Frequently Asked Questions

When and where are the ceremonies?

SUNY Empire is pleased to announce that our Spring 2022 Commencement ceremonies will be held in person. More information about Spring 2022 Commencement is available at

How will I know if I'm eligible to attend a commencement ceremony?

Commencement-eligible students will be emailed an invitation containing a link to register to attend. This email will contain important information about the day, such as guest policies and what to expect at the ceremony. More information on the process of becoming eligible for commencement can be found here.

What do I wear?

Students are required to wear a cap and gown (regalia) to participate in commencement. Students must wear a black gown and a black mortar board with black tassel. Students earning an advanced degree will also wear a hood. The last day to order regalia through Jostens is April 27, 2022. If you don’t have regalia, and plan to participate, please contact as soon as possible. Students are encouraged to wear attire and footwear they will be comfortable in during the NOTE: At the ceremonies, there will be no place to store valuables such as bags and purses, so please leave all valuables with your guests or place them in something small enough to fit under your regalia.

Will there be a photographer?

During the ceremony, a photograph will be taken of each student after they cross the stage. A complimentary photograph will be available to each student following the ceremony at On the Spot Photos. Visit On the Spot Photos to learn how to achieve the perfect pose for your photo! Please be aware that impromptu photographs may be taken throughout the ceremony.

How do I get my diploma?

Students who have satisfied all academic and financial requirements to earn their degree can expect to receive their diploma by mail approximately three weeks from the day the college awarded the degree. Please note that commencement is separate from graduation/degree award processing, and participation in commencement does not necessarily indicate completion of their degree. See more information about the graduation process.

How do I get my medallion?

You’ll be presented with your medallion at the ceremony.

Am I eligible for Latin honors and/or military recognitions?

Latin Honors: Latin honors are calculated and applied to your record once final grades are received and your degree is awarded. Students whose degrees were awarded by the deadline, and who earned Latin honors will be listed with honors on the summer commencement program. Students whose degrees were not yet awarded will not have Latin honors listed, as they have not yet been finalized. Latin honors will show on the diplomas and transcripts of all   once the degree is awarded. For more information about Latin honors at SUNY Empire, see the Latin honors policy.

SALUTE: The eligibility criteria for SALUTE members is: 3.0 or higher undergrad GPA, or 3.5 or higher graduate GPA; and active duty, current guard or reservist, or veteran with honorable discharge. There is a $35 lifetime membership fee to be inducted into the SALUTE Honor Society. See more information about SALUTE, or you may also email questions to

Military Cords: The red, white, and blue cords are for any active duty, current guard or reservist, and any veteran regardless of discharge status.

How long will the ceremony last?

The ceremony will last approximately two hours.

Congratulations on this milestone achievement!