Stephen F. Austin State University

Commencement Information

Upcoming Commencement Ceremony Information

At a Glance

May 2021 Ceremony Details

The ceremony information listed below is subject to change. Final details are still being determined.

Commencement Schedule

Commencement Date Commencement Time Graduating Candidate ARRIVAL Time Graduating Candidate SEATED Time Participants
Friday, May 7, 2021 1:00 p.m. 12:15 p.m. 12:45 p.m.
  • Dept. of Human Services and Ed. Leadership
  • 2020 May and August Graduates

Friday, May 7, 2021

4:00 p.m. 3:15 p.m. 3:45 p.m.
  • Dept. of Education Studies
  • College of Forestry and Agriculture
Friday, May 7, 2021 7:00 p.m. 6:15 p.m. 6:45 p.m.
  • School of Human Sciences
  • Dept. of Kinesiology and Health Science
Saturday, May 8, 2021 9:00 a.m. 8:15 a.m. 8:45 a.m.
  • College of Business
Saturday, May 8, 2021 12:00 p.m. 11:15 a.m. 11:45 a.m.
  • College of Fine Arts
  • School of Social Work
Saturday, May 8, 2021 3:00 p.m. 2:15 p.m. 2:45 p.m.
  • College of Liberal and Applied Arts
Saturday, May 8, 2021 6:00 p.m. 5:15 p.m. 5:45 p.m.
  • College of Sciences and Mathematics

August 2021 Ceremony Details

August 2021 Ceremony Details will be added as they become available.

December 2021 Ceremony Details

December 2021 Ceremony Details will be added as they become available.

Commencement Ceremony Locations

Traditional (In Person) Ceremony

William R. Johnson Coliseum

700 E College St, Nacogdoches, TX 75964

Virtual Ceremony

May and August 2020 virtual commencement ceremonies remain accessible at

Commencement Participation

2020 May/August Virtual Ceremony Graduates

Congratulations on your achievement and welcome to the SFA Alumni family. We are proud of you. As indicated in the letter from Dr. Gordon, you will have an opportunity for an in-person traditional ceremony. The next in-person ceremony available for May and August graduates to participate in is May 2021. To participate in the May 2021 ceremony, we must receive your request by 5:00 p.m. April 1, 2021. Should the situation occur that this ceremony needs to change to a virtual format, students will be notified of the change as well as any information regarding the next in-person ceremony. If you are interested in participating, we must be notified of your intent. To do this, email in the following manner.

  2. Body of email: I, (your name), (your student ID number) request to participate in the May 2021 or August 2021 or December 2021 (select one of these ceremonies to include in your email) Commencement ceremony.
  3. Preferred email: provide us with a contact email address

Your notification of intent to participate in an in-person commencement ceremony is required in order to plan for name announcements and seating arrangements.

Pre-commencement Instructions

  1. Upon arrival at the Coliseum, candidates proceed to the southeast corner of the Coliseum (back left) to pick up seating card.
  2. Complete the back of the seating card for the photographer. This card is also handed to the announcer for the purpose of calling the graduate's name as the graduate crosses the stage.
  3. Do not roll or fold this card. The card lists the candidate's name and any honors earned. It also identifies where the graduate's seat is located. Initially, seating will be in the bleachers where the seats are numbered and rows are lettered. Colors are assigned to each section, facilitating seating assignments. After receiving instructions, candidates will then be escorted to the proper seating located on the floor of the Coliseum.
  4. Participating candidates are expected to remain until the completion of the Ceremony. By choosing to participate, each student is committing to stay for the entire Ceremony.

**IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Commencement Program lists applicants or candidates for degrees. The appearance in the Commencement Program and the attendance of a candidate at Commencement Ceremony is no guarantee of receiving the degree.

Commencement Decorum

All graduates are expected to wear traditional academic regalia and attire commensurate with formal academic ceremonies. Casual business attire, at a minimum, is appropriate. Black or dark-colored slacks and dress shoes are recommended. Ladies are encouraged to wear black or dark-colored slacks, skirts or dresses. Participants will walk up and down 51 steps en route to seating on the floor of William R. Johnson Coliseum; for safety reasons, casual sandals and stiletto heels are not appropriate.

Cell phones and all electronic devices must be silenced or turned off during the entire Ceremony. Air horns and other artificial noisemakers, balloons, flags, and banners are not allowed in the Coliseum. Any attendee who is disruptive during the Ceremony or fails to follow instructions may be escorted from the venue.

SFA maintains a proud and historic tradition of having the university president shake hands with each degree candidate after the candidate's name is called. The final degree candidate is as important as the first, and each SFA graduate and guest deserves to enjoy a Ceremony that reflects the satisfaction of achieving a worthy educational goal without inappropriate or excessive interruptions. SFA asks for assistance in making this event a pleasant and memorable experience for all attendees. Congratulations, once again, and "Axe 'em, Jacks"!

Commencement Regalia Information

All candidates for graduation are expected to wear traditional academic regalia and attire commensurate with formal academic ceremonies.

Cap & Gown

Cap and gown may be ordered through the Herff Jones Website. Commencement regalia ordered through this site are shipped directly to the student's address. The student may direct questions and inquiries to the Herff Jones customer service team at 1-800-837-4235. Appropriate casual business attire is to be worn under the gown. The mortarboard is made to be worn flat on the head (parallel to the floor) and not decorated in any way.

It is strongly suggested that students try on the cap and gown at least one week prior to the Ceremony. This allows time to secure replacement if problems with sizing or zippers occur.

Master and Doctoral Candidates
Follow the link to view a chart defining the Areas of Study for the Master and Doctoral Degrees earned at SFASU and the corresponding hood color recommended when purchasing cap and gown.

