Stephen F. Austin State University

Commencement Information

Commencement Information

1. Commencement Time and Location

The commencement ceremony is held in the William R. Johnson Coliseum. The physical address is located at the bottom of this page. The duration of the ceremony is usually 2-4 hours, depending upon the number of candidates participating. Commencement Dates may be found under the Graduation & Diplomas link.

December & May Commencements - two ceremonies:

James I. Perkins College of Education and College of Fine Arts participate at 9:30 a.m. Students need to be at the coliseum by 8:15 a.m.

Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, the Nelson Rusche College of Business, the College of Liberal and Applied Arts and the College of Sciences and Mathematics will participate at 2 p.m. Students will need to be at the coliseum by 1:00 p.m.

August Commencement - one ceremony. All Colleges will participate at 9:30 a.m. Candidates should arrive at the coliseum no later than 8:15 a.m.

Upon arrival, candidates will proceed to the southeast corner of the coliseum to pick up seating cards. This card is also given to the announcer for the purpose of calling the graduate's name as they cross the stage. Signs will be posted in the coliseum directing graduates to the southeast corner. If you choose to participate in the commencement exercises, you must remain in your seat on the coliseum floor until the academic recession at the end of the ceremony.

William R. Johnson Coliseum is located at the corner of East College and University Drive.

The physical address is:

William R. Johnson
1002 E. College Street
Nacogdoches, TX 75962

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The commencement program lists applicants or candidates for degrees. The appearance of a name in the commencement program and the fact of attending commencement exercises is no guarantee of receiving the degree.

Commencement Parking Information and Map

2. Caps, Gowns and Hood Colors

Caps and gowns may be ordered at the Barnes & Noble Campus Bookstore in the Baker Pattillo Student Center at any time. Orders may be submitted by printing the Cap & Gown Order Form and turning it in to Barnes & Noble via e-mailing or in person. Caps and gowns will be picked up at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore in the Baker Pattillo Student Center. If you have questions please contact Barnes and Noble at (936) 468-2108 or 468-1160. Wear appropriate clothing under your gown. The mortar board is made to be worn flat on the head - parallel to the floor, and should not be decorated in any way.

It is strongly suggested that students try on the cap and gown at least a week prior to the ceremony. This is to allow time to get replacements if problems with sizing or zippers occur.

Master and Doctoral Candidates - Please follow the link below to view a chart defining the Areas of Study for the Master and Doctoral Degrees earned at SFA and the corresponding hood color recommended when purchasing your cap and gown.

Master and Doctoral Hood Colors

3. Graduation with Honors

A student receiving a baccalaureate degree with academic honors has completed a course of study with at least 54 semester hours of SFA residence course work excluding pass/fail hours and has a cumulative grade point average of 3.4 or higher. The hours described in this statement appear on the transcript as GPA Hours. The honors are:

1. Summa Cum Laude 3.8 to 4.0
2. Magna Cum Laude 3.6 to 3.79
3. Cum Laude 3.4 to 3.59

Honors are called at the Commencement Ceremony. The Honors that are called are based upon the last completed semester. The final Honors earned will be posted to the transcript and will be printed on the diploma. Graduate level students are not eligible for honors.

Graduation as a University Scholar is determined by the School of Honors office. For details regarding the School of Honors and the University Scholar program.

4. Commencement Participation

When a student files for graduation, he/she indicates on the application whether or not they intend to participate in the commencement ceremony. Students can check on the preference registered by going to their MySFA account and clicking on the View Personal Graduation Information link. This preference can be changed at any time by e-mailing Include your name and ID number in all correspondence to SFA for identification purposes.

Students may only participate in the commencement ceremony corresponding with the intended graduation date and the assigned time. For May and December commencement ceremonies, students are assigned a specific time according to the college of their primary major. Participation in an earlier or later ceremony is prohibited. If the graduation date is moved, either by the student or the Dean's representative (advising center), then participation is also moved to the new graduation date. If the graduation date is deleted by either the student or the Dean's representative, then participation is also deleted. This includes any student who is moved or deleted the day prior to the commencement ceremony.

Students who apply for graduation during the two weeks prior to the commencement ceremony may not participate in the ceremony.

5. Photos, DVD Recordings & Television Viewing

Flash Photography, located in Dallas, provides the photography services. For more information regarding photos, go to Flash Photography then enter Department Code DP4.

DVD Recording
A professional quality DVD is made of each commencement ceremony available for purchase at the cost of $25.00. Information is mailed to each participating graduate regarding the purchase of a DVD or you may contact Stephanie Ballard at 936.468.2605.

Television Viewing
The commencement ceremony is shown live on SFA-TV 2, local cable channel 2, during commencement and repeated periodically throughout the same weekend.

6. Tickets and Honor Cords.

We currently do not use tickets for commencement guests but respectfully request that graduates limit the number of their guests to approximately five individuals.

Honor Cords
SFA does not sanction the wearing of Honor Cords or Sashes. While this practice is not sanctioned, it is also not prevented.

7. Invitations & Class Rings

Invitations may be ordered at your discretion through the vendor of your choice.

Class Rings
You may participate in the SFA Ring Tradition by contacting the SFA Alumni Association website or calling the Tracie D. Pearman Alumni Center at 936-468-3407.

8. Diplomas
Diplomas are not given out at commencement. Your diploma is mailed about 6-8 weeks after graduation. It bears your name, graduation date and degree (with honors, if earned), and the university's seal and signatures. Though it shows full degrees - like Bachelor of Arts, or Doctor of Philosophy - majors aren't shown. Additional diplomas may be ordered at the cost of $25.00 per diploma. For further information regarding diplomas, please e-mail Donna Burkett or call (936) 468-2335.

9. Candidates & Guests with Disabilities

Candidates: If you plan to attend the commencement ceremony, please complete the SFA Commencement Accommodations Request Form and meet with the Registrar's Office representative at one of the two times listed on the form. Bring the signed form with you to that meeting.

Guests: The commencement facility is disability accessible. University Police provides a cart for transport from the commuter parking lot to the venue. Disability Services will have a representative on hand at the commencement service to provide wheelchairs as needed. A platform, located to the left of the entrance is designated specifically for wheelchair seating.

An ASL interpreter is provided on the left side of the stage. Seating for guests utilizing the interpreting service is available in the lower rows of section 118.

The Office of the Registrar is committed to providing support for students with disabilities. To the greatest extent possible, the Office of the Registrar shall observe confidentiality with respect to any request for accommodation.

Students who feel they have not been accommodated appropriately can appeal that decision utilizing the university appeals process.