Frequently Asked Questions

Graduates standing in a line
General Ceremony Information:

Wildcat Stadium presents some logistical challenges in that there is no back up option for inclement weather. Additionally, students have expressed the desire for individual recognition at the ceremony. Due to the large size of a single Commencement ceremony, there would not be enough time to offer that recognition to all students.

Yes! All ceremonies will be livestreamed.

There will not be a separate Honors Convocation ceremony. Students eligible for Honors recognition at Commencement will have their Honors designation read with their name as they cross the stage. Students will be able to pick up their cords and stoles when they line up for the ceremony.

The ceremony will be held rain or shine. 

Commencement was held on Memorial Field for many years prior to the completion of Wildcat Stadium. The set up of the ceremony looks very similar to the setup at Wildcat Stadium with the same stage and seating for graduates.  We will also be supplying chairs for guests as opposed to the built in seating you find at Wildcat Stadium. You can view photos of what a university wide ceremony set up looked like on Memorial Field here.

We have loved hosting Commencement at Wildcat Stadium for the past five years. However, as we transition to the individual college based model, we are looking to provide our students and their families with a more intimate ceremony experience that we can't achieve in the same way in the stadium. The stadium has held up to 25,000 people at past commencements. We are anticipating approximately 5,000 people per ceremony this year.

Graduate Information:

Yes, registration is required for all graduates planning to walk in the ceremony. Registration will open in November.

Yes! All students will be able to walk across the commencement stage and have their name read. Students who receive academic honors will also have their honors designation read along with their name.

All graduate students (Masters, PhD, or Doctoral candidates) should plan to walk in the Graduate School ceremony on Friday evening.

While students are eligible to attend both ceremonies in this case, we do recommend choosing one ceremony. There will be many aspects of each ceremony that will be identical.

We work with an outside vendor to provide students with their caps and gowns. Online ordering is open now. Students will have the opportunity to choose to pick up their cap and gown on campus at one of several pick up opportunities or to have it shipped to them for an additional fee. Additional information can be found here. Ordering ends May 1.

Students should plan to arrive 1 hour prior to the start of their ceremony. Line up will take place in the Depot Road Parking lot next to the Dairy Bar.

Graduates will be seated alphabetically during the ceremony.

Diplomas are mailed to the graduate 6-8 weeks after the ceremony. Diplomas are not handed out during the ceremony.

Yes, we work with a photography company who will take each student's photo as they cross the stage. These photos will be emailed to each student for purchase a few weeks after the ceremony.

Guest Information:

At this time, tickets will not be required for guests and there will be no limit to the number of guests each student can invite to the ceremony. We are monitoring the situation around the COVID-19 pandemic and may need to make adjustments to these plans as we get closer to the ceremony.

Seating will be available 1 hour prior to the start of the ceremony. Seating is available on a first come, first served basis.

Parking is available in lot A for the following ceremonies:

  • Graduate School
  • COLSA
  • PAUL College

Parking is available in the West Edge Parking Lot for the following ceremonies:

  • COLA
  • CEPS/CHHS

Please note, shuttle service will ONLY be available from these parking lots. Other campus lots are open with the exception of D Lot, H Lot, N Lot, Z lot, and the Edgewood Road Visitor Lot.

We anticipate that the ceremonies will be approximately 1. 5 hours. We would encourage guests to plan for time to return to their vehicles and navigate the traffic in determining a time for post-event reservations.