Preparation Checklist for December 2017

You're so close to the end of your time at Grand Valley State University! Look over this page so make sure you're ready for Commencement!


Begin your final semester as an undergraduate student!

Check you have a minimum GPA of 2.0 (2.5 when required by program)

Check you are on track to have completed a minimum of 120 cumulative hours by the end of the semester


There is no fee for applying to graduate. The easiest and fastest way to apply is through myBanner.  After logging into myBanner, select Student, then Student Records, and Apply to Graduate.  

Please Note:

  • If you fail to apply for graduation, your graduation date will be postponed.
  • Students should apply to graduate for the term in which all degree requirements will be completed.
  • Summer candidates are invited to participate in either the Winter or Fall commencement ceremony. Please note that your application for graduation should still indicate that you intend to graduate in the Spring/Summer semester even though you are planning to walk early. Commencement ceremony information can be found here.
  • Degrees are awarded three times per year: Fall, Winter, and at the end of the Spring/Summer semester.


Attend GradFest November 29-30 (see the website for times and locations)

  • Purchase your cap and gown to receive special discounted pricing. 
  • Meet with Alumni staff representatives
  • Vendors for announcements, frames, and class rings will be on hand
  • Office of Student Life staff will be available for questions regarding the ceremony
  • Photobooth
  • Snacks and refreshments

In November you'll be able to log into the ticket website to obtain your nine (9) guest tickets. Your ticket is your cap and gown!

Try your cap and gown on to be sure it fits. Don't forget to hang and/or iron it.

November 30, 2017:

Attend Toast with T. Haas at the Devos Center from 6 - 7:30 p.m.!
RSVP on-line!


8 - 9:00 a.m.: LEAVE EARLY! There will be traffic. Don't forget: there is no coat check at the arena, so only bring what you can carry! Check out Maps & Parking for more details!

9:00 a.m.: The main entrance for graduates and guests is located on Fulton Street (north side of arena). In addition, guests who need mobility assistance can enter the arena at the southwest corner of the arena on Ottawa Avenue.

Check-In Details:

When you arrive at the Van Andel Arena, you will be organized by your college, and you will be checked in there. Did you figure out your college yet? (Hint: it is not the same thing as your major!)

You will fill out a card for your professional photo, that will be taken after you walk across the stage.  You will also fill out your name card to be read as you walk across the stage!

Problems? Don't worry! There will be staff near your check-in area that are fully prepared to address any last minute issues/concerns.

Line-up Details:

You will line up, process, sit with, walk across the stage with, and recess with your college (so find a friend from your college beforehand to sit with!)  You will not be alphabetized in your college. Please review this document for instructions!

9:45 a.m.:  You will begin walking into the arena with your college! A commencement program will be placed on your seat so you do not need to carry one in! Please be sure that your cell phones are off! This document has detailed instructions of the process of the ceremony!

10:00 a.m.: The order of procession will be: Doctorate’s, Master’s, and then Bachelor’s candidates. You will give hand off your photographer’s card as you approach the ramp to the stage, and when you reach the top of the ramp, you will hand your white name card to the reader! All candidates will shake the Dean’s hand from your college at center stage. Proceed to shake the President’s hand with your right hand and receive your diploma cover with your left hand! 

12:30 p.m.: Don't forget to move your tassel! Recess out of the arena as Laker alumni! Congratulations!

Make sure to plan ahead of time to meet your family and friends somewhere outside the arena (it will be crowded!) Check out some places to grab a celebratory meal

Page last modified November 3, 2017