Frequently Asked Questions

I am graduating. How do I find out about graduation requirements, the Commencement ceremony, and other important information?

Apply for graduation! The Commencement application triggers contact from the Office of the Registrar, Financial Planning, the Business Office, and other offices on campus. The application is also necessary for ordering diplomas and degree verification.

When is the Commencement ceremony?

The May 2016 Commencement ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 14 at 9 a.m. Graduates will line up between the Library and Wingate Baptist Church beginning at 8:30 a.m.

If I can’t get to the bookstore, how do I order my cap/gown and announcements?

Caps and gowns will be available beginning in March 2016. Master’s and doctoral candidates may not wear the bachelor’s gown since its sleeves are not the same.  For undergraduate cap and gown orders, please contact the Campus Bookstore at 704-233-8025 or Cindy Jordan at She will need your height and weight for sizing purposes.  

Please use the below guidelines in selecting your cap and gown:

  • Undergraduates (Main Campus and Ballantyne) -- Bachelor’s gown and cap
  • Master’s Degrees (MAED, MASM, MAT, MBA, and MAC) – Master’s gown and cap (required)
  • Doctor of Education – Doctoral gown, tam, and tassel set (required)
  • Pharmacy School -- Doctoral gown, tam, and tassel set (required)

For announcements, class rings, frames, etc., please contact the bookstore or Herff Jones.

When is Commencement practice? Am I required to attend?

Commencement practice will take place on Friday, May 13 at 10:00 a.m. in the Academic Quad. Commencement practice is mandatory for residential students. If you cannot attend, please contact the Registrar’s Office at 704-233-8006 or email to confirm your participation in the ceremony.

How long will the Commencement practice last?

Practice should be finished by 12:30 p.m.

What is the dress code for Commencement?

Academic regalia (caps and gowns) are required to participate in Commencement.  Stoles and fraternity cords are permitted.  Honor cords are distributed during Commencement rehearsal.  They will not be available on the morning of Commencement.

"Sunday dress" is considered appropriate attire to wear under your cap and gown. Please remember that it will probably be warm, and you will be wearing a black gown.  Ladies should wear dresses, skirts or dress slacks. You may not want to wear really high heels as you will be walking in the grass and up and down a short flight of stairs at Commencement. Black shoes are preferred. No flip flops may be worn. No corsages, leis, etc. may be worn on the gown, but wrist corsages are fine.  Gentlemen should wear shirts with collars and slacks. Khakis may be worn. Black shoes and black socks are preferred. No flip flops may be worn.  Family members and guests should also wear "Sunday dress."

How many guests can I have at Commencement? Are tickets given to students?

There is no limit to the number of guests. Tickets are not given out to students. Seating is first-come, first-serve, so please plan to arrive early. All seating is accessible, but seating in the shade is limited. Marshals will be available to assist you in seating.

The ceremony is outside. What happens if it rains?

In the case of heavy rain or thunderstorms, the ceremony will be held in the Cuddy Arena in the Cannon Complex. You will be notified by email if there is a rain delay (for light or intermittent rain), or if you are required to pick up tickets for the Cuddy Arena. This information will be posted on our University Website under the calendar link for commencement. The last time commencement was held in Cuddy students received only two tickets. The exact number of tickets will be determined based on the number of graduating students in attendance.

Where is parking available for Commencement?

Parking is available at the George A. Batte Fine Arts Center, behind Stegall Administration Building, and beside LaVerne Banquet Hall.

Where do guests with special needs park?

For guests with Handicap Parking Permits, please enter the campus by taking a left onto North Main Street. Turn right onto Cedar Street. Turn left into the Faculty parking lot. The lot is accessible to the Academic Quad. If you require additional assistance, please tell the parking lot attendant.


I have a guest who has special needs. Is there a reserved seating section for the guest?

We do not designate one area for special needs since we consider all seating in the Academic Quadrangle to be accessible. The commencement ceremony seats are folding chairs, which can be easily moved to make room for a wheelchair, walker or stroller.

Shade is limited, and we recommend that guests arrive early to obtain seats in the shade. A live, video feed is available in Austin Auditorium for guests who prefer to sit indoors.

