Candidate FAQs

  1. Leave bags at home.  No security is provided for items unattended.
  2. Dress comfortably. Candidates will be at Southeastern for a minimum of three hours; the event is a combination of walking, standing and sitting so dress comfortably for all.
  3. All candidates should wear dark shoes.
  4. Men should wear shirt and tie, dark dress slacks.
  5. If wearing heels, please consider a shoe that you are comfortable standing in for a long period of time, to include walking up and down stairs and across the stage. 
  6. No shorts, jeans, or beach sandals should be worn.
  7. Robes should be zipped closed.
  8. Only University-approved stoles, cords, ribbons or medals associated with academic honors or membership in Phi Kappa Phi or the Thirteen Club may be worn with the cap and gown. Students may be asked to remove any adornment that is deemed inappropriate by a commencement official.
  9. Any excessive decorations on gowns or mortarboards are distracting and therefore inappropriate.
  10. Don't forget your regalia!

The cap tassel for faculty and graduates is to the left front.  For undergraduates, the tassel is right front then shifted to the left after receiving diploma.

All graduates participating in Commencement are required to purchase commencement regalia from the Southeastern Louisiana University Bookstore. PLEASE NOTE - only gowns with new Southeastern logo will be permitted. In addition to caps and gowns, graduates may purchase graduation announcements, personalized name cards, class rings, and diploma plaques. The University Bookstore is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Friday. For further assistance, call 985-549-5393 or email [email protected].

The President of the University will confer degrees en masse. Following this and upon a signal from the Marshals, the reader and candidates in each College will proceed in single file to the side of the stage where candidates will provide their "reader card," ascend the stairs, cross the stage as their names are called, receive their diploma covers, take photo with University President, proceed to photo area for solo portrait picture, and return to their seats from the outside of the row.   Doctoral students should bring their hood to the stage with them (hooding instructions).

The University will present stoles to honor graduates who are receiving a baccalaureate degree or an associate's degree.  Honor graduates are students who have an overall grade point average of 3.500 or higher.  Questions regarding stoles should be directed to personnel involved in lining up candidates.

To notify the Office of the Registrar of a change in diploma address, send a letter stating your correct address to Office of the Registrar, SLU 10752, Hammond, LA 70402 or visit NCMA, room 122 or email us at [email protected] prior to May 1, 2024.  (The Alumni Office provides mini-diplomas at Lion4Life Launch Party.) Diplomas are mailed to the diploma address provided by the graduate.  Graduates can anticipate receiving their diploma by early July 2024. 

PLEASE NOTE, your diploma will not be mailed until you have completed both parts of the exit survey and have a clear financial balance.

Candidates may not carry any personal items with them as they process into the arena.  No security is provided for these items if left unattended in the assembly area.

Prior to entering the venue, candidates of a College will be lined up in alphabetical order by degree, presented with a "reader card" and, if appropriate, presented with an honor stole. Candidates will be led by their dean and reader through the hallway and down the stairs to the arena.  They will proceed to their seats as directed by Marshals.

Candidates will leave the venue as directed by the Marshals and are escorted out of the University Center arena.

To help ensure you have the best commencement day possible, please let us know if you need any type of accommodation during the ceremony.  Below are some examples of the accommodations that are available to you and/or your guests. If you would benefit from one of the accommodations or an accommodation that is not listed below, please call (985) 549-2244 or 1 (800) 222-7358 or email [email protected].

No matter the accommodation, you are welcome to join us at the commencement rehearsal usually held the day before the commencement exercises begin. There will be no rehearsals with guests. We will confirm the date and time of the rehearsal when you notify us about an accommodation.

Deaf / HOH interpreters for students and guests

Each commencement ceremony will have two Deaf/HOH interpreters. The interpreters will be stationed in front of section 115. Please email [email protected] if you or your guests require this accommodation. We will work with you to make sure you and/or your guests have an uninterrupted view of the interpreters.

Blind or low vision

Contact us if you would like the opportunity to check out the seating/stage layout, to locate the student lineup area and to tell us how you would like us to assist you on commencement day.

Mobility assistance for students

Contact us if you would like to check out the stairs or wheelchair lift to the stage and the path to receive your diploma cover on stage.
As your name is called, you will go onto the stage to receive your diploma cover. Will you need assistance climbing four steps? Would you like to attend rehearsal to see the steps?

Commencement Day FAQs

Each commencement ceremony will be accessible. Accessible seating will be available for individuals with disabilities or guests with limited mobility.

