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10501 FGCU Blvd South
McTarnaghan Hall, Room 120
Fort Myers, FL  33965-6565
Phone: (239) 590-7980
Fax: (239) 590-7983

Monday – Friday
From 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Candidate Information


Commencement Day

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Dress Code & Conduct
  • Candidates are to be fully robed in cap and gown prior to arriving at Alico Arena.
  • Proper attire (shoes, shirt, etc.) must be worn at all times.
  • Inappropriate dress includes shorts, t-shirts, halter-tops, beach wear, Flip Flops, etc.
  • Ladies: High-heeled shoes are NOT recommended.
  • There is no secure location to keep valuables, so please leave these with your guests.
  • The ceremony is a celebration for candidates and their family and guests, therefore all in attendance should be courteous of others in their actions.
    • Please do not bring balloons, horns, canned string, beach balls, etc.
    • They are not suited for a commencement ceremony and will be removed promptly.
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Arrival & Assembly
  • Please be sure to be at Alico Arena on time!
  • Fall 2018 commencement will be held on Sunday, December 16, 2018.
    • Please refer to the Commencement web page for more information.
  • Candidates are to arrive 60 minutes prior to the start of Commencement.
  • Candidates are asked to sign in and complete their name card to be read by the university reader.
  • Candidates will line up according to their respective college in the designated area. 
  • Fall 2018 commencement sign-in and line-up will be located on the 2nd floor of Alico Arena in the auxiliary gym.
  • The ceremony is expected to last approximately 2.5 hours.
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  • After lining up by college, candidates will follow ushers through the gym corridors.
  • College Marshals will then lead candidates to their assigned rows.
  • Candidates must remain standing until all candidates have entered the Arena floor.
  • Order of the Processional.
    • University Marshal
    • Students with College Marshals
    • Faculty
    • Platform Party

Students Processional Diagram

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  • At the appropriate moment, ushers will ask each college marshal to rise and lead their candidates to the stage beginning with the Doctoral candidates.
  • Candidates will hand their reader card to the University Reader at the podium.
  • As the candidate's name is read, he or she will proceed across the stage where they will shake hands with the President and the Dean of their respective College.
  • Staff will then direct the candidate to the photo area.
  • This process will then be repeated for the Masters and Bachelors candidates.
  • FGCU has prepared a video in lieu of rehearsal. Candidates please review the following link-  So You Made It to Commencement
  • Doctoral candidates hooding demonstration flyer - Click here
  • Doctoral degree video in lieu of rehearsal - Click here

Student Walk to Stage Diagram

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  • In respect to all candidates, please remain in your seats until the conclusion of the ceremony.
  • Guests are asked to remain in their seats as well until all candidates have recessed off the main floor.
  • Order of Recessional.
    • University Marshal
    • Platform Party
    • Faculty
    • Graduates, one row at a time
  • Guests should meet graduates outside, not in the lobby of the arena.
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Degrees & Honors
  • Degrees are not conferred at the ceremony, and participation does not guarantee degree certification.
    • Degrees are certified by the appropriate college once the term is officially closed and it has been determined that the candidate has met all degree requirements.
    • Candidates who are denied will receive notification by mail from the appropriate college.
    • Denied candidates are required to re-apply for graduation once all degree requirements are met.
  • Honor designation and name will be listed in the appropriate Commencement program.
    • Students approved to walk early are not eligible for honors designations nor will their name appear in the program.
  • Baccalaureate students with an outstanding academic performance at FGCU willl be honored at commencement.  Honors will be based on the institutional GPA as of the semester prior to graduation. 
    • Honors may change once the current term grades are recalculated and be annotated on the student's diploma and transcript. 
  • If you receive Honors at commencement, you will have an opportunity to purchase an honor cord from the University Bookstore.
  • If you are a member of a recognized national honor society that is affiliated with the University, you will need to contact your Honor Society Faculty-Advisor for information regarding your honor society cord or sash.

