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Commencement (Graduation) Ceremony

Ceremony Information

photo of graduates at commencement

Graduating Students

In order to attend the commencement ceremony, you must indicate that you are participating in your Graduation Application in WINGS Express. Learn more about applying to graduate and deadlines.

On this page:

Spring 2021 Ceremony Special Guidelines due to COVID-19

The following guidelines are being observed due to the COVID-19 guidelines set by the State of Ohio and the Wright State University COVID-19 Response Team. The capacity/use of the Wright State Nutter Center is greatly reduced. We will strictly adhere to these guidelines. We thank you for your cooperation and patience.


Doors will open 45-minutes before each ceremony.


There will be specific traffic flow and parking patterns around the Nutter Center for the Spring Semester ceremony.


Everyone must wear a mask, including all who are fully vaccinated.

To hold these ceremonies, we must comply with state and federal guidelines. Anyone entering the Wright State Nutter Center will be required to wear a face-covering at all times. Graduates or guests who remove their face coverings after being seated will be approached and asked to please comply. Anyone not wearing or unable to wear a face-covering will be asked to leave the facility and watch the ceremony by live stream.


Everyone must have a ticket to enter the Wright State Nutter Center. Tickets are specific for each ceremony and cannot be used for any ceremony, except the one specified on the ticket (there can be no exceptions).

  • Graduates will receive their one (1) ticket for entry and up to four (4) family/guest tickets—See Tickets for hours/dates/place to pick up tickets.

Ceremony Proceedings


  • Enter at McLin Entrance (graduates only) and park in lot #9
  • Must have a ticket
  • Must wear a mask
  • Must have the appropriate robe/cap
  • Check-in at your college table in McLin Gym
    • After check-in, proceed to the arena floor
    • An usher will escort/direct you to your college’s seating area
  • There will be a packet on your seat, containing:
    • Diploma presentation folder
    • Commencement Program
  • Conferral of degrees
    • Your dean will announce the conferral of the degrees
    • Your name will be called:
      • Please stand (remain at your seat)
      • Be seated when the next graduate’s name is called
  • Graduates will have no access to the guest seating area

Faculty/Staff/Board of Trustees

  • Faculty/Staff representing their college: Enter at McLin Gym Gate 9 (near lot #9)
  • Must be registered to attend (link coming soon)
  • Must have a ticket (see Tickets section below)
  • Must wear a mask
  • Proceed to McLin Gym for robing
    • Staff are not required to robe but must sit in college seating as registered
  • After robing: please proceed to the arena floor
    • Ushers will escort/guide you to your college seating

Platform Party

  • Enter at the Berry Room Entrance (near lot #1)
  • Must have a ticket
  • Must wear a mask
  • Proceed to Berry Room for robing
    • The script will be available at this time
  • Line-up in the Berry Room
    • Marshal will escort/guide you to the concourse for the procession into the arena and the Grand Marshal will lead you to the platform


  • Guests will have no access to the arena floor
  • Must have a ticket
  • Must enter at Gates #2, #3, and #4
  • When the ceremony ends, please proceed to the nearest door to exit the arena
  • All disability seating is at the top of the arena

Finding my family/graduate

  • Meeting your family/graduate will be outside and away from the building
    • Social distancing will be observed at all times
    • This will allow us to clean/sanitize and set up for the next ceremony

Academic Attire

Candidates for graduation are required to wear the appropriate academic attire (cap, gown, and hood, if applicable) to participate in the ceremony. The academic robe is different for each of the awards presented—undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate. The hoods or tassels represent the college, school, or major field in which the student is receiving the degree. Following are the color designations for each college, school or discipline:

  • Graduate School, graduate-level – Black
  • Post-Graduate School, postgraduate level – Gold
  • Boonshoft School of Medicine – Green
  • School of Professional Psychology – Royal Blue
  • *College of Engineering and Computer Science – Orange or Yellow
  • *College of Science and Mathematics – Yellow
  • Raj Soin College of Business – Drab
  • College of Liberal Arts – White
  • College of Education and Human Services – Light Blue
  • College of Nursing and Health – Apricot

*NOTE: The proper color for all "Sciences" is Golden Yellow, with the exception of engineering students, for whom the proper color is Orange.

You should wear the color (and gown) of the highest level degree you are receiving. If they are of equal ranking (i.e. two bachelor's degrees), wear the color of the group with whom you are seated. You may not wear more than one tassel. 

Backpacks and Bags Policy

All backpacks are subject to search by security personnel upon entering the arena.
No backpacks are permitted on the arena floor. Graduates, please give all backpacks, satchels, purses, and any bag over 8 inches to family or friends to hold until commencement has ended. 

Broadcast Information

There are several options for watching our commencement ceremonies without physically being there, including online options.

Live Streaming

Wright State will provide a live stream of the ceremony as it occurs on Facebook and YouTube.

The Wright State Student Union will also have a viewing option on the Dayton campus.

