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Graduation Information

The University of Montana Western 121th Annual Commencement Ceremony

Join us in celebrating the University of Montana Western's 121th Commencement Ceremony Saturday May 5, 2018 at 11 a.m. in Straugh Gymnasium. Graduates should arrive with regalia by 9:30 a.m. for rehearsal and line up. The Gymnasium opens for family and guests at 10 a.m.

No tickets are required, but seating does fill quickly. If the Gymnasium reaches capacity, overflow seating is available in Keltz Arena.

Information for Graduates

Students who complete all degree requirements in Summer 2017, Fall 2017, or Spring 2018 are eligible to participate in the 121th Commencement Ceremony. Students who are completing all their degree requirements in Summer 2018 may appeal to participate in the ceremony by completing the Early Commencement Petition. All students planning to participate must submit a Commencement Participation Form to the Registrar's Office no later than Friday March 16, 2018.

Schedule of Events

May 2-4 from 1-4 p.m. - Commencement Reglia available for pick up at the Campus Bookstore

May 4 at 6 p.m. - Optional Baccalureate in STC Great Room

May 4 from 8-9 a.m. - Commencement Reglia available for pick up at the Campus Bookstore

May 5 at 9:30 a.m. - Mandatory rehearsal for participants. At 10 a.m. participants will move to the Keltz Arena for line up.

May 5 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. - Commencement Ceremony

May 5 at 12:30 p.m. - Reception on the Tundra (unless raining, then it will move to the Keltz Arena)

Commencement Related Forms

Ceremony Information

Obtaining Regalia (Cap, Gown, and Tassel)

Regalia is available for pick up May 2-4, 2018 from 1-4 p.m. and May 5, 2018 8-9 a.m. at the Campus Bookstore. Regalia is purchased through the Bookstore website. All regalia must be brought with you the morning of Commencement to Straugh Gymnasium.

Honors Cords

If you are eligible for an honor cord, you may purchase it from the Campus Bookstore and pick it up at the same time that you pick up your regalia. Honor cords are awarded for the following UMW cumulative grade point averages:

  • 3.33-3.64 cum laude
  • 3.65-3.84 magna cum laude
  • 3.85-4.00 summa cum laude


Graduation announcement information is available through the Campus Bookstore.

Rehearsal for Graduation

Rehearsal will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. on May 5, 2018 in the Straugh Gymnasium. Rehearsal guides graduates through the event, highlighting when and where you need to be at varying points in the ceremony, what to do when crossing the stage, and the processional and recessional process. Rehearsal is mandatory to participate in the Commencement ceremony. Please gather at the seats in front of the Gymnasium.

Graduation and Commencement FAQ's

When and where is Commencement?

Commencement is held in the Straugh Gymnasium at 11 a.m. on Saturday May 5, 2018. Graduates  need to be in Straugh Gymnasium no later than 9:30 a.m. for rehearsal and lineup. Please note that if graduates are late for the line up process they will not be able to participate in the ceremony.

How do I get my regalia?

Commencement Regalia is ordered through the Campus Bookstore. Regalia can be picked up in the Bookstore from 1-4 PM, May 2-4 (Wednesday-Friday) and 8-9:00 AM on May 5 (Saturday). .

Who is allowed to participate in the ceremony?

Students who finish their degree requirements during the Summer 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, and Summer 2018 and who have not already participated in ceremonies are eligible to participate in ceremonies. If you are pending requirements at the end of the Spring 2018 semester that will be completed during Summer 2018, you must complete a Early Commencement Petition and Commencement Participation and Diploma Mailing Instructions form no later than March 16, 2018 and submit it to the Registrar’s Office. If you completed all your degree requirements in Summer 2017, Fall 2017 or Spring 2018 you only need to submit the and Commencement Participation and Diploma Mailing Instructions form no later than March 16, 2018.

How do I wear my tassel?

The tassel is worn on the left side of your cap. At the end of the Commencement ceremony, you will be told as a group to turn your tassel. At that time, turn your tassel to the right signifying the formal awarding of your degree.

When do I get my diploma?

Diplomas will not be awarded during the Commencement ceremony as some students are still awaiting grades for their final courses. Instead you will receive a diploma cover as recognition of your accomplishment. Diplomas are sent to graduates (based on the address you provided on the Commencement Participation and Diploma Mailing Instructions form) about 2 months after your official graduation semester.

What is Graduation with Honors and am I eligible?

Graduation with Honors is the recognition of graduates, who upon completing degree requirements have maintained at least a 3.33 UMW GPA and have completed at least 30 semester credits of resident college-level coursework applicable. For Spring and Summer 2018 graduates, your honors at ceremony will be based on the UMW cumulative GPA earned at the end of the Fall 2017 semester as your final grades are not available yet. Students awarded honors are eligible to wear cords during ceremony. Graduation honors levels are as follows:

  • 3.33-3.64 Cum Laude
  • 3.65-3.84 Magna Cum Laude
  • 3.85-4.00 Summa Cum Laude

If you are eligible to wear honor cords you may purchase them from the Campus Bookstore and pick it up with your regalia.

What if I need disability services for the ceremony?

Candidates needing disability services in order to participate in Commencement must notify the Registrar’s Office (683-7214) at least three (3) weeks before Commencement (April 14, 2017). Please specify services required.

Will the ceremony be live streamed?

For those members of your family or friends who are unable to make the trip to Dillon they will be able to watch the ceremony via live stream. Log onto the University of Montana-Western website and click on the following link

Graduation Photos?

GradImages a professional photography company will be taking photos during the ceremony. You will have the option to purchase those photos.