The Office of University Events and Protocol is in charge of coordinating the Commencement ceremonies in Carbondale. Their commencement web site provides information for prospective graduates, participating faculty, and ceremony guests to use to make their plans for this special day. Specifically, the schedule of ceremonies is noted at commencement.siu.edu/ceremonies.
Commencement ceremonies are held in May and December.
There are usually three ceremonies held in May on the Saturday after final exams. These are held in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the early evening at the Banterra Center (SIU Arena), and are divided up by college/school according to this schedule.
Due to the continued impact of COVID-19, it is with regret that University officials have made the decision to not hold the Commencement ceremonies scheduled for Saturday, December 12, 2020 at the Banterra Center. The University is currently exploring other options to celebrate the awarding of student degrees. Please be sure to monitor this web page for more information as it becomes available.
The School of Law usually holds its own May ceremony at a different time and place. Law graduates should reference this page – or else contact the School of Law at 618-536-7711 – for more specific information.
There is usually one combined ceremony held in December on the Saturday after final exams. That ceremony is held in the afternoon at the Banterra Center.
There is no August ceremony, but those students who will complete their degree requirements during the Summer Session can have their degree conferred in August. Therefore, those Summer graduates who wish to attend a ceremony would normally attend the ceremony held in the following December. Some Summer graduates – but not Ph.D. students – will be allowed to attend a ceremony in the prior May per the Commencement Participation Policy, though such graduates would have to have their application for graduation submitted earlier than usual (see the graduation deadlines calendar for such deadlines).
Please note: If you will be having out-of-town guests come to watch you at a Carbondale ceremony and those guests will need to have overnight lodging in the area, we highly recommend that they make their lodging arrangements as far in advance as possible. Lodging choices for the city of Carbondale may be found at www.carbondaletourism.org/categories/stay
For the weekend of the May ceremonies, it is not uncommon for Carbondale lodging to be almost fully booked by the preceding January. If your guests are not able to secure Carbondale lodging, there are choices in other southern Illinois cities that may be found at www.enjoyillinois.com/plan-your-trip/places-to-stay (though that may mean that they will be staying up to an hour or more away from Carbondale for this particular weekend).