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Graduation FAQ

Information for Graduating Students

The Commencement Ceremony

Guest Hooding

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Graduation FAQ

What time do I need to arrive for the ceremony?
Graduates should arrive at the commencement venue no later than 10 a.m. to line up for the procession.

Will I receive information regarding the ceremony prior to the date of commencement?
Yes. You will receive an email three weeks prior to commencement with instructions for the ceremony.

How many guests may I have at graduation?
We do not limit the number of guests per graduate. This extends to the reception as well.

Are tickets required in order to attend the ceremony?
There are no tickets for the commencement ceremony.

Is there a dress code for graduation?
There is no formal dress code; however, most graduates wear business-like attire under their robes. Wear comfortable shoes (but no sneakers or flip-flops).

What should guest hooders wear?
Guest hooders do not wear regalia in the ceremony. Instead they should dress in business attire.

What is the charge for my cap and gown?
There is no charge to the graduate for the law school regalia.

If I own my own cap, gown, and hood, can I wear it?
No. All graduates must wear the Houston College of Law regalia provided for you by the campus bookstore.

Can I wear a hood from an organization or from the institution where I received my Master’s or Ph.D.?
No. It is the tradition of Houston College of Law, as well as the proper etiquette, for graduates to wear only one hood at a time.

How do I know if I will graduate with honors?
Graduates with high grade point averages may have one of three “honors designations” bestowed upon them. These are identified at the graduation ceremony with the appropriate colored honor cord:

For students whose enrollment commenced 2011 fall or later:
 Summa Cum Laude (gold) – cumulative grade point average of 3.800 or better;
 Magna Cum Laude (silver) – cumulative grade point average of 3.650-3.799;
 Cum Laude (white) – cumulative grade point average of 3.450-3.649

For students whose enrollment commenced prior to 2011 fall:
 Summa Cum Laude (gold) – cumulative grade point average of 3.667 or better;
 Magna Cum Laude (silver) – cumulative grade point average of 3.500-3.666;
 Cum Laude (white) – cumulative grade point average of 3.300-3.499

For the purposes of the commencement program, honors are based on the last available cumulative grade point average. A final determination is made once all grades are received for the last semester of school and final class ranks are compiled. The “honors designation” will be printed on the diploma and noted on the student’s final transcript.

Can I wear cords from my fraternity or other organizations?
No other cords are allowed to be worn. The only honor cords worn at commencement are the honor cords issued by the Office of the Registrar to the Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Cum Laude graduates.

Will I receive my diploma at the ceremony?
Final grades will not be in before the commencement ceremony; therefore, you will not receive your diploma on graduation day. You will receive a “faux” diploma during the ceremony.

When should I expect to receive my diploma?
Diplomas will be mailed to graduates after all the grades are posted (grades are due 28 days after the last exam). Diplomas should be mailed in February for December graduates, July for May graduates and September for July graduates. Occasionally there are late grades that might delay the mailing of the diplomas.

Will my stcl.edu e-mail account terminate after I graduate?
Your e-mail account will terminate nine months after you graduate. For more information, contact the Technology department at 713-646-1555.

How long will I be allowed to keep my locker after I graduate?
You may keep your locker for three weeks after you graduate. For more information, contact Karissa Hansen, Office of Student Organizations, at 713-646-1779 or khansen@hcl.edu.

How can I stay in touch with Houston College of Law and my classmates after I graduate? Once you graduate you are automatically a member of the Houston College of Law Alumni Association. You are invited to join the Online Alumni Community, a networking site where you can search a directory of alumni, join various alumni groups, keep abreast of Houston College of Law news, and learn about and register for alumni events. For more information about the Online Alumni Community, contact Christina Trunzo at 713-646-1793 or stclalumni@hcl.edu.