Graduation Information

graduation cap throw
Live Stream

Spring 2024 Grad Party Drive Thru - Saturday April 13

Join us for the Spring 2024 Grad Party Drive Thru to pick up all the items needed for graduation. During this event, graduates will receive their regalia including cap/gown and tassel, honor cord and/or military recognition cord, and complimentary Alumni t-shirt. PTK regalia will not be available during the event, but can be purchased in the Business Office beginning Monday, April 15.

If graduates are unable to attend the event, they can pick up their cap and gown from the Bookstore during normal hours beginning Monday, April 15 – Thursday, May 2. Graduates will have to contact the Alumni Office to get their complimentary Alumni t-shirt if they are unable to attend the Grad Party Drive Thru. The Alumni t-shirts will not be available for pick up in the Bookstore.


Graduation Exams

Exit Exam
All Associate degree graduates are required to take the Exit Exam. The Exit Exam can be completed at either the Cleveland campus, MHEC center, or online. You should complete this requirement in the same semester you plan to graduate. Please do not test early. Exit Exams must be completed prior to final exams. Be sure to take a photo ID to the Testing Center on your test date.

Fall Grads: August – December
Spring Grads : January – May
Summer Grads : June – August
Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I complete the Exit Exam? The Exit Exam can be taken in the Testing Center or it can be taken remotely. This exam does not have to be proctored.

How do I schedule to take the Exit Exam in the Testing Center on the Main Campus?  Reservations are made on your CougarNet account. In CougarNet, click on the Academics Tab. Then, look for the Testing Center Reservations link at the bottom left of the screen.

How do I schedule to take the Exit Exam in the Testing Center in Athens at the MHEC Campus? Schedule your appointment by completing the form at For questions, contact their Testing Center at 423-473-2462.

If I want to take the Exit Exam remotely, what do I need to do? Reach out to the Testing Center via email ( and they can send you the instructions and testing code you need to take the exam at home. Once you have completed the exam you must email the Testing Center to let them know you have completed it, otherwise it will not be marked as completed in our system.

What do I need to do after I complete the Exit Exam at home? Email the Testing Center immediately so they can mark your exam as completed. If you do not contact them, then this graduation requirement will not be marked at completed until they are notified.

How long does it take to complete the Exit Exam? Approximately 45 minutes.

Do I need to study for the Exit Exam? No, there is no need to study for this exam.

Is there a certain score I need to make on the Exit Exam in order to graduate? Although you will want to do your very best, there is not a certain score you have to make. You just have to complete it. However, if you do not take the exam seriously you will be asked to retest.

What is the deadline to take my Exit Exam? All Exit Exams must be completed by the last day of the semester.

Program Test
Some departments require a separate Program Test. This is notated on your Intent to Graduate
form if your degree requires this test. If you have already completed the Program Test previously,
you do not have to complete it again. This test does not fulfill the Exit Exam requirement.
Please contact the appropriate departmental secretary with any questions about the Program Test.


Caps & Gowns
Caps and gowns will be available at the Grad Party Drive Thru Saturday, April 13.
If graduates are unable to attend the event, graduates can pick up their cap and gown from the Bookstore during normal hours beginning Monday, April 15 – Thursday, May 2. There is no charge for the initial set of caps and gowns. Replacement costs are as follows:

Full set – $35 plus tax
Mortarboard – $6 plus tax
Tassel – $6 plus tax

The College welcomes the opportunity for students to celebrate this milestone in their lives by decorating their mortarboard. However, we ask that discretion be used by not displaying profanities, political messages, advertisements, inappropriate decorations, or phrases. The College reserves the right to examine the mortarboard and if deemed inappropriate, ask the graduate to either revise or totally remove the mortarboard. Items should not hang off the sides
of the mortarboard and 3-D objects should not be attached. Additionally no lights will be allowed. If the mortarboard is deemed inappropriate, the graduate will not be permitted to participate in the ceremony without purchasing a new mortarboard. Replacement mortarboard will be $6 plus tax. 

Honor Cords
Graduates are eligible for an honor cord if they are earning an AA, AS, AFA, or AAS degree. Certificate students are
not eligible for an honor cord. Honor cords will be available when picking up your cap and gown. Graduates must show a photo ID in order to pick up their honor cord. Each eligible graduate will be given one honor cord free of charge. Replacement honor cords will be available to purchase in the Bookstore for $12.

