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Student-Athlete Affairs: Timely Tips4Graduation
Courtesy: George Mason Athletics
Release: 06/22/2011

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Timely Tips4Graduation


Commencement vs. Convocation


  • Degrees are officially conferred by the University President
  • Entire university community is invited.
  • Official university guest speaker delivers Commencement address.
  • Selected student speaker representing the class of 2012 delivers address.
  • Event is televised
  • Tickets are required for guests. Each graduate may obtain four guest tickets.
  • Ph.D. graduates are individually recognized and photographed on stage receiving their degrees. All graduates are acknowledged, and degrees are conferred by deans/directors and university president.
  • Caps and gowns are worn.


  • Individual school/college/institute graduates only
  • All guests are welcome; tickets are not required
  • All graduates are individually recognized and photographed on stage receiving their degrees.
  • Each school/college/institute selects speakers.
  • Caps and gowns are worn. Graduates are encouraged to attend both the university- wide Commencement ceremony, and their specific convocation ceremony.

Ticket Information for Commencement Ceremony

Because more than 7,000 students will graduate every year, seating at Commencement is limited, and guest tickets are required. All graduates except doctoral candidates will be permitted a maximum of four (4) guest tickets. Graduating students do not need a ticket. All tickets are free and are general admission. Handicapped and special- assistance seating is available at the door. Guests requiring special assistance may be seated with one other guest in their party in easy-access sections of the Patriot Center.

Need Additional Tickets?

Want Additional Tickets? (All tickets are free)

Returned tickets are redistributed, while they last, at the Patriot Center, South Entrance Will Call Window. Times and Dates are TBD until the announcement of the ceremonies for that particular graduation year.

Caps and Gowns

Commencement at Mason is a traditional ceremony where caps and gowns are worn by graduates and faculty. Master's candidates must also wear a master's hood. Please state your field of study when purchasing your hood as different colors denote different fields of study (for example, economics, copper; sciences, golden yellow; arts and humanities, white). Bachelor's and master's candidates may purchase caps and gowns at the University Bookstore.

Photo Opportunities

A photographer will be on hand for cap and gown photos prior to Commencement rehearsal, May 18, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Patriot Center and before the Commencement ceremony, May 21, from 8 to 9 a.m. on the North Plaza. Photographers will be present at all convocation events to photograph the ceremonies.

Guest Parking

All campus parking lots are available for guest parking. Handicapped and special assistance parking is available in Lot A, adjacent to the Patriot Center's South Entrance. DO NOT park at University Mall; cars parked at the shopping center may be towed.

Diploma Information

Your diploma will be mailed to you as soon as completion of all degree requirements is confirmed.

Commencement Hotline at 993-GRAD

Call 993-GRAD after February 24, 2012, for information on Commencement arrangements. If your questions are not answered by the hotline, you may call the following offices:

  • School of Law, (703) 993-8043
  • GMU Bookstore, (703) 993-2666: Caps and Gowns, Announcements
  • Office of the Registrar, (703) 993-2441: Change of Address and Degree Application Status, Master's and Doctoral
  • Events Management, (703) 993-8844: Ceremonies and Guest Arrangements

For all information regarding the graduation process, please refer to:


A Guide for Graduating Student-Athletes

The following information is geared toward providing all student-athletes with added clarification on the necessary and recommended procedures for timely graduation. Topics range from mandatory to voluntary activities focused around the graduation process.



This form needs to be completed and submitted via Patriot Web a semester prior to graduation. Failure to do so will jeopardize your ability to graduate on time. All forms can be found under your STUDENT SERVICES section on Patriot Web.


This form is found under STUDENT SERVICES on the Patriot Web. The following sections should be individually checked and continuously monitored. A failure to do so may result in a prohibition in graduation or other academic/athletic restrictions. The following is listed under the STUDENT RECORDS section:

  • View Holds
  • Academic Transcript
  • View Student Information
  • Expected Date of Graduation
  • Final Grades
  • Midterm Evaluations
  • Order Enrollment Verification


The following are various programs funded by both Mason Athletics and/or the University to further enrich both your collegiate experience and to aid in the process of post-graduate success.


Resume Writing Workshop
(Sponsored by Student-Athlete Affairs and Career Services)

This is a tremendous opportunity for student-athletes to communicate with both an academic career counselor and recruiting coordinator from a national corporation regarding how to structure your resume and your approach with potential employers. This engaging workshop will require student-athletes to bring writing materials or a laptop along with their current resume and a better perspective on how to engage future employers.

Career Networking Seminar
(Sponsored by Student-Athlete Affairs and Career Services)

With the tools acquired from the Resume Writing Workshop, student-athletes are given the opportunity to apply their newly constructed approach with various recruited from various professional establishments throughout the DC Metro area. All prospective employers are chosen based around availability and preferences noted by the student-athletes with regard to their major and desired career path.

"Dress for Success" Seminar
(Sponsored by Career Services)

In conjunction with Career Services, Mason Athletics encourages all student-athletes to attend this seasonal seminar. The seminar allows all participants the opportunity to accessorize a new approach on how to make a good first impression, whether you are looking for a job or looking to enhance the one you currently have.

Dining Etiquette
(Sponsored by Student-Athlete Affairs and Alumni Office)

This workshop offers student-athletes the opportunity to experience a simulated formal dining setting, where they will engage with fellow teammates and possibility other members of the athletic community. This event will be hosted by a dining and etiquette specialist and will focus around some appetizing suggestions and helpful hints on the disciplines of fine dining etiquette.

University Job Fair
(Sponsored by Career Services)

An annual run formal job fair (business professional attire) that allows graduates, students and student- athletes, the opportunity to meet face to face with employers from many facets of the professional work force in the DC Metro area)



The NCAA awards up to 174 postgraduate scholarships annually, 87 for men and 87 for women. The scholarships are awarded to student- athletes who excel academically and athletically and who are in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition. The goal is to promote and encourage postgraduate education by rewarding the Association's most accomplished student- athletes through their participation in NCAA championship and/or emerging sports.

For more information on NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships visit or the Coordinator of Student-Athlete Affairs at 703.993.5218

Post Graduate Fellowships and Scholarships

The Coordinator for Postgraduate Fellowships and Scholarships advises promising Mason undergraduates and recent alumni regarding the application process for nationally competitive fellowships. The program is designed to encourage talented undergraduate students to explore the range of opportunities and resources available to advance their academic and professional goals.

If you would like more information on graduate fellowships and scholarships please visit Students will find specific information on a wide range of fellowship opportunities, as well as advice on the application procedures.

*All student-athletes have the opportunity to receive monetary reimbursement for graduate placement testing or National Fitness Certifications.