Commencement Frequently Asked Questions

See the Commencement Checklist for important information.

Commencement 2019 What is the timeline for graduation processes?


  • Juniors and seniors will get an email to confirm intended grad date in Self-Service.
  • Seniors will be emailed about the online graduation application to complete as well as the fall credit check which must be returned by the 5th day of class. This should be done with the advisor as soon as possible to allow time for schedule changes if necessary. 


  • Department Chairs will be contacted about their intended December grads to notify the Registrar’s Office of any issues.


  • Alumni Relations hosts an event for December grads. We do not have a December Commencement ceremony, but December grads are invited to participate in the following Spring Commencement ceremony.


  • Degrees will be awarded for December grads and diplomas will be mailed for those who have completed all requirements and do not have any holds.
  • Emails will be sent to seniors with graduation issues before the first day of classes. Please DO NOT ignore this email if you receive one.
  • Cap & Gown ordering will take place.


  • Cap & Gown pick up will take place.
  • Alumni Relations hosts an event for spring grads.
  • Intended grads will be contacted if there are any issues that need resolving.
  • Be sure to read ALL emails from the University and respond as requested.


  • Commencement - Diplomas will be handed out in the diploma tube at Commencement for those who have completed all requirements and do not have any holds.
  • Degrees will be posted for spring grads.


  • Degrees will be posted for May term grads.
  • Diplomas will be mailed for those who have completed all requirements and do not have any holds.


  • Degrees will be posted for summer grads.
  • Diplomas will be mailed for those who have completed all requirements and do not have any holds.


What if my degree evaluation shows a "No" for a requirement that I know I've met?

Please contact the Registrar's office to see why that is happening. It could be an easy solution, but also could be a problem so please do not wait to contact us.

How will I order cap & gown?

If you have let us know on the graduation survey that you will be attending the ceremony, you will receive an email in January/February with information to order your cap & gown. The University provides the cap & gown rental for you at no cost, but you will also be able to add additional items (such as a “keeper cap” to decorate) at your own cost. the cap & gown must then be returned at the conclusion of the ceremony.

If you miss the deadline for cap and gown online ordering, there is a chance you may still be able to get them from the bookstore, but you must do this as soon as possible as extras are limited. However, if you do not let the Registrar's office know that you picked up an extra cap and gown, your name will not be in the Commencement program if we are not notified. 


What if my cap and/or gown does not fit properly?

To exchange your cap and/or gown, please do so at the IWU Bookstore. Be sure to check sizing as soon as you receive the regalia since extras are limited. 

When and where can I get tickets to the Commencement ceremony?

If the ceremony is outside, tickets are not normally needed and seating is first come, first served. Contact the President's Office if you need special seating accommodations. You will receive an email from the President’s office in January with additional information, which includes ticket information in case the event is held indoors.

Can I keep my cap, gown and tassel?

Since the cap and gown are rented at no cost to the student, it must be returned at the conclusion of the ceremony. However you may keep the tassel. You may also order a "keeper" cap if you would like to decorate and keep the cap.

Can I walk in Commencement if I have not completed my degree?

Students within two requirements of graduation at the time of Commencement (before May term) may walk in the Commencement ceremony.

Students more than two requirements from graduation at the time of Commencement must petition to walk if they would like to participate in the ceremony. Those students must show a plan for completion and fill out the proper paperwork in order for the petition committee to review. Do not wait until the last minute to submit a petition as the committee must have time for review.

Where can I find additional information about the Commencement ceremony?

Intended graduates will receive emails from the President's Office with ceremony details. You may also visit the Commencement website:

When will I receive my diploma?

  • December grads:
    • Your diploma will be mailed unless we are notified you would like to wait and receive it at the spring Commencement ceremony.* Everyone participating receives a diploma tube, so guests will not know if the diploma is in the tube or not.
  • Spring grads:
    • For those that have completed requirements in full at the time of the ceremony, you will receive your diploma at Commencement.*
  • May term grads:
    • Your diploma will be mailed to the address you submitted on your graduation application after May term grades are posted.*
  • Summer grads:
    • Anyone finishing requirements after the end of May term and by August 31st will be considered summer grads. Those diplomas will be mailed after August 31st.*
  • *Note: Diplomas will not be given if:
    • you have a hold on your account.
    • you have any requirement not fulfilled.
    • you have an Incomplete that is not yet finished.