Graduation Information

Fall 2020 Graduation Information

Friday, December 11, 2020 5:30pm

Fall Commencement





Our Spring 2020 Commencement will be live streamed on this page as well as our Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, YouTube, and Twitch accounts.

The regularly scheduled Grad Expo event will no longer be held on October 27th . We are combining our event with the Halloween on Wheels hosted by Admissions & Recruitment.


During this event, graduates will receive their regalia including cap and gown, honor cord and/or military recognition cord and complimentary Alumni t-shirt. PTK regalia will NOT be available for purchase at this event.


The plan is really simple! You will pull up in your vehicle, give us your name and we will gather your items for you. You will never leave your car!


The Grad Party Drive Thru event for graduates is RSVP ONLY!! This is the only way your regalia will be available on October 31st. If you do not RSVP, we will NOT have your regalia at this event!                     


Graduates MUST RSVP by October 25th!


If you are unable to attend this event your regalia will be available in the Bookstore during their normal business hours starting Monday, November 2nd.


In case of inclement weather, this event will be cancelled and you will pick up items in the Bookstore beginning Monday, November 2nd. If the event is going to be cancelled, graduates will be notified by email on Friday, October 30th no later than noon. 


Please note Halloween on Wheels is open to the public and RSVPs are not required for that part of the event. RSVPs are only required for regalia pick up for graduates.

Exit Exam
All Associate degree graduates are required to take the Exit Exam. In order to test at the Cleveland
campus, you must make a reservation through your CougarNet account. In order to test at the
Athens campus, you must contact their Testing Center at 423-472-7141 ext. 463. You should
complete this requirement in the same semester you plan to graduate. Please do not test early.
Exit Exam 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

o To complete the Exit Exam, you can make a reservation by going to your CougarNet account and
clicking on the Academics Tab. Then, look for the Testing Center Reservations link at the bottom
left of the screen. If you would rather test at the Athens Campus, please contact their Testing
Center at 423-745-8486. There is also an option to test at home. You will need to email the Testing
Center at to register.

o There is no need to study for this approximately 45 minute exam. Although you will want to do your
very best, there isn’t 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.

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 Expo, which is part of the Halloween on Wheels on
October 31, 2020. Graduates MUST RSVP for this event in order to pick up their regalia! If
you are unable to attend that day, you can pick up your cap and gown from the Bookstore during
normal hours November 2 nd - December 10 th . There is no charge for the initial set of caps and
gowns. Replacement set will be $34 plus tax.

Honor Cords
Graduates are eligible for an honor cord if they are earning an AA, AS, AFA, or AAS degree and
their overall GPA at the end of the Summer 2020 Semester is at least 3.30. Certificate students are
not eligible for an honor cord. Honor cords will be available when picking up your cap and gown.
Graduates must show 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

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 Kimberly Harrington 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 Tishauna Hoffman 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

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

Diploma Covers
Diploma covers are ONLY available to those who participate in the Commencement Ceremony and
are not available for purchase. For Fall 2020 participation is submitting a photo for the Virtual
Commencement Ceremony.

Pick Up
If all requirements have been met, diplomas will be available for pick up in the Enrollment Services
Center during the dates listed below. Any diploma not picked up will be mailed to the address we
have on file. If your address is not updated and diploma is mailed to the wrong address, you
will be subject to a $10 replacement diploma fee. The Graduation Coordinator will notify you if
diplomas are ready prior to the advertised date. Diplomas are not distributed during the ceremony.

January 11th – 14th

 If you need another person to pick up your diploma and have not already indicated this on your
intent, you will need to email from your CougarNet email ONLY.
The email must include the authorized person’s full name along with your permission to pick up the
diploma in order for us to release it. They will also have to show photo ID.

 Degrees will be posted to students’ transcripts (excluding any issues) by December 22, 2020.
Once posted, your transcript will show that you have graduated. You can print an unofficial
transcript or request an official copy through your CougarNet account.

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 Name, SSN, or Date of
Birth” 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.
All name changes must be submitted no later than November 6, 2020!

Address Changes
If your address has changed, you will need to complete the “Update Address or Phone Number”
form on CougarNet: My Account / Registration Tools & Forms / Records Forms.  If your address
is not updated and diploma is mailed to the wrong address, you will be subject to a $10
replacement diploma fee.
All name changes must be submitted no later than January 13, 2021!
 Transcript requests are made through CougarNet: My Account / Registration Tools & Forms /
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

Do you need additional information about graduation?

For additional information regarding commencement, please contact the Assistant Registrar/Graduation Coordinator:

Lindsey Mowery

(423) 478-6250 or 1-800-604-CSCC, ext. 250.


Partners & Initiatives

  • Cleveland Bradley Business Incubator
  • America's SBDC Tennesseey
  • Your Skills. Your Future.
  • OneSource
  • Cleveland State Sustainability Initiative
  • TBR The College System of Tennessee
  • TN eCampus
  • Tennessee Transfer Pathway