Information for Students

Eligibility

Who may participate in Commencement?

Undergraduate Students may participate in Commencement if:

  • You have completed 100 academic hours by the end of the fall 2015 semester,
  • AND if you have submitted an Application for Degree to the Registrar's Office.
  • If you do not meet the 100 hour requirement but can show that you will be within 14 credits of completing your graduation requirements by the end of the spring 2016 semester, and that you will complete them by December 2016, you may apply for a waiver to participate in Commencement through the Registrar's Office.  The deadline for waiver applications is March 1.

Graduate students may participate in Commencement if:

  • You will complete your degree requirements in
    • December 2015,
    • May 2016, or
    • August 2016
  • AND have submitted an Application for Degree to the Office of Graduate Studies.

Dates and Deadlines

Please mark these important deadlines on your calendar.

By Friday, February 5

Your first step toward graduation is to make certain you meet all academic requirements. Here are some steps to follow to ensure you have completed all your requirements:

  • Plan to meet with your adviser soon to review your courses and requirements on BearDEN.
  • Undergraduate students should file the Application for Degree with the Registrar’s Office by Friday, February 5.  The Undergraduate Application for Degree can be found online at the following link: http://www.potsdam.edu/offices/registrar/forms.cfm. You can confirm that your application has been received on BearPaws (Academic Transcript) and in BearDen (Graduation Status) 3 days after your application arrives in the Registrar’s Office.
  • Graduate students should file the Application for Degree with the Office of Graduate Studies by Friday, February 5.  The Graduate Application for Degree can be found online at the following link: http://www.potsdam.edu/offices/registrar/graduation/upload/appforgraddegree.pdf

The Application for Degree also reserves your seat at the Commencement ceremonies. If you file beyond the deadline listed above, we cannot guarantee that your name will be printed in the Commencement program.

Note: Your student account bill must be paid in full or deferred by Certified Financial Aid to allow the release of your transcripts, final grades and diploma.

March 22 – Grad Finale

  • The Grad Finale will be held on Tuesday, March 22, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Barrington Student Union.
  • Bachelor’s and master’s students should purchase your cap and gown and visit tables with a number of campus representatives including Financial Aid, Registrar's Office, Student Gift Committee, Alumni Association, Career Planning, Commencement Committee, Bursar's Office, The College Store and Jostens.
  • If you ordered graduation regalia online before March 15, 2016 and requested Pick up @ Store, it will be available during Grad Finale.
  • Personalized announcements, which include name, degree and major, are available from Jostens at the Grad Finale in the Student Union or online at www.jostens.com. There is no order deadline, but allow three weeks for delivery.
  • Tickets are not required for the outdoor commencement ceremony. In the event of severe weather, the outdoor  ceremony will be moved inside. Due to limited seating, tickets will be required for this emergency ceremony. Each student will receive 4 tickets at the Grad Finale.

In April …

  • Undergraduate students who have earned at least a 3.25 cumulative average after completing 100 academic semester hours (exclusive of physical education), 45 of these at SUNY Potsdam, by the end of the fall 2014 semester, are eligible to wear a College honors cord (silver), available for purchase through The College Store.
    • Cum Laude (3.25-3.49): maroon tassel
    • Magna Cum Laude (3.5-3.74): silver tassel
    • Summa cum laude (3.75+) maroon and silver tassel
    • All others: black
  • Graduate students who have earned at least a 3.9 cumulative average are eligible to wear a College honors cord (gold), available for purchase through The College Store.
  • To obtain a College honors cord, your name must be listed with an honors designation on BearPAWS on the May Graduation Ceremony page.

Commencement Program

  • To be listed in the Commencement program, undergraduates should have submitted an Application to Graduate at the Registrar's Office, 3rd floor of Raymond Hall, and graduate students should have submitted an Application to Graduate at the Office of Graduate Studies in Satterlee Hall 116. You may confirm that your application has been received on BearPaws (Academic Transcript) and in BearDen (Graduation Status).
  • If you have not applied yet, please do so immediately. If you apply before April 1, your name will appear in the program. If you apply after April 1, your name will not appear in the program, but you may still participate in the Commencement ceremony.
  • If you have applied by April 1, you can check your Commencement program name, degree, major(s), and college honors on BearPAWS on the May Graduation Ceremony page.