If dangerous weather necessitates moving the ceremony to Cuddy Arena, then accessible seating will be very limited. It will be available on a first come, first serve basis. To ensure that all guests with special needs have accessible seating, we request that only one companion sit with the guest with special needs.

How are graduation honors calculated?

Graduation honors are calculated using all college work attempted, but transfer work cannot raise the Wingate GPA. Cumulative GPA is calculated by taking all quality points and dividing that by all hours attempted. GPAs are not rounded. As an example, if you have a 3.999, it will not be rounded to a 4.00.

Graduation honors are notated on your diploma, on your transcript and in the Commencement program. Your honors are also announced during the Commencement ceremony. Due to the limited amount of time between final grades and Commencement, honors may not be completely accurate. Graduation honors are as follows:

  • Cum laude = 3.500 to 3.649 (School of Pharmacy: Cum laude = 3.50 to 3.69)
  • Magna cum laude = 3.650 to 3.899 (School of Pharmacy: Magna cum laude = 3.70 to 3.89)
  • Summa cum laude = 3.900 to 4.000 (School of Pharmacy: Summa cum laude = 3.90 to 4.00)

Graduate Education and MBA students are not awarded graduation honors due to the nature of their degrees.

Please contact the Office of the Registrar if you have questions on how to calculate your GPA.

If I do not participate in Commencement, when will I receive my diploma?

If you choose not to participate in Commencement, your diploma will be mailed out by certified mail the week after Commencement. If you graduate in August, your diploma will be mailed to you by certified mail six to eight weeks after the summer conferral date (the last day of the second summer session).  If you graduate in December, you will have a choice to wait to receive your diploma at Commencement or to have it mailed to you six to eight weeks after the December conferral date.

Will there be pictures taken at Commencement? Will the ceremony be recorded?

Photographers from If It's Digital will be present at Commencement to take pictures of graduates as they receive their diplomas.  If It's Digital will mail ordering information to graduates the week after commencement.

The ceremony will be recorded. Commencement 2015 DVDs may be purchased through the Marketing and Communications Office for $30 per DVD until June 16, 2015. Please contact Marketing and Communications at 704-233-8117 for more information on the Commencement DVD. Letters will be mailed home to all undergraduate parents (permanent addresses), so please check with your family before ordering to avoid duplication.

When will I receive my hood for my Master's or Doctoral degree?

For Graduate Education degree candidates, May 2016 candidates will receive their hoods at a ceremony held on a weeknight evening the week before Commencement.  Details will be published in the Graduate Education Newsletter. If you graduated in December 2015 (or you are a Doctor of Education who graduated in August 2015), you will receive your hood on Saturday immediately prior to the Commencement ceremony. Degree candidates meet at 8:30 a.m. on the morning of Commencement.

For Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Accounting (MAC) degree candidates, a reception will be held near the Ballantyne campus in early May. Details will be emailed to you. You will receive your hood immediately before the Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 16. Degree candidates meet at 8 a.m. on the morning of Commencement.

For Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree candidates a hooding ceremony will be held on Friday, May 13th. You will receive information from the School of Pharmacy by March 2015. Please remember to bring your doctoral hood to the Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14th.

If I have completed my academic course requirements, but I have not completed my Lyceum Series, will I be able to receive my diploma?

No. The Lyceum Series is a graduation requirement. You will not be eligible to walk in the Commencement ceremony, and your degree will not be awarded until the Lyceum requirement is fulfilled. The Lyceum Series only applies to main campus undergraduate students.

How long will seniors, who live on campus, have to check out of their on-campus housing?

Please contact the Office of Residence Life (704-233-8244) for more information. Closer to Commencement, check-out procedures will be posted and distributed to all residential students.

When will my Wingate email address change?

Graduates’ email addresses are converted in August. You will be able to keep your current student ( address until then, but will need to obtain your permanent alumni email address through our Alumni Online Community (under the alumni tab on our website) around mid-August. 

Please contact the Office of the Registrar at 704-233-8006 or email if you have additional questions.