Arriving at the Venue

Doors to the arena will open one hour prior to the start of the ceremony. Graduates should arrive no later than 15 minutes after the doors open. Times and days of upcoming commencement ceremonies can be found on the Ceremonies and Events page. 

You should arrive for your ceremony with cap and gown in hand.

Personal Items

If you arrive with a coat or purse make arrangements to leave these items with a family member or friend. You should not have anything in your hand other than your photo name card when the processional begins and throughout the ceremony.

Seating

Your marshal will escort your group to a designated seating area. You should sit down as soon as you reach your chair. A dental commencement program listing all graduates will be available on your chair.

Ceremony 

A welcome address, several brief speeches, and the conferring of degrees will follow. 

Presentation of Graduates

Graduating students will be invited to come to the front of the stage to be recognized individually. When your name is called, walk briskly to center stage to shake hands with the University official. You will return to the opposite end of your original row of seats, cross to your seat and be seated.

Following the closing remarks, graduates stand and begin to recess in an orderly fashion, under the marshals’ direction.  

Expectations of Graduates

Commencement is the culminating event of University study for students who choose to attend.   An appropriate and dignified academic atmosphere is absolutely expected so that you, your family, and other guests may enjoy this important gathering. 

The following rules of behavior will be enforced at all ceremonies:

No alcoholic beverages of any kind
Inappropriate dress and costumes worn under gowns will not be allowed
Cell phones must be turned off or silenced in the graduate seating area
No flowers, purses, gifts, balloons, or bags will be allowed in the student seating area
Marshals and security staff will be looking for intoxicated persons.  Inebriated students are not permitted to participate

With everyone’s cooperation, this occasion will become a proud and happy memory of your academic achievement at the University of Iowa.