It’s time to celebrate!

You’ve invested so much of yourself in your work during your years at Watkins. Now it’s time to revel in your accomplishments. Here are the details about graduation—when, where, what you’ll need, and more.

Key details for graduates

Here’s what you need to know if you plan to participate in the Watkins commencement ceremony:

  • Meet all requirements and clear all holds—April 2019
    Make sure you’ve met all the requirements for your major or program of study. Failure to be aware of a requirement does not excuse you from completing it. If you are unsure, check your course catalogue for graduation requirements. You also must take steps to clear any holds from the Watkins Library and the Watkins Business Office. You can’t graduate unless you’ve cleared all holds.
  • Last day to apply for graduation—April 2019
  • Financial Aid counseling session—April 2019
    Sign up for a Financial Aid Loan Exit Counseling Session. If you have borrowed from the Federal Student Loan Program at any time during your enrollment at Watkins, you must complete two exit interviews: one online and one in person. Contact the Financial Aid Office for details.
  • Career Services First Destination Survey—April 2019
    Make sure to fill out your online Career Services First Destination Survey prior to commencement.  Please contact Michael Francis for access to this form.
  • Rehearsal (mandatory)—Friday, May 17, 2019 10:30 a.m.
    If you plan to march in the graduation ceremony, you must attend the official rehearsal. You will get key instructions as well as your official cap and gown. The regalia is yours to keep—and to embellish. This is an institution dedicated to creativity, after all, so don’t hold back on decorating your mortarboard. If you have earned academic honors, your academic honor cords will be distributed at commencement.
  • Commencement ceremony—May 18, 2019 at 10 a.m.
    If you are a graduating student, you must arrive at 8:30 a.m. with your cap to prepare to march in the procession of graduates. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Your family and friends are welcome, and please bring them along to the reception at Cecy Reed Student Center immediately following the ceremony.

Academic honors

We award the following academic distinctions to graduating students:

  • summa cum laude to students whose cumulative GPA is 3.90 or higher
  • magna cum laude to students whose cumulative GPA is 3.70-3.89
  • cum laude to students whose cumulative GPA is 3.50-3.69

This honor is recognized at graduation and will appear on your official transcript—don’t forget to include it on your resume as an academic achievement!

Official graduation announcement cards and rings

Visit the Balfour website if you’d like to order graduation announcements or other commencement memorabilia, including a class ring. Balfour will mail the merchandise directly to your home. You are not required to purchase announcements or any other souvenirs—the decision is entirely up to you.

Parking and accessibility

We provide ample parking in the main Watkins lot. If you or a guest requires special accommodations as a result of physical disabilities or limitations, contact the Student Life Office as early as possible to make arrangements.

Visitors to graduation

If you are traveling to Watkins to attend the commencement ceremony, make sure to review our Visit page for information on hotels and other logistics.


If you haven’t found the information you need, email us or call 615.383.4848 or