Checklist for Graduation

Congratulations! You’ve worked hard, and graduation will be here before you know it. We recommend the following to ensure you stay on track and informed:

  1. Review your Degree Works page to check that you have completed your degree requirements.
  2. Meet with your academic advisor to confirm that you are eligible for graduation. You will sign up to meet with your advisor through Orange Success.
  3. File for your diploma request no later than Feb. 14. Filing for your diploma ensures that you will be included in the convocation booklet, included in the degree certification process, receive commencement information, and be eligible to pick up your cap, gown, and tassel.
    1. Navigate to MySlice – Student Home – Academics – Diploma Request.
    2. Read the information provided and click on the blue link next to Program (this should be your major).
    3. You will be redirected to Select Graduation Term where you will choose Spring/May if you plan to finish at the end of the spring semester or Summer/June or August if you know you will need summer class(es) to complete your degree.
    4. From here, you should be redirected to select where you want your diploma sent. Please make sure you are selecting an address where you expect to receive mail through August.
    5. You must use your legal name for your diploma!
      1. If you have a preferred name that has not been legally recognized, it cannot be used. Legal names are the names that appear on passports, drivers licenses, ect.
      2. If you have multiple last names, you are eligible to include them.
      3. You can, but are not required to, use your middle name. For example, you can elect to be James Earl Jones, James E. Jones, or James Jones.
  4. Bookmark the commencement website. This is where the schedule for graduation events, information on the commencement speaker, parking information, FAQs, and more will be posted. This is a great tool for you and your loved ones who will be joining us.
  5. Save the Date! VPA’s convocation is historically in the Dome on the Saturday night before Syracuse University’s Commencement (Mother’s Day). We recommend students arrive no later than 7 p.m. as our event starts at 7:30 p.m.

Know Before You Go

Convocation vs Commencement

Convocation is the school/college event while commencement is the graduation event for the entire university. At VPA Convocation, you will have your name read and walk across the stage to shake hands with our dean and with your faculty. This will not happen at commencement.

How/Where Do I Pick Up Regalia? 

If you are an undergraduate student, you will pick up your regalia (cap, gown, tassel) for free at the University Bookstore.

If you are a graduate student, you will need to pay for and pick up your regalia at the University Bookstore.

Is There a Specific Color?

Undergraduate (i.e. those earning a bachelor's degree) students' tassels will be dependent on school/department:

  • School of Art = Brown
  • Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies (CRS) = Silver
  • School of Design = Brown
    • Except for Industrial and Interaction Design (BID) = Red
  • Department of Drama = Grey
  • Department of Film and Media Arts = Brown
  • Setnor School of Music = Pink

A graduate student's cap, gown, and tassel will be black. The hood will be dependent on the degree area/type earned:

  • M.F.A. = Brown
  • M.A. Museum Studies = White
  • M.A. Audio Arts = White
  • M.S. Communication & Rhetorical Studies = Silver
  • M.M. Music Performance = Pink

Honors Cords

If by the start of the spring semester you have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher, you will be contacted to pick up a cord to wear around your neck for graduation. If you have earned a 3.399 by the start of the spring semester, you are not eligible. The university does not round up. Please refer to the academic rules in the Course Catalog (10.0 Grade Point Average). At the conclusion of the spring semester, if your GPA increases, your diploma will reflect this honor. Make sure your honor cord matches the tassel!

First Destination Survey (FDS)

VPA career services encourages you to complete or update a brief survey through Handshake, regardless of what your response may be:

  • Continued Education (graduate school or certificate programs)
  • Working (including internships)
  • Still Looking (for a job or graduate program)
  • Joining the Military
  • Volunteering
  • Taking a Break

Your response not only provides us with information as to where our graduates have landed but also provides us with data that can be used to improve the services and resources we offer to incoming/current students and alumni.

Feel free to reach out to VPA career advising ( with any questions or if support is needed.