Preparation to Graduate

A graduate walks while wearing ϲʲͼ commencement regalia at left and three people take part in a Law ceremony on the right.

Commencement is a day to remember for graduates, parents, friends and the entire ϲʲͼ Mercy community. To make the day go as planned, it’s important to have the right preparation for you and your guests.

To help you prepare, be sure to check out the information here on the Grad Salute in March, caps and gowns, parking, and local hotels.

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  • Baccalaureate Mass

    Date: May 11, 2024

    Baccalaureate Mass is an integral part of the Commencement activities. Candidates and guests of all faiths are invited to join this Catholic Mass thanking God for our blessings and praying for the future.

    Mass for all three campuses — Dental, Law and McNichols — begins at 8:30am in the Student Union Ballroom, located on the McNichols Campus. Cap and gowns are not required. 

  • Caps and gowns

    Caps are allowed to be decorated as long as they follow the Cap Decoration Guidelines

    Caps, gowns, and tassels (and stoles for bachelor degrees and hoods for master, specialist and doctoral candidates) can only be ordered online. The website for placing an order can be found at .

    Prices vary by degree. Bachelor $58.60, Masters/Specialist $70.35 and Doctoral $99.75. There is a standard shipping and handling rate of $14.90 within the U.S. plus sales tax. 

    Your cap & gown (and stole or hood) will be shipped directly to you. Please allow 3-4 weeks for delivery.

    The last day for regular online orders is Monday, April 15, 2024. For orders between April 16-26, a RUSH order can be placed. which will incur a RUSH $50 expedited charge in addition to the regular shipping fee. Friday, April 26, 2024 is the LAST day to place a rush order.

    Herff Jones will be on campus the following days for questions/issues with regalia:
    March 14th, 1 pm-6 pm. Grad Salute, Fountain Lounge in Student Union
    May 7th, 11 am-4 pm. Outside Bookstore, lower level Student Union

    No orders will be accepted after April 26, 2024.


    Commencement is a formal academic ceremony. Although Calihan Hall is not air-conditioned, please dress accordingly. With thousands of graduates, faculty and guests, depending on the weather, it may be warm. Because you will be standing in line and marching both inside and outdoors for over an hour, comfortable shoes are recommended.

    Gown decoration is strictly limited to University, college and school honor regalia. A listing of the approved items may be obtained from your college or school office or the Office of the Registrar. Candidates whose caps and gowns do not comply with the academic standards will not be permitted into the arena. You may not wear a cap and gown from another institution. All bachelor degree candidates will be wearing a ϲʲͼ Mercy stole with their cap and gown. These can be purchased separately online if you already own a cap and gown.

    Cap and Gown Tassel and Hood Colors for Degree Majors

     regalia color chart

  • Graduate Salute

    Date: March 14, 2024

    All prospective graduates are invited to stop by the Graduate Salute which will be held in the Fountain Lounge in the Student Union on the  McNichols Campus from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

    Representatives from from the following departments will be available to answer questions and provide information to candidates for graduation:

    • Center for Career and Professional Development
    • College of Engineering & Science
    • College of Health Professions and McAuley School of Nursing
    • Student Accounting Office
    • Office of the Registrar
    • Student Life Office
    • Graduate Admissions Office
    • Alumni Office
    • University Ministry

    Candidates will also have the opportunity to order their cap and gown online, purchase class rings, graduation announcements/invitations or have a graduation picture taken from the commencement photographers at the Grad Salute.

  • Guest ticketing and Calihan Hall seating

    Guest Tickets

    Graduates are asked to limit the number of guests for Commencement to eight. Tickets are not required for the ceremony.

    Accessible Seating

    Guest seating is restricted to the upper arena which is accessible only by stairs. A limited number of accessible seating is available on the main floor. Only one family member is permitted to sit with those who require accessible seating. Escorted entry is through the northeast arena door only. Seats are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Accessible seating fills up quickly after doors to Calihan are open. Strollers are not allowed in Calihan Hall and will not be accommodated in the accessible seating area.

  • Honors and Diploma

    Latin Honors

    Graduates who have compiled superior academic records during their undergraduate program at ϲʲͼ Mercy will have one of the following honors inscribed on their diploma and recorded on their permanent academic transcript: cum laude (3.50 GPA minimum), magna cum laude (3.70 GPA minimum), summa cum laude (3.90 GPA minimum). All coursework in the cumulative GPA at ϲʲͼ Mercy is used in the calculation for honors. Transfer students must complete at least 60 hours at ϲʲͼ Mercy to be eligible for honors recognition.

    The responsibility for determining appropriate academic honors rests with the individual colleges and schools. Candidates enrolled in the Honors Program, who have completed the established requirements of the program, will have honors suitably inscribed as part of their degree name on their diploma.

    Candidates expected to complete their degrees in Summer 2024 will not have honors read at Commencement because coursework is incomplete and final GPA is not yet determined. Honors information cannot be altered on Commencement Day. Please refer to the Undergraduate Catalog for information. There are no cords worn at commencement for those receiving Latin honors.


    If all degree requirements have been met, financial balances including the graduation fee have been paid and the diploma order processed. Diplomas are not distributed during the Commencement Ceremony. Diplomas for Winter graduates will be mailed to students typically by the end of May. 


    Two Degrees at one ceremony

    If you are receiving two degrees at one ceremony, special arrangements need to be made, especially if those degrees are from two different colleges or schools. Please contact the Registrar's Office no later than April 26th to discuss options for participation with the Registrar.

  • Locations and Parking


    Share a copy of the McNichols Campus Map with your guests so that they may familiarize themselves with the campus, its facilities and parking areas.

    You may also wish to see the Driving Directions page.


    Parking will be crowded and campus traffic will be heavy. Please allow extra time and car pool.

    Handicapped parking, in front of Calihan Hall, is limited and restricted to those with valid handicapped stickers or license plates.

  • Local Hotels

    Suggested ϲʲͼ Area Hotel Accommodations

    32800 Stephenson Highway
    Madison Heights MI 48071

    32420 Stephenson Highway
    Madison Heights MI 48071

    333 East Jefferson
    ϲʲͼ MI 48226

    200 W Big Beaver Road
    Troy MI, 48084

    27033 Northwestern Highway
    Southfield MI

    25100 Northwestern Highway
    Southfield MI 48075

  • Regalia (Faculty, librarians and academic administration)

    Faculty, librarians and academic administration will also be able to use regalia (cap, gown and hood) for this year's annual Commencement Ceremonies on:

    • Friday, May 10 (School of Dentistry and Schools of Law)
    • or Saturday, May 11 (McNichols Undergraduate and Graduate ceremony). 

    If you do not have academic regalia, you can order directly from our cap & gown vendor, . The items for purchase are cap/tam, gown and/or hood. The gown is an eco-friendly design and is made to be used a few times but is not considered a long-term garment. Items are shipped directly to the address you provide during the order process.

    Last day to order online for Commencement 2024 is April 15, 2024. Any orders placed April 16 through April 26, 2024 will be charged expedited shipping fees. No orders can be placed online after April 26, 2024 for Commencement 2024.

    We encourage early ordering to ensure you receive your order in plenty of time to participate.  All orders will be shipped to the address you provide in your order.  It is recommended that you don't use your campus address and use a personal address for shipping.

    For questions, please contact Jeff Nardecchia, Assistant Registrar at 313-993-3313.