Student Information - Gulf Coast


Steps for Students to Participate in the Commencement Ceremony
Baccalaureate, master's, and specialist's and doctoral candidates who have filed for degree must reserve a seat for Commencement. RSVP online.

Ceremony Location

The commencement ceremony for Southern Miss Gulf Coast is held at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum, in Biloxi, MS.

Commencement Details 

The Commencement program contains the DEGREE name for of all candidates who have applied for degree for the term for Hattiesburg and Southern Miss Gulf Coast.  All changes (addition, deletion, corrections, etc.) to the program must be made no later than March 24 for printing purposes.

In keeping with the spirit of academic traditions, both faculty and students will process into their seating in the coliseum. The university will call individual candidates’ names as they cross the stage. Doctoral students will also be hooded individually on stage after their names are called.

Graduation is an elective event for degree candidates; therefore, out of respect for others, all candidates are expected to remain on the coliseum floor until the conclusion of the ceremony.  Any action that is deemed disrespectful or disruptive will result in the candidate’s diploma being held for disciplinary reasons.

Dress Code
Commencement is a formal celebration.  We encourage candidates to take this into consideration in regards to wardrobe.  Comfortable shoes are STRONGLY encouraged since candidates will be walking long distances and standing for long periods of time.  Please choose appropriate footwear.

Graduation Speaker
The Commencement speaker will be Hannah Roberts, Miss Mississippi 2015.

Parking for the candidates is available in Lot A, south of the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.  Parking for family members is available west of the coliseum.  Family members are asked to enter the coliseum through the west entrance.

Check-in Time and Location

Candidates should arrive at 9 a.m. to line up for the student processional.  All students must be in line by 9:45 a.m.  Candidates should enter through the south entrance.  No candidate can be seated after the ceremony begins.

Baccalaureate participants will be grouped and seated by colleges. Master's, specialist's and doctoral participants will be grouped and seated by degree. Students arriving after the processional line is finalized (15 minutes prior to each ceremony) will be added to the end of the processional line and may not be grouped and seated in the appropriate area in the coliseum.

Items Needed at Check-in
Candidates should check in with their caps and gowns.  Name cards will be distributed to candidates at check-in. Candidates should not bring purses, cameras, etc., because secure storage area is not available. 

Processional & Recessional
To begin the ceremonies, doctoral candidates followed by specialists and master candidates will lead the baccalaureate candidates in a processional.  Afterward, the students and guests will be asked to stand for the Platform Party and faculty processional.

Name Pronunciation during the Ceremony
To facilitate the reading of names at Commencement, students may write the phonetic spelling of their names in the blank space at the top of the name cards distributed at the check-in process at the Coliseum. Name pronunciation for the Ceremony reader to review can be submitted prior to the ceremony via email to by Wednesday, May 11, 2016.

Impact of Weather

If weather is severe enough (heavy rain, thunderstorms, tornado watch/warning) to necessitate a delay in the start of the ceremony, instructions will be announced on-site to students and guests. If the forecast indicates no change in the severity of the weather, cancellation of the ceremony will be announced.

If the ceremony is underway but is interrupted by severe weather, students and guests should follow instructions as announced. It is advised that families prearrange a meeting place in case the ceremony is canceled.

Accommodations for People with Disabilities or Special Needs
Special parking will be reserved for persons with disabilities or special needs that meet ADA guideline.

Commencement Photo
A commencement photographer from Candid Campus Photography will be available to take photos of the candidates after they cross the stage and receive their diploma covers. The commencement photographer can be contacted at 800.233.3686.


Mississippi Coast Coliseum
Biloxi, MS
Saturday, May 14, 2016

  • 10 a.m.  – All Colleges

RSVP Online

Undergraduate, master's, specialist's and doctoral candidates who have filed for degree must reserve a seat for Commencement.
RSVP online. Students can confirm commencement seating at RSVP Confirmation

If your name does not appear on the list, please contact the Registrar's Office at 601-266-6813.


For additional information regarding the Commencement ceremony, contact the
Department of Enrollment Services, on the Gulf Park Campus, at 228.865.4565.