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Keene State College Commenement 2023, congratulations

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Commencement the same as Graduation?

No, Commencement is a ceremony recognizing a student’s accomplishments by their families, friends and the college community. Participation in commencement, however, does not guarantee a student’s graduation and official diplomas are not awarded at the ceremony.

Graduation is the actual awarding of degrees. Upon certification of satisfactory completion of all degree requirements, the students’ degrees are awarded and added to their official academic records. Official diplomas are mailed to students following an audit of their academic record and degree conferral. Participating in commencement does not mean that you have graduated.

If I have not earned all the credits I need to graduate, can I participate in the Commencement ceremony?

To graduate in May 2024, whether or not a student participates in the Commencement activities, each student must complete an “Intent to Graduate” form in their MYKSC Portal. It is under academic overview and then select apply to graduate. Submission of the Intent to Graduate form will result in an audit of the students’ academic transcript. The audit will highlight any missing credits/courses that must be completed prior to the degree being earned. Each student must meet the Commencement Policy Requirements in order to graduate.

I think I might be eligible for Honors at Commencement, how will I know?

Honors recognition at Commencement is based on your GPA in December prior to Commencement, for most graduates that would be the Fall 2023 semester. As Commencement is held the day following final exams, faculty have not yet had time to complete their grading and post students final course grades and the Registrar’s Office has not had time to calculate honors based on the spring semesters grades. Graduates with a GPA that reflects Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude honors are eligible to wear a gold tassel, and will be recognized at Commencement as graduating with the honor. Students will receive their gold tassels (along with other regalia) at the Commencement Fair. Students whose GPA after the fall semester does not earn them honors, but their GPA after all spring grades are posted does earn them honors will be designated as such in their transcript and on their diploma. And as well, students whose GPA after fall semester does earn them honors, but their GPA after all spring grades are posted does not earn them honors will be shown as such on their transcript and on their diploma.

Students inducted into a discipline Honor Society are eligible to wear the honor cords of that society if they have met all the requirements of the Honor Society. Each Honor Society sets their own requirement for earning the privilege of wearing the societies honor cords at Commencement.

I have been on the Dean’s List. Am I graduating with honors?

A graduating student, who has earned at least 60 graded credits at Keene State College in a bachelor’s degree program, is eligible to graduate with academic honors. Recognition of honors at the commencement ceremony is based on the student’s cumulative grade point average as of the preceding December.

A student with a cumulative GPA of 3.9 or higher will earn summa cum laude honors. A student with a cumulative GPA of 3.70-3.89 will earn magna cum laude honors. A student with a cumulative GPA of 3.50-3.69 will earn cum laude honors.

I have a 3.955 GPA but am not graduating with honors, why?

Congratulations on what appears to be stellar academic work here at KSC. College policy requires that a student must have earned a minimum of 60 academic credits from Keene State College to graduate with honors. If, as of the Fall 2023 semester, you have completed less than 60 credits you will not be eligible for Honors recognition at the Commencement ceremony. If, after the spring semester grades and credits are posted, your earned credit total is above 60, you are eligible to graduate with honors and it will be designated as such in your transcript and on your diploma.

I am graduating with two degrees, but the Commencement Participation form required me to choose one, why?

Graduates will process to the Quad by school and will cross the stage alphabetically by school. Graduates with more than one degree must choose one school at the Commencement Ceremony. Your diploma and transcript will reflect all the degrees that you have earned at KSC.

I am a graduating senior and will not be attending the Commencement Ceremony. Should I get in contact with someone and let them know?

Yes! We need every graduating student to complete a Commencement Participation Form whether they plan on attending the Commencement Ceremony or not. Seating for graduates is very tight on Fiske Quad and we only set up chairs for students who notify us that they plan on attending the ceremony.

When are students fitted for their cap and gown?

Gowns are sized by height and weight and you provide this information when you place your online order.

How much does my cap and gown cost?

