Graduation and Commencement

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Steps to Graduation

A student planning to graduate should follow these steps:

  • Meet with their academic advisor
  • Check for 2.0 or higher GPA on all institutional college level courses
  • Complete the online Intent to Graduate Application through the My.Southwest portal:
      • Log in
      • Click on the "Registration/Online Services" icon
      • Click on the "Graduation Application" link
      • Complete the application
  • Schedule missing course requirements to be completed during the perceived final semester
  • Schedule and complete any required graduate exit exam(s)

Application Deadline Dates

Submit the Intent to Graduate Application for each semester by the dates below:
  • Summer Semester - July 1
  • Fall Semester - November 1
  • Spring Semester - April 1

If you have questions about the Application for Graduation, email the Records Office at

Regalia order information will be sent to all summer 2021 graduates, fall 2021 graduates, and spring 2022 graduation applicants. 

The order deadline is Friday, April 15, 2022. Once your order is placed you should receive a confirmation email from ''. You will receive a second email with a tracking number once your order has shipped.

All graduates should make plans to attend one of the following events. At this event you will pick up your pronouncer card, and photo identification is required. 

May 3rd, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm Macon Cove Campus (Nabors Auditorium)

May 5th, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm Union Avenue Campus (B106)

Bring your pronouncer card with you to the Commencement.

Any questions about this event, please email

We have one Commencement each year in May. The 2022 Commencement is Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. The rain date is Sunday, May 22 at the same time. . Students should ensure all of their contact information is current in their Southwest portal. For more information, contact Records at 901-333-4594 5924 or

Guidelines for Commencement

Procedures and Etiquette

Ceremony Etiquette

The Commencement Ceremony is a most dignified event, whose traditions and regalia date from the thirteenth century. All participants are expected to exhibit courteous behavior and to observe the decorum merited by the occasion. Thank you for familiarizing yourself with the following notes on etiquette.

Arrival. Doors open one hour before the ceremony begins. Please arrive no later than forty-five minutes before the ceremony begins. All graduates must bring their pronouncer’s card that will be provided at the Graduation Fair.

Guests: Family and friends of graduates will need to walk through the main exterior/Halo gates from the parking lots and proceed to either Gate 1 or Gate 3. Event staff will be at each gate to help assist where each entry gate is located.

Seating. This year, we will not line up by disciplines, due to limited capacity within the North Tunnel of the stadium. You will be assisted by Southwest faculty and staff with lining up on the day of Commencement. Please be cooperative and attentive to ensure you hear all directions.

Leaving. You may not leave until the ceremony concludes. The ceremony will last approximately two hours. It is important that you respect all of your fellow graduates and the importance of the ceremony.

  • Southwest will provide limited commencement programs. A link to a digital commencement program will be shared via email, after the ceremony. Attendees will receive ONE (1) printed program at the stadium. Graduates will have a printed program in their seats on the field.
  • Ceremony will be conducted at the Liberty Bowl Stadium on the football field. The following are NOT permitted on the field:
    • High heels of any height (It can damage the field and be difficult and dangerous for the graduate on turf.)
    • Gum
    • Food or beverages
    • Cell phones and other electronic equipment should be left with family and/or turned off.
    • Personal items cannot be stored. Therefore, please leave them with family/loved ones.
  • The following requirements must be strictly adhered to for any guests of the Liberty Bowl Stadium, including graduates:
    • Strict adherence to the clear bag policy of the venue.
    • No Air horns or any other artificial noise makers
    • No Animals (excluding service animals)
    • No Fireworks or other explosives
    • No Balloons, confetti, glitter, objectionable banners or device that may interfere with and/or distract any sports or event participant or stadium guest
    • No Alcohol or Controlled Substances.
  • Due to the layout of the stadium, graduates will walk a greater distance than normal, including up and down ramps. We highly suggest wearing comfortable shoes. Graduates and faculty/staff with mobility concerns should contact the Center for Access at (901)-333-4223 or by email at . Sign language interpreters will be provided.
  • We encourage graduates to decorate their mortarboards. However, no obscene, profane, or improper decorations will be allowed. If done, you will be asked to remove your mortarboard.

Parking at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium

Event Parking

  • All vehicles need to enter property at S. Hollywood and Skinner Street (Access 4). Parking staff will direct patrons where to go, and all parking lots are available.


  • Need to walk through the main exterior/Halo gates from the parking lots and proceed to the north tunnel. Event staff will be at each gate to help direct graduates to the north tunnel, and patrons to the appropriate entry gate
  • Reminder that the field is turf and pointed heels are not allowed on the field surface.


  • Need to walk through the main exterior/Halo gates from the parking lots and proceed to either Gate 1 or Gate 3. Event staff will be at each gate to help assist where each entry gate is located.

General Building Policies


Blue Campus

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