Preparing for Commencement
Standard graduation announcements may be purchased at Ferris Outfitters in the David L. Eisler Center. Personalized announcements may be ordered by visiting Balfour, Ferris Printing Services, or Herff Jones. If you have a question on the name of your degree or how it should be listed on an announcement, please contact your college's Commencement Coordinator.
All degree candidates are required to file a formal application for graduation no later than the mid-point of the semester prior to your anticipated graduation date. Your academic advisor will assist you with the completion of your graduation clearance form.
If the application for graduation is not filed with the graduating student's college Commencement Coordinator by Friday, February 23, 2024, their name will not appear in the Spring 2024 Commencement program. In order to have the program available in time for the ceremonies we have to adhere to these deadlines.
Participating in commencement is not a certification of graduation, but rather a ceremony that celebrates a student's academic achievements. Therefore, participation in any Commencement ceremony does not affirm that a student has satisfactorily completed all degree requirements. Students must satisfy all of their degree requirements before they receive their diploma.
Students are permitted to participate in Commencement if they are close to completing their graduation requirements. For example, if a student needs to take a course or two during summer semester to finish their program, they may participate in May Commencement or wait until December Commencement.
You will purchase your cap and gown from Ferris Outfitters or online. Tassels in your college's colors will be included with your cap and gown.
Please visit our regalia page for more information on purchasing your cap, gown, and other regalia.
Each college has its own commencement coordinator. Your coordinator is available to answer all of your questions about the commencement ceremony.
Main Campus Contacts
Arts, Sciences & Education
COB Dean's Office
Community College Leadership
CET Dean’s Office
HP Dean's Office
Off-Campus & Online Contacts
The Graduation Fair is your one-stop-shop to prepare for commencement. You'll have the opportunity to buy your regalia, order announcements, take photos and videos with your regalia, register for prizes from the Alumni Association, learn about tickets, and more.
Visit our Graduation Fair page for more information.
Your cumulative GPA for the semester prior to graduation is used to determine if you receive honors at the commencement ceremony. Your diploma and transcript will include all semesters that you attended Ferris.
Students graduating with honors may be eligible to wear honor cords at the commencement ceremony. Please see the Honor Cords section of the FAQ for details.
GPA Requirements for Honors
Cum Laude: 3.50 - 3.74
Magna Cum Laude: 3.75 - 3.89
Summa Cum Laude: 3.90 - 4.00
For students graduating with a Master's degree from the College of Arts, Sciences and Education, College of Health Professions, and College of Business:
Distinction: 3.75 - 3.89
Highest Distinction: 3.90 - 4.00
For student graduating with a Doctorate degree from the Michigan College of Optometry, College of Pharmacy, College of Health Professions, and the Doctorate in Community College Leadership program:
Distinction: 3.25 - 3.49
High Distinction: 3.50 - 3.74
Highest Distinction: 3.75 - 4.00
Transfer students with 30 or more Ferris credit hours are eligible to graduate with honors, but only Ferris grades are used to determine honors.
If you have any questions on whether you will be receiving honors or not please contact your college's Commencement Coordinator.
Graduates must complete their online graduation application by Friday, February 23, 2024 for their names to appear in the Spring 2024 Commencement program or their name will not appear in the Commencement program. Contact your college's Commencement Coordinator if you have any questions.
Ferris Statewide and online students who wish to participate in a Big Rapids campus ceremony will attend with their affiliated college.
The Commencement Ceremony
Commencement Ceremonies take place in Wink Arena. The building is accessible to guests using a wheelchair. Seating is available for guests who are unable to climb bleacher seating. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no reserved seating at the ceremony, so we encourage you to arrive as early as possible.
Ushers will be available to assist all guests.
If you require accommodations to participate in the commencement ceremony, please contact the Commencement Office at (231) 591-3803 at least two weeks prior to the ceremony.
An interpreter will be available for guests and graduates with a hearing impairment. The interpreter will be positioned at the right side of the stage.
Parking Lot 8E, located next to Ewigleben Sports Complex, includes designated handicap spaces. These spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Your guests may take photos during the ceremony, but we ask that they remain seated during the ceremony.
A professional photographer will take photographs of each graduate during the ceremony. After Commencement, Graduation Foto will contact each graduate by e-mail or by mail with ordering information. You may contact Graduation Foto by calling (800) 482-0321.
You can watch the ceremonies live on YouTube. Make sure to click Ferris Cable Channel 22.1 when visiting YouTube.
You may also watch the ceremonies live on Ferris Cable channel 22.
If you are an undergraduate student, your tassel should be on the right side of your cap at the beginning of the ceremony. You will be instructed when to move your tassel to the left side of your cap during the ceremony.
To purchase a DVD of a Ferris State University Commencement ceremony, please send a $20.00 check for each copy, made out to Ferris State University (sorry, we do not accept credit cards) along with a note indicating which ceremony you would like to purchase, the number of copies you would like, and your return address.
Please allow 2 weeks for shipping.
Ferris State University Media Production
Attn: Wes Thompson
1010 Campus Drive
Big Rapids, MI 49307
Please contact Wes Thompson at (231) 591-2723 or [email protected] with any questions.
If you are graduating and have taken out federal loan(s) at Ferris, you need to complete Loan Exit Counseling.
Exit counseling informs you of your rights as a borrower, provides you with the contact information for your student loan servicer (who you pay), and helps you to select a repayment plan.
Head to our Loan Exit Counseling page for more information.
For more information on student loan repayment please visit our Loan Repayment page.
A professional photographer will take photographs of each graduate during the ceremony. After Commencement, Graduation Foto will contact each graduate by e-mail or by mail with ordering information. You may contact Graduation Foto by calling (800) 482-0321
You may also find photos taken by university photographers in our SmugMug gallery.
Your diploma will be mailed to you approx. 6 weeks after the completion of your degree requirements. You will receive a confirmation email sent to your ferris.edu email address from Ferris Diploma Status the day the diploma is mailed.