Graduating student information

We look forward to seeing you at the Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 12, 2013. Here are a few things you need to know about the big day.


1. Apply for graduation

If it's after March 15, it's too late to apply for this May's ceremony. The summer graduation application deadline is June 15, and the fall deadline is October 15.


2. Invite your family and friends!

Visit for purchasing invitations or contact the Bookstore at 907-474-6858.

Family and friends attending the ceremony don’t need tickets. It’s open seating for everyone, and all seats have a good view of the graduates.


3. RSVP to attend Commencement

The time by which you were supposed to RSVP has passed. Please contact Graduation Services at with any questions.


4. Purchase regalia

Caps and gowns (and, if you’re a graduate student, hoods) must be purchased well before commencement. If you’re getting a certificate or an associate or bachelor’s degree, you’ll wear a black gown. Master’s degree candidates wear a black gown with velvet trim and their hood to the ceremony; PhD candidates receive their hood on stage.

These items are not included in the graduation fee and can be ordered online through April 15. After April 15, please contact the bookstore at 907-474-6858 for assistance.



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5. Attend Rehearsal!

Rehearsal for commencement is at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, in the Carlson Center, 2010 2nd Ave. There will be a walk-through of the event so everyone knows where and how the line-up will happen. Students will have the opportunity to talk with the announcer about the pronunciation of first and last names.  

If you need special accommodations (ASL interpreter, wheelchair access to the stage, etc.) let us know as soon as possible; please contact Disability Services at 474-5655 or

The Graduate Picnic is right after rehearsal, at the Carlson Center. Just another reason to attend!


6. Arrive on time the day of Commencement

CNSM line-up poster
Look for your college or school line-up poster, like this one for CNSM, on the walls of the second floor hallway

Please arrive at the Carlson Center on Sunday, May 12, between noon and 12:20 p.m. Commencement line-up and roll call for students is at 12:30 p.m.

Proceed directly to the second floor hallway (accessible by the exterior stairs) to line up alphabetically with your college or school classmates. Every degree candidate (excluding PhD candidates) will receive a reader card, which will list your full name, your degree (or degrees), and any academic honors. If you are earning two degrees from two different colleges, you’ll have to pick which college you want to walk with. All degrees received will be announced as you cross the stage. You can write a phonetic spelling of your name on your reader card if your name is difficult to pronounce. The commencement volunteers with your college/school will hand out academic honor cords and answer any questions you may have about the ceremony. All other sashes and cords will be available at the information tables near the entry doors on the first and second floors. Remember to start the ceremony with your tassel on the right of your cap.


7. Enjoy the ceremony

View a seating map for the ceremony (PDF)

The Processional will start promptly at 1:20 p.m. The stage party, emeriti, faculty and PhD candidates will march to their seats on the main floor and the degree candidates on the second floor will be prompted to start walking downstairs to the main floor. Each college will be led by a flag bearer. Within each college it will be undergraduate students first, followed by graduate students. Once you’re on the main floor, you will be directed into a row of seats with your college/school. Don’t sit down until after the national anthem and the reader instructs you to do so.

After opening comments, the Chancellor will ask students to stand while a Regent accepts all degree candidates. Commencement floor volunteers will direct students by school and college to line up along the left side aisle. You’ll be directed by the stage volunteers to walk to the top of the stairs. As the reader calls your name, you’ll walk across, receive your diploma cover, shake hands with your dean and chancellor, and continue down the stairs off stage. At the bottom of the stairs, you’ll be directed to have your photo taken with your diploma cover and you’ll then return to your seat.

After everyone has crossed the stage and the PhDs and honorary degrees have been presented, students will be asked to rise for the changing of tassels from the right to the left of your cap. Remain standing for the Recessional. The stage party will exit first, followed by faculty. You will remain in your rows as the balloons fall. Students will be directed to exit up the center aisle, through the honor gauntlet where you can greet your professors, ending up outside where you can meet with your family and friends.

Some things to note:

  • Your diploma will not be inside your diploma cover. Graduates from last August or December have already received their diplomas. Students graduating this spring have just finished finals, and it will take a few weeks to calculate grades.
  • Conferring of degrees at the ceremony is provisional, pending verification that all your degree requirements have been met.  When your degree is posted you will be able to view it on your unofficial transcript at UAOnline. Your diploma will be mailed to you in three to four weeks.
  • If you do not want or need the diploma cover you received at the ceremony, please leave it on your seat and we’ll gladly use it for another student.

8. Receive your diploma in the mail!

If you graduated last August or December, you should have already received your diploma. If you are a spring graduate, please check your current mailing address on UAOnline and make any updates to it by May 18. This will be the address we use to send your diploma. You can update your address on UAOnline or in person at the Office of Admissions and the Registrar, Signers’ Hall.

Please pay your bills, because you won’t get your diploma until you do. (The same thing goes for keeping a university key that’s been issued to you.) Check your financial status at UAOnline or with the Business Office before you leave campus so you don’t get caught by surprise. However, you can still participate in the commencement ceremony even if your university debt has not been settled.


9. Order transcripts

If you’re a May graduate and you need your transcript sent somewhere, don’t order it until you see your final grades and degree posted on UAOnline, otherwise you could end up sending incorrect or unofficial information.


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Additional helpful information


Graduation fees

An application for graduation and non-refundable fee must be filed with the Office of Admissions and the Registrar during the semester you plan to graduate. If you file your application by the published deadline, the graduation application fee is $50. If you miss that deadline, you still may submit an application for graduation by the published late deadline. The late deadline fee is $80. Applications for graduation filed after the late deadline are processed for graduation the following semester. Students who apply for graduation and who do not complete degree/certificate requirements by the end of the semester must reapply for graduation and pay the fee again.

Caps, gowns and invitations are not included in the graduation fee and must be purchased separately. Contact the bookstore at 907-474-6858.


Disability information

We strive to make its commencement ceremonies comfortable and accessible for all graduates and their guests regardless of physical needs.

Students or guests with special access needs, including an elevator, may park at the front of the Carlson Center.

If a graduating student or a member of the audience requires special seating, a large print program, an enhanced audio unit or other assistance at the commencement ceremony, please contact Mary Matthews, Disability Services, at 907-474-5655 or


Graduation with honors

Final grades aren’t calculated until after commencement, but for the ceremony we do identify students who meet preliminary requirements and who would make honors if they earn all A's as graduating with honors. These “potential honors” will be printed in the commencement program and announced when the degree candidate's name is read. Final determination of honors will be made after all grades have been received and your true GPA calculation has been determined. Honors are designated on the diploma and on your UAF transcript.

The Faculty Senate rules for graduating with honors is at


Apply for graduation

To participate in the May commencement ceremony, you must have have met all the academic requirements and submitted your application before the deadline. If you have questions about your graduation status, contact Graduation Services at 907-474-7523 or 907-474-6177, email or stop by the office in 102 Signers' Hall.

Graduation Services
Office of Admissions and the Registrar  
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 757480
Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-7495


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