Commencement Day Information

Graduate, this page contains information pertinent to your Commencement ceremony.  Please carefully review these instructions as well, which you should have received with your attire. 


Traffic on and around campus will be very heavy during commencement weekend. Guests are encouraged to arrive at least 30-45 minutes prior to the ceremony they are attending. Graduates will need to arrive 45 minutes prior to their ceremony. Graduates and guests should enter the main entrance of the E. M. Pearson Theatre in the Fine Arts Center at 300 Hamline Ave. N., St. Paul, MN 55104. There is no commencement rehearsal.

Immediately after entering the E.M. Pearson Theatre, graduates should report to the Dance Studio to check in and pick up your guests’ tickets and programs.


Should you forget or lose a piece of your graduation attire, we will have a limited number of extra gowns, tassels, caps and hoods available, but we cannot guarantee the appropriate gown size. Medallions and pins will not be available on commencement day. Please make every effort to ensure that you bring all pieces of your graduation attire to your commencement ceremony.


After you check in, please report to the back stage area of the E.M. Pearson Theatre.  A line-up coordinator will be in the area to get you lined up properly and provide you with your announcement card. This card has the information on it that will be read as you receive your diploma cover on stage.


Students will be led by an Honor Marshal to their seats. There will be one processional line entering the Buetow Music Center and all graduates will be seated on the right side of the auditorium.

Receiving Your Diploma Cover On Stage

Prior to being individually recognized on stage, you will be instructed to stand and your degree will be conferred. The first two rows should remain standing; all other graduates may then be seated. The Honor Marshal will help get your row in motion so that you can walk toward the right side of the stage. Remember to bring to stage the announcement card that your line-up coordinator gave you. Your row will proceed up the stage-right ramp and will stop at the top of the ramp. The commencement coordinator will instruct you when to give your announcement card to the announcer, who will read your name as you walk across the stage. You will hand your card to this individual and proceed across the stage to shake hands with President Ries and receive your diploma cover. Graduation coordinators will be stationed at the bottom of the ramp and at your row to direct you to your next photo opportunity.  Once you return to your row, you may be seated.


At the conclusion of the ceremony, you will recess out of the auditorium in the same orderly fashion. The Honor Marshals will lead out graduates in the first row at the proper time; remaining rows will follow when signaled by graduation assistants stationed in the aisles.


Lifetouch, our official commencement photographer, will take two photos of each graduate. The first as you shake the President’s hand while receiving your diploma cover and the second in front of a Concordia banner as you exit the stage. Your proofs will be emailed to you and mailed to the permanent address on file with the University within ten days after your ceremony. Be sure your permanent address is updated on CSP Connect. Once you receive your proofs, orders can be placed online at


Parking is free in all Concordia marked lots. Some on-street parking is also available. All Concordia lots have designated parking for disabled visitors, however, Lot B, off Hamline Avenue will be reserved as Handicap lot.


Tickets are required for Concordia University’s December commencement ceremonies only. For more information please visit the Ticket FAQ.

Web-Stream Viewing

Family and friends who are unable to attend the commencement ceremony may watch the ceremony online for free. During the week of Dec. 12, 2017, please visit for access to this service.

A high speed internet connection is required for viewing.

Disability Assistance

Wheelchair Seating & Accessibility: Wheelchair seating and accessibility is available in the Buetow Music Center Auditorium, where the ceremony will take place, and in the E. M. Pearson Theatre, the over flow room, where live web-streaming can be viewed.

Sign Language Interpreters: If you are a graduate and require a sign language interpreter, please email or call 651-641-8352 by November 6, 2017. The university will not secure this service unless notified of the need.

This site was last updated 12/08/17.