Baylor > Commencement > FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a certified ceremony and why is it important?
2. Is there a rehearsal?
3. Are tickets issued for seating?
4. If I am a graduate, what do I do?
5. If I am a parent, what do I do?
6. Where do I get a cap and gown?
7. May I wear an honor cord or sash with my cap and gown? May I decorate my mortarboard?
8. What time do graduates and guests need to arrive?
9. Which ceremony do I attend?
10. What about parking?
11. How long will the commencement ceremony last?
12. What other events are planned?
13. What do the different honor designations mean?
14. Will photographs be taken at the ceremony?
15. Is a video or DVD of the ceremony available?
16. Where do I order announcements?
17. What arrangements are available for guests who are in wheelchairs?
18. Is there a guest speaker?
19. What is Ring Out?
20. What about the Ring Ceremony?




1. What is a certified ceremony and why is it important?
Baylor commencement ceremonies are certified - that means that students who walk in the ceremony have completed all degree requirements and receive their diploma as they cross the stage. No student is allowed to walk unless they have met all degree requirements. The University makes no exceptions to this rule. Students who do not meet all degree requirements must complete the appropriate work in a future semester, after which they may participate in a ceremony.

2. Is there a rehearsal?
No rehearsal. Graduates will be lined up by school/college, degree, major and last name and placed in the correct order by faculty marshals prior to each ceremony. Graduates must arrive no later than one hour before their ceremony start time.

3. Are tickets issued for seating?
No, tickets are not issued for attendance. For August and December ceremonies, there will be sufficient seats.

4. If I am a graduate, what do I do?
Arrive, cap and gown in hand, no later than one hour before your ceremony is scheduled to begin. Ushers will direct graduates to the correct area of the concourse for line-up. Faculty marshals will be on hand to prepare graduates for the procession, answer questions and give instructions.

5. If I am a parent, what do I do?
Arrive early to allow sufficient time to get into Ferrell and find seats. Seats may be saved until 15 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony, at which time all seating is made available to guests. Be supportive and encouraging to your graduate as he/she walks the stage. Please refrain from escessive noise and do not use noise-making devices.

6. Where do I get a cap and gown?
Academic regalia is first available each semester at the Bear Faire, which will be July 2, 3-5 p.m. for the summer ceremony. After that date, regalia may be purchased from the Baylor Bookstore. Bachelor's regalia is priced at $50 plus tax. Master's regalia is priced at $102 plus tax. The bookstore will sell gowns, mortarboards and tassels for bachelor graduates. The master's regalia will include the gown, hood, mortarboard and tassel. Doctoral students must contact the Graduate School office at 254-710-3588 to purchase or rent the unique Baylor regalia for the ceremony.

7. May I wear an honor cord or sash with my cap and gown? May I decorate my mortarboard?
Traditionally, only undergraduate students wear cords or sashes. Baylor will allow a student to wear a maximum of 3 adornments for the ceremony and they should represent academic achievement or involvement in an academic-specific organization. Students should not decorate their mortarboard. The stole of appreciation sold by the Baylor Bookstore is optional.

8. What time do graduates and guests need to arrive?
The building opens 90 minutes prior to each ceremony. Graduates need to arrive no later than one hour before the start of the ceremony. We encourage friends and family to come at the same time as the graduate in order to find adequate parking and seating at Ferrell Center. Guests with disabilities or health concerns should plan to arrive at least an hour before the ceremony to allow sufficient time to park and be seated. For handicapped seating, guests should ask the parking attendant for curbside drop-off to assist any guests with special needs.

9. Which ceremony do I attend?
For summer 2014, all students will attend the 9:30 a.m. ceremony on Saturday, August 16.
More Information: http://www.baylor.edu/commencement

10. What about parking?
Parking is available at Ferrell Center. There is no charge for this service. Parking attendants will be available to direct you to parking. If there is a need for curb-side access or handicap parking, please inform the parking attendant. For August and December ceremonies, there should be no parking issues.