On April 1

  • A limited number of on-campus rooms will be available for Commencement guests. Housing reservations may be made starting on Wednesday, April 6 after 9 a.m.
  • Reservations can be made in person at the Residence Life Office in Draime Hall Extension – first floor, or by calling (315) 267-3270. 
  • No reservations will be accepted before Wednesday, April 6.
  • On-campus Commencement housing is for Friday, May 20, 2016 to Saturday, May 21, 2016.
  • Room rates are:
    • Double: $50.00 per night
    • Single:  $40.00 per night
  • As space is very limited, rooms will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis in a traditional residence hall (twin beds, no private baths).
  • Check-in will be between 4:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Friday, May 20.
  • All rooms come with linen (sheets, towels, pillows, pillowcases and blankets)

In early April …

  • If you have a Federal Perkins Loan or Federal Stafford Loan, you must complete an Exit Interview session.
    • The Office of Student Accounts will contact you regarding Federal Perkins Loans.
    • The Office of Financial Aid will forward instructions for completion of the online Exit Interviews for Federal Stafford Loans.
  • Non-Crane undergraduates who have applied for May graduation will receive a Graduation Status check through email by early May.
    • If you have questions, meet with your adviser or contact the Registrar’s Office in Raymond Hall, 313.

By April 21

  • Clear all holds by Thursday, April 21.  The College will withhold your transcript and diploma until your obligations are satisfied.
    • Make sure your parking tickets are paid.
    • Library books, keys and borrowed College equipment should be returned.

By May 6

  • Students who are physically challenged and require special arrangements should contact Casey Nelson at nelsonca@potsdam.edu or (315) 267-2013.

Cap and Gown

May 16-21

  • All graduates must wear a cap and gown. Students may purchase them through The College Store (315) 267-2573 or you may order online http://bookstore.potsdam.edu/SiteText.aspx?id=5108.
  • Your cap and gown will be available for pick up at The College Store as follows:
    • Between Monday, May 16 and Friday, May 20 from Noon to 4:00 p.m.
    • Saturday, May 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • All graduates will receive 4 tickets to the emergency weather ceremony when you pick up your cap and gown. No tickets are required for the outdoor ceremony.

Childcare: If you or a guest requires childcare during the ceremony you must register your child by calling (315) 267-2100.  Children will be provided with snacks and beverages. This is a free service. Please notify caregivers if your child has allergies or other health concerns.

By May 20

Contact the Student Mailroom if you will be continuing with your studies at the College AND would like to maintain your current mailbox number and address. The College will relinquish the box to another student after Commencement if no contact is made.


Special Events

Friday, May 20 • 12:30 - 2 p.m.. - Party In The Plaza - Minerva Plaza

  • Listen to music, grab a bite to eat and be part of your class photo as the Alumni Association welcomes the Class of 2016 into their ranks.

Saturday, May 21 - Bachelor’s Ceremony – 10:30 a.m. – Academic Quad

Saturday, May 21 - Commencement Ceremony


The ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. in the Academic Quad – Rain or Shine

  • Please dress and tell your guests to dress appropriately for the weather conditions. The ceremony will be outside unless there are severe or extreme weather conditions. There will be an option for guests who are uncomfortable with the weather conditions to watch the ceremony on a large screen inside, in the Multi-purpose Room of the Barrington Student Union.

Outside seating will be available, but guests are welcome to bring lawn chairs.  An unlimited number of guests may attend The Outside Ceremony.