Graduating Candidates who are Commissioned Officers in the United States Military
Commissioned officers may wear their dress uniform to the Commencement Ceremony in lieu of the traditional regalia.

Invitations, Honor Cords, and Class Rings

Invitations may be ordered at the candidate's discretion through the vendor of their choice.

Honor Cords
SFA does not sanction the wearing of honor cords or sashes. While this practice is not sanctioned, it is also not prohibited. Honor cords may be ordered at the candidate's discretion through the vendor of their choice.

Class Ring
Graduating candidates may participate in the SFA Ring Tradition (The Big Dip) by contacting the SFASU Alumni Association website or by calling the Tracie D. Pearman Alumni Center at 936.468.3407.

Marching Order & Name Pronunciation

Pay Attention! Deadlines are firm!

Marching Order is a third-party vendor that assists SFA in collecting important information of the Commencement Ceremony participants.

It also helps create the Personal Graduation Information display that will be compiled into a Pre-ceremony slideshow for the audience to view.

Prior to Commencement the link to Marching Order will be activated. Graduating candidates will be notified when the link is available. Candidates will have an opportunity to review and submit changes to their Personal Graduation Information, record their name pronunciation, and upload a picture and/or message for the Pre-ceremony slideshow.

Accessing Personal Graduation Information

  1. Log into mySFA.
  2. Click on Academics.
  3. Locate the Graduation box.
  4. Click View Personal Graduation Information link.
  5. Enter name pronunciation based upon guidelines provided.
  6. *Submit changes to; include name and ID number in the E-mail.

Marching Order Tasks

Review and submit changes at mySFA*
1. Attendance Preference* 5. Make note of the following:
2. Diploma Mailing Address* a. Commencement Date

3. Name On Diploma

b. Commencement Ceremony Time
4. Major/Minor*

c. Honors

6. Recommended Participation

a. Upload picture & message for

pre-ceremony slideshow

b. Record Name Pronunciation

Commencement Slideshow

Commencement Accommodations for Disabled Candidates and Guests

Disabled Candidates
For those attending the Commencement Ceremony and in need of assistance, each disabled candidate must:

  1. Complete the SFA_Commencement_Accommodations_Request_Form.pdf.
  2. Meet with the Registrar's Office representative at one of the two times listed on the form. Bring the signed form to the meeting.

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 may appeal the decision utilizing the university's appeals process.

Disabled Guests
The Commencement facility is disability accessible. University Police provide a cart for transport from the commuter parking lot to the venue. Disability Services supply a representative on hand at the Commencement Ceremony to provide wheelchairs as a courtesy to university guests. SFA has a limited number of wheelchairs, so availability is on a first-come, first-served basis. Platforms, located on either side of the entrance, are designated specifically for wheelchair seating.

Hearing Impaired Candidates and Guests
A sign language interpreter remains near the podium during the Commencement Ceremony. Reserved seating for deaf and hard-of-hearing guests is available in Section 118, Rows A & B, located near the stage. If a candidate for graduation desires to have their name finger-spelled, submit the request to the Disability Services table located between the front entrance and The Jack Shop. Please make requests prior to the platform processional. To provide specific information for the Interpreter Coordinator prior to the event, complete the Interpreter Request Form.

Commencement Photography, Streaming, and Other Media

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

Internet Streaming
The Ceremony is live-streamed via the SFA Facebook page.

Other Media
DVD recordings and television viewing are no longer available.

Reviewing Personal Graduation Information

Is the graduating candidate "good to go"?
Be sure to review ALL of the information found under Application Information and Diploma Information. Pay particular attention to "Personal Graduation Information" in the Application Information tab. If the graduating candidate has completed all requirements for Graduation but is not sure about academic completion, contact the candidate's academic advisor in the appropriate academic College.

If the student needs to change any submitted information regarding graduation, e-mail:; include the candidate's name, student ID number, and the requested change.

Commencement Ceremony Tickets and Guests

The May 2021 Commencement will be a ticketed event. Graduate and guest tickets will be required to enter William R. Johnson Coliseum. Tickets are free but will help university officials ensure the venue is not overcrowded and that adequate spacing can be maintained during the event. Each graduate will be allotted:

Graduates participating in commencement will be able to reserve guests tickets by completing the Commencement Registration Form. Students will receive instructions on how to access the form via email.


"How do I know if I am graduating with Honors?" (applicable for undergraduate students only)

A student receiving a baccalaureate (bachelor's) degree with Honors has completed a course of study

Honor GPA Range
summa cum laude 3.800 to 4.000
magna cum laude 3.600 to 3.799
cum laude 3.400 to 3.599

University Scholar
Graduating as a University Scholar is determined by the School of Honors Office. For details view the School of Honors University Scholars Program site.

Second Baccalaureate Degree Honor Requirements (see Policy 6.18)

Graduate Students
Graduate level students are not eligible for Honors.

Five-year Professional Accountancy Program
These candidates are considered Graduate students for the Commencement Ceremony; therefore, Honors earned at the undergraduate level will not be announced at the Commencement Ceremony. However, Honors will be printed on the undergraduate diploma and transcript.


I do not plan to attend the Ceremony; may I secure a copy of the program?

Programs are produced exclusively for the Commencement Ceremony and for those students and guests who attend. The Registrar's Office receives a certain number of copies in advance of the Ceremony, and they are all designated for specific purposes. The Registrar's Office does not collect any leftover programs once the Ceremony ends and suggests graduates ask a friend who is attending to secure for the student not attending a copy of the Commencement Program.

Can I walk this semester and graduate next semester?