Download the 2017 Commencement Guide

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Graduation Commencement Ceremonies

Student in cap and gown poses on stage for a photo

Two graduation ceremonies are held each year on the La Plata Campus for students attending classes at all sites. These ceremonies take place in January and May. All degree and certificate recipients in attendance are recognized.

Honors Reception

An annual Honors Reception (held prior to graduation in May) honors those students whose academic work in specific areas of study is meritorious. Each academic division views this event as an opportunity to recognize promising students.

Graduation Honors

There are three levels of honors awarded at the completion of degrees or certificates: highest honors-a cumulative grade point average of 3.9 to 4.0; high honors-a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 to 3.89; and honors-a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 to 3.74.

Students must have earned at least one-half of their degree or certificate credits at CSM in order to be eligible for honors. The honors designation is recorded on the transcript, based on all CSM courses included in the degree or certificate.

Winter Schedule of Events

Students line up in their caps and gowns to graduate

Thursday, January 19, 2017

6:30 p.m. Commencement
Physical Education Center (PE Building)

Tickets are required for admission to the PE Building.

  • 4:30 p.m.    Graduates assemble in the PE Building, Lower level
  • 5:00 p.m.    Graduate rehearsal begins 
  • 5:30 p.m.    Doors open for guests
    • Guests are asked to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.
    • Doors to the PE Building will be closed once the procession begins and guests will not be admitted after the procession.
    • Ceremony will also be broadcast in the Fine Arts Building. Tickets are not required for the FA Building but seating is limited and is on a first come basis.
    • All guests are subject to a bag check before entry. 
  • 6:00 p.m.     Faculty/Staff assemble in the  PE Building, Upper level
                       Board of Trustees, President, and platform guests report to PE Building, Room 207H
  • 6:30 p.m.     Procession of graduates begins.
                       Doors will be closed and will remain closed until the end of the ceremony.  

A reception will follow the ceremony in the BI Building, Room BI 113/113E.

Information for Guests

Student hugs a friend at graduation

Guests are encouraged to arrive at least 30 minutes before the ceremony begins.

If the ceremony is hosted inside, tickets are required. Doors will be closed once the procession begins and guests will not be admitted thereafter.

Photos and Flowers

Commencement photographs will be taken of each graduate as they cross the stage to receive their diploma. They can be viewed at

The College Store will sell flowers for the graduates at the graduation ceremony.


The safety of CSM students, guests, and employees is of the utmost importance.  CSM will be conducting a bag check at the winter commencement. Please note that everyone may be subject to a bag check before entry. We encourage you to leave large bags, purses, diaper bags, and backpacks in your vehicles or at home, as these will be subject to the bag check process at the door. We appreciate your cooperation and patience.

Disability Services

There is a seating section for elderly or disabled guests. Due to limited space, the college recommends that the person with the disability and only one other guest sit in the accessible seating section. Additional members of your party should sit in the regular seating areas.

Information for Graduates

Graduate with his cap and gown

Congratulations! You have made monumental strides to build a strong foundation for your future by completing your program of study. We look forward to celebrating your success.

Priority Deadline to Apply to Participate in the Winter Ceremony:
November 15

Ticket sales begin through (look for an e-mail):
November 16

Last day to apply for diploma:
December 15

You must meet with an advisor to apply for graduation.


Tickets will be issued to graduates participating in the commencement ceremony only. Please add to your email address contacts, to avoid your invitation from being sent to your spam folder. Graduates will have an opportunity to order up to four tickets for winter commencement and three for spring commencement. Additional tickets will not be issued, seating is limited and tickets are limited based on the seating capacity of our venue. Tickets will be sent to graduates via email, please make sure your email is up to date when applying for graduation. Guests (regardless of age) will not be permitted to enter the PE building without a ticket, no exceptions. However,to accommodate guests without tickets, a live simulcast will be broadcast in our overflow area in the Fine Arts building. Please keep your tickets in a secure place; replacement tickets will not be issued, for any reason.

Download the Commencement Guide

For complete commencement information:

Download the 2017 Commencement Guide

Attend Destination Graduation

Your one-stop source for all of your graduation needs

At Destination Graduation, you can:

  • Apply for graduation
  • Speak to an academic advisor
  • Receive information about announcements, caps, and gowns
  • Take a graduation photo in cap and gown (and receive photo on disc for your own personal use)
  • Win door prizes, and much more…

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