Seating Accommodations

If you or anyone in your party is in need of accessible seating or assistance, we recommend arriving early as the seating will be determined on a first-come basis. Accessible seating is limited to only those guests who require it. The seats will be for the person with accessible needs and for one adult companion.

Deaf / HOH Seating

Each commencement ceremony will have two Deaf/HOH interpreters. The interpreters will be stationed in front of Section 115.


The public restrooms are accessible and all contain diaper-changing stations.

Messages and Emergency Information

In case of an emergency, emergency messages will be announced from the stage via the announcer.

For security purposes, all commencement attendees will enter the University Center after being cleared through Bag Check.  All articles brought into the facility will be subject to search.  Please note that ONLY clear bags will be allowed.  

A clear bag policy allows for non-clear bags to be easily identifiable to law enforcement personnel inside and around the University Center.  The policy also allows security personnel to be more efficient in the screening of all items entering the University Center.

The following bags are permissible following a brief screening at all SLU Athletic venues:

  • Small clear or non-clear wristlets/clutches/wallets measuring smaller than 4.5" x 6.5" (approximately the size of a person's hand)
  • 1-gallon clear, re-sealable freezer bags
  • Clear plastic,vinyl or PVC tote bags measuring smaller than 12" x 6" x 12"
  • Clear plastic,vinyl or PVC drawstring/cinch bags measuring smaller than 12" x 6" x 12"

All non-approved bags/items will not be allowed to enter the venue.  All bags/items left near the University Center entrances will be discarded.  Attendees are encouraged to leave non-approved bags/items at home.

The Clear Bag Policy can be accessed here.

Commencement is a ceremonious occasion honoring your student’s accomplishments. Decorum and courtesy are important to you, as well as to all degree candidates and their families. Guests and graduates are encouraged to remain for the duration of the ceremony.

  • Once seated, all participants are expected to stay until the conclusion of the ceremony.
  • Cell phones and other electronic devices should be silenced.
  • Candidates should plan to meet their guests outside the University Center as guests are not allowed on the floor of the University Center.
  • Southeastern maintains the historic tradition of each degree candidate receiving their diploma from the President as his/her name is called. The last degree candidate is as important as the first so we ask guests to be considerate and keep celebratory applause to a minimum so that each graduate’s name can be heard.

During the ceremony, graduates and guests may access and view the Commencement Program (list of graduates) on a smartphone.  QR codes may be accessed via the distributed Commencement card.

University Police will be on duty to provide assistance in the event of an emergency.

Alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited in and around the University Center. Food and drinks of any kind are not allowed.

Plan in advance where to meet your family afterwards.  Graduates will exit the Arena through Gate 3 following the ceremony.

Parking:  Complimentary parking is available in parking lots on Main and North Campus for guests attending the commencement ceremonies.

Due to parking limitations, candidates should arrive early.  Parking will be available in lots around the University Center on a first-come basis.  Graduates and guests parking on south campus should utilize the shuttle or tunnel.  Carpooling is strongly encouraged.   

Accessible parking is limited and is on a first-come basis. Please note that disabled plates and/or hang tags are required to secure space in lots reserved for accessible commencement parking. Parking passes are not provided.

Access to accessibile seating is at Gate 4 via the ramp on the north side of the University Center.

Map:  To assist with planning, suggested parking lots, and traffic routes are noted below.

Southeastern commencement traffic and parking

Photographs of graduates will be taken during the ceremony by a commercial photography service.  Each student will be contacted directly by the company for order placement and free proofs. Individuals will not be allowed on the floor of the University Center to take personal photographs.

Please click here BEFORE the ceremony and take a selfie to receive your sample photos post-ceremony.

To ensure a safe and comfortable Commencement, the following items are strictly prohibited from being brought into each venue:

  • Containers of any kind (including but not limited to coolers, thermoses, cups, bottles, cans, flasks)
  • Aerosol and spray cans
  • Animals (except for service animals for persons with a disability)
  • Balloons and beach balls
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Weapons
  • Signs, banners, and flags
  • Laser pointers
  • Noisemakers (including but not limited to whistles, air horns, bull horns, sirens, thunder sticks, etc.)
  • Strollers
  • Drones
  • Confetti, glitter, streamers, and silly string
  • Fireworks, party poppers, and sparklers

The entrance to the University Center will be opened one hour before the start of each ceremony.  All guests will be seated upon entry and unable to save seats out of consideration for other guests. Seating is available on a first-come basis.  We appreciate your cooperation in abiding by these guidelines.