11. How long will the commencement ceremony last?
Generally the summer ceremony is about 2 hours in length.

12. What other events are planned?
Some of the colleges and schools have pinning ceremonies, hooding ceremonies, or other activities. Please contact the Dean�s office of your school to determine if there are other activities.

13. What do the different honor designations mean?
With a minimum of 94 hours of credit earned at Baylor:
Cum Laude � 3.75 GPA
Magna Cum Laude � 3.85 GPA
Summa Cum Laude � 3.95 GPA

With 61-93 hours of credit earned at Baylor:
Cum Laude � 3.80 GPA
Magna Cum Laude � 3.90 GPA

With 60 hours of credit earned at Baylor:
Cum Laude � 3.85 GPA
Magna Cum Laude - 3.95 GPA

These honors will be noted in the commencement program and diplomas will be ordered for the graduates with this designation.

14. Will photographs be taken at the ceremony?
Baylor is pleased to have Flash Photography as the official photographer for commencement. Flash will photograph each graduate as they receive their diplomas from the President and will take one additional shot after the graduate leaves the stage. Pictures are in color and different packages are available. Information about proofs and costs will be mailed to the graduate�s Baylor e-mail and permanent mailing address by Flash Photography, or you may contact Flash at 1-800-410-8070.

15. Is a video or DVD of the ceremony available?
Videotapes and DVDs of the Commencement program and memorable scenes of the Baylor campus are available from Dub-L Tape, a Waco video production company. To check costs or to place an order, please click here for information.

Order forms will also be available the day of the ceremony at the Dub-L Tape table along the Ferrell Center concourse.

16. Where do I order announcements?
Anouncements may be ordered at Bear Faire July 2. After that date, you may order directly from www.jostens.com. Allow 2-3 weeks for delivery of completed announcements.

17. What arrangements are available for guests who are in wheelchairs?
There are seating areas designated for guests in wheelchairs throughout the arena. Ask the parking attendant on duty to direct you to curb-side access to the building. Ushers will be able to assist once you are inside Ferrell Center. Guests who have difficulty climbing steps should arrive in sufficient time to find seating near the concourse-access level.

18. Is there a guest speaker?
We do not have a guest speaker, but the President and Chancellor of the University will deliver a message to the graduates.

19. What is Ring Out?
Ring Out and the Passing of the Key is held each spring prior to May Commencement ceremonies. More information on the ceremony and how to register to participate is available at http://www.baylor.edu/student_life/index.php?id=86608.
The Senior Ring Out Ceremony is an annual tradition at Baylor University and was first a part of the Commencement activities in 1927 when the senior class was invited to participate. The symbolic ceremony signifies the passing of the guardianship of the Baylor spirit.
Historically, the ceremony has included primarily women. Graduating senior women, dressed in traditional graduation gowns, pass a chain of ivy to junior women wearing white. Forming a circle near the Baylor bells in Burleson Quadrangle (the smaller bell from Baylor's first campus at Independence, Texas and the larger bell from Waco University where Baylor now exists), the seniors pass the charge of leadership to the next graduating class.
Since 1946, the men of the senior and junior classes have participated in the Passing of the Key ceremony during Ring Out. Senior men are in graduation gowns and junior men are dressed in dark suits. A representative of the senior class, who has been designated the "Custodian" of the key to the box of relics buried under the Centennial monument in the center of Founders Pleasance, passes the key to a junior representative. As with Ring Out, the ceremony symbolizes the binding of classes in loyalty to the traditions of Baylor.

20. What about the Ring Ceremony?
The Ring Ceremony for fall 2014 will be Tuesday, December 9, 5:30 p.m. in Waco Hall. All students who order their rings during Ring Week early in the semester will receive their rings in a special ceremony. The official Baylor University ring may be ordered by students who have completed 75 hours. A selection of ring styles is available. Orders should be placed with Balfour, the official supplier for the rings. Contact Balfour at 1-800-542-8648 or order during Ring Week, dates tba.

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