Watch On-Demand

In addition to live streaming, you can watch the recorded video on our YouTube channel after the ceremony.

Caps and Gowns, Announcements, and Invitations

Caps/gowns will also be available in the bookstore up to the day before the Commencement Ceremony. . The gowns are black with green trim for graduate students and green with gold trim for undergraduates. To ensure availability and correct fit, you are encouraged to purchase yours early. Please note: if you do not purchase your cap and gown from the WSU Bookstore, please be sure you obtain the correct color for your gown, tassel, and/or hood. If you are participating in the Dayton Campus ceremony and live near Lake Campus, please call the WSU Bookstore on the Dayton Campus to place your order.

Please contact the bookstore directly with questions at 937-775-5600 or go to www.wright.bncollege.com.

Ceremony Length

  • The December ceremony lasts approximately 90 minutes.
  • The May ceremony lasts approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes. 
  • Our 2021 ceremonies should last approximately 90 minutes.


We are unable to have concessions open at this time. Also, water fountains are non-functioning at this time. If you have an emergency, please see an usher or go to Guest Services.

Getting Your Diploma (Conferral of Degrees)

Since our commencement ceremonies immediately follow final exams, we are not able to certify the completion of graduation requirements prior to commencement. Therefore, Wright State University does not distribute diplomas at its ceremonies.


Students who are graduating during the Fall and Spring Semesters will receive their diploma presentation folder during the commencement ceremony. Summer graduates will receive their diplomas in the mail. (Please note it may take 6–8 weeks to receive your diploma.)

Visit the RaiderConnect website to learn more about receiving your diploma.

Disability Accommodations

Graduates with Disabilities

Graduates requesting assistance who are participating in the Commencement Ceremony should contact the Office of Disability Services or call 937-775-5680.

Guests with Disabilities

Seating for guests with disabilities and up to two members of their party is available on the concourse level. All seating is first-come, first-served and reservations are not accepted. For those requiring Interpreter Services in Section 204, please email graduation@wright.edu.

If you have questions please contact the Student Union Administrative Office at 937-775-5512 or event_services@wright.edu.

Wright State University's Nutter Center recognizes the needs of guests with disabilities as defined by the American Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. We continue to make every effort to comply with state and federal accessibility regulations and make reasonable accommodations for guests with disabilities.


Portions of Lots 1 and 2 are designated for our patrons with disabilities. In addition, extra handicap spaces in the designated lots and surrounding lots for physically challenged patrons may be held for this event. To park in these areas, it is necessary to display an official state handicap parking permit or handicap license plate. To ensure you are able to get to the appropriate location, it is very important that you speak with the parking attendants and tell them you require handicapped parking. For special arrangements, please contact Wright State Nutter Center Event Services at 937-775-4743 or at nutterguest@wright.edu.

Entry to the Arena

There are access ramps for our physically challenged guests directly in front of the Box Office (near Gate 4).


Wright State University's Nutter Center provides wheelchairs at Guest Services. You may also ask a Wright State Nutter Center staff member for wheelchair assistance. Reservations are not required.


Wright State University's Nutter Center provides handrails on each stairway between all arena seating sections.


Accessible restrooms are located throughout the concourse.


A commencement ceremony is a special event for all involved. It commemorates the completion of an educational goal by the graduate and allows family and friends to participate in a celebration of that completion. Please show respect for everyone who has come to share in the experience.

  • During the reading of graduate names, we ask graduates and their guests to be considerate in their applause so that all names are heard clearly and the ceremony is not disrupted. 
  • Please remain for the entire ceremony. 
  • Turn off or place your phone in silent mode to ensure that all guests may hear and enjoy the ceremony.
  • Graduates must see their faculty marshall to exit the arena floor

Graduating with Honors

Latin Honors

Undergraduate students with outstanding academic records are recognized at commencement. Latin Honors are based on the achievement of high grades. Three distinctions are noted:

For Students First Enrolled PRIOR to Fall 2006:

  • Summa Cum Laude indicates a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.8
  • Magna Cum Laude indicates a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.6
  • Cum Laude indicates a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.4

For Students First Enrolled DURING or POST Fall 2006:

  • Summa Cum Laude indicates a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.9
  • Magna Cum Laude indicates a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.7
  • Cum Laude indicates a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5

Undergraduate students who have earned these distinctions wear white cords in recognition of their achievements and have their level of distinction noted by their name in the printed program. The above information applies to undergraduate students only. Graduate students are required to maintain a certain grade point average, and Latin Honors do not apply to them.

Latin Honor cords for the 2021 Spring commencement will be available beginning Monday, April 5, in the Student Union Administrative Office (210 Student Union). Cords will also be available the day of commencement after check-in at the McLin Gym. Look for the sign on the northwest wall.`

Requirements to Attain Latin Honors

Latin Honors are based on meeting the minimum honors grade point average requirements for work attempted at Wright State University and for all college work attempted as of the end of the term in which the student graduates (that is, by the day on which term grades are due). In calculating cumulative grade point averages for honors, only the first grade earned for a course will be counted. To be eligible for academic honors at graduation, students must have earned at least 30 semester hours at Wright State University. Please keep in mind that transfer credits from other colleges and universities are also used to calculate the grade point average in determining Latin Honors.

Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the printed program with respect to degrees awarded and honors conferred. The honors indicated in the program are based upon the student’s grade point average at the end of the semester preceding the semester of graduation. The appearance of a name in the list of degree candidates is not to be regarded as conclusive since some final grades are not submitted until after commencement. The student’s permanent academic record (transcript) is the official record.

university Honors Program

Students who have successfully completed one of the curricular tracks in the University Honors Program will receive an Honors medallion. Please contact honors@wright.edu for more information on the medallion. 

International Students

Obtaining a Letter of Invitation

International students who wish to invite members of their family to the graduation ceremony may request a "letter of invitation." Usually, this letter is used by the family to secure Visas for entry into the United States.

If you are an international student on a Visa, you should go to the University Center for International Education office to secure a letter of invitation for your family members. If you are not on a Visa and in the Graduate School please contact Erika Gilles at erika.gilles@wright.edu. If you are an undergraduate student, you should contact the Dean's Office for your college for a letter of invitation. In both cases, please be prepared to provide the full names of those to be invited, the familial relationship, and one embassy address for all names.  Multiple letters cannot be provided.  It is the responsibility of the recipient of the letter to process the invitation appropriately with the proper government officials. 


Restrictions prohibit individual graduate pictures. We do want to celebrate you, though!

We would love a photo of YOU in your graduation apparel or Wright State gear! A montage of pictures received from our graduates will be prepared and shared on our website, social media, etc.

Please submit one (1) photo via email to graduation@wright.edu no later than April 15, 2021.

Seating Arrangements

Seating arrangements for the ceremonies are developed based upon the population of the ceremony participants, including the graduating students, faculty, and staff.


All graduates and their guests, and faculty and staff, must have a ticket to enter the Wright State University Nutter Center for all ceremonies. Tickets are given to graduates and their guests at no charge. Graduates can pick up their one (1) Graduate Ticket for their own entry into the arena and up to four (4) General Admission Guest Tickets. Seats have been marked in groups of four to accommodate social distancing.

The location of ticket pick-up is the Wright State University Nutter Center Box Office (located on the outside of the building between Gates 4 and 5), during the hours listed below.

Faculty and staff may pick up their tickets during the hours listed below.

All must present their photo ID when picking up tickets. Alternatively, someone other than the graduate may pick up the tickets; however, they must present both the student’s photo ID as well as their own photo ID.

All tickets are free but limited due to State of Ohio/University COVID-19 restrictions.

Tickets Pick-up Dates and Times

All of the following dates will have pickup times of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Week 1 (April 12): Monday, Wednesday, Friday (Grads Only)
  • Week 2 (April 19): Tuesday, Thursday, Friday (Begin faculty/Staff, Grads)
  • Week 3 (April 26): Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

All Ticket Pick-up

Tickets are not mailed. There are several options for ticket pick-up shown above.

Please have your ID ready. If you are picking up for someone else, please have your ID as well as the graduate's ID or a legible copy of the graduate’s ID. Once we have reached building capacity, no more guest tickets will be dispersed.

Guests without tickets can watch commencement remotely in the Student Union or from anywhere on the live stream.

Graduating students please note: in order to attend the commencement ceremony, you must indicate that you are participating in your Graduation Application in WINGS Express. Your status to walk at graduation can be updated and/or changed until Friday, March 26, 2021. After this date, any remaining tickets will be offered to our graduates from 2020, so that they may join us at our April 30 or May 1 ceremonies on a first-come, first-served basis.

Lost Tickets

In the event that you lose your tickets, duplicate tickets are not an option.

Ticketing Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why Tickets?

    Spring graduation applications (and the application fee, which is not related to Commencement) are due Friday, January 23, 2021. Graduates have until March 26, 2021, to decide if they are going to attend Commencement. There is no charge to attend Commencement.

    Because the number of graduates attending Commencement fluctuates for each ceremony, we estimate the number of graduates that will walk at Commencement. For ticket distribution, graduates are eligible for one (1) ticket for themselves and four (4) tickets for their guests.

  • Does my 3-year old need a ticket?

    Children three and under do not need a ticket as long as they sit on a lap.

  • What if I am out of town for Study Abroad/Internships?

    If you are currently in a study abroad program or working your internship out of town, please contact graduation@wright.edu with your name, Wright State email address, and advisor's contact information.

  • Will remote viewing be available?

    We will have remote viewing. Watch online at wright.edu/streaming

    We will also have remote viewing in the Student Union on the Dayton campus. Campus map of Student Union

  • Is seating available?

    Guest seating is General Admission. Due to COVID-19, guests must sit in designated seats of four.

  • Where is the Wright State University Nutter Center?