Day of Commencement Instructions -Graduates

Before the commencement ceremony:

  • Check your regalia to ensure it is the correct size and appropriate for your degree. The Bookstore, in the Union, will be available to take care of any necessary adjustments. The Bookstore will be open on Friday, May 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, May 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, May 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Any honors cords or stoles that would accompany your cap and gown come directly from your department or organization. If you have a question about these additions, please contact your department administrator or organization chair.
  • Check to make sure you have guest tickets easily accessible for your ceremony. Guest tickets can be printed or electronic. Please check your tickets to make sure you are planning to attend the correct ceremony.

Day of commencement ceremony:

  • Upon arriving on campus, please put on your cap and gown. Honors cords should be draped over or secured to your LEFT shoulder, with the exception of the College of Business wearing gold and blue cords, as they should be draped around the neck. If you are receiving an advanced degree at the Graduate School ceremony, you should plan to wear your cap and gown, but carry your hood into the ceremony with you. Please carry your hood draped over your left arm as you approach the hooding station near the stage. All advanced degree candidates will be hooded by a faculty member DURING the ceremony.
  • Request family members or friends to secure your personal belongings. There are no attended areas to secure personal items or valuables. 
  • Doors open one hour prior to the start of each commencement ceremony. Graduates should enter the west ARC doors. These doors are just off the Victory Bell lawn. Guests should enter the South (Main lobby) doors to the ARC.
  • Find your seat after you have checked in at the west ARC doors. Each graduate has been assigned a seat number. This number will be printed on your name reader card. You will receive your name reader card at the west ARC entrance. It is extremely important that you keep this card with you and have it in hand when you approach the stage. There is no procession into the ARC arena. There will be a recessional after the ceremony. 
  • At the direction of a faculty marshal, easily identifiable by their gold robes, you will approach the stage. Be sure to have your name reader card. You will be asked to hand your name reader card to a marshal at the top of the stage.
  • Students graduating with honors will be asked to stand as a group for recognition during the ceremony.
  • Ceremony length will vary depending on the college, but we anticipate each commencement ceremony will be approximately two hours.

  • COVID Precautions to Note
    • Unvaccinated graduates and guests must wear a face covering at all times.
    • Vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a mask. 
    • The commencement program is able to be downloaded for you to follow along with virtually. Print programs will also be available for you to take as a momento.
    • If you feel ill or have any COVID-19 symptoms, you are encouraged to stay home, but at minimum must wear a mask as a precaution. 
    • If you have tested positive for COVID-19, please stay home.