steps to graduate

step 1: Track your degree progress

Review your course requirements with your advisor to determine that all criteria have been met in order to graduate.

step 2: submit your graduation application

Undergraduate and graduate program completion applications for the 2023-24 academic year were due on Oct. 13, 2023. If you have not yet submitted your program completion application, you can follow the Steps to Apply for Program Completion listed in The Bridge.  If you have any further questions, please contact the Office of the Registrar at

Step 3: access the grad gear up portal and order your cap & gown

The Grad Gear Up Portal is where seniors can update their permanent address and contact information for after graduation, order their cap and gown, vote for this year’s faculty speaker, and more. The link to access the portal will be available on Jan. 5, and submissions are due by March 18.

Step 4: RSVP for commencement and confirm you received tickets

Graduates will receive two tickets for the Friday Commencement Ceremony in February 2024 through their Carthage email address.  

Graduates will receive eight tickets for the Red Carpet Procession on Saturday and Sunday along with their procession time slot in March 2024.  Students will automatically receive their tickets through their Carthage email address, and they do not need to request these tickets.

Step 5: Check your FERPA holds

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 gives students the right to withhold information such as their name, enrollment in a course/program, and year in school. If your student records have a FERPA hold, your name may be withheld from the Commencement Program. If you have placed a FERPA hold on your student records and would like your name to be listed in the program, please contact the Registrar at

step 6: attend the grad fair

On Thursday, April 25 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., there will be a Grad Fair on the first floor of the CSU. Graduates can enjoy snacks while they pick up their regalia, update their alumni information with The Aspire Center and Office of Advancement, and write personalized thank you letters for the Red Carpet Procession.

If you are unable to pick up your cap and gown on April 25, it will be available for you to pick up at the Carthage bookstore during regular business hours.  After the Grad Fair, students can also pick up materials to write thank you letters in the Office of Advancement during regular business hours in Lentz Hall.

Step 7: complete exit counseling

Visit the FAFSA Exit Counseling website to complete your financial aid exit counseling.

Step 8: Complete your checklist

Bring your completed checklist to the Advancement Office in Lentz for a class of 2024 sticker!  Checklists will be available in the Advancement Office and The Aspire Center offices starting in February.


Faq’s for graduates:

Why does carthage do commencement differently?

In 2021, Carthage shifted its commencement format, and it was well received! Past graduates have enjoyed celebrating with both traditional events and the interactive walk. This format is more inclusive, more personal, and allows for special moments for each graduate with their families, friends, and faculty, while still including the traditional and community elements that make Commencement a unique experience.

What day and time will I be walking for commencement?

The Red Carpet Processions will occur on Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19. The School of Business & Economics, Natural & Social Sciences Division, and the Arts & Humanities Division will be processing on Saturday, May 18. The Professional Studies Division will be processing on Sunday, May 19.

Graduates received their specific Red Carpet Procession time through their Carthage email address in February 2024. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your procession time, please contact

What does Carthage’s Red Carpet Procession look like?

The procession begins at the South entrance of the Johnson Arts Center near the South Upper parking lot. It goes through the Johnson Arts Center, Hedberg Library, and ends at the A.F. Siebert Chapel, where graduates will cross the stage to receive their diploma with their guests in the front row!

Graduates can linger afterward to sign Kissing Rock with the rest of their class and enjoy refreshments on Campus Drive.

Can I watch my friends cross the stage?

Yes! Graduates are encouraged to invite as many guests as they would like to wait for them in A.F. Siebert Chapel and watch them cross the stage as they receive their diplomas.

I am unsure about my graduation status. How do I confirm if I am eligible to walk?

Questions about your graduation status can be directed to the Office of the Registrar at

How do I order my Cap & Gown?

The Grad Gear Up form is where students can access the Herff Jones portal to purchase their cap & gown. The link to access the portal will be available on Jan. 5, and submissions are due by March 18. After students place their order, it can be picked up during the Grad Fair on Thursday, April 25 between 12-6 pm.

Access the Grad Gear Up form here.

What if I am unable to pick up my cap and gown at the grad fair?

If you are unavailable to pick up your cap and gown during the Grad Fair on Thursday, April 25, you may stop by the bookstore during regular hours to pick it up. Please email if you have any additional questions regarding cap and gown pickup.

How do I get tickets for commencement?

Time slots for the Red Carpet Procession will be sent to graduates through their Carthage email accounts.  If you have not received your slot time by March 1, please contact Tickets will be automatically sent once time slots are finalized.

Tickets for the Commencement Ceremony will be automatically sent in March to graduates through their Carthage email account. 

Tickets are not required for the Baccalaureate service.

How do I get Latin honors cords for commencement?

Honor cords will be available to pick up on Friday, May 17 in the Office of the Registrar, before and after the Baccalaureate Service, and at the Red Carpet Procession. If you qualify to receive Latin Honors Cords, you will be contacted by the Registrar with more information during the week of Commencement regarding pickup.

When should I wear my cap and gown?

Graduates are highly encouraged to wear their regalia during the Friday Commencement Ceremony, Baccalaureate Service, and the Red Carpet Procession.

What if I have a guest who needs accessibility accommodations for commencement?

During the Friday Commencement Ceremony, accessible seating will be available on the first floor of A.F. Siebert Chapel. If you have a guest who cannot climb stairs to the second-floor seating, please use the accessibility form which was sent to graduates through their Carthage email account in February to request accessible seating. 

The Red Carpet Procession on Saturday and Sunday will be fully wheelchair accessible! If any guests are unable to walk the Red Carpet Procession on Saturday and Sunday, they will have an opportunity to wait in Siebert Chapel.  When the graduate arrives in the chapel, they will have a front-row view to cheer them on.  Stay tuned for more accessibility information, which will be sent to graduates via their Carthage email account.