Graduation and Commencement

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Steps to Graduation

A student planning to graduate should follow these steps:

  • Meet with their academic advisor
  • Check for 2.0 or higher GPA on all institutional college level courses
  • Complete the online Intent to Graduate Application through the My.Southwest portal:
      • Log in
      • Click on the "Registration/Online Services" icon
      • Click on the "Graduation Application" link
      • Complete the application
  • Schedule missing course requirements to be completed during the perceived final semester
  • If graduation exit testing is required, information with testing instructions and deadlines will be sent via email from the Testing Department.

Application Deadline Dates

Submit the Intent to Graduate Application for each semester by the dates below:
  • Summer Semester - July 1
  • Fall Semester - November 1
  • Spring Semester - April 1

If you have questions about the Application for Graduation, email the Records Office at

Regalia order information will be sent to all summer 2022 graduates, fall 2022 graduates, and spring 2023 graduation applicants. 

The order deadline is Friday, April 14, 2023. Once your order is placed you should receive a confirmation email from ''. You will receive a second email with a tracking number once your order has shipped.

All graduates should make plans to attend one of the following events. At this event you will pick up your pronouncer card and 4 event tickets, photo identification is required. 

May 8th, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm Macon Cove Campus (Nabors Auditorium)

May 10th, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm Union Avenue Campus (B106)

Bring your pronouncer card with you to the Commencement.

Any questions about this event, please email

We have one Commencement each year in May. The 2023 Commencement is Saturday, May 13, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. at Renasant Convention Center. Students should ensure all of their contact information is current in their Southwest portal. For more information, contact Records at 901-333-4594/5924 or

Guidelines for Commencement

Procedures and Etiquette

Ceremony Etiquette

The Commencement Ceremony is a most dignified event, whose traditions and regalia date from the thirteenth century. All participants are expected to exhibit courteous behavior and to observe the decorum merited by the occasion. Thank you for familiarizing yourself with the following notes on etiquette.

Arrival: Doors open one hour before the ceremony begins. Please arrive no later than forty-five minutes before the ceremony begins. All graduates must bring their pronouncer’s card that will be provided at the Graduation Fair.

Graduates: This year, we will not line up by disciplines. Graduation line-up will begin in Ballrooms C, D and E on the 2nd floor. You will be assisted by Southwest faculty and staff with lining up on the day of Commencement. Please be cooperative and attentive to ensure you hear all directions.

Guests: Each guest must have a ticket in order to attend the ceremony. These will be given to you at the Graduation Fair event. Guests will be seated in the Northwest/Southwest Halls. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. You will need your ticket to re-enter the event space. 

Tickets: Graduates will be given (4) tickets for guests. Each guest must have a ticket to be able to enter the ceremony space. Children ages three and under who will sit on an adult’s lap for the duration of the ceremony do not require a ticket.

Leaving. You may not leave until the ceremony concludes. The ceremony will last approximately two hours. It is important that you respect all of your fellow graduates and the importance of the ceremony.

  • Southwest will provide limited commencement programs. A link to a digital commencement program will be shared via email, after the ceremony. Attendees will receive ONE (1) printed program at the stadium. Graduates will have a printed program in their seats on the field.
  • Ceremony will be conducted at the Renasant Convention Center in the Northwest/Southwest Hall on the 2nd floor. The following are NOT permitted in the building:
    • Gum
    • Food or beverages
    • Cell phones and other electronic equipment should be left with family and/or turned off.
    • Personal items cannot be stored. Therefore, please leave them with family/loved ones.
  • The following requirements must be strictly adhered to for any guests of the Renasant Convention Center, including graduates:
    • No Air horns or any other artificial noise makers
    • No Animals (excluding service animals)
    • No Fireworks or other explosives
    • No Balloons, confetti, glitter or objectionable banners
    • No Alcohol or Controlled Substances.
    • No weapon of any kind or nature (City of Memphis, TN Municipal Code 10-32-2 (A))
  • Due to the layout of the event space, graduates will walk a greater distance than normal, including up and down ramps or stairs. We highly suggest wearing comfortable shoes. Graduates and faculty/staff with mobility concerns should contact the Center for Access at (901)-333-4223 or by email at . Sign language interpreters will be provided.
  • We encourage graduates to decorate their mortarboards. However, no obscene, profane, or improper decorations will be allowed. If done, you will be asked to remove your mortarboard.

Parking at the Renasant Convention Center

  • The Renasant Convention Center has a parking garage located at 266 N. Front St. Memphis, TN 38103. There is a $10 fee to park in the garage. Garage parking is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Livestreaming of Commencement

We understand tickets are limited and not everyone can attend Commencement. Southwest will livestream Commencement so that you watch it live on demand. The livestreaming of the ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. on two platforms: The college’s Facebook at @SouthwestTN and on YouTube at Southwest Tennessee Community College


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