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
  • If graduation exit testing is required, information with testing instructions and deadlines will be sent via email from the Testing Department.

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 2023 graduates, fall 2023 graduates, and spring 2024 graduation applicants. 

The order deadline is Friday, April 5, 2024. 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.

For any questions related to commencement, please contact

Graduation Fair

Stay tuned for more information regarding the Graduation Fair!

We have one Commencement each year in May. The 2024 Commencement is Wednesday, May 8, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. at the Landers Center. 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

Important Disclaimer: Participation in the ceremony does not guarantee the awarding of the degree or diploma. If the student should be found to miss any requirements (Example: failed courses, missing exit/major field exam, etc.), the degree will not be posted nor will a diploma be issued. Students that do not graduate must submit another graduation application for the next semester.  Each semester has one (1) conferral date. (Spring=May, Summer=August, Fall=December)

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: We encourage students to arrive at 5:00 p.m.; however, please arrive no later than one hour before the ceremony begins. 

Graduates: 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.

  • Due to the layout of the event space, graduates will walk a greater distance than normal, including up and down ramps or stairs. We highly suggest wearing comfortable shoes. 
  • Center for Access: Graduates and faculty/staff with mobility concerns should contact the Center for Access at (901)-333-4223/5523 or by email at . Sign language interpreters will be provided.
  • Mortarboard Decorations: 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.

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.

The ceremony will be conducted at the Landers Center. The following are NOT permitted in the building:

  • Containers, bottles, cans, liquid containers or coolers
  • Food
  • Backpacks
  • Umbrellas, strollers (strollers must be checked in at Guest Services, umbrellas are at the discretion of Landers Center Management)
  • Weapons and fireworks
  • Poles/Sticks of any kind
  • Objects that obstruct another patron’s view
  • Horns, whistles, noisemakers
  • Animals (except service animals for guests with disabilities)
  • Professional Cameras, audio and video recording devices (camera policy subject to change based on event/artist)
  • Anything that creates a nuisance or disruption

The Landers Center has implemented a clear bag policy. Read more about it here: 

Parking at the Landers Center

  • More specific Information about parking is forthcoming, and updates will be made to this page once details have been finalized.


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