Graduation and Commencement

Diplomas list the degree earned as well as the major, but minors and concentrations are not listed. If the student has earned Latin Honors, this will also be reflected on the diploma.

The diploma measures 8 ½" x 11" and the page layout is landscape.

Yes, diploma covers are available for pick-up from the Registrar's Office for those students who earn their degree in the current semester but do not walk/participate in the Commencement ceremony. There is a limit of one diploma cover per graduate.

To be eligible for graduation with honors, an undergraduate student must complete, in residence at Appalachian, a minimum of 48 semester hours. (Note: Credit for which a grade is not awarded will not be used in the determination of honors—e.g., APP, CLEP, credit by examination, credit for military service, credit for prior learning, etc.) A minimum grade-point average of 3.45 is required for graduating cum laude; a minimum grade-point average of 3.65 is required for graduating magna cum laude; and a minimum grade-point average of 3.85 is required for graduating summa cum laude.

The GPA used to recognize candidates for Latin honors (during the ceremony) is the cumulative GPA earned through the immediately preceding (not the current) semester.

All entrances on the lower level of the Holmes Center are ADA accessible. The concourse can be accessed by way of the SW entrance off of Holmes Center Drive. The SW entrance is accessed by a ramp and leads to section 9 in the arena. There is also a passenger elevator located at section 9 for use on a per event basis.

ADA seating is located on the concourse level at sections 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16. These sections are equipped to handle wheelchairs and companion seating. Each wheel chair is allowed one companion seat. In the certain situations such as graduation ceremonies where the demand for ADA seating is high, the companion may be asked to forfeit their seat for another guest with special needs.

A map of the Holmes Convocation Center can be found at: for your convenience.

Handicap parking is available to those with state-issued handicapped placards or plates in the John E. Thomas Hall parking lots.

All degree candidates participating in Commencement are required to purchase traditional academic regalia, which includes a cap, gown, and tassel. Graduate students also purchase a hood. Regalia should be ordered and picked up from the University Bookstore prior to the ceremony.

Please contact the University Bookstore for hours of operation and pick-up deadlines, or visit their website at:


Yes, parking is available in the Raley Hall Circle, Stadium and Hill Street parking lots. Shuttle buses will be available to transport to and from these lots before and after the ceremony. Please follow the yellow event parking signs on campus.

Diplomas for those students who meet all requirements and are awarded their degree(s) will be mailed directly from the vendor to the diploma mailing address listed on your degree application approximately 12 weeks after graduation.

In order to receive your diploma or for your transcripts to be released, all account balances with the University must be cleared. Our diploma vendor, Jostens, uses UPS as their delivery carrier for diplomas. Each diploma is packaged in a sturdy cardboard envelope and left at the door of the delivery address.


Yes, your Marching Order card provides important identifying information about you, including your name and any honors you are receiving. You will hand this card to the reader as you walk across the stage during the ceremony, so it is important that you keep it with you throughout the ceremony.

Upon entering the Holmes Convocation Center through the ticket box entrance on the lower level, proceed to the check-in table just inside the entrance hallway. There, candidates will pick up their pre-printed Marching Order name cards at the check-in tables, sorted by last name. Just before walking across the stage, the candidate will hand the card to the ceremony name reader.

Candidates should arrive at the Holmes Convocation Center ONE HOUR prior to the start of the ceremony and will enter through the ticket box entrance on the lower level. A map of the Convocation Center showing where the ticket box entrance is located can be found at:

No, reserved seating is not available. Parent and guest seating is on the upper concourse level of the Holmes Convocation Center. Electronic sign boards are available at each entrance for specific directions. Seating in the arena is available on a first come, first served basis.

Information about applying for graduation, commencement ceremony dates, accommodations for the disabled and other information is available under "Graduation" or by clicking here. Caps, gowns and invitations can be ordered through the University Bookstore at (828) 262-3070.

Tickets are not required and there is no limit to the number of guests a student may invite to Commencement.

Yes, all students are required to apply for graduation. You should apply for the term in which you will meet ALL graduation requirements. Students completing degree requirements in the summer are permitted to walk in May Commencement, however, submitting a degree application for the spring term is not necessary if you are a summer grad who would like to walk in May Commencement.

Only students who have applied for graduation by the deadline in the correct term will have their names printed in the Commencement program. Students who fail to submit an application for graduation will also not have their degree awarded and will not receive a diploma even if their dean's office has confirmed completion of all requirements.