Information for Graduates
Applying for Graduation
Seniors who have earned the required credits to graduate MUST complete an application for graduation. The form may be obtained on Web Advisor at https://gustavus.edu/registrar/webadvisor/Grad_App_Form.pdf.
If the application has not been completed and approved by the Registrar by May 1, students may not participate in the Commencement Ceremonies.
Cap and Gown
Seniors should receive a cap and gown at an April event in the Banquet Rooms, called “Grad Finale.” If a student is not available this day, these items may be picked up starting April 25 during regular business hours at the Book Mark. 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 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 at some time in May before Commencement weekend. You will be informed by your academic department or organization if this applies to you.
Departments that will be distributing accessories
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, as described below.
Phi Beta Kappa graduates wear their membership key pins on the lapels of their gowns and light pink and light blue honor
cords over the shoulders.
Horizontally striped, kente cloth stoles are awarded to recognize leadership in diversity initiatives and community building.
Graduating Peer Assistants wear royal blue honor cords over the shoulders.
Student leaders who have supported the growth and development of students in the residence halls for at least one full year as Collegiate Fellows wear emerald green honor cords over the shoulders.
Members of the Order of Omega, which recognizes leaders in the Greek community for service to their college or university, wear ivory and gold honor cords over the shoulders.
International graduates wear a sash depicting the flag of their home country.
Veterans of military service wear red, white, and blue honor cords over the shoulders.
Graduates who minored in Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies (LALACS) wear red, yellow, and blue honor cords to represent the vitality, wisdom, and curiosity of those who undertake the interdisciplinary minor. The College’s first LALACS major wears both honor cords and a stole that contains the colors of all the Latin American flags.
Those elected to membership in Lambda Alpha National Collegiate Honors Society for Anthropology wear white stoles on which the society’s emblem is shown in blue and gold.
Those elected to Lambda Pi Eta National Honor Society in Communication Studies wear membership pins on the lapels of their gowns and red and white honor cords over the shoulders.
Those elected to membership in Pi Sigma Alpha National Honor Society in Political Science wear medallions hung from the neck on red ribbons.
Those elected to Dobro Slovo National Slavic Honor Society wear the Dobro Slovo pin on the lapel of their gowns.
Election to membership in a number of other academic and honor societies is indicated by variously colored honor cords worn over the shoulders. (Some active local chapters have not developed this practice at Gustavus.)
- Alpha Kappa Delta International Honor Society in Sociology – teal
- Beta Beta Beta National Biology Honors Society – red and forest green
- Gamma Theta Upsilon, the International Geographical Honor Society – light blue, gold, and brown
- Eta Sigma Phi National Classics Honor Society – purple and saffron
- Theta Alpha Kappa Religion Honor Society – scarlet
- Iota Tau Alpha Athletic Training Honor Society – yellow, blue, and red
- Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education – purple and jade green
- Pi Kappa Delta National Honor Society in Forensics – red and white
- Pi Kappa Lambda National Honor Society in Music – gold and white
- Sigma Delta Pi National Honor Society in Spanish – red and yellow gold
- Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing – fuchsia and orchid
- Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society – blue and white
- Sigma Pi Sigma National Physics Honor Society – green and ivory
- Sigma Tau Delta National English Honor Society – cardinal and black
The first bachelor’s degrees were granted by Gustavus Adolphus College in 1890, and graduating classes at the College have worn the traditional caps and gowns at commencement exercises since 1903. Over the years, the College has developed its own traditions for commencement, including the practice of having graduates receive their diplomas from the faculty in their major fields rather than from the president or a board representative as they cross the stage.