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UMD Commencement Information

2013 Graduate Program Commencement Ceremony

It's Your Day... Congratulations!

The ceremony for students receiving graduate degrees will be Thursday, May 16 at 7 p.m. in the UMD Romano Gymnasium. The doors to Romano Gym will open at 5 p.m. Guests do not need tickets for the graduate program ceremony.

The Commencement Ceremony

Graduates will be marching and standing a good part of the time -- low-heeled, comfortable dress shoes are recommended.

Since there is no secure area to leave your personal belongings, you may wish to leave jackets, purses, etc., with family members. A professional photographer will take pictures as you cross the stage.

Candidates for degrees are the highlight of the commencement exercises. Your name will be called and you will cross the stage area. If you need special seating arrangements or help crossing the stage, please email the Commencement Committee.

No Commencement Rehearsal

There will be no rehearsal for the commencement ceremony. Graduates must report to the name table between 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Hall of Fame Room, which is 191 UMD Sports and Health Center.

What graduates need to do on commencement day

Commencement participants must report to the name card table in the Hall of Fame Room, which is 191 UMD Sports and Health Center, no later than 6:30 p.m. on commencement day to pick up a name card for the 7 p.m. ceremony. Students also must be in their proper academic procession lines by 6:40 p.m. Name cards are color-coded and numbered, so graduates know which line to join and their approximate place in line. Line locations are clearly marked. Once you have taken your place in line, follow the instructions of the staff wearing "Commencement Official" badges; they will also answer your questions.

If you are not in your assigned place at the correct time, the procession will begin without you, so please be on time. You will be able to meet with family and guests following the ceremony.

Do not lose your name card. You will hand this card to the reader as you prepare to cross the stage and be recognized during the ceremony. You must present a card in order for the reader to call your name.

When it is time for you to cross the stage, you will be guided to the stage area. You will walk up the ramp, present your card to the reader and hood to the faculty designee move to the area where your hood will literally be put over your head. After you receive your hood, you will cross the stage and return to your seat.

During the recessional, please do not break the academic columns to visit with your friends and relatives.

Guest Seating

Guests do not need tickets for the graduate program ceremony. Seating is general admission, and the doors to the Romano Gymnasium will open at 5 p.m. If you have someone coming who must have special consideration in regard to seating, please locate an usher for assistance. Elderly and disabled guests are espeically advised to arrive early.

May Small Children Attend?

Small children accustomed to sitting without disturbing those around them are welcome to attend the ceremony.

Reception after ceremony

There will be a reception for all graduates and their family and friends immediately after the ceremony in the small gym directly behind the main Romano Gymnasium floor.


Professional photographers from GradImages will be at the ceremony to take photographs of all graduates before, after and while walking across the stage. Graduates will be emailed color proofs shortly after commencement. Questions may be emailed to After the ceremony you may order online at GradImages or call 800-261-2576.

Prior to the ceremony: To pre-register your permanent email address, please visit GradImages and click on Pre-Event Registration. You may add contact information for up to 6 additional relatives and/or friends. GradImages never has and never will sell or share the address/email information to any other vendor.

Commencement Program

The commencement program distributed on commencement day will list the names of all graduate program students who have been approved for listing by their college office. All students so approved will be listed in the commencement program, regardless of whether they participate in commencement exercises.

Students who attend commencement will find programs on their chairs when they march in for the ceremony. Please do not pick up a program before the ceremony and carry it in the processional. Following the commencement ceremony, single copies are available free (while quantities last) from the office of your dean.

Academic Costume Information

Academic costume is mandatory for those students participating in commencement at UMD.

The following rules regarding academic costume are generally used by all colleges and universities in the United States. Candidates should keep in mind that it is appropriate to wear dark clothing and shoes with academic costume. Flowers, decorative jewelry, and emblems are not appropriate. Please do not wear athletic footwear for the ceremony.

Gowns: Candidates for master's degrees wear the black master's gown. Candidates for doctoral degrees wear the black doctoral gown. Caps and tassels for all degrees are black. Tassels are worn on the right.

Hoods: The hood is the most outstanding feature of the American academic costume. The length and shape of the hood indicate the degree that is granted. The lining displays the official colors of the university and the velvet trim indicates the field of study. The lining of the University of Minnesota hood is maroon and gold.

At the UMD graduate commencement ceremony, all degree candidates are hooded.

The hood hangs to the rear from the neck and may be fastened to the wearer's clothing in front by a cord or elastic band. To avoid wearing the hood inside out, care should be taken that the velvet facing of the hood is visible under the chin and lies flat over the shoulders.

Hoods may be ordered and purchased at Lower Level UMD Stores. Be sure to identify the full title of the degree when ordering. All hoods should be left at Lower Level UMD Stores as they will be brought to the ceremony by commencement staff.

Caps: The cap at the University of Minnesota is the same for all academic degrees. When worn, mortarboards should be flat on the head, not tilted. The long point of the shell should be worn to the rear. Caps are worn throughout the formal academic function except when men remove their caps during the national anthem, and "Hail! Minnesota." Women do not remove their caps.

Where to Get Your Cap, Gown, Hood and Tassel: Caps, gowns and tassels are available for purchase at Lower Level UMD Stores, and staff will order your hood. Staff can help you obtain the correct academic costume if you give them the complete title of your degree and your college. Students on campus should order gowns in person from UMD Campus Books. Out-of-town students can order their caps and gowns in person or online at Lower Level UMD Stores.

Academic costumes are available for sale only, not for rent. Caps, gowns and tassels may be picked up at the UMD Campus Books. You will receive 20 percent off caps, gowns, hoods, tassels and diploma frames at Grad Fair, which is Thursday, March 7, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Kirby Ballroom. Students are encouraged to pick up their caps and gowns well ahead of the commencement ceremony to avoid any last-minute confusion. Gowns can be mailed to out-of-town students for an additional charge.

Graduation Announcements

Formal graduation announcements are available in Lower Level UMD Stores. The announcements have space for graduates to fill in date, time and location of their ceremony. Personalized announcements may be ordered from Jostens.

Class Rings

Class rings may be ordered from Jostens and Lower Level UMD Stores. Brochures and information are aavilable at Lower Level UMD Stores.


Free parking for commencement is available in the pay lot on the UMD campus.


Keep in mind that commencement is a recognition event and not a certificate of graduation. In most instances your graduation date and transcript date will be different from your commencement date.

It is not possible to process final grades and prepare degree lists in time to present diplomas on commencement day. Instead, you will receive a diploma cover when you cross the stage. Diplomas are mailed to graduate students (whether or not they participate in commencement) approximately two months from your actual date of degree conferred. All diplomas are the same size.

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Last modified on 03/13/13 06:18 PM
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