Find answers to frequently asked questions about commencement and precommencement ceremonies at Saint Louis University.
- General FAQ
- Precommencement Ceremonies
- Event Attendance
- Caps, Gowns, Diplomas and More
- Additional Information
Commencement is the ceremony that marks graduation from Saint Louis University. To learn more about the requirements to graduate from SLU, visit the Office of Registrar.
Ceremonies typically last between one and a half hours and two hours.
- Precommencement: At the precommencement ceremony, each student will be recognized individually and receive their diploma cover.
- Commencement: The main commencement ceremony recognizes graduates from SLU’s schools and colleges as a whole and features speeches from keynote speakers, including University President Fred Pestello, Ph.D.
Dates for midyear and spring commencement ceremonies can be found on SLU's academic calendar.
Saint Louis University's commencement ceremonies are held in Chaifetz Arena. Most precommencements are also held in the arena, though some may take place in Saint Francis Xavier College Church.
You may see past Saint Louis University commencement events on SLU's YouTube channel.
Students and guests can find more information at slu.edu/commencement or by emailing Saint Louis University Event Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Precommencement ceremonies are held for each individual school. At this ceremony, each student's name will be called, and they will cross the stage. Each pre-commencement ceremony is planned and executed by SLU’s individual colleges and schools. Graduates will receive detailed communications directly from their schools and colleges about those ceremonies.
Students and their families are welcome to attend both ceremonies. Neither ceremony is required.
Graduates are welcome to attend both precommencement ceremonies if they are earning a dual degree. If the student does not want to attend both ceremonies, they are welcome to choose which ceremony they would like to participate in.
Graduate names are only read aloud during the precommencement ceremonies. Names will not be read at the main commencement ceremony.
Guests can find a list of prohibited items and the clear bag policy on Chaifetz Arena's website: http://thechaifetzarena.com/a-z-guide
Accessible parking is available in Saint Louis University’s Olive/Compton and Laclede Garages. If you or your guest cannot make it safely from the garage to the arena, a drop-off/pick-up lane is available on Compton Boulevard outside Gate C of Chaifetz Arena. You may drop off your guest before parking or pick them up from this area following the ceremony. Parking is not permitted in the drop-off lane.
Outside of rows reserved for graduates and faculty, Saint Louis University does not assign seats for any of the commencement ceremonies.
Accessible seating is available for all commencement events. Please ask an usher or other arena employee for assistance once you have gone through security.
From luxury hotels to small B&Bs, St. Louis offers a variety of places to stay during your visit. For information on options close to campus, visit SLU’s Where to Stay page.
Students should report to the event location one hour prior to the start of their ceremony unless told otherwise by their college or school.
Some of SLU’s schools and colleges choose to hold award programs or other recognition ceremonies around commencement. Those schools that choose to host these additional events will communicate directly with their graduates regarding the details. In addition to those events, during May, SLU also holds a Baccalaureate Mass and a Toast to the Class. A full schedule of events can be found at slu.edu/commencement.
Caps, Gowns, Diplomas and More
Cap and gowns can be ordered on the Herff Jones website: herff.ly/slucampus. Please note:
- The deadline to order for an in-store pickup for spring 2023 commencement is March 10. You can begin picking up your regalia during the graduation fair on April 13, 2023.
- The deadline for home shipping is April 17, 2023. Orders can be accepted later for home shipping, but there is a late fee. The final deadline for all orders is April 26.
- Cap and gown styles vary by the type of degree earned. For 2023, prices are:
- Bachelor’s: $55.98
- Master’s $112.98
- Ph.D., Ed.D. and M.D.: $109.88 with a mortarboard (standard cap) or $133.98 with a tam.
- J.D. and D.P.T. doctorate bundles: $134.98 with a mortarboard or and $158.98 for a tam.
Gowns used during commencement ceremonies at SLU are black. However, the style of the gowns themselves changes depending on your degree (master's, bachelor's, and doctorate). If you would like to reuse a gown, please stop by the bookstore before the deadline to confirm it is acceptable for your degree.
Students can choose to pick up their cap and gown from the bookstore or have it shipped to their residence.
Tassels, honors stoles and cords are awarded by each school. Please check with your dean's office for specific information. For those provided by student organizations or other campus organizations, please contact those groups directly.
Diplomas will be mailed to the diploma mailing address you specify on your application to graduate. Learn more about diplomas and graduation at SLU.
Midyear graduates will receive their diploma covers at the ceremony. May graduates will find their diploma covers on their seats at the in-person precommencement ceremonies.
Announcements can be specially ordered through the Herff Jones Website, herff.ly/slucampus. We suggest giving yourself plenty of lead time when ordering customized announcements. Recently, it has taken vendors close to six weeks to deliver these announcements..
The bookstore carries a variety of diploma frames in-store or online at slu.bncollege.com.
From Saint Louis University's Young Alumni Association to career resources, find more information for life after SLU.
Saint Louis University provides you with a news release template to send to your hometown newspaper or newspapers. Simply fill in the blanks and submit the form through email, fax or mail. Please note that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch does not run individual graduation announcements. Check with your local paper regarding their graduation announcement guidelines.
If you need additional information about your graduation or the events surrounding commencement, call 314-977-6338.