Information for Degree Candidates

Learn about the steps to follow to participate in a Commencement ceremony.

Please carefully review the checklist provided to learn about the deadlines and steps to take to ensure that everything goes smoothly on Commencement day.

Checklist for Degree Candidates


Apply for Graduation

You must complete all of your degree requirements in order to apply for graduation and participate in Commencement. You must submit an official Graduation Application through the “Student Dashboard.” The deadline and instructions for applying can be found on Applying to Graduate

You must be approved for graduation by the Graduation Office to participate in a Commencement ceremony.

If you have questions about your graduation status please contact the Graduation Office at 410-704-2095 or .


Register for Commencement

Attending your academic college's Commencement ceremony is an optional activity, however you must register for Commencement if you choose to attend. Candidates eligible to participate in a ceremony will receive an email to their TU email address with registration instructions through Marching Order, the ceremony registration system. Candidates are advised to check their spam/junk folder, as personal settings on their account may have filtered the email from their inbox.

Ceremony space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline to register for Commencement is April 30.


Purchase Your Regalia

After registering for Commencement, you will receive a confirmation email containing the link to order your ceremony attire Herff Jones, the approved vendor. Herff Jones direct ships the cap and gown to address given. The deadline to purchase regalia is April 30, 2023.

Failure to purchase regalia (or to seek approval from the University Store to use regalia borrowed from a prior semester's graduate) will lead to cancellation of your Commencement registration and you will be ineligible to participate in a ceremony and receive ceremony tickets. 


Request a Printed Program

In an effort to honor our mission to reduce waste, the Spring 2023 Commencement program will be provided in a digital format at the ceremony. Candidates approved to graduate this Spring may submit an online request for up to two complementary printed programs by May 15 for delivery shortly after Commencement.


Claim Guest Tickets

If you successfully registered for Commencement and obtained ceremony attire by the deadline, you are guaranteed a predetermined amount of tickets for your guests. Dates and instructions for accessing tickets can be found on the Ticket webpage.

All guests (including infants and children as required by the Fire Marshall) will need a ticket to attend, so please plan accordingly.


Review the Commencement Promise

Commencement is a formal academic ceremony, and as such, all participants and guests are expected to demonstrate courtesies and behaviors befitting the dignity of the occasion.

While participating in Commencement, I agree that I will:

  • Refrain from arriving to the arena under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or other substances.
  • Be respectful to all Commencement speakers, administration, faculty, staff, volunteers, and fellow degree candidates.
  • Refrain from engaging in distracting behaviors (e.g., excessive celebration, inappropriately-timed shouting, etc.) during any portion of the ceremony.
  • Refrain from using my phone or any other electronic device in a distracting way during the ceremony.
  • Remain seated in my chair unless instructed otherwise.

A degree candidate is subject to be removed from the ceremony if they do not comply with staff instructions, are found to be in violation of the Commencement Promise, and/or engage in any behaviors that are deemed inappropriate and are not consonant with the formal tone befitting of an academic ceremony.

Please be advised that inappropriate or non-compliant behavior, fraudulent activity or misrepresentation of information pertaining to eligibility to participate in Commencement may result in disciplinary action through the TU Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices


Attend the Ceremony

Check into the student robing area, located in the Towson Center gym, at 8:30 a.m. for the morning ceremony and 1:30 p.m. for the afternoon ceremony. You will spend approximately 90 minutes in the student robing area prior to joining the processional into the arena for the ceremony. Be sure to bring your ceremony attire (gown, hood if a master's candidate, cap, and tassel).

Make sure your guests have their tickets before going to the Towson Center. Guests cannot enter the SECU Arena without tickets.

Commencement events are the congratulatory ceremonies hosted by university officials in which degree candidates (students who have applied to graduate at the end of their final semester) are publicly and formally recognized for their accomplishments as members of an academic community. Both winter and spring Commencement ceremonies are held in SECU arena and are identical in format, tone, and formality.

Graduation is the process of being awarded a degree after successfully completing credit hours and other degree requirements. Actual diplomas are not awarded at Commencement ceremonies and participation in the ceremonies is not a guarantee of degree completion. 

Electronic correspondence regarding Commencement is sent only to degree candidate TU email accounts. Degree candidates are responsible for information sent to them via their TU email.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a candidate with a disability who will require accommodation at the ceremony, please specify this when completing your Commencement registration form. Additionally please communicate the specifics of your request to .

No. Candidates who complete double majors will be assigned to one ceremony to participate in Commencement. To provide space for all degree candidates who are eligible to attend a Commencement ceremony, undergraduate candidates completing double majors are not permitted to participate in two ceremonies. If you would prefer to attend the alternate major/college’s ceremony, please contact the Commencement office.

Upon entrance to Towson Center, where the candidate robing room is located and you will check in, Safe Management (security staff contracted by the university) will conduct bag checks, handheld metal detection and related security inspections to ensure the safety of all degree candidates, guests, faculty and staff. 

Bag Checks

Degree candidates are strongly discouraged from bringing any bags, coats, or other personal items to the robing area. However, degree candidates are permitted to take a small cross-body bag into the robing room (this must be worn under the gown during the ceremony) and processional. This bag may not exceed 10 x 10 x 2 inches. Any bags that exceed these measurements must be checked in the bag-check area, which is located near the degree candidate robing area.

ID Checks

Upon entering the degree candidate robing area, degree candidates should first check-in with the volunteers located against the back wall to receive their name card Please note: a TU student ID or another official form of identification must be presented to receive a card and participate in the ceremony. As a reminder, only students who have been approved to graduate and registered for Commencement will be permitted to participate in a ceremony. 

Behavioral Expectations 

A number of TU staff members will be closely monitoring the activities in the robing area to ensure a safe and memorable commencement for all degree candidates. Candidates who exhibit signs of physical impairment due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or other substances will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony. 

Please note: Any violation of the Student Code of Conduct, fraudulent activity, misrepresentation of information, or ineligibility to participate in Commencement may result in disciplinary action through the TU Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices and/or inability to participate in the ceremony.

The deadlines to apply for graduation are well-publicized by the Graduation Office.  While graduation applications are processed after the deadline, only those degree candidates who apply prior to the stated deadline(s) are guaranteed to have their names published in the Commencement program due to the lengthy proofing and printing processes.

Diplomas will be mailed to your permanent address on file. Please be sure to go to your Student Dashboard to ensure that the permanent address on file is accurate. You may check with the Graduation Office for information about the diploma mailing schedules.

Please be advised that fraudulent activity or misrepresentation of information or eligibility to participate in Commencement may result in disciplinary action through the TU Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices