Fall 2023 Commencement Guide

Morning candidates must arrive no later than 8 a.m.
Afternoon candidates must arrive no later than 1 p.m.

Congratulations!

As you finish the requirements for your academic degree and plan your graduation celebration, please refer to this guide for information regarding various aspects of Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Commencement festivities and services to help ensure a pleasant and memorable experience for everyone. We welcome the Class of 2023 to the ranks of over 106,000 proud and accomplished alumni!

Important Reminders

  • Graduates must arrive at least 90 minutes prior to the ceremony. Arrive by 8 a.m. for the morning ceremony and by 1 p.m. for the afternoon ceremony.
  • The ceremonies are Friday, December 15, at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the Denver Coliseum, 4600 Humboldt St.
  • Please make sure to have your digital name card (GradPass) either on your phone or printed out. You will be asked to show your proof-of-name card at the graduate check-in.
  • Remain in your seat for the entire ceremony, until it is your time to walk across the stage, to afford every graduate and family the same respect and honor they deserve.
  • Celebrate with your fellow candidates in the Turning of the Tassel ceremony.
  • The Denver Coliseum is a CREDIT-CARD ONLY venue. Cash is not accepted.

Commencement Ceremonies

MSU Denver’s Spring Commencements are indoor University-wide ceremonies for undergraduate and graduate candidates.

When: Friday, Dec. 15

8 a.m. – Doors open for general admission

9:30 a.m. – College of Business, College of Health and Human Sciences (formerly College of Health and Applied Sciences), College of Aerospace, Computing, Engineering and Design (formerly College of Health and Applied Sciences)

1 p.m. – Doors open for general admission

2:30 p.m. – College of Letters, Arts and Sciences; School of Education, and School of Hospitality

Where: Denver Coliseum, 4600 Humboldt St.

Candidates must arrive to assemble within their appropriate departments, within their colleges or schools in the Assembly Area. Arrive no later than 8 a.m. for the morning ceremony and 1 p.m. for the afternoon ceremony.

Leave personal items such as coats and purses with guests and keep them to a minimum, as there are no secure facilities available for storing these items. Each ceremony will last approximately two hours.

Ceremony Etiquette

Please remain in your seat for the entire event, until it is your time to walk across the stage, and afford every graduate and family the same respect and honor they deserve. During the reading of graduate names, we ask that you and your guests be considerate, holding applause and celebration so that all names are heard clearly.

Commencement is an alcohol-free event – no alcohol will be allowed on the premises. Graduation candidates will be removed from Commencement if they are determined to be intoxicated.

Academic Regalia

Your gown is rented from Herff-Jones, and the tassel and cap are yours to keep as mementos. Please feel free to wear regalia that correspond with your academic affiliations (e.g., stole, sash, medal, ribbon, etc.).

NOTE: All gowns must be returned to Herff-Jones in the Assembly Area immediately after the ceremony. If your gown is not returned, you will be charged $235 for undergraduates and $400 for graduates.

Tassel, Cord and Hood Colors

Bachelor’s degree tassel color: red; Master’s degree tassel color: navy blue. The tassel is to be worn on the front right of your cap to represent a baccalaureate or master’s degree candidate. At the conclusion of the ceremony, graduates will be instructed to move the tassel to the left.

Academic-honors cord colors: summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude – gold and blue.

Master’s-degree hood colors: Master’s-degree hood colors: Business (MPAcc, MBA) – drab; Health Administration (MHA) – kelly green; Education (MAT) – light blue; Social Work (MSW) – citron; Human Nutrition and Dietetics (MS) – gold; Cybersecurity (MS) – gold.

Graduating With Honors

Graduation honors are awarded to students who have demonstrated superior academic ability in their baccalaureate degree while attending MSU Denver. Honors designations are determined according to specific criteria.

Read more about academic honors here.

Name Cards (GradPass) and Walking

When you RSVP’d for the in-person ceremony on Marching Order, you should have received a digital name card called GradPass. Your GradPass should be presented at check-in as well as before you walk across the stage. If you do not have a GradPass, a physical name card can be printed for you.

When you are called to walk to the stage, you will scan your GradPass, then your name will be read and will appear on the screen as you walk across the stage and receive your diploma cover. As you walk across the stage, you will be congratulated by your department chair, the University President and a member of the Board of Trustees. Then, you will return to your seat for the remainder of the ceremony.

There is no rehearsal for the ceremony, so it is important to follow the volunteer marshals who assemble and lead you into the ceremony and then back to your seat.

PLEASE NOTE: The stage ramps and stairs are steep; please wear appropriate footwear for the ceremony.

Photography

Three professional photos will be taken by our preferred vendor, The Grad Team, before you cross the stage. The Grad Team will contact you after the ceremony via your MSU Denver email to provide you with a link to access your ceremony photos. Other MSU Denver photographers will capture candid moments as you cross the stage and while you are celebrating with your peers, family and friends.

ADA Accommodations

If you are a student and need accommodations required by the Americans With Disabilities Act or if anyone in your party uses a wheelchair or walker or is hearing- or visually impaired, please reach out to the commencement team if you have questions.

You should submit your request for accessibility accommodations with your RSVP for commencement. Due to limited accessibility seats, you may reserve up to 4 ADA seating tickets.

It’s important to note that the Denver Coliseum does not have an elevator.

Guests

At this time, there are no limitations on the number of guests you can bring, so guest tickets are not being implemented. Doors will open for all guests 90 minutes prior to the start of each ceremony, 8 a.m. for the morning ceremony and 1 p.m. for the afternoon ceremony.

Viewing the Ceremony Online

Friends and family members who cannot attend the ceremony can view it live at www.msudenver.edu/commencement. On the day of the ceremony, there will be a video player on the Commencement homepage where anyone can watch the livestream.

Parking

Parking will be available in the main parking lot at the Denver Coliseum off McFarland Drive. There is a $15 fee to park in the Coliseum’s main lot on the day of or $12.50 if you pay in advance through the parking link on the MSU Denver website: https://www.axs.com/events/516361/msu-graduation-parking-tickets

Please note that only credit-card payments will be accepted for advance and day-of parking. Guests should arrive early for the best seating availability.

Lodging

Please encourage your out-of-town guests to stay at MSU Denver’s hotel, SpringHill Suites by Marriott Denver Downtown at MSU Denver, 1190 Auraria Parkway. Call 303-705-7300 to make reservations and be sure to ask for your 10% discount.

Graduation Announcements and Class Rings

You may order your graduation announcements from any company you choose. Our preferred vendor is Herff-Jones, which you can find online.

MSU Denver has commissioned a special collection of class rings with Jostens. To find out more about the MSU Denver ring collection, contact Clay Rogers at [email protected].

Diplomas/Transcripts

Diplomas are mailed approximately six to eight weeks after the semester concludes. Your diploma will be delayed if there are any holds on your student record (e.g., financial obligations, library fines, etc.). In all instances, the awarding of a degree is subject to the completion of degree requirements. Please direct diploma questions to the Registrar’s Office by calling 303-556-3991 or emailing [email protected].

Transcripts with your posted degree will be available three to four weeks after the semester concludes. You may request transcripts as early as the middle of your last semester by indicating that you wish for your transcript to be held until your degree is posted. You may request your transcript on the Student Hub or at the Registrar’s Office, or you may fax your signed request to 303-556-3999.

Alumni Association

Upon graduation from MSU Denver, you automatically become a member of the MSU Denver Alumni Association. The association works to connect the 105,000-plus Roadrunner alumni worldwide with one another, the University and, most important, the resources and services you need to succeed. Stay connected to access free alumni career services and exclusive event opportunities. Visit msudenver.edu/alumni for more information.

Be sure to follow the Alumni Association on social media: Facebook @RoadunnersAlumni, Instagram @msudenveralumni, YouTube @msudenveralumni, and Threads @msudenveralumni.

Questions?

  • Diplomas, replacement diplomas, final grades, graduation completion – Registrar’s Office at [email protected] or 303-556-3991.
  • Ceremony logistics – [email protected] or 303-615-0089.