In alignment with a decision made collectively by the Montana University System and with clear guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MSU Billings will be postponing Spring 2020 commencement and convocations until December 19, 2020. More information will be forthcoming.

View the 2020 Commencement FAQs.

MSUB graduate at commencement
Applying for Graduation

Deadlines for Graduation Application

Spring 2021 applications:

October 30, 2020

Summer Semester 2021:

October 30, 2020 (if attending ceremony)

March 26, 2021 (if not attending ceremony)

Fall Semester 2021 Applications:

March 26, 2021

Commencement date: Saturday, December 19, 2020

Application for Graduation Instructions

Complete Application for Graduation Instructions

  1.  Type or hand write information required on appropriate graduation forms (links below).
    1. If you are majoring in more than one subject, please also submit “Application for Second Major”
    2. If you are earning a minor, or a minor is required for your degree program, please also submit “Application for a Minor”
    3. If you intend to earn two separate degrees, please submit one Application for Graduation for each degree you intend to earn upon graduation.
  2. Set up a meeting (well in advance) with your faculty advisor(s) to meet and finalize your Application for Graduation, Second Major or Minor (as applicable). Print off a copy of your DegreeWorks audit indicating all complete and/or in-progress coursework.
  3.  Go to the Business Office Cashier and pay the graduation application fee – non-refundable $50.00 (per degree)
  4. Bring Application for Degree, Second Major (if applicable), Minor (if applicable), copy of DegreeWorks audit and receipt from Business Office to the Office of Admissions and Records/Registrar no later than the end of the 10th week of the semester PRIOR to the semester of completion.

NOTE: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0 software in order to open these files. 

MSU Billings Commencement Procedures 


Gowns (Apparel)

Please plan to order your regalia (cap, gown, hood for master students) through the MSUB Campus Store in advance (usually March prior to the ceremony) to take advantage of the ordering discount.  Campus Store staff will be available for last minute changes.

Name Card

You will receive a name card that you must prepare and hand to the “Reader of Names” on the stage. Please print your name clearly.*If your name is difficult to pronounce, please attach the Name Pronunciation form to your application for graduation.

Marching Order

Each college will be identified by a different colored ribbon that will be taped to the floor.  You will line up by college.


Line up over the colored ribbon of your college and proceed to place yourself in the proper alphabetical order by doing the following:

As you line up, check your name with the person’s last name who is in front of you. If your name comes before his/her alphabetically, exchange places. Continue to check names until you can no longer exchange places with the person in front of you. (A coordinator for each college will assist in lining up the students in the proper order).

Once you have found your proper place in line, please remain there so that others may also locate their proper place in line. 

After the procession to the main floor, everyone will remain standing. The men will remove their caps for the National Anthem.

When the Dean of your respective college confers your degree, all graduates of that particular college will stand. When called forward to receive your diploma, the first row will remain standing. All others will be seated until the row coordinator indicates when you should proceed to the stage area. The recession will be similar to the procession. Maintain the order of the march and take your time.

Please Note These Additional Details

Degree Conferral and Recording Timeline

Degrees are conferred three times per year at the official end of the term as determined by the Academic Calendar – April/May; December; August.   The review of applications for degree posting is manual and takes multiple weeks at the end of each term.  If you have a strict timeline for licensure or employment, please contact the Registrar’s Office (406-657-2158) in advance.

NOTE:  For summer degrees, due to multiple course end dates, degrees are still conferred once at the official end of the term and will reflect the August end of term date as the graduation date.  Please be advised that even if you complete courses sooner, degrees are conferred after final grading at the end of the term.  Please appropriately notify licensing agencies and employers.


Diplomas will be mailed at the end of the next semester (ie: May graduates will receive diplomas at the beginning of October, August graduates will receive diplomas at the end of December, December graduates will receive diplomas at the end of May). You will receive only a diploma cover during the Commencement Exercise.




Every graduate will be photographed by a professional photographer at the moment of receiving the diploma and also on the ramp exiting the stage.  A color proof will be mailed or emailed to the student with addresses provided on the reader card or application within 1-2 weeks.  Graduates are under no obligation to purchase photos.  You can view your photo at Lifetouch Special Events.

Should family members wish to take pictures, they may do so during or after the Commencement exercise.


Tradition indicates that the tassel is worn on the left side of the mortar board (cap) after degree has been conferred.

Bachelor degrees, Associate degrees in College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, College of Business, College of Education, College of Health Professions and Science: blue and gold tassels.

All colleges Master Degrees gold tassels.

City College at MSU Billings blue and white tassels.

Honor Cords

Gold Honor Cords Distinguishing GRADUATING SENIORS with a grade point average of 4.00, signifying “Summa Cum Laude.”

Gold and Silver Honor Cords Distinguishing GRADUATING SENIORS with a grade point average between 3.75 and 3.99, signifying “Magna Cum Laude.”

Silver Honor Cords Distinguishing GRADUATING SENIORS with a grade point average between 3.50 and 3.74, signifying “Cum Laude.”

Blue and White Honor Cords Distinguishing two year degrees and certificates with a grade point average between 3.50 and 3.74 (Honors), 3.75 to 4.00 (High Honors).

Questions? Send e-mail to: Registrar