Graduation Requirements, Documentation and General Information

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Completing All Degree Requirements
  • Before the end of this term, you must check with your college academic advisor to verify that you have met all University and college degree requirements as noted in the university catalog.
  • These requirements must be completed prior to or by the end of this term.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you meet all of the requirements.
  • If you do not meet all the requirements, your degree will be denied by the appropriate college and you will be required to re-apply for graduation.
  • A degree audit will be conducted in Degree Works.  Degree Works is a web based advising and degree planning tool accessible through the student Gulfline portal. Instructions on how to access Degree Works can be found here.  
  • Degree Works organizes a student's coursework in an easy to read degree audit summarizing completed and outstanding requirements for a degree, as defined in the FGCU catalog. For more information visit the FAQ page here.
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Degree Requirement Verification Procedures
  • Verify the following degree/university requirements have been met or will be met by the end of this term.
  • Meet the foreign language requirements as required by state law.
    • Refer to 'Foreign Launguage Admission Requirement' in the Undergraduate Admission section of the University Catalog for more information.
  • Meet the Service Learning hour requirements.
    • Remember to submit all hours to the Office of Civic Engagement prior to the established deadline as noted on the academic calendar.
    • If you do not meet the Service Learning requirements, your degree will be denied and you will be required to re-apply for graduation.
    • If you need additional information, the Office of Civic Engagement is located in 458G and 458I, in the Library.
    • You can also contact Lisa Paige at (239) 590-7015 or email at
  • Pay all fees and fines owed to the university prior to the end of the term.
    • Grades, transcripts and diplomas will be held until fees are paid in full.  
  • All pending transfer course work is recieved no later than the end of this term.
    • If you choose to take course work elsewhere during and have it apply toward your degree requirements, it is your responsibility to request an offical transcript be mailed to the appropriate admission office PRIOR TO the last day of the FGCU term.
    • Transfer course work not received or posted to the FGCU transcript by the end of the term will result in denial for the degree and will require re-application for graduation. 
  • All pending grade changes must be approved by the appropriate college and submitted to the Office of the Registrar no later than the last day of the term.
    • If you expect a grade change for a previously graded course, please advise the appropriate faculty member that you will be graduating at the end of the term so the grade change can be submitted as soon as possible.
    • University policy does not allow grade changes once a degree is posted Refer to 'Grade Point Average Calculation' in the Registration and Records section of the University Catalog for policy information. 
  • All Incomplete grades must be completed and a Change of Grade form submitted to the Office of the Registrar no later than the last day of the term.
    • Failure to complete and Incomplete grade will result in the denial of the degree.
    • Advise the faculty member you have applied for a degree and the grade change must be submitted prior to the end of the term.
    • The Incomplete grade process is considered a change of grade and therefore follows the Change of Grade policy.
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Certification of Degrees
  • Degrees will be certified by the colleges after the close of the term.
    • Colleges will forward degree certifications to the Office of the Registrar for the purpose of posting to the academic transcript and ordering of the diploma.
    • Transcript requests received with "Hold for Degree" checked, would be issued once the degree has been certified and posted.
      • This process takes approximately four to five weeks.
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  • Graduates will have the option to pick up their diploma at the Office of the Registrar once they are available.  An email will be sent to the student's FGCU email account indicating pick up availability and dates. Those students who do not utilize the pickup option will have their diploma mailed after the pickup dates have ended to the address provided on their application to graduate.
  • Diplomas will be mailed within eight to ten weeks after the offical end of the term.
  • Diplomas can be mailed to international addresses, however, the University will not be held responsible for lost, damaged, or incomplete addresses.
  • Any diplomas unclaimed or returned undeliverable will be discarded after one year, and must be reordered with full payment.
  • A replacement or duplicate diploma can be purchased for $10 and the Request for Replacement/Duplicate Diploma form is found here
  • The request will be processed concurrently with end of term diplomas and in the format that is currently being used.
  • If a name change has taken place since graduation, the new name may be updated on the diploma; however, the original name will appear on the transcript, unless the student is currently enrolled and submits a Change of Name form found here
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Application for Graduation Denied - Re-application Required
  • If your application to graduate is denied by your college, please remember that you must re-apply to graduate during the term you complete requirements.
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  • Your name will not appear in the Commencement Program or newspaper if you have completed a "Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information".
    • To remove the privacy notice and allow your name to be published, you must notify the Office of the Registrar in writing at same time you submit your application to graduate.
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Student Life Sashes
  • As a result of a growing interest from student organizations and student leaders at FGCU, the University has endorsed the wearing of symbolic stoles during Commencement ceremonies. Since 1998, international students at FGCU have worn representative stoles from their respective countries at our commencements. Now other groups of students have followed this positive trend. These symbols celebrate our multicultural heritage, signify campus involvement in registered organizations and represent academic achievement at FGCU.
  • As we build on this tradition, graduating students with affiliation in registered student organizations can wear stoles that symbolize the pride, values and traditions of their organization. Commencement stoles will strengthen the current bond and future affiliation of FGCU students, graduates and Friends of the university. They are a visual display of our diversity and affiliation with organizations which will extend the FGCU community beyond our Estero campus.
  • Symbols such as stoles, medals, honor cords and colors add to the beauty and solemnity of the occasion which is so important to our students and their familes, students are expected to dress appropriately for Commencement and select stoles that add to the ceremony in a positive manner.
  • To enhance the importance of these symbols, we encourage all organizations that plan to design ceremonial stoles, to develop traditions such as pre-commencement gatherings or ceremonies in which the stoles, medallions, honor cords or medals are given to the graduating students in their organization.
  • All recognized organizations interested in designing and ordering stoles to be worn during the commencement ceremony are encouraged to contact the Dean of Students' Office at 590-7900 to discuss their plans.