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    Campus celebrates Spring commencement

    Hundreds of students will cross the Benson stage May 11.

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Applications for May or Summer 2020 graduation were due October 1. Students can still apply, but there is a $50 late fee.  Applications for December 2020 graduation are due March 1, 2020. There is no penalty for applying early. The Graduation Application is available on Pipeline in the “Student Records” section.

Commencement Schedule

Benson Auditorium

Fall - December 19, 2020

All colleges will gather at 10 a.m. to celebrate together. There is only one ceremony time in December. Line up for candidates will be in the science building at 9:15. Benson doors will be opened at 9 a.m. for guest seating.

Spring - May 9, 2020

9 a.m. - College of Bible and Ministry, Carr College of Nursing, College of Sciences

12 p.m. - College of Arts & Humanities, Paul R. Carter College of Business Administration, Honors College

3 p.m. - College of Allied Health, Cannon-Clary College of Education, College of Pharmacy

Benson doors will open approximately one hour prior to each ceremony for guest seating.

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A one-stop event for all University students who are graduating. Everyone from Alumni to Financial Aid to the Registrar's Office will be there for the graduate's convenience.


March 17-19, 2020
(for May candidates for graduation)

9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Liberty Room
(just off the Heritage Lobby)

Info for Graduates

Are you approved? Review the requirements

Please review your catalog for specific degree requirements. University graduation requirements are also posted in the catalog and may be found at www.harding.edu/catalog.

By university policy, to be approved to walk in the May commencement ceremony, candidates must have all degree requirements completed by the date of commencement. As the only exception, candidates who will complete degree requirements by enrolling at Harding in their final class during the Harding Intersession term are allowed to participate. Students who complete their degree during Intersession, while they may participate in the May commencement ceremony, their degrees will be awarded after Intersession and they are considered summer graduates.

Students who complete degree requirements after May degrees are verified will participate in the December ceremony, with the exception of pharmacy students who complete degree requirements after May degrees are awarded, and they will participate in the next May ceremony. Similarly, students who complete degree requirements after the December degrees are checked and verified will participate in the upcoming May commencement ceremony.

Why Attend Grad Fest?

Get professional 

Students will be able to visit a booth set up for resume building and interact with the variety of career services the university has to offer.

Get connected

The Office of Alumni Relations and Generation HU, the university’s young alumni program, will be set up with stations to meet students and begin relationships with them as they step into their new Harding roles as alumni.

Get swag

Students will have the opportunity to shop for a frame for their diplomas and pick up other various Harding apparel and souvenirs before they leave campus.

Get robed

This will also serve as the location for students to pick up their caps and gowns for commencement ceremonies.

Get excited

Grad Fest will not only provide one place for students to take care of their requirements before graduating, but it will also facilitate fun and excitement among graduates as they celebrate this milestone in their lives together. Throughout the event, we will encourage all students to participate in every opportunity involved in Grad Fest and celebrate their academic achievements as college graduates.

Academic Regalia (caps, gowns, hoods, tassels)

If you are not able to pick up your cap and gown at Grad Fest, you can go to the Bookstore website and complete the ordering information. For any additional questions you may have regarding obtaining your regalia please contact the Harding University Bookstore at 501-279-4351.

B.A.Art and Humanities, Business, Honors (IDS), and SciencesWHITE
B.A.Communication Sciences & DisordersSILVER
B.F.A.Fine ArtsBROWN
B.M.E.Music EducationPINK
B.S.Arts and Humanities, Honors (IDS) and SciencesGOLDEN YELLOW
B.S.M.T.Medical TechnologyKELLY GREEN
B.S.W.Social WorkCITRON
D.P.T.Physical TherapyTEAL
Ed.D.EducationLIGHT BLUE
Ed.S.Education-Educational LeadershipLIGHT BLUE
Ed.S.Education-Clinical Mental Health CounselingOLD GOLD Tassel/LIGHT BLUE Hood
M.S.Education-Professional School CounselingLIGHT BLUE
M.S.Speech-Language PathologySILVER
M.S.M.F.T.Marriage and Family TherapyLIGHT BLUE
M.A.T., M.Ed., M.S., M.S.E.EducationLIGHT BLUE
M.S.P.A.SPhysician AssistantKELLY GREEN

