Countdown to Commencement

Let's get ready to Graduate!
illustrated graduation cap with colorful line bursts

The dates are set, and Fall 2021 Commencement is coming! December 10th and 11th will be here before we know it, so this page is devoted to helping our seniors get ready. Keep reading for important dates and deadlines, exciting events, and a step-by-step guide through this process. We know our seniors have got this-we're just here to help! Click here to see information about each ceremony, and as always you can email us anytime with your Commencement questions at

Fall 2021 Steps to the Stage Graphic for Commencement


How to Get to Graduation Day

Step 1:  Apply for Graduation: You will do this with the Registrar's office. Click here for the link. The deadline is Monday, October 4. 

Step 2: Register for Commencement: Keep a close eye on your email. For those who have already applied for graduation, on Wednesday, October 6, you will receive an email from Marching Order to register for Commencement. We are using Marching Order to ensure your name is properly pre-recorded and pronounced when you walk across the stage at Commencement. You can also upload a picture of yourself and create a profile for your virtual slide that will appear online. You can see an example of previous virtual slides here. The deadline to register with Marching Order is November 15. Here's what the Marching Order page just for Valdosta State University looks like:

Picture of the VSU Marching Order home page

Step 3: Attend Grad Finale: You can purchase your cap and gown in person at the VSU Bookstore during Grad Finale on October 7-8. If you are not able to attend, remember to order your cap and gown online before October 28. 


Dates: October 7-8 on the sidewalk outside the VSU Bookstore

Grad Finale is the "one-stop-shop" for everything you need for Fall 2021 Commencement. You will be able to do the following if you attend:

  • Purchase cap and gown
  • Order grad announcements
  • Join the 1906 Society
  • Learn about job possibilities from Career Opportunities
  • Join the Alumni Association
  • Order your class ring
  • Purchase alumni gear

Mark your calendar to attend Grad Finale, and we will see you there!

Step 4: Celebrate and Attend Commencement: Don't forget to print your grad pass and get ready to celebrate your incredible accomplishment with your friends and family. 



Commencement Calendar: Important Dates and Deadlines

October 1: Countdown to Commencement Begins!
October 4: Last day for Summer/Fall 2021 graduates to apply for Fall graduation
October 4: Deadline to submit alternate graduation attendance form (early walker form) to the Registrar's Office
October 6: First email sent to graduates to start completing registration for Marching Order
October 7: VISION BOARD PARTY, 4:00pm-5:30pm, Student Union Meeting Rooms 3 & 4
October 7: Grad Finale, 9:00am-6:00pm, Bookstore Sidewalk
October 8: Grad Finale, 9:00am-4:00pm, Bookstore Sidewalk
October 12: FINAL DAY to order Class Rings in order to participate in the Class Ring Ceremony
October 14: EMPLOYER DRIVE-IN: HEALTHCARE, 11:00am-2:00pm, Student Union Suite #2218 & Microsoft Teams
October 18: First FREE Cap n Gown Picture Day at the Front Lawn Fountain 10:00am-12:30pm
October 20: BLAZER READY SERIES: PROFESSIONAL DRESS, 4:00pm-5:30pm, Student Union Suite #2218 & Microsoft Teams
October 26: CAREER CARNIVAL, 11:00am-2:00pm, Palms Quad
October 26: Second FREE Cap n Gown Picture Day at the Front Lawn Fountain 4:00pm-6:30pm
October 27: FALL CAREER EXPO: PURSUIT OF A JOB, 2:00pm-5:00pm, Student Union Ballrooms
October 28: Last day to order regalia (cap and gown) online 
October 28: Last day to order graduation announcements online
November 5: EMPLOYER DRIVE IN: SHERWIN WILLIAMS COMPANY, 1:00pm-2:00pm, Student Union Suite #2218 & Microsoft Teams
November 9: Third FREE Cap n Gown Picture Day at the Front Lawn Fountain 10:00am-12:30pm
November 9: BLAZER READY SERIES: PROFESSIONALISM IN WORKPLACE & EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE, 4:00pm-5:30pm, Student Union Suite #2218 & Microsoft Teams
November 15: Last day for graduates to complete their registration in Marching Order
November 17: Fourth and FINAL FREE Cap n Gown Picture Day at the Front Lawn Fountain 10:00am-12:30pm
November 18: FALL EDUCATION FAIR, 11:00am-2:00pm, Student Union Ballrooms
November 22: EMPLOYER DRIVE-IN: WMAZ-TV, 12:00pm-1:00pm, Student Union Suite #2218 & Microsoft Teams
November 24: VIRTUAL LAST CHANCE CAREER FAIR, 2:00pm-5:00pm, Handshake Virtual Platform
November 29-December 2: GRADUATION BOOT CAMP, 2:00pm-5:00pm, Career Opportunities & Microsoft Teams
December 7: VSU Official Class Ring Ceremony at the Front Lawn Fountain at 7:06pm
December 10: Graduate School Commencement Ceremony, 5:00pm, The Complex
December 11: Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony, 4:30pm, Front Lawn

***For the Free Cap n Gown Picture days, if there is rain, the makeup day will be the following day.

Glossary of Terms

Apply for Graduation: This is required before you can graduate and is done through the Registrar's office at VSU. The purpose of this is to double check and make sure all requirements for your degree have been met, allowing you to receive your diploma.

Register in Marching Order: When you register with Marching Order, you will be able to tell us how to properly pronounce your name. It will be recorded ahead of time and will be read out loud when you walk across the stage at Commencement. When you check in at Commencement, you will be given a card with your name on it and a code. That code will be scanned as you walk across the stage-ensuring your name is pronounced correctly. When you walk across the stage, your name will also appear on the big screens on the Front Lawn. In Marching Order, you will also be able to create your own virtual Commencement slide with a picture that you can share with your friends and family.  

Grad Finale: Grad Finale is a two-day celebration and a one-stop-shop for all your Commencement needs. This year's Grad Finale is taking place on October 7-8 on the sidewalk outside the VSU Bookstore. You will be able to purchase your cap and gown on site, order your ring, join the 1906 Society, talk with Career Opportunities about a new job, and so much more. 

Picture from Spring 2021 Commencement at VSU