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Information for Students

Congratulations on your accomplishments and best of success as you begin a new, exciting chapter of your life!

Graduate students:

For general information regarding graduation requirements, consult the Graduate Bulletin. To ensure that you have met all the requirements for graduation, contact the Graduate Coordinator’s Office in your academic department or email

Graduate commencement ceremony Information and instructions are detailed on the Graduate School website.

Undergraduate students:

For general information regarding graduation requirements, consult the UGA Bulletin. To ensure that you have met all the requirements for graduation, check with a degree program specialist in the dean’s office of your school or college. You should also be checking your progress via DegreeWorks if your college/school is one of the participating units. All undergraduates expecting to graduate for Spring or Summer 2016 must apply to graduate for the semester in which they will take their last course(s) toward their graduation requirements using the graduation application in Athena. The deadline to apply for graduation for either Spring or Summer 2016 is March 22, 2016. Undergraduates applying for Spring and Summer who complete the application by the deadline will be listed in the Spring/Summer Commencement Program except students with FERPA restrictions. Make sure to remove your FERPA restriction in order to appear in the program.

Click here for a Sanford Stadium 2016 Undergraduate Commencement seating chart.




The 2016 Spring Undergraduate Commencement exercises will be held on Friday, May 13, 2016 at 7 p.m. in Sanford Stadium. The Graduate ceremony will be held earlier that day at 10 a.m. in Stegeman Coliseum. Tickets are not needed for either ceremony.


Ryan Seacrest will deliver UGA's Undergraduate Commencement address on Friday, May 13, 2016 at 7 p.m. in Sanford Stadium. Seacrest is a radio host, television host, and producer. He hosts the successful talent competition TV show American Idol, the syndicated countdown program American Top 40, as well as On Air with Ryan Seacrest, a morning radio show on KIIS-FM in Los Angeles. The speaker for the Graduate Commencement will be Maurice C. Daniels, dean of the University of Georgia School of Social Work.

Assembly Locations

Students should enter Sanford Stadium through Gate 10 and report to their assigned areas inside the stadium by 6 p.m. Please be prompt.

Students should assemble for the Graduate School academic processional by 9 a.m. in Stegeman Coliseum. Please be prompt. All Graduate School candidates will gather in the Coliseum Training Facility's Men's Basketball practice gym located on the second floor. Enter through door closest to the Carlton Street Parking Deck.

Hooding professors also will assemble in the Men's Basketball practice gym.


Academic Attire

Appropriate academic regalia must be worn to participate in the Commencement Ceremony. Caps, gowns and hoods may be purchased at the UGA Bookstore. Contact the University of Georgia Bookstore at 706-542-3171 or via email at for purchasing information. Order your announcements online at

Candidates should wear their tassels over the right eye until the degree is awarded and over the left eye afterward. The mortarboard on the cap should be parallel to the ground.

With the exception of the honors tassels, the color of tassels as well as the color of the velvet on the hoods worn by master and doctorate candidates are indicative of the academic subject area. The colors associated with these subjects areas are as follows:


Agriculture   maize
Arts, Letters, Humanitie   white
Business and Accountancy   drab
Education   light blue
Engineering   orange
Fine Arts and Landscape Architecture   brown
Forestry and Natural Resources   russet
Family and Consumer Sciences   maroon
Journalism and Mass Communication   crimson
Law   purple
Music   pink
Pharmacy   olive green
Public Administration   peacock blue
Public Health   salmon pink
Science   golden yellow
Social Work   citron
Veterinary Science   gray

Please note: If you order your academic regalia from someone other than the UGA Bookstore, the UGA Bookstore will not be able to assist you with missing or replacement items.


Graduation with Honors

Criteria for graduation with honors are determined by the Educational Affairs Committee of the University Council and are described in the undergraduate bulletin.

Final honors designations for Summa, Magna, and Cum Laude as noted on the diploma and transcript will be based on the overall averages of 3.90, 3.70, and 3.50 respectively. Overall averages include grades at UGA as well as grades received at all previous academic institutions.

