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Commencement FAQ

How do I order a graduation ring?

You can order your graduation ring through Balfour .

When should I apply for graduation checks?

When a student reaches 100 hours, a stop will be placed on future registrations and will only be cleared by applying for both of two (2) FSU graduation checks.

The following students are exempt from the requirement:

  • Students who have already requested the graduation checks
  • Those students with prior bachelors, masters or doctoral degrees.

Are there any fees associated with an application for graduation?

No, there aren't any fees associated with applying for graduation.

When should I apply for graduation?

Students should apply the first week but no later than the end of the third week of classes for the semester in which they will graduate. Specific dates are published in the Academic Calendar .

Does a University graduation check clear a student for graduation?

No. The student needs to schedule and complete a graduation check with his or her department and Academic Dean's office to ensure major requirements are met.

What is the difference between a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree?

A BA degree requires 12 semester hours of a foreign language or coursework through the 2200 intermediate level and 9 additional semester hours after completion of Liberal Studies requirements in Art, Classical or Modern Languages and Literature, and Communication. Students should check with their school/college for specific requirements.

I have missed the deadline to apply for graduation. What do I do?

You must go to your academic dean's office to notify them of your intent to graduate and to obtain permission to apply late for graduation for that semester.

What should I wear to the commencement ceremony?

Graduates must order a cap and gown to participate in the ceremony. Only students who have ordered a cap and gown will have a NAME CARD to walk the stage. Clothing is worn underneath the cap and gown, and graduates are asked to dress appropriately. Women should wear dark dresses, dark shoes (high heels are not recommended!!!), skin-tone hose, no high collars or bows at the neck. Men should wear dark trousers, white shirts, dark shoes and socks, dark ties.

Is there a rehearsal?

No. Information on what is expected during the ceremony will be provided with the cap and gown from the FSU Panama City bookstore. Graduation marshals will provide direction and guidance during the ceremony.

How long will the ceremony last?

The ceremony lasts approximately 90 minutes.

What should I do to indicate my intent to participate in the ceremony?

How do I know if I graduate with distinction?

Three degrees of distinction are granted to graduating students, based on ALL (including transfer credits) college-level work attempted (excluding physical education activity courses), including the term's work in which baccalaureate degree requirements are completed. The requirements for graduating with a degree of distinction are as follows:

  • Cum Laude for an overall average of 3.500
  • Magna Cum Laude for an overall average of 3.700
  • Summa Cum Laude for an overall average of 3.900

The Panama City Office of Admissions & Records will provide the honor cords to students who have been determined eligible to wear them.

May I wear other adornments with my cap and gown?

Only cords representing academic achievement may be worn with the gown during the ceremony. Students may not wear sashes, stoles, or other accouterments such as pins.

What if a candidate or guest needs special accommodation?

Handicap parking, wheelchair space seating, elevator access to the second floor, and a sign-language interpreter are available for the ceremony. Once in the Panama City Civic Center, ushers from FSU and/or the Civic Center will direct guests to the appropriate seating area. Degree candidates who require special disability services should contact the Office of Student Affairs, (850) 770-2170, at least two weeks before the ceremony.

I will graduate in the summer semester immediately following the spring ceremony. May I walk early in the spring ceremony?

Students may be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony if planning to complete their degree requirements in the summer semester. Any student who wishes to be considered to walk in the spring ceremony must provide a written request to the Panama City Office of Admissions & Records. Please read the Summer Walkers instructions for submitting this request. Please remember that the request to be a Summer Walker is not an application for graduation. Students should submit the application for graduation by the end of the third week of classes in the semester they graduate (e.g., summer).

Will I receive my diploma during the ceremony?

No. Students will not receive diplomas at the graduation ceremony. Diplomas will be mailed to the address submitted on graduation applications approximately six (6) to eight (8) weeks after the semester for which graduation is applied. If diplomas are not received after that time frame, call the Panama City Office of Admissions & Records at (850) 770-2160.