University and Unit Ceremonies Overview
University-wide Commencement Ceremony
The university-wide Commencement ceremony is the official University of Illinois academic ceremony at which the Chancellor presides and the President confers degrees. Doctoral degree candidates are invited to attend but will not be hooded at the event; Doctoral, Bachelor's, Master's, and Professional (JD, DVM, and MD) degree students stand as a group at their seats and are recognized by college. This is a dignified ceremony held in Memorial Stadium that lasts about two hours. Academic attire is required. The university-wide Commencement ceremony will be held on Satuday, May 11, at 9:30 a.m. in Memorial Stadium.
Registering for University-wide Commencement Ceremony
When ordering academic attire, you must indicate if you intend to participate in the university-wide Commencement ceremony.
Doctoral candidates must register through the Graduate College on-line at http://www.grad.illinois.edu/commencement or by contacting the Graduate College at (217) 333-0035.
University-wide Commencement Ceremony Instructions and Information
In order to participate in the campuswide Commencement ceremony, you must:
- Order academic attire – a mortarboard, gown, and in the case of a graduate degree, a hood.
- Register for the campuswide Commencement ceremony by indicating your plan to participate when ordering academic attire online.
- Obtain guest tickets.
- Pick up your academic attire.
What to do on Commencement Day
Arrival Time for Candidates
Candidates for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, and Advanced Certificates should report to the Assembly Hall no later than 10:10 a.m. for the morning ceremony, and no later than 1:40 p.m. for the afternoon ceremony.
Doctoral candidates should report to the Assembly Hall tunnel off of Fourth Street by 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. for their respective ceremonies. Please refer to the section "Seating and Conferring of Degrees" for your appropriate location inside the Assembly Hall.
Candidates receiving University Honors (Bronze Tablet) should arrive in the tunnel of the Assembly Hall by 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. for their respective ceremonies. Additional instructions will be mailed to these candidates.
For security purposes, upon arrival, candidates and guests will be asked to demonstrate that they do not possess anything that violates the Assembly Hall House Rules.
Seating and Conferring of Bachelor’s Degrees
Candidates for Bachelor’s degrees assemble in the section of the Assembly Hall designated for their college or school on the arena floor or in Section A. Candidates should fill in the front rows so guests may use unoccupied seats. Assembly Hall ushers will provide assistance, if necessary. Candidates from each college rise as a group and are presented by their respective dean to the president.
Band and chorus members and ROTC candidates should stand at the same time that other candidates for undergraduate degrees from their college are presented to the president.
University Honors (Bronze Tablet) recipients attend the same ceremony in which their individual college participates, but assemble as a group in the tunnel of the Assembly Hall and proceed into the arena before the doctoral candidates. They sit together and are presented as a group to the president. They should also stand when candidates from their college are presented to the president. Bronze Tablet honorees are distinguished by orange and blue braided cords, which are worn from the left shoulder and are provided courtesy of the Office of the Chancellor.
Seating and Conferring of Master’s Degrees and Advanced Certificates
Candidates for Master’s degrees and Advanced Certificates attend the same ceremony as the college that administers their discipline. For example, a student receiving a Master’s degree in English would attend the morning campuswide ceremony along with students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. All Master’s degree and Advanced Certificate candidates sit as a group in their designated area inside the arena. Master's degree recipients and candidates should wear their hoods into the Assembly Hall. Candidates rise as a group and are presented by the dean of the Graduate College to the president, who will confer the degrees.
Seating and Conferring of J.D. and D.V.M. Degrees
Candidates receiving a degree in law or veterinary medicine attend the morning campuswide ceremony and sit in their designated area on the arena floor. J.D. and D.V.M. degree recipients and candidates should wear their hoods into the Assembly Hall. Candidates rise as a group and are presented by their respective dean to the president, who will confer the degrees.
Seating and Conferring of Doctoral Degrees (Ph.D., Ed.D., J.S.D., and A.Mus.D.)
Doctoral candidates attend the same ceremony as the college that administers their field of study. For example, a student receiving a Ph.D. in computer science would attend the afternoon campuswide ceremony along with engineering students. Doctoral candidates will receive a registration confirmation from the Graduate College after registering for the campuswide ceremony on the Web. The registration confirmation will also indicate which campuswide ceremony the candidate is to attend.
All Doctoral degree recipients assemble as a group in the Assembly Hall tunnel off of Fourth Street and line up in the order assigned by Graduate College staff. Doctoral candidates proceed into the arena following the platform party and are seated on the floor. The dean of the Graduate College asks the Doctoral candidates to rise and presents the candidates to the president, who confers the degrees. Doctoral candidates then proceed across the stage to be presented individually to the chancellor and president; candidates must arrive on the stage in the proper order.
Candidates should carry their hoods, unbuttoned, over their left arm while approaching the platform. A member of the platform party or the hooder designated by the candidate then takes the hood from the candidate for the formal hooding. After being hooded, each graduate returns to his or her seat and remains standing until all doctoral graduates have returned to their seats.