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USD graduates at the commencement ceremony


Despite the challenging circumstances we currently face, the University of South Dakota is committed to celebrating our students' accomplishments and providing them with a memorable graduation experience. USD plans to host a joint graduation ceremony for undergraduate and graduate students on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, at 9 a.m. at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

Watch live on Facebook

Please know that your health and safety is our top priority. A number of safety measures will be in place:

  • Face coverings will be required.
  • The space will accommodate for physical distancing for both guests/family members attending in the stands and graduates seated below.
  • A maximum attendance of 3,000 will be enforced. 

While we are looking forward to the opportunity to gather in celebration, please remember that this is a fluid situation and our plans are subject to change; we will continue to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as we make decisions that prioritize the health and safety of the Coyote community.

Guests who are unable to attend in person are welcome to watch the ceremony via a livestream on Facebook.

Commencement Map and Parking

See What You Missed at the 2019 Commencement



If you are completing your degree:

  1. Complete your Degree Audit Form/Application for Graduation|Graduate School Graduation Forms (myUSD login required)
  2. Whether or not you are attending the ceremony, you will need to complete the (myUSD login required).
    (The Diploma Order Form generally becomes available six weeks before your graduation date.)
  3. If you wish to have your student email migrated to an alumni email, complete the Opt In Form (myUSD login required).

If you are attending the ceremony

  • Order regalia online from Balfour/CB Grads. Graduates are required to arrive wearing the approved graduation regalia. Please wear a face covering.
  • If you require special needs seating, please contact Disability Services.
  • Students must RSVP for themselves and their guests in advance by Sept. 25. A maximum of four guests per graduate will be permitted. We will not be accepting walk early requests due to the unique circumstances surrounding the ceremony.
  • Please arrive at the Sanford Coyote Sports Center dressed in your regalia no later than 40 minutes prior to the ceremony.
  • You will not receive your official diploma at the ceremony. You will receive a diploma cover as you cross the stage. Summer 2019, fall 2019 and spring 2020 degree recipients have received their official diplomas in the mail. Summer 2020 degree candidates will receive their official diploma in the mail in late October or early November.

Family & Friends

Graduates must RSVP for themselves and their guests by Sept. 25. Four guests per graduate will be permitted. Those who are unable to attend the event in person are welcome to watch the ceremony via the livestream on Facebook or on our website.

The commencement ceremony is held in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center. Seating is available for guests who were accounted for in the RSVP process; tickets are limited to four maximum per student and will be sent to students via email two to three days prior to the event. Ushers will be available to direct guests and graduates to their seats to accommodate for social distancing. If you require special assistance, please contact Disability Services at 605-677-6389.

Length of ceremony
Three hours

A professional photographer will take photos of each graduate. Photos may be purchased directly from the photographer. Guests may take their own photographs during the ceremony, but must remain outside of the candidate seating area, in order to ensure an enjoyable ceremony for all candidates. Guests will have time after the ceremony to take personal photographs on the stage, near the commencement flags and at other spots within and outside of the Sanford Coyote Sports Center.

University Dining provides cakes for graduates. To learn about your options and ordering information, contact university catering at 605-677-5665 or email You can also place your order online.

Commencement Program Archive

Visit the commencement program archive for access to program booklets from past commencement ceremonies at USD.