Graduation Information

Congratulations, Class of 2020!

Commencement Exercises

Mars Hill University has two commencement exercises annually; for the 2019-20 academic year, the December ceremony took place on December 20, 2019 and the May ceremony has been postponed. Those students who complete degree requirements in summer school are invited to participate in the December ceremony.

Students expecting to graduate during the academic year are required to:

  1. Complete a graduation application indicating anticipated graduation date.
  2. Schedule an evaluation meeting with the Assistant Registrar to determine completion of all academic requirements for general education and declared major(s), concentration(s), and minor(s) as stipulated in the catalog of record. Graduation requirements further state that a minimum of 128 semester hours of credit must be earned. Sixty credit hours must be earned at a senior level institution. The last 32 credit hours and a minimum of 12 hours in the major must be earned at Mars Hill University. The student must earn a grade point average of 2.00 for all courses attempted at Mars Hill excluding those taken on an S/U basis and those to which the Repeat Policy was applied. In addition, the student must earn a cumulative MHU and transfer grade point average of 2.00.
  3. Discharge all college financial obligations to the satisfaction of the business office and/or financial aid office.


Each guest will be required to have a ticket for admission to Moore Auditorium for Commencement. Tickets will be available online for traditional students and AGS students to reserve. Tickets are in high demand. If you have not indicated that you are participating in the ceremony, you will not receive guest tickets. If you will not use all of your tickets, please share them with your fellow graduates or return the tickets to the Registrar’s Office. Number of tickets will be announced after application deadline.



  • Doors open at 8:30am
  • No seats can be reserved after 9:15am
  • All guests need to be in seats by 9:15am
  • Each guest must have a ticket to enter. Children that can sit on an adult’s lap do not need a ticket.
  • Restrooms are located on all three floors of the building
  • Spainhour will not be locked. It is advised for graduates to leave any valuable with friends/family
  • The ceremony will be livestreamed via:
  • Edna Moore Parlor (to the left upon entering Moore) will be open with a Livestream of the ceremony. This space is meant for guests with small children or the potential to need to leave the auditorium.


Please let me know if you have guests needing special accommodations to attend the ceremony. MHU Security will have parking available on Auditorium Drive, and we will have Marshals available to assist with seating.


To receive a degree from Mars Hill University, a student must complete the general education and major requirements specified in the student’s catalog of entry and electives necessary to earn a minimum of 128 semester hours of credit. A minimum of 12 hours in the major and the last 25% of the total required credit hours must be earned at Mars Hill. The student must earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.00 for all courses attempted excluding those taken on an S/U basis and those for which the repeat course policy was applied.


At Commencement diplomas will be given to students with no remaining financial obligations to the university. If you still owe a balance you will not receive your diploma at Commencement. The deadline to pay off balances in order to receive your diploma at Commencement is Wednesday, December 18 @ 4:00pm. Please contact the Business Office with questions about accounts and balances.


Commencement is the paramount academic ceremony, and participants are expected to demonstrate their respect for the event and its significance by wearing appropriate attire beneath their regalia. Men should wear dress shirts with ties, dress slacks, and dress shoes, women a dress or dressy suit with matching flats or heels. Jeans, t-shirts, sneakers, shorts, flip-flops, and the like are inappropriate.


Bachelor’s degree graduates participating in the December or May Commencement ceremony must wear appropriate regalia consisting of gown, mortarboard, and tassel purchased from the Mars Hill University Bookstore. Graduates keep their regalia following Commencement. Regalia from other ceremonies is not permitted. A graduate in active military service at the time of Commencement may wear the appropriate dress uniform in lieu of regalia but must drape the academic gown over his or her forearm when crossing the stage to receive a diploma. Graduates’ tassels are colored according to the degree earned:

  • Bachelor of Arts — white
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts — brown
  • Bachelor of Music — pink
  • Bachelor of Science — gold
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing – apricot
  • Bachelor of Social Work — citron

Graduates who earn “Latin honors” (cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude) also wear a second tassel in institutional blue and gold provided by the university. During the ceremony, tassels must be worn on the right side of the mortarboard until graduates are directed to move them to the left side by the President. Men are expected to remove their mortarboards during the invocation but replace them afterwards; women may do the same or may leave their mortarboards on throughout the ceremony.

A graduate who is a member of Alpha Chi (traditional students) or Alpha Sigma Lambda (nontraditional students) may wear that organization’s honor cord over his or her regalia during Commencement.

Graduates who have successfully completed the university’s Honors Program curriculum wear a gold stole at Commencement in addition to any other recognitions.

Faculty members in each academic department may, at their discretion, select a graduate to be recognized as the Outstanding Graduate at each Commencement ceremony. To be eligible for this distinction, a graduate must also be eligible for Latin honors. Outstanding Graduates are announced as their names are called and are presented with a medal recognizing their achievement.

Alpha Chi cords and Honors stoles will be given out at line-up prior to Commencement. Information on procuring Alpha Sigma Lambda chords can be obtained from Heidi Sermersheim (