3.80 – 4.00 Highest Honors: White & Gold
3.60 – 3.79 High Honors: Light Blue & Gold
3.30 – 3.59 Honors: Navy & Gold

Honor Cords are given to students who overall GPA is at a 3.30 or higher for the semester prior to the graduation.  The Honors notation will be accurate for any final transcript purposes as well as for the diploma.

Spring and Summer honor cords will be based off Fall GPA.

Fall honor cords will be based off Summer GPA.


Phi Theta Kappa members have the option to purchase honors stoles and tassels to wear with
their regalia. The Cleveland State Business Office and the Athens Front Desk sell stoles for $26
and tassels for $10. They both accept credit card and check, and the Cleveland Business office will
also accept cash. NJCAA (athletic), STEM, and Nursing stoles are also available at the
Store for $35 + shipping. Please contact Sara Amato at for more information


Military Recognition
Graduates who are currently serving, or who have served honorably, in the Armed Forces are
eligible for this recognition. Please contact Kim Allin in Veterans Services at to ensure your eligibility has been recorded. Cleveland State
prides itself on being a veteran friendly campus.

Military Recognition Cord: Red, White & Blue

Ceremony Information
    • Commencement Ceremony

The college will host its Spring Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 3, 2024, in the L. Quentin Lane Gymnasium.
The Gymnasium will open one hour prior to the ceremony starting.

Business and Healthcare: 10 AM

Graduates arrive at 9 AM

Advanced Technology, Arts & Humanities, Education,

Social Science, STEM, and TVEC: 2 PM

Graduates arrive at 1 PM



Graduate Arrival and Check-In

*Report directly to the south entrance of the Mary T. Barker Humanities Building (the entrance closest to the Student Center) at their appointed time wearing their regalia (Cap, Gown, and any applicable Honor Cords) for check-in.

*All mortarboards (caps) will be inspected at check-in. If deemed inappropriate the graduate will be required to purchase another one in order to participate in the ceremony. (The Bookstore will be open for last minute regalia pick-ups or purchases.)

*Please do not bring any personal belongings (coats, purses, bags, hats, etc) with you! We will not lock the building doors!

*Please note that graduates will not be permitted to have small children or family/friends with them in the lineup area or during the ceremony and therefore they should remain in the care of family/friends. Guests should report directly to the gymnasium. No guests or faculty will be permitted in the graduate line up areas.

*No food or drinks will be allowed in the lineup area or in the ceremony

  • Graduate Ceremony Information
  • Attire:
  • *Only Cleveland State regalia will be allowed. The only extra regalia that is allowed is PTK stoles/tassels, academic honor cords, and military recognition cords. All other stoles, cords, pins, etc will be asked to be removed. Your tassel will be on the right side of your cap at the beginning of the ceremony. 
  • *Please no stilettos or thin heels. When considering footwear, please err on the side of safety as you will be walking on a metal grate ramp.
  • *Under your regalia, please dress professionally, but be aware it may get hot wearing multiple layers. 
  • Marshals: 
  • *Staff Marshals have been assigned to be with you during the entire ceremony.
  • *Please be attentive to them as they direct you during the entirety of the ceremony. They will help ensure every graduate has a seat in each row.
  • *They will assist with processing in and recessing out, as well as assisting with the line-up to receive your diploma cover and walk across the stage.
  • *Additionally, once graduates have processed in to the ceremony, they should remain in their seats during the ENTIRE SERVICE
  • Awarding of Degrees:
  • *When it is your row’s time to walk across the stage, you will be directed to line up at the stage.
  • *Hand your Name Card to Mr. Clayton Strain who will be reading the names.
  • *Walk to Dr. Campbell, Vice President of Academic Affairs, where you will receive your Diploma Cover and shake hands.
  • *Walk to the College President, where you will shake hands again.
  • *Professional pictures will be taken along the way, and you will be directed during the ceremony by the GradImages photographer as to where and when to pose for your picture.
  • Commencement Photographer
  • *GradImages will be taking two professional photographs of each graduate during the ceremony.
  • *Proofs will be sent to your home and via email within a week after graduation.
  • *Pictures can be ordered online, by phone, or by mail.
  • *GradImages can be contacted at 800-261-2576 or via their website at
  • *Registering with GradImages provides them with the information they need to deliver your graduation proofs to you in a timely manner. You may also provide them with email addresses of up to six friends and family members to allow them to celebrate in the accomplishment.
  • *Graduates must contact GradImages directly with any questions or issues pertaining to commencement photos. 
    • Ceremony Viewing Options
    • *For anyone unable to attend the Commencement Ceremony, it will be broadcast LIVE on the CSCC website on Friday, May 3 or via the college’s YouTube channel following the ceremony. It will also be posted to the Graduation Website and to the college’s social media platforms within a few days of the ceremonies.
    • Special Accommodations

      Disability Services
      *Graduation is held in our gymnasium with stadium seating.

