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Graduation Day

Graduation is the payoff for your hard work. Motlow graduates make more money, and have more opportunities to advance in their career, than those who don’t complete a degree.


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Graduation Requirements

Prospective graduates shall complete the following before being awarded a degree/certificate. These are in addition to the curriculum for each program.

  • Complete the Intent to Graduate form with an advisor and submit the completed form to the Admissions Office
  • Have a minimum Motlow GPA of 2.0 with the exception of Associate of Science in Teaching (AST) students, who must have a minimum Motlow GPA of 2.75
  • Pay all financial obligations to Motlow including parking tickets and overdue fees
  • Submit all required transcripts to the Admissions Office
  • All degree applicants will take the ETS Proficiency Profile (formerly MAPP). Students receiving a Technical Certificate are not required to take this exam
  • All degree applicants will meet the computer competency requirement by either passing INFS 1010 or taking the Computer Competency Exam
  • AAS Business applicants will take the Business Exit Exam
  • Computer Information Technology (CIT) applicants will take the CIT Exit Exam
  • Criminal Justice AAS applicants will take the Criminal Justice Exit Exam
  • Associate of Science in Teaching (AST) applicants will have a minimum ACT Composite of 22 OR pass the PRAXIS I. AST students will also receive satisfactory rating on 3 Disposition Assessments (reviewed by the Social Science & Education Division)
  • Additional steps must be taken if you plan to participate in the commencement ceremony

Attire for Commencement

All participating candidates should be dressed in their caps and gowns and at the Murphy Center at least 90 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. Candidates are expected to dress professionally and comfortably. Academic regalia, including cap and gown with approved stoles, sashes, and cords are required for the ceremony. Caps may be decorated within reason provided the decoration does not detract from the event. Motlow employees have the right to exclude a student from participating should they come dressed inappropriately.


Motlow State is not responsible for your valuables (cell phones, cameras, purses, etc.). We recommend that you lock valuables in your car or leave them with family or friends.

Student Parking

The closest parking lots to Murphy Center are on Greenland Drive and Faulkinberry Drive. The main parking lot is the Greenland Parking lot. The next closest parking lots are the Middle Tennessee Lot and the Midgett Lot.

Cap and Gowns

Cap and gowns will be available for pickup beginning April 15 through May 7 from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm in the Moore County Campus Crouch Center and at the McMinnville, Smyrna and Fayetteville Campuses Front Office/Desk.
Cap and gowns will not be available after May 7th.
Graduation regalia cannot be replaced once picked up.

Diploma Distribution

Provided you have met all requirements for graduation, and you have no holds on your account, diplomas will be mailed 6 to 8 weeks after final grades have posted.
All candidates must fulfill all financial obligations to the College prior to receiving a diploma.

Special Notes

Staff and volunteers will assist you and answer your questions.

Participation in the commencement ceremony does not mean you have graduated from Motlow. Final grades and final evaluations must be completed prior to the granting of the degree/certificate. All course substitutions, final grades, exit exam (if applicable) and other college obligations must be completed by the end of your graduating term.

Guest Parking

The closest parking lots to Murphy Center are on Greenland Drive and Faulkinberry Drive. The main parking lot is the Greenland Parking lot. The next closest parking lots are the Middle Tennessee Lot and the Midgett Lot. 


The ceremony has open seating. All seating is in the blue seats and bleachers. Guests may seat themselves on a first-come, first-served basis.  Due to safety hazards, strollers must not block aisles or seats.

Accessible Seating for Guests with Disabilities

Accessible seating is available in designated areas on the upper bowl of the arena. Guests needing special accommodations please   arrive no later than 45 minutes prior to the event.


Please feel free to bring your cameras to take photos.  To comply with safety regulations, the aisles must remain clear at all times, especially during the processional and recessional.

Grad Images, an independent contractor, is the official photographer for graduation. Soon after the ceremony, you may go online to find your picture. Many candid photos will be taken by Motlow State staff.  Photos will be posted to our website and social media channels.

Tobacco-Free Campus

MTSU is a smoke and tobacco-free campus. The policy prohibits the use of all forms of tobacco, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, snuff, e-cigarettes and other similar devices.

Safety and Security

Your safety is our priority.  For safety and courtesy, none of the following items will be allowed inside or outside during the Commencement Ceremonies: 

  • Balloons, blow up items, beach balls, inflatables
  • Glass containers, vases, or bottles
  • Silly string or aerosol cans of any kind
  • Illegal substances of any kind
  • Laser pens or pointers
  • Lawn chairs or portable seating
  • Alcohol of any kind
  • Fireworks or incendiary devices including party/confetti poppers
  • Offensive signs or banners
  • Signs or banners over 8.5” X 11”
  • Weapons or other threatening objects of any kind (including spiked jewelry or chains)
  • Pets (other than service animals)
  • Water guns, spray bottles, or misters
  • Drones or any type of UAV
  • Remote control devices of any kind
  • Airsoft products
  • Facial masks of any type
  • Mace or pepper spray
  • Musical instruments
  • Any other item deemed unacceptable by MTSU Security or Staff
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