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A complete guide to master’s graduation

Earning a master’s degree means 2 to 3 years of hard work, which includes packed course schedules, comprehensive exams, and usually a completion of a master’s thesis or an extended research paper. After years of tears and sweat, it finally comes the time for graduation! No one wants any surprise during this critical final step of achieving their hard-earned master’s degree! 

Here is a complete guide to help you best celebrate the long awaited major milestone of the master graduate.

Final Steps to Your Master’s Degree

Upon admission to a graduate program, a master’s student would be provided with a guideline of Steps to Your Master’s Degree or something alike. With additions or modifications from your advisor, department or program, the master’s student should have a clear idea of what to expect and the timelines in his/her case. The final steps are provided as general guidelines. Please refer to your university’s official website for specific guidelines. Here are a few examples from several universities in the United states (the University of TENNESSEE, Colorado State University, Louisiana State University, UCSanDiego).

While completing all the intended coursework, defending a thesis or passing a comprehensive examination, and meeting other degree requirements, don’t forget to apply for graduation right before or after all the tasks are finished depending on the program and university. Be certain to know the deadline for your desired graduation term.

The signed final report form of final examination and/or the final thesis approval form, as suggested by the name, is often the second last major required document for submission. The final report documents the outcome of the final exam or thesis and collects signatures from the degree committee and the department chair. The master’s graduate usually will be responsible for getting those original signed forms to the Graduate School by the deadline dates.

If the master’s thesis is approved by its degree committee, the master’s student submits the final approved thesis to the Graduate School. Final approval and acceptance of the thesis by the Dean of the Graduate School (on behalf of the University), marks the final step in the completion of all requirements for the Master's degree.

What’s next? Sit back, relax and celebrate!!!

Master’s Graduation Commencement Ceremony

The day of graduation commencement ceremony that almost every master’s student has dreamed of has finally come. Many universities need graduates to register to attend the commencement ceremony. Be sure to do that before its deadline. Unlike undergraduates, a master's graduate will have a hooding ceremony, which is a special ceremony where a faculty member places the master’s hood over the head of the graduate. The hooding ceremony signifies the graduate’s success in completing the graduate program.

Master’s Graduation Hood, Gown/Regalia

A master’s graduation gown or regalia consists of a simple black gown. What distinguishes a master’s gown from a bachelor’s are the sleeves. A Master’s gown has oblong sleeves open at the wrist with square-cut extensions hanging down from the rear of the sleeve. The oddly shaped sleeves signify the master’s degree. In addition, a master’s graduate typically wears a hood in the color that represents their college or school.

Wearing a master’s graduation gown/hood/regalia for the first time can be a little confusing. Here are 2 Youtube videos created by the experts teaching you how to properly wear a master’s graduation gown/regalia.


How to correctly wear Master's gown 1


How to correctly wear Master's gown 2

There are some important details that are worth remembering. For example, the graduation cap should be placed about 1’’ above the graduate’s eyebrows. And typically, the cap is worn with one corner facing forward, like a diamond, with a tassel attached in the center.

For master’s graduates, during the commencement ceremony, tassels are worn on the left side of the graduation cap before, during and after graduating. In addition, the cap should be basically perpendicular with your body, not angled too high on your head, as it may fall off.

Properly wearing a master’s graduation hood might be the most confusing part, if you still haven’t mastered the way to wear it from the videos, you can read a detailed step-by-step instruction here. Please note that to avoid wearing the hood inside out, make sure that the velvet facing of the hood is visible (the thin strip of color is the outside of the hood) under the chin and lies flat over the shoulders. You can have a friend flare out the inner color slightly, but don’t turn the hood inside out!

Master Graduation Cap Decoration Ideas

As you may know, graduation cap decorating is a big deal at many schools for both college and graduate school graduates. Including a quote and/or some cool designs on a grad cap has been a huge trend for the past few years. Decorating your cap would make you stand out in the crowd and let people know what you have to say about your experiences from your time in school and your hope for the future.

Here are a few of our favorite blogs that collected the most creative and fun ideas for master graduation cap decorations.

1. 60 Genius Graduation Cap Ideas

This blog is full of awesome graduation cap ideas that are either funny, inspirational, artsy or everything in between. You can always find one idea that fits your taste. 


Decorate graduation cap 1



2. 56 Insanely Genius Graduation Cap Ideas That I’m Obsessed With

The blogger Zainob tastefully selected 56 graduation cap ideas of real examples shared on social media. These ideas are clever and very doable, yet as awesome as those mentioned above. You don’t need artistic skills to replicate or adapt these ideas to create your own.  


Decorate graduation cap 2

 Source: instagram/


Masters Graduation Quotes

In case you’ve decided to decorate your masters graduation cap and you’d like to write a killer quote on it, or if you want to send a sentimental/thoughtful/inspirational card to the graduate, the 2 excellent blogs lists below will give you a jumpstart.

1. From Fortune 500 CEOs to Grammy-winning performers to lauded philosophers, these quotes are to enlighten, uplift and encourage your master graduates to embark on their next exciting journey.

Graduation quote 1

Source: woman's day


2. As you read on this list of best graduation quotes, you'll find them filled with profound wisdom and simply legit inspiration. These quotes are from celebrities, athletes, politicians, writers and more, distilled from their extraordinary life experiences. They are words to live by. 

Graduation quote 2

Source: teenvogue


Masters Graduation Dress Code

Due to the formality of this occasion, and safety concerns regarding tripping on the steps due to high heels and long gowns, please wear appropriate shoes.  Flip flops, clogs and loose fitting or informal shoes are not recommended.

Slacks and a dress shirt with tie for men and slacks with a blouse or a dress for women are usually recommended.

Looking for best graduation ideas for master's graduates?

Best Master’s Graduation Gifts Ideas| For Her & For Him (In 2022)


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