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What is the difference between Graduation and Commencement?

Graduation: the process of being awarded a degree after completion of credit hours and other degree requirements.

Commencement ceremony: the congratulatory ceremony in which students are publicly and formally recognized.

Graduation Checklist

Graduation Application

To officially graduate from ISU, a student must apply for graduation.

After receipt of final grades, the student's degree audit (degree plan) must show the student satisfied all university, college and departmental requirements for the specific degree or certificate.



  • February 5  - May deadline (May 2024)
  • March 26 - August deadline (August 2024)

Graduate School requirements and deadlines

Grad Finale

Grad finale in the bookstore

Experience a one-stop-shop to help you prepare for graduation from ISU.

Feb 14 & 15
10 am - 3 pm
ISU Bookstore

Cap & Gown

Graduates dressed in cap and gown

Regalia (cap & gown) can be purchased at the Grad Finale or through the ISU Bookstore.

Order online
Deadline to buy commencement regalia: March 28
Usually ships within 5 weeks

RSVP for Commencement Ceremony

Students waiting for commencement to begin

In order to walk in the Commencement ceremony, you must RSVP.

Deadline to RSVP for Commencement: Friday, April 5

March Through the Arch

Student walking through the arch

Celebrate your transformation from student to alumnus.

Friday, August 16
6-8 pm
Swanson Arch


graduate during the ceremony

Celebrate your great accomplishment by joining in the time-honored tradition of Commencement. The perfect end to your ISU experience!

Saturday, May 4

Degree Award Information

Pillars on Red Hill

Information about transferring course work in your final semester, how to resolve incomplete grades and what it takes to receive a University Honors Designation.


Student showing his diploma

Diplomas will be mailed to you after your degree has been posted to your academic record.