are mailed approximately two months after the semester ends. Please note that only one undergraduate diploma will be received regardless of the number of majors a student graduates with. The only exception is for students in the combined programs (i.e. BA/MST, BS/MSED, etc.). These students will receive two diplomas, one for their undergraduate program and one for their graduate program.

Contact Information

For more information about Spring Commencement at SUNY Plattsburgh, please contact:

Office of the President
159 Hawkins Hall
(518) 564-2010 (phone)
(518) 564-3932 (fax)
Email: [email protected]