FAQs For Graduate Students

Participation Information

Who may participate?

Commencement is not synonymous with graduation or degree conferral. Students must complete all requirements for the degree to have the degree officially conferred.

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

In order to walk in the May ceremony graduate students must have completed 18 credits. Students who completed their degree requirements in the previous December, may also participate if they officially petitioned. The Commencement ceremonies are held only in the Spring (May).

Students must officially apply to graduate using myRedDragon. Additional materials may be required. A member of the Student Registration and Records Services Office will contact you if necessary.

Student Registration and Records Services
Miller Building, Room 223 
Phone: 607-753-4702

How do I apply for my degree and indicate my intentions to participate in the ceremony?

Students should  apply to graduate using myRedDragon by March 1 to have their name appear in the Commencement program.

Follow the instructions on the Graduate Student home page.

I missed the filing deadline to register for Commencement. What can I do about it?

Applicants who file their completed Application for Graduation Master Degree and Certificate of Advanced Study form on Banner Web after March 1, must access myRedDragon, apply to graduate and proceed to the College Store to purchase Commencement items (or purchase online and then pick up at the College Store). Students who miss the March 1 deadline will not have their name appear in the Commencement program.

Ceremony Information

When and where is the ceremony held?

The Graduate Commencement ceremony will be held on Friday, May 15, 2020 at 7 p.m. in the Park Center Alumni Arena. The Arena doors will open at 6 p.m. for guests. No tickets are needed for guests.

Students should report at 6 p.m. to the Park Center Corey Gymnasium to check-in with Student Line-Up Ticket and assemble by program.

Is there a rehearsal for the Graduate Commencement ceremony?

NO, there is no rehearsal. Students should report at 6 p.m. to check-in for the ceremony. You will receive instructions on the hooding process while assembling by program. You can also view the hooding instructions prior to the ceremony. 

How long will the ceremony last?

The procession will begin promptly at 7 p.m. The length of the ceremony is approximately one hour and 15 minutes.

How will the degrees be conferred?

When lining up in Park Center Corey Gymnasium, each student will receive a 3" x 5" card with their first and last name. When the graduate reaches the base of the platform, they will hand the card to the Reader, who will read their name.

If you have a name that might be difficult to pronounce, please write your name phonetically when you check-in.

Two faculty members from your graduate program will hood you on the stage as part of the ceremony.

Graduates will receive instructions on the hooding process immediately prior to the ceremony. Graduates may also view the hooding instructions online.

Will faculty be there?

Each department is encouraged to have as many faculty members participate as possible. In the past, approximately 50 percent have attended. You can invite faculty or staff members to attend the ceremony. Please ask faculty or staff members who would like to attend to confirm their attendance.

What should I wear with my cap and gown?

Commencement is a formal ceremony, so dress accordingly. The general rule is light weight, non-restricting clothes. Men do not have to wear jackets, but should wear a shirt and tie. You are asked not to wear shorts, sandals or sneakers. Mortarboard (cap) tassels should be worn on the left side throughout the ceremony.

Students who cannot pick up their own Commencement materials may send someone to the College Store with a letter authorizing that person to do so. The letter must contain the graduate's signature, Cortland ID number, and the person picking up the materials must show a photo ID before the items are released.

Students unable to pick up their Commencement materials prior to the ceremony should contact the College Store to place the order on hold. The College Store offers extended business hours to accommodate students who need to get their materials the day of the ceremony. Please see the College Store hours listed below.

College Store Hours

Monday: 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Thursday: 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Contact the College Store

Phone: 607-753-4621
Fax: 607-753-5734
Email: collegestore@cortland.edu
College Store website

General FAQs

Ambulance

An ambulance will be stationed outside the Park Center Alumni Arena.

Emergency Exits

In case of an emergency, flag a marshal, Commencement usher or a university police officer and proceed to the nearest exit in an orderly manner.

Flowers and Commencement-Related Gifts

Flowers and Commencement-related items will be available for purchase from 8:30 a.m.- 8:30 p.m outside of the Corey Gymnasium. Flower arrangements include bouquets of half dozen and full dozen roses, as well as open presentation. A wide variety of commencement related gifts including diploma frames will be available as well. The College Store, located in Neubig Hall, will also be open for additional purchases from 8 a.m.-7 p.m.

Guest Assistance

Faculty and staff marshals, Commencement ushers and university police officers are available at all times for assistance and information. Faculty and staff marshals will be wearing Commencement regalia, the Commencement ushers will be in polo shirts and khaki pants and university police officers will be in full uniform.

Students or guests with an accessibility request need to arrange their accommodations by filling out the online registration form. If you have any questions or concerns please contact the special events coordinator at 607-753-2377 or email them regarding the undergraduate ceremony or the graduate ceremony.

Note: Please submit all requests for accommodations by Friday, April 24, 2020 so that proper arrangements can be made.

Lost and Found

For lost and found items, contact the University Police Department, Whitaker Hall, Room 110607-753-2112.

Programs

Official Commencement programs will be distributed at the entrances to the Park Center Alumni Arena and in overflow viewing rooms. All eligible graduates who apply for their degree by March 1, 2020 will have their name listed in the program.

Restrooms

Restrooms are located throughout the Park Center Alumni Arena. 

Smoking

SUNY Cortland is a Tobacco Free Campus. Smoking is not permitted anywhere inside campus buildings or on campus grounds.

Telephones

Emergency phones are located throughout the entire campus and are identified by blue lights above the phones. University Police are equipped for emergency communication as well. Guests are reminded to turn off all cell phones and any other electronic devices during the ceremony.