Information for Students



University-wide Commencement Ceremony Description

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 candidates stand as a group at their seats and are recognized by college. This is a dignified ceremony that lasts about two hours. Academic attire is required. The university-wide Commencement ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, May 11 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Memorial Stadium. Doors open at 8:00 a.m. for guest seating.

Convocation Ceremony Description

Another activity in which you may choose to participate is the convocation sponsored by your college, school, or department. At most convocations, undergraduate and graduate students are individually recognized, which is not possible at the larger university-wide  Commencement ceremony. However, degrees are not conferred at a convocation, and usually the dean or department head presides. Convocations are designed to complement the university-wide Commencement ceremony and are scheduled so as not to conflict with the university-wide  Commencement ceremony. If you plan to participate in your convocation, please follow the instructions sent from your unit.


Inclement Weather Plan

The university-wide Commencement ceremony held on Saturday, May 11 will take place rain or shine. However, if the weather is unsafe, the ceremony will be cancelled or shortened depending on the weather forecast. Unsafe weather includes high winds and lightning strikes within eight miles of an outdoor ceremony. The Commencement Office works closely with members of the University's safety team and local meteorologists in making the determination to cancel or shorten Commencement.

Should inclement weather occur, the cancellation notification will be sent out via social media, the University of Illinois website, the University's text messaging system (Illini-Alert), and to local media. All unit Convocation ceremonies at the University will still take place at their regularly scheduled times. A list of unit Convocation ceremonies is available at


Please remember, Illinois weather in May can change quickly. Please check the weather forecast and dress appropriately so you can celebrate the day comfortably with your graduate.

For updates, follow Commencement on twitter #ILLINOIS2019

To receive Illini-Alert messages visit for instructions



Commencement is not a certification of graduation, but rather a ceremony that celebrates your academic achievements. All degree requirements must be satisfied before graduation and diploma conferral. You are eligible to participate in Commencement if you have graduated since May 2018 or expect to finish your degree requirements in May 2019.

Registering for the university-wide Commencement ceremony does not place your name on the degree pending list. Students are responsible for putting themselves on the degree pending list the semester they plan to graduate.

Bachelor's Degree Candidates

Bachelor's degree candidates with 13 or fewer hours remaining who expect to complete their degree requirements in August 2019 may participate in Commencement; however, their names will not appear in the printed university-wide Commencement Program until May 2020.

Bachelor's candidates who have not yet indicated their intention to graduate should contact their college office immediately.

Master's Degree Candidates

Master's degree candidates with 8 or fewer hours remaining who expect to complete their degree requirements in August 2019, may participate in Commencement; however, their names will not appear in the printed university-wide Commencement Program until May 2020.

Master's candidates who have not yet indicated their intention to graduate should contact the Graduate College.

Doctoral Candidates

Recipients of doctoral degrees must have deposited their dissertations in the Graduate College Thesis Office by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 19, 2019 in order to participate in the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony and unit Convocation ceremonies.

Doctoral candidates who have not yet indicated their intention to graduate should contact the Graduate College. Candidates who would like to participate in the university-wide Commencement ceremony but cannot meet the April 19, 2019 deadline for deposit of their dissertation should email the Commencement Office by May 1 with their special participation request, noting the anticipated date of their dissertation deposit.

Due to printing deadlines your name will not appear in the printed Commencement Program if you indicate your intention to graduate after March 15, 2019.

The Program contains an unofficial list of candidates for graduation on May 15, 2019, and a list of graduates who received degrees in August 2018 and December 2018. The list of May graduates is as accurate as possible. However, because of printing deadlines, names of some degree recipients may not appear, while names of degree candidates may appear even though they have not completed their degree requirements.

Appeal to Walk

The University of Illinois encourages graduates to participate in the Commencement ceremony for the term in which they are officially graduating, or once qualifications to participate have been reached. If you are not officially graduating this semester but want to participate in the upcoming Commencement ceremony, please submit an Online Appeal Form. On the appeal form, you must list your rationale for why an exception should be made on your behalf. A limited number of appeals will be approved for extreme circumstances (medical reasons, leaving the country, etc.) each semester and will be based on your explanation. The deadline to submit an appeal is April 24. Once we receive your appeal form, we will take your request under consideration. We will contact you via email within two weeks of submittal to notify you if your appeal has been approved or declined. If approved, you may proceed to register for Commencement. Please be sure to order your academic attire for pick-up at the ARC by the deadline so that you do not incur a late fee. You will only be charged for your attire if  you pick it up during distribution.


To Do Checklist


Commemorative Class of 2019 T-shirt and Commencement Flowers

Skip the hassle of bringing flowers with you - purchase flowers for your graduate at Memorial Stadium, State Farm Center, and Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. You can purchase and reserve products ahead of time here, so they will be available for pick-up at Commencement!


Don't forget, Commencement is on Mother's Day weekend. You can order flowers to honor them also.


Alumni Association

To help maintain their relationship with their alma mater and their fellow classmates, graduates are encouraged to participate in the University of Illinois Alumni Association. If graduates update their personal information, including new email address, they will be sent periodic e-newletters and special notices to keep them up to date on what is happening on campus and informed of Illinois events in their local area. Graduates may update their personal information at UI Alumni Network. Just click on "Update Your Info" at the top of the page.

Click here to read your Welcome from the Alumni Association.