Commencement FAQ

Each ceremony can last anywhere from an hour and a half to two hours.

Graduation regalia includes the cap and gown, as well as other distinguishing hoods, stoles and cords that denote traditions of academic achievement or involvement in a student organization. Only those who have achieved a University academic honor or have their regalia request approved are entitled to wear special regalia.

Student organizations or Institute-approved programs must seek approval to issue adornments to the academic regalia for their student members participants. All adornments (stoles, ribbons, sashes, etc.) must be approved by the Office of Academic Affairs at least 30 days prior to the graduation ceremony. Regalia request will be reviewed upon submissions of an Academic Regalia Adornment Approval Form. Approved adornments for the University Ceremony (currently held at the end of Summer Terms) can be found on the Academic Regalia page. The adornment list is only for the University ceremony, and does not indicate approval for college commencement ceremonies. 

All candidates are expected to wear caps and gowns for both the diploma ceremonies. The cap tassel should be suspended over the left front of the cap. 

Except for those students graduating with college honors, hoods are not worn by candidates for bachelor’s degrees at LSU. For the master’s and doctoral degrees, hoods are the same color and material as the gown, and are lined with purple and gold. Both the master’s and doctoral hoods have a velvet binding, the color of which indicates the degree. 

Persons holding more than one academic degree may wear only one hood at a time. The hood worn should be appropriate to the gown. The traditional rule is that a candidate for a degree should not wear the hood of that degree until it is actually conferred. At LSU, this applies only to the doctoral students who are to be hooded as part of the ceremony. Candidates for other degrees wear their hoods throughout the ceremony. 

Academic regalia for all candidates is available at the LSU Bookstore or online at 

Bachelor’s degree caps and gowns are available for purchase only.

Master’s degree caps, gowns and hoods are available for purchase only. 

Doctoral degree caps and gowns are available for rent or purchase. Doctoral degree caps and gowns must be ordered through the LSU Bookstore. Hoods will be presented at the ceremony in which the candidate receive your diploma.

Grad Fair is a one stop shop for all degree candidates to order their class rings, purchase their cap & gown, order announcement card, get their official graduation picture taken and more! The LSU Grad Fair is held by the Barnes & Noble Bookstore at LSU. For information on dates and the event, please contact the Bookstore.

LSU graduation announcements may be ordered through Balfour.

All the venues are open events with no limitations on guests. Seating is available on a first come, first seated basis.

Yes! All of our commencement venues are up to code, and seating for guests with disabilities is available on a first come, first serve basis. Reservations are not needed.

Parking on campus for graduation is available in all student and staff lots at no charge and with no permits required.  Graduates, families, and friends may park in any un-gated lot or in any unmarked, unpainted, or unreserved space along any street on campus. Graduates and their guests should plan to arrive early to avoid traffic delays.

Those with disability license plates/placards/or State issued disability IDs will be allowed to park in designated areas close to the PMAC, the Maddox Fieldhouse, and the Student Union Theater. The lots will be clearly marked with staked signs on the day of commencement. The ADA lot for the PMAC is located on the southeast corner of the building. The ADA lot for the Maddox Fieldhouse is on the west side of the building. ADA parking for the Student Union Theater will be reserved on Tower Dr. by the theater's entrance. Parking attendants will be able to help locate these lots on the day of commencement. 

However, parking is open across the whole campus on the day of commencement. No towing or ticketing will take place. We know that parking has been an issue in the past on this day, so we encourage you to build in a bit of time in your schedule to find a parking spot.

Parking on campus for graduation is available in all student and staff lots at no charge and with no permits required.  Graduates, families, and friends may park in any ungated lot or in any unmarked, unpainted, or unreserved space along any street on campus. Graduates and their guests should plan to arrive early to avoid traffic delays.

Entry is available as soon as the cleaning crews have turned over the venues. Typically, this is an hour before the ceremony start time.

Seating for all ceremonies is on a general admission/first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are not sold for these ceremonies. 

Special seating is available for persons who use a wheelchair and persons unable to walk long distances or climb stairs. All venues are accessible by ramps and elevators. Due to limited space, guests with disabilities are permitted to have only one non-disabled person sit with them in the designated area.

Clear bags are not required for this event, but all bags will be checked upon entry. Alcoholic beverages and noisemakers will not be allowed on the Assembly Center floor or at the Diploma Ceremonies.

On the LSU campus:
Cook Conference Center & Hotel
3848 W. Lakeshore Dr.
225-383-COOK (2665) or 866-610-2665

In the Greater Baton Rouge area:
Visit Campus Travel website for information on hotels in the Baton Rouge area.

Final grades must be filed before we can finalize any honor. Latin Honors regalia will be distributed in the week before graduation. Look for a phone call or an email from your senior college on how to receive those.

Students can participate in a commencement ceremony the term that they successfully complete all degree requirements. They are only eligible to walk during the term of completion. If a student fails to meet degree requirements for any given term, they are ineligible to walk in the ceremony. Only under extenuating circumstances, and with prior approvals, would a student be eligible to participate in a future ceremony.

Digital diplomas are available immediately after the ceremony. You can access this through your LSU email. Printed diplomas are mailed out 2-4 weeks after the ceremonies.

Yes, we will just need a formal request submitted. You can find the steps for that at

Your diploma cannot be released until all financial obligations have been met.

This is a requirement for graduation, and degree candidates should contact the Office of Bursar Operations at 225-578-3357 if they have any questions concerning financial obligations to the university.

Prior to graduating, students who borrow through the Federal Stafford Loan Program must complete an online Exit Counseling session.

If additional information is needed, contact the Office of Enrollment Management at 225-578-3103 or