 Anticipated undergraduate students graduating with honors wear an honors tassel:

Honors Designation   Tassel Color
Summa Cum Laude   Red, Silver and Black
Magna Cum Laude   Red and Silver
Cum Laude   Red and Black
First Honor Graduates

Each student completing a baccalaureate degree with an overall grade point average of 4.0 will be designated a First Honor Graduate. The overall grade point average or all-college average includes all work attempted at the University of Georgia as well as all college-level transfer work attempted prior to or subsequent to matriculation at the University.

First Honors Candidates wear a fourragère (braided cord) on their left shoulder as part of their graduation academic regalia.

Please note: Because grades for the current semester are not available during the time that commencement programs are being produced and on the day of Commencement, honors designations (including First Honor Graduates) are based on the grade point average earned through the previous academic term. Final academic honor graduates for each semester are selected after grades have been submitted. Final, official honor designations will be included on diplomas and transcripts.

Commencement Ceremony

Recognition of Candidates

For the Undergraduate ceremony, candidates will rise as a group when degrees are conferred.

Conclusion of Ceremony

Following the singing of the Alma Mater, the platform party will recess after which the ceremony officially concludes.

Commencement Programs

Two versions of the commencement program are printed. The longer version includes the names of all candidates. Two copies of this program will be placed in the seats for each of the candidates. Visitors will receive an abbreviated program containing information about the ceremony. Please do not disrupt the ceremony by taking copies of the longer version from unoccupied seats during the ceremony.


Once final grades for the semester are received, each individual school and college reviews the records of each candidate for graduation to verify that all requirements have been met. The Office of the Registrar is notified when this process is complete and authorizes the printing of diplomas which are mailed to graduates at the mailing addresses they have verified in Athena. This takes approximately six to eight weeks after commencement. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that his or her name is listed correctly in Athena and that the diploma is mailed to the correct address.

The information printed on diplomas is summarized below:

Undergraduates with one major:

  • Your degree, major, University honors, and graduation date will be reflected on the diploma.

Undergraduates with multiple majors:

  • If you complete the requirements for multiple majors, with the same degree, simultaneously, you will receive one diploma reflecting the degree, multiple majors, University honors, and graduation date.
  • If you complete the requirements for multiple majors with different degrees, simultaneously, you will receive two diplomas. Each diploma will reflect the respective degree, major, University honors, and graduation date.
  • If you complete the requirements for multiple majors during different semesters, you will receive a diploma for each. The individual diplomas will reflect the degree, major, University honors, and the graduation date corresponding to the major.

Graduate Students

  • Only your degree and graduation date will be reflected on the diploma.
  • If you complete the requirements for multiple degrees within the same term, you will receive a diploma for each.

*Please note: if you have an outstanding debt with the University, we will not be able to mail your diploma. Please contact the Office of the Registrar once your debt has been paid.

Apostille and the Great Seal

Official documents issued in one country and intended to be used in another country must be authenticated in order to be recognized as valid in the foreign country. If the foreign country is a member of The Hague Convention, an Apostille (pronounced “uh-pos-till”) is required. If the foreign country is not a member of The Hague Convention, the Great Seal is normally required.

Countries that are members of The Hague Convention can be found at this web site

If you have accepted employment in a foreign country or if you are returning home to a foreign country, you may need to have your official transcript and/or your diploma legalized by either an Apostille or the Great Seal. Most foreign countries require the diploma versus your transcript, but be sure to find out which is required. Also, please be sure to obtain the required documentation prior to leaving Georgia. The process will be more cumbersome if you are not physically in Georgia or do not have a relative or friend in Georgia who can assist with the process. If someone will be assisting with this process, be sure you provide them with a signed letter from you authorizing them to do so.

For either an Apostille or a Great Seal, you will first need to request a replacement diploma. The signed, stamped, and notarized diploma will be mailed to you or you can pick it up in our office. Be sure to bring your photo ID.

If you need an Apostille (the intended foreign country is a member of the Hague Convention), you will then obtain this from the Georgia Superior Court Clerks’ Cooperative Authority. Please carefully review the information on their web site and follow their instructions.

