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General Graduation Information

Are you planning to graduate from GSW within the next 12 months? If you are, then the time to apply is NOW!  Print the graduation application now!

Graduation Term Apply no later than
Fall December 1 the year prior to graduation
Spring May 1 the year prior to graduation
Summer September 1 the year prior to graduation

Complete the application with your adviser and pay the graduation fee at the Student Accounts office in the Marshall Student Center. If graduation fees are not paid at the time of application, the fee will be charged to your student account.

Graduation Fees*
Certificate Only (not in conjunction with a degree) $15.00
Bachelor $35.00
Master $35.00
Specialist $35.00

Diploma Mailing Charge

If you do not wish to participate in the graduation ceremony you may pick up your diploma, once available, in the Registrar's Office.  If you would like for your diploma to be mailed to you, notify Lois Oliver, Assistant Registrar, A $10.00 diploma mailing charge will be required to cover the cost of the mailing. 

Georgia Southwestern State University

Fall Commencement

Saturday, December 13, 2014

11:00 am in the Storm Dome


Time passed:

Graduation Hooding Ceremony, Saturday, December 13, 2014 9:00 a.m. Jackson Hall

All graduate students are invited to participate in the hooding ceremony, friends and family welcome to attend.

Graduation and Honors Convocation Friday December 5, 2014 7:00 p.m. Jackson Hall

All graduating students are invited to participate in the convocation, friends and family are welcome to attend.


Graduation Speaker

Huckaby Hank2

Hank M. Huckaby, Chancellor of the University System of Georgia

Click here for Dr. Huckaby's biography


Are you ready for the big day?

We are pleased by your commitment to your education and academic success, and we are looking forward to celebrating your accomplishments at 11:00 a.m., December 13, 2014 in the Storm Dome. While you are studying to finish your final classes, also make sure you’ve taken care of the following details so your graduation day is as memorable and special as you’ve always imagined.

First things first. Are you going to graduate?

Have you filed your graduation application and paid the fee?

If not, click here to download the Graduation Application

Not sure if you paid your graduation fee?

Check on RAIN. Go to your student account summary. The graduation fee code is GRAF.  If your balance for GRAF is 0, you are good to go!  If you don’t see GRAF, it has not been paid, and you need to get to Student Accounts and pay. Please do not send money to the Registrar, only student accounts can take your money, (legally anyway). 

Are you in the process of completing all remaining requirements?

Only students who have successfully met all graduation requirements are allowed to walk in commencement exercises. If you applied by the deadline, you should have received a degree audit from Registrar’s Office indicating all outstanding requirements.  Make sure you are registered for all remaining requirements and don’t forget to study.

What if I don’t have my degree audit?

If you have not received your degree audit, make sure your graduation application has been submitted.  Back to step one above: your first stop is your adviser. If your graduation date has changed, contact the Registrar’s Office immediately (229-928-1331).

What do you need to do before the big day?

Order your regalia by midnight November 16, 2014!

Sometimes we cut you some slack on deadlines but this one is not in our control. Unless you want to pay a late charge, order before the deadline! The color of your tassel and hood (for master’s degrees) represents your degree, so be sure to fill in the information correctly. Caps and hoods (for master's)) are included in your order. Regalia is only available by ordering online. To be certain you have the right regalia, please place your order at:

Have you taken care of all your holds and outstanding fees?

Do not let that parking ticket or library fine keep you from getting your diploma on graduation day!  Students with outstanding balances will not get a diploma in that nice leather folder on graduation day. All fees must be paid by December 6, 2014; otherwise, you’ll have to come back to campus to pay your balance and pick up your diploma.

Help us help you!

If any you need any physical accommodations for the ceremony, please contact Lois Oliver

Do you need graduation swag?

Personalized graduation announcements and other memorabilia can be ordered online from Herff Jones. Orders for announcements or accessories may be charged to a credit card or debit card and will be delivered directly to the address you provide. Order here: You can also order a GSW Diploma Frame.

How are we going to celebrate your achievement?

A Special Graduation and Honors Convocation will be held on Friday, December 5, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in Jackson Hall with a reception to follow in the Private Dining Room. All seniors will be recognized and special honors for students and faculty will be recognized. Family and friends are invited to join you in celebrating your accomplishments. We are planning a few surprises, so don’t miss this celebration!

