Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work


Loyola's MSW Program at Carthage


Loyola MSW at Carthage has one graduation each year in Kenosha on the Carthage campus. Our program is set up to complete classes in August. The ceremony is held for the two cohorts at the Carthage campus only. The Dean and faculty who have taught from Loyola are invited to participate in the graduation ceremony. It takes place at 1:00pm, in the Siebert Chapel on the Carthage campus usually on a Sunday, determined by the space availability.

The 2017 graduation date is Sunday, August 20, 2017

Graduation Ceremony

Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work has one commencement ceremony each year in May for students who have attended school at the Water Tower Campus. Degrees are only awarded by Loyola University Chicago in May, August, and December. WTC and Carthage students are invited to attend. Carthage students have occasionally attended if they have completed all requirements by the May graduation date. The MSW program at Carthage is set up so that students usually complete their degree in August.

Graduation Fee

A graduation fee of $100 is charged to all students who will graduate from Loyola University. This fee covers the costs of processing diplomas and graduation audits, and is charged to everyone who is graduating from the University. It will be due along with an application for graduation in the fall before your graduation year usually by December 1(Chicago date). The Carthage date is a little earlier (Nov. 6) so that all of our applications can be brought to Chicago together. You must apply for graduation and have an academic audit to confirm that you have fulfilled all the requirements for your program. An audit will be completed at the end of your last Fall semester, prior to confirm graduation eligibility. THIS IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO COMPLETE.

Caps and Gowns

Caps and gowns are worn at the graduation ceremony. In June, we will mail to your home an order form from the company who sells the caps and gowns. It is not necessary to attend the bookstore graduation sales in Chicago. You will order the cap and gown yourself and have it mailed to your home. You should always get a citrine (light golden yellow) tassel with your cap for a masters’ level graduate in social work. Ordering the caps and gowns is the responsibility of the student.

Graduation Dinner

Carthage will have a graduation dinner on the last day of Saturday class for the graduates. This year's dinner will be on Saturday, August 19 at 4pm. The dinner is organized by the student organization. They will invite faculty who have taught your classes to attend the dinner; and participate in the graduation ceremony, if they desire. The student organization from Carthage will use monies raised during the year to create decorations and/or give small gifts to the graduates at the dinner. Graduates are allowed to bring one guest. There is no charge for the graduation dinner and one guest. The student organization will do a presentation or fun program at the dinner. Students are able to pick a theme each year for the dinner. Please mark your calendars so that you can enjoy this celebration.

Graduation Ceremony Practice

Everyone participating in graduation, will proceed to the Siebert Chapel to practice for the graduation ceremony. Since our students have never been in the chapel, it is vital that you plan to attend the graduation rehearsal. We will have the lineup and information in a printed form, but it will not be clear what you need to do at graduation unless you attend the rehearsal and are in the Chapel. Please be sure to mark your calendars for this date.

Graduation Ceremony

Students will arrive about an hour to 45 minutes before the graduation ceremony. The ceremony begins promptly at 1 pm. Students should bring their own cap, tassel and gown with them. The ceremony lasts about an hour. Many Loyola University and Carthage College administration, faculty and staff participate in the ceremony. During the commencement ceremony there is a commencement address, a student speaker, presentation of awards and awarding of diplomas. Before the ceremony, students will line up in the hallway near the north entrance to the Chapel. Each student will walk across the stage and be congratulated by the Dean of the school and other faculty and staff, and will be presented with a diploma cover. Students will be able to write a 3x5 card with a very brief message that will be read out loud to thank whomever you desire as you are walking across the stage.


The Loyola MSW at Carthage staff is open to suggestions about a commencement speaker. Please attend a planning meeting in November and bring forward any suggestions that you have for an inspirational speaker for the ceremony. Craig Perri, Asst Director Academic Programs, will make the final determination if the [suggested] speaker is appropriate and the speaker will need to be properly invited to check their availability for that date. 

Plan to submit some names for the student speaker at your November student organization meeting. You are able to have a student speaker or two for the graduation luncheon. You are also able to have one student speaker for the graduation ceremony – a different person if you desire. Again, Craig will make the final decision. Please discuss suggestions and make sure the person you nominate is interested in speaking.


A professional photographer will be at the chapel to take pictures. A group photo of all graduates will be taken at 12:30. Be aware that the photographer will be in a separate space from other guests so that he has control over the pictures he will make available to you to purchase.

Graduation Reception

The Loyola MSW at Carthage will have an appetizer reception in the Todd Wehr Center at Carthage following the graduation ceremony. Your family is invited to attend this reception with you. It is your last chance to visit with the other members of your cohort and their families before everyone goes their separate ways. Students will also receive a gift from the Loyola MSW at Carthage.


Your actual diploma will be mailed to you at your home in the fall since the school will process your transcripts and diploma in September. This process may take approximately two months, after your completion of classes in the end of August. Be sure that the Carthage and Loyola offices have your accurate and most current mailing address. If at any time during school you have relocated, your correct mailing must be up to date. If you anticipate moving after graduation and prior to receiving your diploma, please contact Loyola otherwise, this will delay the receipt of your diploma.

Loyola University Graduation Letter

If you need confirmation of your graduation earlier, for purposes of applying for jobs or getting a company promotion, the Carthage program will provide a letter to you stating that you have met the requirements for graduation and are waiting for the final diploma. You should let Joanne know  if you need this, but all of your work must be completed before it will be available.