There is no cost to you for your cap and gown. You are eligible to receive them regardless of whether you plan to attend the Commencement Ceremony or not.

I am student teaching and cannot attend the Commencement Fair, how do I get my cap and gown?

Commencement regalia will be ordered via an email link.

How do I order a Sash to wear at commencement?

Sashes are a great way to represent who you are and how you dedicated your time at Keene State College. If you participated in Study Away programs, you can order a flag sash here. To represent your KSC club or organization, build your custom sash here. If you participated in Study Away and wish to represent a KSC club or organization, please email to special order your custom sash. Please allow four weeks for sash production.

Dress Code – What should I wear?

Dress for the weekend is typically “business casual.” Please remember, Commencement is an outdoor event. Be prepared for all weather conditions (warm coats, sunscreen, etc.) and wear shoes appropriate for damp, uneven, grassy terrain.

Graduates, please honor this dignified occasion (and your family!) by wearing appropriate dress clothing and footwear on Commencement day.


  • Tassels are worn on the right side of the mortarboard until after the BA/BS/BM/BFA degree is conferred, at which time tassels are moved to the left side.
  • The dye in the gowns may bleed when wet. If it rains you may want to wear rain-gear beneath the gown to protect your clothing. The College provides ponchos at line-up that can be used for this purpose.
  • Please do not throw your cap!

Is there a rehearsal for graduates?

There no rehearsal for graduates. There will be a small army of KSC staff in Spaulding Gym the morning of Commencement to assist graduates in properly wearing their regalia as well as lining up in order.

What handicapped accommodations are available for Commencement?

The KSC Commencement Ceremony is held outdoors on Fiske Quad regardless of the weather. There is a small handicapped seating area designated on Fiske Quad. We do not reserve any seats for Commencement including handicapped seats, seating is first-come, first-seated. The handicapped seating area is available for those guests who have a need, and they may have one companion escort with them. We have no way of knowing in advance how many guests will require handicapped seating and because of that we are very cautious to maintain that the seating in the handicapped area are for those guests who truly need it. We are unable to provide seating for other family members in the handicapped seating area. There are alternate viewing options in buildings just off Fiske Quad as well as in the Student Center that are handicapped accessible and where the whole family can view the ceremony telecast from the Quad if they wish to sit together.

Handicapped parking is available in the Science Center Lot, off Winchester Street, for vehicles with state-issued handicapped placards or plates only. The handicapped parking areas are first-come, first-parked and we have no way of knowing how many spaces will be needed or how quickly they will fill up. If the handicapped parking lots are filled when you arrive, you may drop you your guest off in the Fiske parking lot for the short walk to the Quad and then may park the vehicle in another location on-campus.

How many tickets does each graduate receive?

Tickets are not required for the commencement ceremony. The Keene State campus is open to guests and the event is held outside.

I have requested a large print program, where do I pick it up?

Pre-requested large-print programs will be available at our information table in front of the Mason Library on Fiske Quad.

How do I order graduation announcements and class rings?

Graduation announcements are personalized for each student and can be ordered online from Balfour. Class Rings can be ordered online from Balfour or may be ordered during the Commencement Fair.

Lost something? Found something?

Turn in found items or search for lost items during the Commencement Ceremony at the Information Table on Appian Way located in front of the Mason Library. If you are searching for a lost item after the Commencement Ceremony has concluded, please contact Campus Safety at (603) 358-2228.

How long is the ceremony?

The ceremony begins with the procession at 12:15 p.m. and is anticipated to end by 3:30 p.m. Post-event reservations should be made for no earlier than 4:30 p.m.

I want to take a picture of my graduate as he/she processes. Where should I sit?

All personal photography must occur off the KSC campus.

Are you an Undergraduate with qeustions about graduating?

Please visit the Registrar’s Office Frequently Asked Questions page for answers.

Questions about Commencement?

If you have questions about Commencement, please email or call 603-358-8500.