    • *Reserved seating on the floor is available upon request.
    • *Reserved seats will only be held until 30 minutes prior to the ceremony beginning.
    • *Any student or guest(s) that requires special accommodations should contact:

      Juliann Mathis
      Coordinator of Disability Support Services

      Any questions or concerns about special parking accommodations should contact:
      Campus Police 423-478-6236 or 423-618-1720

Diploma Mailing and Information

Diploma Mailing
All diplomas will be mailed to the address we have on file by the date listed below. If your address is not updated and your diploma is mailed to the wrong address, you will be subject to a $10 replacement diploma fee. There will be no pick up option for diplomas. 

Spring Graduates: June 6

Summer Graduates: August 29


Degree Verification
Once your degree has been awarded, your academic transcript will show that you have graduated. You can print an unofficial transcript or request an official copy through your CougarNet account. See Transcripts on how to request your official transcript. Degrees will be posted to students’ transcripts (excluding any issues) by:

Spring Graduates: May 15

Summer Graduates: August 14

Degree Completion
Please note that participation in the Commencement Ceremony does not guarantee that you will receive a diploma. You will not receive your diploma until all degree requirements and obligations are met. Please check your CougarNet account to verify that you do not have any holds.

Grade Point Averages
The grade points received for all college level credits earned at Cleveland State are averaged to determine eligibility for graduation and for honors status. Transfer courses do not count toward the GPA. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 is required to qualify for graduation.

Any holds on your account will prevent you from receiving your diploma/certificate and transcript. It is recommended that you check your CougarNet account for any possible holds as soon as possible.

Diploma Covers
Diploma covers are ONLY available to those who participate in the Commencement Ceremony and are not available for purchase. 

Personal Information Updates

The information we have in our system is the information we will use for all graduation printing.

Name Changes
If your legal name has changed, you will need to complete the “Update Personal Information” form on CougarNet: My Account / Registration Tools & Forms / Records Forms. This ensures your name is correct on your diploma as well as in the Commencement program.
Spring Graduates: All name changes must be submitted no later than April 24, 2024!

Summer Graduates: All name changes must be submitted no later than April 24, 2024!

Address Changes
If your address has changed, you will need to complete the “Update Personal Information” form on CougarNet: My Account / Registration Tools & Forms / Records Forms.  If your address is not updated and your diploma is mailed to the wrong address, you will be subject to a $10 replacement diploma fee.
All address changes must be submitted no later than the deadline listed below. 

Spring Graduates: May 24, 2024

Summer Graduates: August 23, 2024


Degrees will be posted to students’ transcripts (excluding any issues) by:

Spring Graduates: May 15, 2024

Summer Graduates: August 14, 2024

*Once your degree has been awarded/posted, your transcript will show that you have graduated. You can print an unofficial transcript or request an official copy through your CougarNet account. 

 Transcript requests are made through the main Cleveland State Website: / Transcript Information / Request Printed Official Transcript. This will link you to the National Student Clearinghouse where the request can be submitted. Once the request is submitted, you can view the status by clicking the “Track Existing Transcript Order” link.

 Transcripts are provided electronically through the National Student Clearinghouse. Please note you must indicate on your request that you would like your transcript after your degree is posted. Otherwise, it will be sent before the degree is posted to your transcript and a new request will be required.

Contact Information

Graduation Questions: Ceremony Specific

Contact: Casi Hodges
*Ceremony Information
  *Program Ordering

Graduation Questions: Course Requirements/Degree Information

Contact: Michael Myers
*Intent to Graduate Form
*Regalia and Honor Cords
*Diploma Information

 Exit Exam

Contact: Testing Center

Program Test

Contact: Departmental Secretary


Contact: Sara AmatoEmail:

 Military Recognition

Contact: Kim Allin