Ceremony FAQs

SUNY Cortland's Spring 2020 Commencement will be postponed. No date has yet been set. As further details develop, we will share them with the SUNY Cortland community. Please read President Bitterbaum's message regarding Commencement for more information.

Undergraduate Commencement FAQ

When and where are the ceremonies?

All undergraduate ceremonies are located in Park Center Alumni Arena and will take place Saturday, May 16, 2020. Students receiving bachelor’s degrees will be assigned to one of the following ceremonies:

Ceremony A: 9:30 a.m.

Ceremony B: 2 p.m.

Ceremony C: 6 p.m.

The following lists indicate which departments will be represented at each ceremony.

2020 Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony Assignments*
Saturday, May 16, 2020

Ceremony A: 9:30 a.m.

  • Childhood/Early Childhood Education
  • Communication Disorders and Sciences
  • English
  • Foundations and Social Advocacy
  • International Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies
  • School of Education - Selected Studies
  • Sociology/Anthropology

Ceremony B: 2 p.m.

  • Africana Studies
  • Art and Art History
  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemistry
  • Geology
  • Kinesiology
  • Physics
  • Political Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Sport Management

Ceremony C: 6 p.m.

  • Communication and Media Studies
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Health
  • History
  • Modern Languages
  • Performing Arts
  • Philosophy
  • Physical Education
  • School of Professional Studies - Selected Studies

* Student ceremony assignments are based on the department of their primary major. Students may refer to the Student Information Summary available in the Student Links channel of myRedDragon to determine their primary and secondary major departments. 

Note: The assignment of departments to a particular ceremony will rotate each year however; ceremony assignments for departments also may vary depending on fluctuations in departmental enrollment. Departments will be assigned to a specific ceremony by Oct. 15 each academic year.

Why are there three indoor ceremonies?

While the College has held Commencement outside in the past, erratic and unreliable spring weather as well as the exorbitant cost of an outdoor ceremony are factors in the decision to use an indoor venue.

The College is unable to accommodate the number of students and guests who wish to attend Commencement in only two ceremonies due to fire code regulations for Park Center Alumni Arena.

Why can’t the ceremonies be split by school?

The varying size of the schools does not allow an even distribution. For example, the School of Arts and Sciences generally accounts for one-half of all graduates.

Who is eligible?

The May 2020 undergraduate ceremonies will recognize students who complete their degree requirements in December 2019, May 2020 or August 2020.

Degree conferral and participation in Commencement ceremonies are different. To graduate, students must apply for their degree regardless of whether they plan to participate in a Commencement ceremony.

Students apply for their degree in myRedDragon. To be included in the Commencement program, they must do so by March 1, 2020.

All students must be graduating within the current 2019-2020 academic year (Fall 2019 to Summer 2020). If a student can demonstrate that the only remaining requirements to be completed in Fall 2020 are student teaching, internship, fieldwork, study abroad, or another academic requirement that is not completed on or near the Cortland campus; they may petition to participate to walk in Spring 2020. The Petition to Walk form can be found on the Commencement channel on the myRedDragon Student tab in Spring 2020 semester.  Upon successful verification, those students will be notified and added to the participation list for the May ceremony.

Students are encouraged to meet with their advisor to check eligibility status.

When will guest e-tickets be available and how many are available?

  • Students will select their guest e-tickets through an online process beginning at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 and the system will remain open until Tuesday, March 17, 2020. This information, along with detailed instructions, will be emailed to the student’s Cortland account in late Feb. It also will be posted on the Commencement website.

  • Undergraduate students are allotted up to four guest e-tickets and one student line-up ticket. There is no cost for tickets; however, there is an $11.50 fee for the required diploma cover.

  • The Special Events Office does not have additional guest e-tickets available. However, guests without tickets may view the ceremony in numerous overflow viewing locations in Park Center.

  • Guest e-tickets are nontransferable between ceremony times.

When is rehearsal?

Student rehearsal is at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, May 15, 2020, in Park Center Alumni Arena.

Will there be a reception for all ceremonies?

Two open receptions honoring our undergraduates will be held in Lusk Field House from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 3:30 to 5 p.m.  Students and guests may attend either of these receptions.

Where can answers to additional questions be found?

Questions regarding the degree conferral application, including questions about a current application, may be directed to Student Registration and Records Services.

Questions regarding Student Line-Up Tickets/Guest Tickets/Overflow Viewing and any special circumstances may be emailed to Undergraduate Commencement.