Commencement Information for Students, Parents, and Guests

December 2024 Commencement

South Dakota Mines Fall 2024 graduation ceremony will take place at The Monument Fine Arts Theatre on Saturday, December 21, at 9:00 a.m. (MT). No tickets are needed and there is not a limit on the number of guests per graduate.

December 2024 Graduation Ceremony
December 21, 2024 @ 9:00 a.m. (MT)
The Monument Fine Arts Theatre
444 Mount Rushmore Rd N.
Rapid City, SD 57701 

Important Information

Graduate Information 2024

Before Commencement

Commencement Regalia

    If you have not already done so, you must place your required regalia rental order with the Rocker Shop immediately! You may stop by the store to do so, or you can use this link:
    The rental price for AA and BS graduates for December 2024 is $34.99 + tax. Rental regalia must be picked up no later than Friday, December 20, at 4:30 p.m.

Disability Accommodations

    If you require disability accommodations for yourself, it is imperative that you let Amanda Lopez, Title IX and Accessibility Services Coordinator know by December 6, 2024. Handicap-accessible seating is available for guests in the Monument Fine Arts Theatre.

Commencement Etiquette

    Out of courtesy to others, please ask guests to refrain from bringing noise-making instruments to the commencement.


Saturday, December 21, 2024, The Monument Ice Arena, 444 Mount Rushmore Rd. N

    ● All graduating seniors should arrive by 8:00 a.m. and be in line by 8:30 a.m.

    ● At 9:00 am we will proceed to the Fine Arts Theatre in a single file line according to the order in which you will receive your diploma as listed in the program. Please note that if you are receiving two degrees, you should line up in the major that appears first in the program alphabetically. Graduating students (A.A., B.S., M.S., and Ph.D.) will be seated as indicated in a future e-mail. You will be directed to the stage at the appropriate time by an usher, one row at a time.

    ● Your mortarboard should be worn flat on your head, with the tassel on the right-hand side for associate’s and bachelor’s degree candidates. It will not be necessary to change your tassel as you go across the stage to receive your diploma cover; the President will instruct you to do so once you have received your diploma cover and all graduates have returned to their seats. Masters and Ph.D. students’ tassels are always on the left-hand side. Men should remove their caps for the presentation and removal of the flags.

    ● During the ceremony, graduates use their left hand to receive their diploma so that they can properly shake hands with and be congratulated by university representatives. As a result, graduates should not carry items (such as phones or cameras) with them when they walk to receive their diplomas and may have these items confiscated to ensure their safety.

    ● No person is allowed to join a graduate on the stage during the Commencement ceremony, other than individuals providing approved ADA accommodation.

    ● Neither alcohol nor any illegal substance is permitted in the student staging area at Commencement. A graduate who brings such substances or is suspected of being under the influence of them, will not be permitted to march at Commencement.

Final Check-out Responsibilities

All graduating students are responsible for completing the following steps before leaving campus. Individual final transcripts and diplomas are held until all obligations are met.

    ● All keys that you have checked out for access to any building or room must be returned to Facilities Services. If you live in the residence halls, you must return residence hall keys to the Office of Residence Life.

    ● All library books and rental books must be returned.

    ● Any equipment, books, or other materials which you may have borrowed from a department must be returned.

    ● Return tablet computer and accessories to Tablet Central no later than May 3, 2024, unless other arrangements have been made with Bradley O’Brien ( or 394-2215).

    ● Any unpaid bills due to the business office, or any other department, must be paid in full.

    ● The South Dakota Mines email account set up for your use while you are a student will be discontinued several months after your departure. E-mail contact information that may extend into your post-graduation activities outside of this institution will be affected. Therefore, we advise you to establish a non-Mines account as soon as possible.

    ● Students who fail a course, fall short on credit hours or receive an “I” or “IP” grade will not receive their diplomas until the academic problems or deficiencies have been resolved.

Other Information

M-Hill is accessible (conditions permitting) by foot for you to take your family members to see your name on the commencement plaque. Please note that only the names of the graduating bachelor’s degree students are printed on the plaque.

Commencement Dress Code

Commencement is both a celebration of student success as well as a formal academic occasion and should be viewed as such in dress and demeanor. While the ceremony has no official dress code, the Commencement Committee encourages graduates to dress and act in a manner appropriate to it.

    ● Graduates are encouraged to dress business or business casual.

    ● Due to uneven surfaces, backstage wiring, and stage steps at the venue, graduates should avoid loose-fitting shoes (such as flip-flops) or shoes with stiletto heels.

    ● Academic robes and regalia have a long and distinguished history, and graduates are discouraged from altering them. Only University-sanctioned academic stoles and honor cords are allowed. A graduate whose regalia has been modified to be deemed distracting, offensive, or obscene by the Commencement Committee will not be permitted to march at Commencement.

    ● Please do not leave your rental regalia in the backstage area. The Rocker Shop will have a booth set up to check in your regalia rental, so you can return it immediately after the ceremony. Bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates will need to return the gown only. Ph.D. candidates will need to return the gown as well as the Ph.D. hood.

Commencement Portraits & Free Video Clip

● Your official commencement photos will be taken by The Grad Team. You will see your proofs via email a few days after the ceremony. You can also view and order your portraits at

No person is allowed to join a graduate on the stage during the Commencement ceremony, other than individuals providing approved ADA accommodation.

● A free video clip of your special moment on stage will be available after graduation at

New Alumni Reception

The Center for Alumni Relations & Advancement would like to invite you to the Spring 2024 New Alumni Welcome Reception, on Friday, April 26, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Robbinsdale Lounge (805 E. Saint Patrick Street). New graduates and guests, and local alumni are invited to this event. A taco bar buffet will be provided, and you’ll have a chance to win door prizes. We’re excited to welcome you into the Hardrocker alumni community! Please RSVP here if you plan to attend

Announcements, Frames & Rocker Shop

Grad Placement Survey

Please complete the post-graduation survey below. All career-related information collected is used for statistical purposes only. If you are still seeking employment, Career Services is here to help you in your search.

Grad Placement Survey

If you have questions about graduation, please contact or call (605) 394-2416 

Future Commencement Dates

Fall 2024: December 21, 2024
Spring 2025: May 10, 2025

Recent Graduates

Video Archives: YouTube Playlist

* The dates above conform to information established by the South Dakota Board of Regents, but are subject to change at its discretion.