December Commencement & Degree Requirements| Graduation | ESF Students
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

December 2017 Commencement & Degree Requirements Graduate Students

(for degrees conferred August and December 2017)

Are you Ready for December Commencement?

December Commencement will be held on Friday, December 8, 2017 at 2:00 pm in Hendricks Chapel. Students who completed degree requirements in August or who will complete degree requirements by Thursday, December 7, 2017 are invited to participate in the December 2017 Commencement ceremonies. Master's degree students who have defended theses may request permission to participate in ceremonies with written recommendations from the appropriate Faculty Chairs and permission from the Dean of Instruction & Graduate Studies. No exceptions will be made to allow doctoral students (who have not completed degree requirements) to participate in Commencement. There will be a reception immediately following the Commencement in the Gateway Center. Commencement rehearsal will be held in the Gateway Center on Wednesday, December 6 at 3:00 pm. A Champagne Toast sponsored by the Alumni Association will follow.

Items for Your Planning Calendar

Commencement Rehearsal: Wednesday, December 6th, at 3:00pm in the Gateway Center. This will be a quick preview of what will happen on the day of! Immediately following the rehearsal, the ESF Alumni Association will host a Toast and all graduating students will receive a commemorative glass in the Gateway Center.

Commencement: Friday, December 8th in Hendricks Chapel. You need to arrive at the Chapel by no later 1:30pm in order to participate in the procession. Ceremonies will include the individual recognition of each degree candidate. You MUST pick up your cap and gown regalia at the Schine Student Center prior starting on Monday, December 4th through Friday, December 8th (prior to 2pm).

Reception: There will be a complimentary reception held immediately following Commencement in the Gateway Center. We welcome families and their guests to join in the celebration!

What is the Difference Between ESF Commencement and Combined Commencement?

ESF Commencement is "the ceremonial assembly of members of a college or university." SUNY-ESF students will celebrate December Commencement on Friday, December 8, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. You should arrive at the Chapel no later than 1:30 pm on December 8, 2017-- with your regalia --to participate in the procession.

Combined Commencement is "the ceremonies or the day for conferring degrees or diplomas." SUNY-ESF students join with Syracuse University students to formally receive academic degrees. The 2018 Combined Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 12th, 2018 in the SRC Arena. August 2017, December 2017, & May 2018 graduates will be invited to participate in May 2018 Commencement.

Formal Attire Is Required!

During the Middle ages, monks and students wore academic regalia as protection from the damp and drafty conditions of monasteries and castles. Through the years, regalia evolved to represent and celebrate scholarly achievement. The colors of the hoods and various trimmings symbolized the disciplines and institutional traditions.

In deference to and in celebration of tradition and scholarship, ESF students who participate in Commencement are required to wear academic attire. Caps and gowns are available for purchase only for Master's students ($39.99 for cap, gown, and tassel and $29.99 for hood) or rental for Doctoral gowns ($46.95) through the Syracuse University (SU) Bookstore in the Schine Student Center, (315) 443-9900. Students who expect to participate in December 2017 Commencement must reserve regalia from the SU Bookstore by Friday, October 27 for pick-up Monday-Friday, December 4th - 8th.

ESF Commencement Parking

Guests may park in SU's Standart Lot for the afternoon's Commencement ceremony. Directions to this lot can be found here. Please refer to your Commencement mailing for more details. If you or a member of your family will be in need of handicapped parking facilities, please make arrangements with the Division of Student Affairs at 315-470-6658 no later than Friday, November 17, 2017.

Remember to reserve overnight accommodations early! We also recommend making restaurant reservations to avoid disappointments and long waits!

If you have questions about the Commencement Ceremony, contact the Division of Student Affairs at (315) 470-6658. If you have any concerns about your graduate degree requirements, call the Office of Instruction and Graduate Studies at (315) 470-6599.

Degree Requirements

What Does it Mean to "Complete Degree Requirements?" The Master's degree requires completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours at the graduate level, of which at least 24 must be in coursework. By this time you should have completed an approved study plan (3B) and submitted it to the Office of Instruction and Graduate Studies. Capstone seminar, thesis, and exam requirements must also be met.

Doctoral degree students must successfully complete a minimum of 60 graduate credits -- 30 to 48 are awarded for coursework and 12 to 30 credits are awarded for dissertation. An approved study plan (3B) must be submitted to the Office of Instruction and Graduate Studies and executed by the student. Capstone seminar, dissertation, and defense of dissertation requirements must also be met. Graduate students must be registered for at least one credit hour for the semester in which they complete degree requirements.

What Paperwork is Required to "Complete Degree Requirements?"

MLA and MPS degrees

  • upon successful completion of coursework and department requirements:
  • Graduate version of the Diploma Form

MS degree

  • upon successful completion of the thesis defense and capstone seminar:
  • Submission of thesis document and payment of abstract fee to ProQuest
  • Submission of the appropriate copies of the thesis to the Office of Instruction & Gradaute Studies
  • Thesis binding fee ($35/copy)
  • Graduate version of the Diploma Form

Doctoral degree

If you are submitting a thesis or dissertation, did you...

  • Leave at least 1.0 inch margins?
  • Have the abstract page signed by your major professor(s)?
  • Have the title page signed by your major professor(s), chair of the exam committee, department chair, and Director of the Division of Engineering (ERE only – Dr. Gary M. Scott)?
  • Include your resume or vita as the last page of the thesis or dissertation?
  • Spell check all pages - especially the acknowledgment page?!!!
  • Make sure all pages are included and in correct order?
  • Make sure you have not gone beyond your delimitation date? (If you missed the deadline, you must petition an extension.)
  • Submit your document to ProQuest?

Masters HoodsMaster’s hoods
The colors of the ESF Master's hoods represent the degree level and academic discipline.

Doctoral HoodsDoctoral hoods
Ph.D. hoods represent the colors of SUNY-ESF. Doctoral degree recipients receive "the gift of the hood" during the December Commencement ceremony.