Happy graduate

Commencement Handbook

The May 2020 graduation ceremony has been postponed. We will work quickly to make plans for graduation to be held at a date in the future. It is too early to provide an alternative date at this point. However, students anticipating graduation will become official graduates when they successfully complete this semester. The ceremony and other celebrations will be held at a later time, and we will give as much advance notice as possible.

Application Dates

Application for Graduation

Students planning to graduate must complete an Application for Graduation form with the Registrar’s office the semester prior to the time they think they may graduate.

When this application is processed and a graduation check is completed, the graduate’s name is placed on the graduation list and will receive all communications regarding commencement. This application gives graduates the opportunity to state how they want their name to read on their diploma.

The Graduation Fee is $60.00. This fee covers academic costs associated with commencement, including preparation of diplomas. This fee does not cover purchase of caps and gowns. These are purchased directly through the bookstore.

Application Deadlines

  • Application for Spring 2020 - December 15
  • Application for Summer 2020 - March 15

Students planning to graduate should ensure that all the requirements have been met for graduation 

Graduation Application

Log onto the FSC Portal to fill out the Graduation Application online.

Apply for Graduation

Graduation fees are paid on the FSC Portal as well.

Commencement Dates

All graduating seniors are expected to attend commencement. There is no rehearsal for either commencement.

Spring Commencement

Undergraduate and Graduate Ceremony

Saturday, May 2, 2020 at 1:30 PM
(Doors open at noon)

Graduates assemble in caps and gowns at a designated location at The RP Funding Center at 12:00 PM.

Spring Schedule
Time Activity
12:00 PM Graduates assemble in caps and gowns at a designated location.
1:15 PM Graduate Processional begins to George Jenkins Arena
1:30 PM Commencement begins


The RP Funding Center at 701 West Lime Street, Lakeland 33815. Get Directions to the RP funding Center


There are no Baccalaureate services.

Senior Sunday Chapel Service – Spring Only

Spring graduating seniors are invited to the Senior Sunday chapel service on April 26, 2020 at 11:00 AM. This is not a mandatory event for spring graduates.


Special room rates may be available at some area hotels. You must identify yourself as part of the Florida Southern College commencement events to receive these special rates if they are offered.

Learn More about local accommodations

Graduation Requirements

Grad Check

Students planning to graduate should complete a Graduation Check with the Office of the Registrar to be sure they meet all the academic requirements for graduation. This should be done at the beginning of the semester prior to the student’s anticipated graduation. Students who have not had a graduation check appointment should contact the Registrar’s office at 863.680.4127 to schedule an appointment.


Students in the Lakeland day program are required to attend all convocations for each semester they are enrolled at Florida Southern College as a full-time undergraduate student, except for the semester of their graduation. A student who does not attend convocation or the convocation encore the following week, will have a fine of $100 automatically assessed to their student account. Questions about convocation status should be addressed by contacting the Office of Student Development at 863.680.4206.

Student Accounts and Library Books and Materials

A graduate should check with the business office and library to make sure all bills are paid and library books and materials are returned. A graduate who owes money may be allowed to participate in commencement ceremonies but will not receive their diploma or transcripts until all accounts are paid.

Graduate Survey

Graduates are expected to complete an online graduation survey to confirm their major, address, campus activities, and future plans. When the survey becomes available, the graduate will receive an email with login information. Winter graduates may expect to receive the email to the online survey beginning in early November. Spring graduates will receive the survey in early March. If you have any questions, please contact the Director of Institutional Research.

Order Caps and Gowns, Announcements and Class Rings

Caps and gowns are required for commencement and are purchased through the Campus Bookstore. Graduation announcements and class rings also may be ordered at that time. Payment is required when your order is placed.

Information about delivery and/or pick up times for graduation purchases is provided by the bookstore. For questions, please call the bookstore at 863.680.4186.

Herff Jones, the provider of these products, will send an information packet with purchase details to each graduate’s permanent address.

Campus Bookstore

For the convenience of our graduates and their families and guests, the campus bookstore will be open on graduation days from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

The bookstore will have a table set up at each commencement featuring regalia for those graduates who need assistance with their commencement attire. Gift items will also be available for purchase.

The bookstore is open during the week, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. It features FSC apparel and many items suitable for commencement gift giving. Shop online for a complete selection of Florida Southern gifts at the Campus Bookstore.

Commencement Ceremony

Faculty Marshals

These designated faculty members provide the graduates with instruction and guidance for their participation in the ceremony. Graduates receive name cards for use by the announcer during the ceremony.

The Processional

Graduates remain standing for the entire processional, the invocation, and the national anthem. Men remove their caps during the invocation and anthem and then replace them. Women leave their caps on throughout the ceremony. Bachelor’s degree candidates wear their tassels over their right temples. Graduates are seated as a group when the anthem is completed.

Presentation of Degrees

Graduates rise in a group to be presented for their degrees. The faculty marshals direct the movement to the platform. When graduates advance toward the stage, the announcer reads their names. Graduates walk across the platform to receive their diplomas from the president of the College.

