Commencement stage with chairs and podium

Spring 2021 Commencement will be held on May 1st in the Armory Gymnasium for graduates of the Classes for 2019, 2020 and 2021.  Out of an abundance of caution and for the health and safety of our graduates and theirs guests, two separate in-person commencement ceremonies will be held. Specific times and numbers of guests allowed are still being worked out. Both will be based on the number of graduates that are planning to attend.  

All graduates and guests MUST wear a face covering at the commencement ceremony.

To order your cap and gown, please visit, deadline for ordering without an additional fee is April 1st. Cap and gowns are required to participate in the ceremony.


Times for the commencement ceremonies for Spring 2021 are as follows:

  College of Arts and Sciences and College of Health Sciences  10 am   Watch Live
  College of Technical Sciences  2 pm   Watch Live


Degrees in College of Arts and Sciences  10 am
Associate of Arts Biology Community Leadership
Criminal Justice Education Graduate Programs
Graphic Design Liberal Studies Native American Studies


Degrees in College of Health Sciences  10 am
Nursing Health Promotion


Degrees in College of Technical Sciences  2 pm
Automotive Technology Business Diesel Technology
Electrical Technology Engineering Technology Manufacturing
Plumbing Technology Welding Technology Drafting


Each student will be limited to a total of 5 guests to be in attendance; including young children.

We will be live streaming each ceremony, please stop back for the link.

Please come to the Registrar's Office located in Cowan Hall one hour prior to your ceremony.  At that time you will receive your walk card and honor cord, if appropriate, then find your place in the hallway for line up.

Additional details will be posted to the website as they become available.

Congratulations to this year's graduates!


Summer Semester 2021: TBA

Fall Semester 2021: TBA

Spring Semester 2022: TBA

Summer Semester 2022: TBA

  1. Complete the Application for Graduation and a print out of your Degree Works audit
  2. Meet with your faculty advisor for review and signature
  3. Meet with the Dean of your college for review and signature
  4. Go to the Business Office located in Cowan Hall and pay for the graduation application fee -non-refundable $50.00 one-time fee
    1. Attach your receipt to the application packet
  5. Bring your completed packet to the Registrar's Office located in Cowan Hall

Gowns (Apparel)

Please plan to order your regalia (cap, gown, hood for master students) through in advance.  The deadline for ordering without rush processing is April 1st.

Name Card

You will receive a name card that you must prepare to hand to the "Reader of Names" on the stage.  On the morning of your ceremony please stop in the Registrar's Office to receive your name card.

Degrees Conferral and Recording Timeline

Degrees are conferred three times a year at the official end of the term as determined by the Academic Calendar-May; August; December.  The review of applications for degree posting is manual and take multiple weeks at the end of the term.  If you have a strict timeline for licensure or employment, please request a rush transcript to be processed after your degree is awarded.

NOTE: For summer degrees, due to multiple course end dates, degrees are still conferred once at the official end of the term and will reflect the August end of term date as the graduation date.  Please be advised that even if you complete courses sooner, degrees are conferred after the final grading at the end of the term.  Please appropriately notify licensing agencies and employers.

Departmental Distinction

Students maintaining a 3.50 GPA and selected by the appropriate faculty may be eligible to graduate with departmental distinction. This distinction will be noted on the commencement program and on your Northern transcript only.  There is no cord for this honor.

Graduation Academic Latin Honors

Graduation Academic Latin honors levels are based on all higher education work completed at the time the program was printed. This does not include work completed at the end of the Spring Semester of commencement. If work completed after the commencement program was printed changed any honors levels, every effort will be made to provide the proper cords.

The cumulative grade point average listed on your Northern transcript is calculated based only on your work completed at Northern; transfer work is not calculated into your cumulative grade point average.  If you have transfer work from another institution you can not use your Northern cumulative grade point average to figure honors.

Honors will not be reviewed or argued the morning of commencement.  

Latin Honor Minimum GPA
Cum Laude 3.50
Magna Cum Laude 3.75
Summa Cum Laude 4.00

Honor Cords

Montana State University-Northern recognizes associate and baccalaureate students with excellent grades by awarding traditional Latin academic honors at graduation. Honored graduates wear honors cords and their names are noted in the commencement program. Cord colors are as follows:

Cum Laude Maroon
Magna Cum Laude Silver
Summa Cum Laude Gold


Commencement without Graduation Policy

University policy allows students who have six (6) or fewer credits remaining toward requirements for graduation at the end of the Spring Semester, or who can demonstrate that they will complete graduation requirements by the end of the Summer Semester, to participate in the commencement ceremony provided that they submit graduation clearance papers by the deadline.