Honor Cords

OrganizationColorsPick-up Location
Alpha Chi
National Academic Honor Society
GREEN/BLUESears Honors House
Alpha Psi Omega
GOLD/BLUEReynolds C101
American Studies InstituteRED/WHITE/BLUEHeritage 211
Delta Mu Delta
Kappa Delta Pi
PURPLEThornton Education Center 130
Nu Delta Chapter of Kappa Omicron Nu
Family & Consumer Sciences
MAUVE/IVORYHendrix 210
Omicron Delta Kappa
National Leadership Honor Society
Phi Alpha Theta
Pi Sigma Alpha
Political Science
Sigma Tau Delta
RED/BLACKAmerican Studies 300
Sigma Theta Tau
PURPLE/WHITEorder from www.nursingsociety.org


There are no honor cords for cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude. These honors are designated in the program, on the diploma and on the transcript.

Diploma Sizes

Students who are awarded a Bachelor's or Master's degree, the diploma size is 8.5" x 11".

Doctoral students (Ed.D., Pharmacy, Physical Therapy) diploma size is 11" x 14".

About the week preceding commencement

If you were not able to pick up your cap and gown at Grad Fest, you can go online to harding.shopoakhalli.com and complete the ordering information.

Beginning the week preceding the commencement ceremony, regalia may be picked up in the Harding Bookstore between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.; and on Saturday morning beginning an hour before the ceremony.

If you pre-ordered a packet, it will be ready with your name on it. Extra packets will be available by size. Be certain you get the correct color of tassel for your degree (see the section on Academic Regalia). If you were unable to order early you should contact the Harding Bookstore at 501-279-4351 with questions.

The Line of March and graduation instructions are available in the "Graduation Information" section above. If your name is on the list but you do not plan to attend, please notify graduation@harding.edu, or call 501-279-4328. If your name is not on the list but you do plan to attend, please notify the office.

There will be no rehearsal for the commencement ceremony. Rather, students will be led in by faculty marshals.

Where you need to be on commencement day

Fall 2020: December 19, 2020

Line up for candidates will be in the science building at 9:15. (Guest seating will begin at 9 a.m.)

Spring 2020: May 9, 2020

9 a.m. - College of Bible and Ministry, Carr College of Nursing,  and College of Sciences

  • (Line up in the science building at 8:15 a.m.; doors to the Benson Auditorium will be unlocked at 8 a.m. for our guests to begin seating.)

12 p.m. - College of Arts & Humanities, Paul R. Carter College of Business Administration, and Honors College (Interdisciplinary Studies majors only)

  • (Line up in the science building at 11:15 a.m.; doors to the Benson Auditorium will be unlocked 45 minutes after the 9 a.m. ceremony concludes.)

3 p.m. - College of Allied Health, Cannon-Clary College of Education, and College of Pharmacy

  • (Line up in the Science building at 2:15 p.m.; doors to the Benson Auditorium will be unlocked 45 minutes after the noon ceremony concludes.)

Guest seating in Benson Auditorium is available on a first come basis approximately one hour prior to each ceremony. Guests may not reserve seats for more than 4 individuals (including themselves).  Seating is available for the handicapped and elderly upon request to an usher.

On the day of the ceremony there is a reception with hors d'oeuvres after the ceremony in the cafeteria to honor the graduates and their families (1 reception in the fall and 3 in the spring). All graduates, family members and friends are invited to join the Harding faculty and administrators for this informal, come-and-go celebration. This is your opportunity to introduce the special people in your life!

Special Accommodations

Candidates for graduation who need special accommodations due to physical limitations must contact us at graduation@harding.edu so that needed arrangements can be made prior to the ceremony. We want to include all students who have successfully completed their program of study.

Guest attending commencement needing special accommodations will be assisted by Public Safety. Please see an usher for help. Facilities for wheelchairs and special seating is limited, available on a first-come-first-served basis, and often only allows a caregiver to sit next to the individual. We are unable to reserve seating. Handicap parking is available on South Blakeney Street, East Center Avenue, as well as, behind the Benson Auditorium. A ramp is located on the east side of the Auditorium that gives access without climbing steps. Please email graduation@harding.edu with questions.

Contact Us

Fax: 501-279-4388

Location: Administration 106

Office Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Mailing address:
Harding University
Registrar's Office
Box 10766
Searcy, AR 72149-5615