Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT DAY IS COMMENCEMENT?
Sunday, May 29, 2016
WHAT TIME DOES COMMENCEMENT START?
The procession steps off promptly at 9:45 AM but seniors must line up on Waterman Street no later than 9:30 AM, seniors, medical students, and graduate students process through the Van Wickle Gates and split off to their separate ceremony locations, with seniors proceeding down the hill to the First Baptist Church in America. During the senior ceremony in the church, families and friends are encouraged to find seats on the College Green, where large video screens will broadcast the proceedings. All degree recipients will return to the College Green for the University ceremony, which will begin at approximately 1:00 PM.
WHAT TIME DOES COMMENCEMENT END?
In general, the University Ceremony ends on the College Green around 2pm with individual departmental diploma ceremonies occurring afterward, from approximately 2PM-4PM. These departmental ceremonies are a place for students to not only get their diploma(s) but also to say farewell to their colleagues and professors.
IS THERE A LIMIT TO HOW MANY TICKETS I CAN GET?
There are no tickets for Commencement. Seating is first come, first served on the College Green and at Diploma Ceremonies.
WHAT DAY/TIME IS REHEARSAL?
There is no formal rehearsal for Commencement. A presentation is available online that gives an overview of Commencement and answers many frequently asked questions.
WHEN IS THE CAMPUS DANCE?
Friday, May 27th. Learn more and order tickets and tables.
WHERE ELSE CAN I WATCH OR LISTEN TO THE COMMENCEMENT CEREMONIES?
There will be a live video broadcast to the College Green, Salomon Center, and Sayles Hall. The ceremonies will also be live-streamed on the web.
WHEN DO I GET MY DIPLOMA?
Before the University Ceremony, both the Graduate School and the Medical School have separate ceremonies, where they receive their degrees. Diplomas for undergraduates are distributed at diploma ceremonies.
DO I NEED TO APPLY TO GRADUATE?
Undergraduates do not need to apply to graduate to receive their degree. The Application to Graduate in Banner web for undergraduates is to provide a version of their name for diploma printing purposes that differs from the one in the student information system and to provide a diploma mailing address different from that of their permanent address should the diploma need to be re-printed for any reason.
Graduate and Medical students DO need to actually apply to graduate via Banner web. Instructions for doing so can be found at each school's commencement website.
I'M AN UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT AND I COMPLETED MY DEGREE REQUIREMENTS IN SUMMER 2015 OR AFTER DECEMBER 2015. WHEN WILL I GET MY DIPLOMA?
All undergraduates, regardless of whether they completed prior to May, will receive their actual diplomas at the diploma ceremonies in May 2016. If you are not planning to participate in Commencement, simply make sure that your diploma mailing address is up to date via the Banner web application to graduate.
I AM AN UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT, AND WHILE I AM EXPECTED TO GRADUATE THIS MAY, I WILL NOT ACTUALLY COMPLETE MY DEGREE REQUIREMENTS IN TIME. CAN I STILL PARTICIPATE IN COMMENCEMENT ACTIVITIES?
Yes, all undergraduate seniors are welcome to obtain academic regalia and participate with their peers in the Commencement ceremonies. While an actual diploma will not be conferred or provided to your diploma ceremony nor will your name appear in any official lists (i.e. the program), you may want to contact your department to inform them that you will be participating at their ceremony.
I AM AN UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT WITH MORE THAN ONE CONCENTRATION. HOW DO I INFORM THE UNIVERSITY OF WHICH DIPLOMA CEREMONY I WOULD LIKE TO ATTEND TO OBTAIN MY DIPLOMA?
A notice of diploma ceremony is sent out to all undergraduates with more than one concentration in late January. Should you wish to change the ceremony that you are currently flagged to attend, you must do so prior to the deadline listed in that communication by visiting the Student Records division in the Office of the Registrar in 319 J. Walter Wilson. No changes will be made after that date.