December graduates Q & A

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December Graduates Commencement Q&A

Undergraduate students who qualify to graduate from Messiah University at the end of the fall semester of their senior year, also referred to as December graduates, often have specific Commencement-related questions. To assist, below are responses to some of the most commonly asked questions we hear from our December graduates:

No, Messiah does not host a separate Commencement ceremony for December graduates. The smaller number of December graduates is not conducive to providing the same scope and quality of Commencement weekend that the University provides in May. To maintain a consistent experience for all graduates, Messiah’s tradition has been to celebrate this achievement with the entire class together at the end of the spring semester.


The average number of December graduates at Messiah over the past five years is 94 students, or about 15 percent of the total graduating class.

Yes, all December graduates are invited and encouraged to come celebrate at the Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies with their friends and classmates from their graduating class.

December graduates are invited to submit their graduation application in September, at which time they may report their plan to attend May Commencement. Subsequent email communications starting in October provide additional instructions for ordering regalia, and other important related commencement details.

Over the past five years, the majority of December graduates (85%) chose to participate in the May Commencement ceremony with the rest of their classmates.

Diplomas are mailed to December graduates at their home address on file approximately three weeks from Dec. 31, the date of degree conferral.

NOTE: Diplomas are mailed without a diploma cover. Graduates will receive their Messiah University diploma cover when they cross the stage at the May Commencement ceremony. If December graduates are unable to attend the May Commencement ceremony, they will have the opportunity to have their diploma cover mailed to their home address free of charge by the university. 


Yes, December graduates have the option when they order their cap and gown to be shipped directly to their home address.

However, December graduates must pick up their tickets for Baccalaureate and for the “rain plan” indoor Commencement ceremony in person with their student ID either prior to or during Commencement Weekend.

Yes, December graduates who do not participate in the May commencement ceremony will receive an email invitation from Messiah Press approximately 1-2 weeks after Commencement, inviting them to request a complimentary diploma cover to be mailed to their home address.