Information for GraduatesCommencement

Applying for Graduation

Seniors who have earned the required credits to graduate MUST complete an application for graduation. The form may be filled out online.

If the application has not been completed and approved by the Registrar students may not participate in the Commencement Ceremonies.

Please make sure the Office of Alumni and Parent Engagement has your updated address information! You can email:

Before graduating, make sure you have completed the following actions: 

  • Online exit counseling for Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) - email notifications will be sent in early May to graduating seniors with instructions.
  • Online exit interview for Federal Perkins Loans - email notifications will be sent in early May to graduating seniors with instructions.
  • Online exit interview for TEACH Grants - email notifications will be sent in early May to graduating seniors with instructions.
  • National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) - view Federal Loan history by going to their website and logging in with your FSA ID (user name and password used to complete the FAFSA).
  • Financial aid for graduate school - remember you are now independent from your parents for submitting financial aid.

Requesting a Transcript

Alumni may request a transcript from the Registrar's Office anytime after graduation. Requests can be made online here.

Cap and Gown

  • Seniors should receive a cap and gown during “Grad Finale” in April.
  • There is no additional charge for the cap and gown.
  • To avoid wrinkles and folds in the gown for Commencement, graduates should remove the gown from its packaging and hang until the ceremony.
  • Gowns are considered a "one time use" and do not have to be returned to the College.
  • If students are not able to go to Grad Finale, caps and gowns may be picked up in the Book Mark any time before Commencement.
  • If you would like it shipped, please complete this mailing request form

Lost Tassels

If you lose your tassel before Commencement, you may pick up a new one in the Book Mark.


Accessories such as honor cords, pins, and stoles will be distributed by the academic department or office in May before Commencement weekend. You will be informed by your academic department or organization if this applies to you. There are no cords for GPA honors.

Gustavus Adolphus College granted its first bachelor’s degrees in 1890, and graduating classes at the College have worn the traditional caps and gowns at commencement exercises since 1903.

In addition to hoods signifying their bachelor of arts degrees, Gustavus graduates may wear other devices to represent various academic, service, and leadership honors and memberships (e.g., horizontally striped kente cloth stoles awarded by the Office of Multicultural Student Programs and Services to recognize leadership in diversity initiatives and community building, and international graduates wearing a sash depicting the flag of their home country).

Election to membership in many academic honor societies is indicated by variously colored honor cords worn over the shoulders or other devices as described below, although some active local chapters at Gustavus have not adopted this practice. (Service, leadership, and other non-academic honor cords or devices may also be worn but are not identified in the commencement program for lack of space.) 

  • Phi Beta Kappa – membership key pins on gown lapels and light pink and pale blue honor cords.
  • Alpha Kappa Delta International Honor Society in Sociology – teal honor cords.
  • Beta Beta Beta National Biology Honors Society – red and green honor cords.
  • Gamma Theta Upsilon, the International Geographical Honor Society – light blue, gold, and brown honor cords.
  • Eta Sigma Phi National Classics Honor Society – purple and saffron honor cords.
  • Theta Alpha Kappa Religion Honor Society – crimson honor cords
  • Iota Tau Alpha Athletic Training Honor Society – gold, blue, and red honor cords.
  • Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education – purple and jade green honor cords.
  • Lambda Alpha National Collegiate Honors Society for Anthropology – white stoles with the society’s emblem shown in blue and gold.
  • Lambda Pi Eta National Honor Society in Communication Studies – membership pins on gown lapels and red and white honor cords.
  • Pi Kappa Delta National Honor Society in Forensics – red and white honor cords.
  • Pi Kappa Lambda National Honor Society in Music – gold and white honor cords.
  • Pi Sigma Alpha National Honor Society in Political Science – medallions hung from the neck on red ribbons.
  • Sigma Delta Pi National Honor Society in Spanish – red and yellow gold honor cords.
  • Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing – fuchsia and orchid honor cords.
  • Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society – blue and white honor cords.
  • Sigma Pi Sigma National Physics Honor Society – green and ivory honor cords.
  • Sigma Tau Delta National English Honor Society – cardinal and black honor cords.
  • Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology – silver and blue honor cords.
  • Dobro Slovo National Slavic Honor Society – membership pins on gown lapels.
  • Graduates in Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies (LALACS) – red, yellow, and blue honor cords