Day-of Instructions

Congratulations Graduates!

Commencement is a special time to celebrate your academic achievements. To ensure an amazing experience, please review the following carefully.

Directions, Parking, and Seating

Commencement is held at Strahan Arena on our San Marcos Campus. Visit Directions, Parking, and Seating for more information.

Guests must have tickets to attend commencement. Tickets will be required for all commencement ceremonies. Learn more about tickets on our FAQ page.


Checking In at Commencement

  1. Arrive at least one hour prior to the start of your ceremony; your cap and gown must be carried and not worn until you enter the University Events Center.
  2. After arriving, check in.
  3. Receive your reader card, academic honor cords (if applicable), diploma cover, commencement program, and proceed to be seated. 
  4. Please always keep your reader card in hand during the ceremony.

Bring your ID

Graduates do not need a ticket but need to present an acceptable form of ID, including: TXST student ID, driver’s license, government-issued ID.

What else to bring

Please review the list of allowed and prohibited items.


Your Name at the Ceremony

Change your name

To change your name, you must submit a Personal Information Update Request. Update requests should be made at least a month before commencement.

This name change will affect:

  • your diploma
  • the commencement program
  • your name reader card
  • all other university documents

Name pronunciation

If you have questions about how your name will be pronounced during diploma presentations, please contact:

Ceremony Procedures


Graduates will be seated on the arena floor by level (doctoral, master's, or bachelor's). Graduates will not necessarily be in order by college, alphabet, or honors designation.

Diploma Presentations

After degrees have been conferred, graduates will have their name called as they cross in front of the stage, shake hands with President Damphousse, and have their photo taken. Only graduates in attendance will have their name called and receive a diploma board. Official diplomas will be mailed after commencement.


Following the Alma Mater, graduates will leave the arena floor using the staircase behind them and exit to Sewell Park. Graduates should plan to meet family and friends at a designated area outside of the University Events Center near Sewell Park.

Reader Cards

When you check in with your college you will be given a reader card with your name. Keep this card in hand during the entire ceremony. When you approach the stage during diploma presentations, you will hand your card to the Commencement Reader.

What to Bring

Belongings are subject to search upon entry to Strahan Arena. Please limit the items brought into the venue to expedite check-in.

There are no secure places to store personal items before or during the ceremony. Small personal items such as phones and wallets must be carried in a pocket or a small purse held under the gown. Graduates are not permitted to hand carry items during diploma presentations other than their diploma cover and Reader Card.



  • Alcohol
  • Bags, non-clear, see TXST Clear Bag Policy for details
  • Balloons or beach balls
  • Banners or flags
  • Confetti or glitter
  • Frisbees
  • Glass or ceramic items
  • Laser pointers
  • Noisemakers
  • Outside food or drink
  • Tailgating
  • Tobacco products and e-cigarettes
  • Weapons

Cap and Gown

Candidates must wear the Texas State branded regalia that is available for purchase through the University Bookstore and Herff Jones.

While there is no dress code, keep in mind that there will be a professional photographer at the commencement ceremony and that you may also be taking photos with friends and family.

Comfortable shoes are recommended for guests and graduates.

You must wait until you enter the University Events Center to put on your cap and gown.

Doctoral, Master's and Bachelor's regalia preview

Accommodations for Graduates and Guests With Disabilities

Please visit our accessibility page.

Still have questions?

Visit the Frequently Asked Questions page for more information regarding graduation and commencement.