What can you expect on graduation day?

There will be no rehearsal for graduation, so how will you know what to do?

In order to ensure that you are in the correct place and have all necessary instructions, please report to the Intramural Gym located in the Student Success Center at 10:00 a.m. on December 13. It may sound early, but your friends and family will need to be there that early to get a seat anyway, so just plan to be there. You'll have the opportunity to take pictures with faculty and your classmates.

Will I get my diploma at commencement?

Yes, AFTER the ceremony, provided you have finished all requirements and have no holds or fees due. Check your RAIN account before graduation and make sure you have no holds or fees. When you cross the stage, you will be given a diploma sleeve. At the end of the ceremony, seniors will be led back into the intramural gym where the Registrar’s Office will have all the official diplomas. You will need to provide a picture ID in order to pick up your diploma, so please tuck your ID into your pocket before the ceremony. You should not carry any other items with you, except a picture ID. 

What should I bring with me?

Be sure to have your cap and gown with you when you arrive (Yes, there have been students who forgot!). Also be sure you have your picture ID. You may want to have a phone or camera to take some pictures before the ceremony, but you may not bring any phones or cameras into the ceremony. Make sure you leave all personal items, including phones and cameras with trusted family or friends before the procession begins. The Intramural Gym will not be secure after you leave, and you may not bring any items with you into the ceremony.

When you lineup for the procession, you will be given a small card with your name on it. This is the only item you may bring into the ceremony. You will hand this card to the name reader just before you cross the stage to receive your diploma. A graduation program will be placed in your chair; you may take it with you when you recess out of the ceremony.

Make sure you are dressed appropriately.

Graduates must wear cap and gown. To make sure you have the right regalia please order from All candidates wear the tassel on the left side for the ceremony. Do not attach anything to your cap. You will not be allowed to march if your cap has anything on it. Only stoles and cords from recognized GSW student organizations and honor societies may be worn. (See list of approved organizations and societies on the sidebar tab of this page. Contact your organization's adviser for information on receiving your cord or stole.)  

How about under that cap and gown?

Nothing is to be worn high on the neck nor should you wear a collar overlapping the robe. Women can wear neutral or dark hose and dark shoes with dresses and skirts, or dark pants with dark socks and shoes. Any jewelry should be simple and small, if worn at all. Men are to wear dress shirts, ties, dark slacks, dark socks and dark shoes. Coats are optional. 

What should I tell my family and friends?

The doors to the Convocation Hall will close at 10:55 am sharp!

There will be plenty of seating for guests attending the graduation ceremony and tickets are not needed, but we do recommend guests arrive early for the best seating. Late entry is not allowed as it will disrupt the procession of students and faculty. Late comers will be directed to a room where they can watch the ceremony streaming live, but they cannot enter the Convocation Hall. Remember that there will be lots of people on campus, so guests will need to allow time to park and walk to the Convocation Hall, so plan accordingly. It is the one day of the year you can expect a traffic jam in Americus!

Please remind family and friends about expectations for celebrating your achievement.

You have worked hard to achieve your goal and deserve to hear your name called as you cross the stage. While we welcome well-deserved applause, loud cheers and noisemakers are not appropriate. These disruptions often drowned out the names of other graduates walking across the stage, and every GSW graduate deserves to hear his or her name read as that prized degree is awarded.  Please let your family and friends know that loud cheers and noisemakers are not allowed, and anyone disrupting the ceremony may be asked to leave.  We promise, after every student has crossed the stage, we will all cheer!

Help your family and friends plan for parking.

Police officers will be assisting with parking. Plan to enter the Convocation Hall (Storm Dome) from the North Parking Lot. If you have family members who need accommodations, they can be dropped off at the North Parking Lot doors.  Handicapped parking is available in the North Lot (between the Student Success Center and the baseball field). There is also parking available in the lots by the Business, History and Political Science Building, the Education Center, the Carter Complex, the Library, and Southwestern Oaks.  Shuttles will run between these buildings and the Storm Dome.

Still have questions?

Contact Dr. Helen Tate, Associate Vice President of Academic Affair at Now, get back to the books because if you don’t successfully pass all your requirements, you won’t be walking in December!

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