Graduating Students


Congratulations, you did it! You’ve earned your degree, and you deserve to celebrate that amazing achievement.

All the faculty and staff here at WSU wish you the best as you move forward in your career path.


To Participate in the Ceremony

You may participate in the commencement ceremony only if you:

  1. have an approved graduation application
  2. are completing your degree requirements that term

Learn more about graduation requirements.

You can indicate whether you want to participate in the commencement ceremony in your Undergraduate Student Graduation Application or Graduate Student Graduation Application. If your plans change, you can edit your graduation application.

Doctor of Education and Doctor of Nursing Practice graduates must declare their participation at least 12 weeks in advance to ensure appropriate regalia is available for the ceremony.

For the health and safety of our students, staff, and the community, all participating students need to register by March 4.

Please ensure that your Diploma Address indicated on your application is accurate.


Tickets for Guests


Due to limited seating available on campus, there is a ticketing system.

Each participating student will receive 4 tickets for the in-person ceremony held in the McCown Gymnasium.

Tickets are free, but all guests must present a ticket to be admitted to the McCown Gym.

Additional guests can attend a live stream viewing of the ceremony in the Harriet Johnson Auditorium in Somsen Hall and in the Vivian Fusillo Theatre in the DuFrense Performing Arts Center.

Tickets are not required for guests to be admitted to the auditorium.

International students can also learn more about getting a visitor visa for family members.

Ceremony Tutorial Info


There will not be a physical rehearsal.

Please read through the rehearsal instructions (PDF) for more information.

Attire & Regalia


Commencement regalia is required, such as a cap and gown.

Purchasing commencement regalia online from Jostens has now expired.

You may buy your cap, gown, and tassel from the newly opened campus bookstore beginning April 25.

Honor cords can be picked up at the Warrior Hub on the second floor of Maxwell anytime during regular business hours. 

Graduate students have an additional hood as part of their regalia. You will purchase the hood and gown which can be worn to the commencement ceremony.


Decoration Policies

Academic protocol states that you cannot pin jewelry or flowers to your gown.

Decoration of your mortarboard is permitted but will be monitored.

WSU reserves the right to require you to remove any embellishment deemed inappropriate before you are permitted to participate in the ceremony.

Examples of inappropriate embellishment include, but are not limited to:

  • vulgar language
  • references to alcohol/drugs
  • inappropriate verbiage or photos/graphic images
  • any decoration that might obstruct the view of people seated behind you

Seating


Undergraduate students will be seated by academic college. Before the ceremony, you must check in at your appropriate college table and pick up your name card.

Graduate students will be seated by college and degree type. Before the ceremony, you must check in at the Graduate Studies table and pick up your name card.

Accessibility Accommodations


A portion of seating will be reserved to accommodate for persons with limited accessibility.

Please advise ticket agents of your accessibility needs, and you will be directed to the area of the venue that suits your needs.

If a sign language interpreter is needed, please notify graduation@winona.edu at least six weeks in advance.

After the Ceremony


Graduates will follow the stage party out of McCown Gym to the Johnson Street turnaround to ring the WSU Commencement bell once the ceremony is over.

Guests are asked to wait to exit the gym and auditorium until the graduates are outside.

Please make a plan to meet at a location away from McCown Gym and the bell.