  • 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. - Lehman Dining Hall
    $8.00 Cash and Bear Express, $6.40 Flex, 1 meal on your meal plan (can only be used by plan holder), or guest pass.
    For a la carte meals, the Student Union Dining Court will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • 9:00 a.m.
    Childcare available in the Merritt Hall Gymnasium until 1:00 p.m.  Childcare is free, but you must register your child by calling (315) 267-2100.  Children will be provided with snacks and beverages.  Please notify caregivers if your child has allergies or other health concerns.
  • Before 9:30 a.m., East Side of the Crumb Library (between the library and Merritt Hall)
    Processional instructions and line up.
  • 10:00 a.m.
    Procession begins to move toward the ceremony site.
  • 10:30 a.m.
    Commencement Ceremony begins.
  • Approximately 12:30 p.m.
    Outside reception to follow ceremony, weather permitting.

 

Accessibility

  • Students who are physically challenged and require special arrangements should contact Casey Nelson at nelsonca@potsdam.edu or (315) 267-2013.
  • Seating for guests who are physically challenged or require special accommodations will be available.  There will be a sign language interpreter on the Commencement stage.

Please Note: Some care should be given to decisions about whether to invite very elderly or infirm guests to the ceremony.  The outdoor ceremony exposes people to the elements.  Seating will be available in the Multi-purpose Room of the Barrington Student Union where those who cannot tolerate the elements will be able to see the ceremony on a large screen.

Decorum

Commencement is an important occasion for all of us, and, as such, the ceremony should be formal and dignified. Guests and graduates are reminded that the consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited. Anyone found to have alcoholic beverages in their possession during the program will be asked to leave. Also, noisemakers and other distractions will not be permitted.

Please do NOT bring pets.

Guests and graduates are also asked to remain seated until the ceremony is completed, in deference to those graduates who are last to cross the stage.
All graduates must wear a cap and gown. Students may purchase them through The College Store (315) 267-2573.

Photography


The College has retained the services of a commercial photographer, and participants will be photographed as they shake hands with the President and cross the stage. Graduates will receive a color proof of their photograph, which will be sent to their home address, unless you request that we keep that information confidential. Graduates may place orders but are not obligated to do so.

Commencement Emergency Weather Plan


A decision to move the ceremony inside will be made no later than 6:00 a.m. on Saturday only if extreme weather conditions are forecast (lightning, freezing temperatures, etc).

If the emergency plan is implemented, an email will be sent to all graduates, and an announcement will be made on local radio stations and at www.potsdam.edu/current/commencement.

Emergency Ceremony A – 10:00 a.m. – Maxcy Gymnasium

  • All Crane, Visual Arts, and Theatre and Dance Majors, plus all Graduate Students will graduate in Ceremony A at 10:00 a.m. in the Maxcy Gym. Other majors will graduate in Ceremony B.
  • These students should report no later than 9:30 a.m. to the Field House in Maxcy for lineup and processional.
  • Doors to the gym will be open at 9:00 a.m.
  • Each student will have guest tickets for this ceremony. Tickets are given to students during the Grad Finale or at the College Store when you pick up your cap and gown.
  • Non-ticketed guests may view the ceremony on a large screen from the Student Union MPR.
  • A reception for Ceremony A students and guests will be held in the Ice Arena following Ceremony A.

Ceremony B – 3  p.m. – Maxcy Gymnasium

  • All remaining students (other than Crane, Visual Arts, Theatre and Dance and Graduate Students) will graduate in Ceremony B at 3 p.m. in Maxcy Gym.
  • These students should report no later than 2:15 a.m. to the Maxcy Fieldhouse for lineup and processional instructions.
  • Gym Doors will open to guests at 1:30 a.m.
  • Each student will have 4 guest tickets for this ceremony. Tickets are given to students during the Grad Finale or at the College Store when you pick up your cap and gown.
  • Non-ticketed guests may view the ceremony on a large screen from the Student Union MPR.
  • A reception for Ceremony B students and guests will be held in the Ice Arena following Ceremony B.

Questions? Please Contact

Accommodations for Physically Challenged

Application to Graduate

Caps, gowns, honors cords, graduation announcements

Room Reservations (on or after April 6)

  • Residence Life Office in Draime Hall Extension
    (315) 267-3270

College Store Hours

  • Commencement Weekend Hours:
    Saturday, May 16:  8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    (315) 267-2573

Child Care

  • Call (315) 267-2100 to register for childcare 

General Inquiries