If you need the Great Seal, you will then obtain this from the Elections Division of the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office. Please carefully review the information and follow the instructions.

Diploma Replacement

The University of Georgia issues only one diploma for each degree as described in the Diploma section. A replacement diploma may be requested only if the original diploma has been lost or damaged.

Requests for a replacement diploma must be submitted online via the Replacement Diploma Ordering System found on the Office of the Registrar's website. By placing a request through this ordering site, you verify that your original diploma has been lost, damaged, or destroyed.

Please note: If you have an outstanding debt with the University, we cannot issue a diploma replacement.

In Case of Rain or Inclement Weather

The UGA Undergraduate Commencement ceremony, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, May 13, 2016, will be held at Sanford Stadium rain or shine. Only in case of severe weather will the Undergraduate ceremony be rescheduled for Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 10 a.m.

Severe weather is defined as rain accompanied by high wind, thunder, and lightning.

If it is raining on the morning of May 13, but not declared severe weaather, the ceremony will be held as planned in the stadium. The degree candidates will not process onto the field, but will report directly to their assigned seats on the field. Each student will be provided poncho to wear.

The decision whether to hold the Undergraduate exercise outside, or move to the severe weather plan, will be made by 10 a.m. on Friday, May 13, and the information will be placed on the UGA home page by 10:30 a.m.

Major local radio stations will be provided the information, but please be aware that many stations rely on computerized programming and are not able to broadcast special announcements.

For guests who do not wish to attend if it is raining, theremony will be broadcast live on Channel 15 of the University Cable System, and on Channel 181 of the Charter Cable System. It also will be streamed live here. Also, visitors to campus may view the ceremony in the Tate Sudent Center Theater.

The Graduate Commencement ceremony will be held indoors at Stegeman Coliseum Friday, May 13, 2016 at 10 a.m. Therefore the University's Inclement Weather Policy does not apply.

First Aid

For Sanford Stadium:

First aid care is available for candidates and visitors at the first aid station located behind Section 119 in Sanford Stadium. This care is provided by staff of the University Health Center. Local ambulance services provide emergency care if required.

For Stegeman Coliseum:

First aid care is available for candidates and visitors at the first aid station located behind Section L in Stegeman Coliseum. This care is provided by staff of the University Health Center. Local ambulance services provide emergency care if required.

Lost and Found

For items believed lost in the coliseum or stadium, please email or call 706-542-7944. For other lost and found inquiries, please contact

Helpful Tips

  • Check DegreeWorks to verify that you have an anticipated Spring 2016 or Summer 2016 graduation date.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. You will be walking and standing for long periods of time. High-heeled shoes are discouraged, especially stiletto heels. High heels also may cause damage to the stadium field and coliseum floor.
  • Leave purses, coats, and other belongings with your family members. It doesn’t present a professional image to carry these items during the processional.
  • During the processional, remain in a single line and avoid gaps in the line.
  • As you enter the stadium or coliseum, be sure to follow the person in front of you so that you don’t end up in the wrong line and thus sitting with another college.
  • As you are directed into your row of seats, please be sure to fill all seats. Vacant seats in a row could mean that some students will not have a place to sit.
  • Remain standing in front of your seat during the entire processional. Do not stand in the aisles.
  • Pick a place to meet your family and friends once the ceremony is completed.
  • As you celebrate this exciting day, please be respectful of those around you and the fact that this is a formal academic ceremony. Beach balls, air horns, and other similar distractions are inappropriate and may be confiscated.
  • Alcoholic beverages are not permitted at any UGA Commencement ceremony.

Future Dates, Times, Locations

Fall 2016 December 16, 2015, Friday Undergraduate Ceremony in Stegeman Coliseum at 9:30 a.m.; Graduate Ceremony in Stegeman Coliseum at 2:30 p.m.
Spring 2017 May 5, 2017, Friday Undergraduate Ceremony in Sanford Stadium at 7 p.m.; Graduate Ceremony in Stegeman Coliseum at 10 a.m.

*Times and locations are subject to change.