The Recessional

Graduates rise for the alma mater. Women leave their caps on, but men remove theirs for the alma mater and benediction. At the conclusion of the ceremony, faculty marshals direct each to join the recessional. Platform occupants recess first; then, the faculty members. Finally, the graduates exit, beginning with the front rows. Graduates are asked to meet their family/guests at a pre-determined location.

Academic Honors

Academic honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) noted in the commencement program are based on final cumulative grade point averages and are explained in the current academic catalog. To be eligible for these honors within the graduating class, students must have earned 62 or more hours at Florida Southern College. CLEP, AP, transfer, transient, and other non-Florida Southern credit do not meet this requirement.

Honor Cords, Stoles and Mortar Board Decorations

Honor cords representing specific honor societies are given to graduates by a representative of that organization. Their cost is not included in the graduation fee. Each organization is responsible for ordering the cords through the Campus Bookstore. Only authorized and registered honor societies may provide honor cords. Graduates may wear unlimited academic cords or medallions and one additional non-academic cord. In addition, the college reserves the right to prohibit decorations on mortar boards that it deems overly elaborate or inappropriate.

Dress Code for Graduates

Men are asked to wear dark trousers, dark shoes and neckties. Women are asked to wear dark clothing and dark shoes. Men are not required to wear suit coats under their robes.

Photography at Commencement

Professional photographers from GradImages will record each graduate receiving his or her degree. Proofs are provided to the graduate electronically shortly after commencement, and several online opportunities are provided for purchase. For more information, call 800.261.2576 or email www.gradimages.com. During the ceremony, guests are permitted to take photographs from their seats and the aisles to each side of the graduates. They are not permitted access to the stage at any time and must keep the aisles open for graduates walking to and from the platform. Following the ceremony, guests are welcome to use the platform and surrounding area as a backdrop for photos.


Due to changes mandated by the Lakeland Fire Department, the RP Funding Center no longer allows for general admission seating. Therefore, beginning with the 2019 ceremony, tickets will be required for admission into the RP Funding Center for the commencement ceremony. Each student will be allotted 8 tickets for family and friends (graduates do not need a ticket). Tickets are distributed through the College ticket box office next to Branscomb Auditorium.

Ticket Pick-up

You may pick up your eight (8) tickets at the Branscomb auditorium box office beginning on Monday, March 30. Box office hours are Monday through Friday 2:00 to 6:00 PM. All tickets must be picked up by 6:00 PM on Thursday, April 30th. The box office is located behind the Imperial Symphony Orchestra office, adjacent to Honeyman Pavilion.
You must present a valid form of identification and sign for your tickets. In order to ensure that your tickets do not end up going to someone else, there will be no exceptions to this requirement for identification.

We are unable to reprint any tickets. Be sure to keep track of your tickets. If your tickets are lost, we will NOT be able to replace them.

Ticket Exchange

Those needing additional tickets and those having additional tickets may connect on the Facebook group page we have set up for this purpose. The exchange of tickets is solely the responsibility of the parties involved.


Children under 2 years old do not require a ticket to attend the commencement.


Graduates do not require a ticket.


The tickets do not have specific assigned seats. Once in the arena, guests may sit wherever they wish. If you have a large family and wish to sit together, you may encourage them to arrive early. Doors to the RP Funding Center will open at 9:00. Doors to the arena (where commencement will be held) will open at 12:00.

Handicapped seating

There will be specially designated handicapped seating on the floor of the arena. Guests needing handicapped seating will still need a ticket to get into the arena. Because handicapped seating is limited, the Center asks that only one other guest accompany the person requiring the handicapped seating.

Graduates with Physical Disabilities

Graduating seniors with physical disabilities should contact the Office of the Provost at 863.680.4124 as soon as possible so proper accommodations may be made.


Parking for commencement on the Florida Southern campus is free and is on a first-come, first-served basis in any campus parking lot. There is unlimited parking at The RP Funding Center at no charge. Please state you are attending the commencement ceremony when asked by the parking attendant. Handicap parking is readily available at both locations.

Length of Ceremony

The entire commencement ceremony is usually one and a half to two hours, depending upon the number of graduates and the length of the speeches.

After Graduation

Career Assistance

The Career Center provides assistance with resumes, cover letters, and interview strategies. The Career Center subscribes to College Central Network which allows graduates to share their resumes with employers around the world. Visit the Career Center website to access College Central and other resources that help recent graduates find employment.

Campus E-mail and Campus Mailbox

E-mail Address

Graduates with a college e-mail address ending in @mocs.flsouthern.edu will be able to keep this FSC e-mail account for life as long as they continue to use the account. Other campus e-mail addresses are discontinued approximately one month after graduation.

Campus Mailbox

All students with a campus mailbox should turn in their mailbox keys to the campus post office before graduation. If a key is lost, a fee will be charged to the student’s account. When turning in the key, the graduate will complete a form providing a forwarding address. As soon as the mailbox key is returned and the forwarding address is available, the campus post office will begin forwarding mail.

Alumni Services for Graduates

To learn about the numerous services and benefits available to alumni, please visit the alumni page on our website, or contact alumni@flsouthern.edu, or call 863.680.4110.