As the birthplace of higher education, the University of Georgia has fostered a tradition of academic excellence, intellectual inquiry, and service to others since 1785. For our graduates, Commencement is a beginning, the start of the next chapter in their lives. At Commencement, we celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of our students completing advanced degrees.
Whether you’re participating in the graduate Commencement ceremony or supporting your graduate, this information will help you prepare for and navigate the big day.
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Tickets are not required for the graduate ceremony.
Graduate degree candidates will report to the women’s basketball practice gym on the second floor of the Coliseum Training Facility at 8:30am. Enter through the doors closest to the Carlton Street Parking Deck.
Hooding professors will also assemble in the women’s basketball practice gym.
Graduates are seated with their school or college. Seating charts are typically available two weeks prior to Commencement.
In addition to viewing the ceremony in person, the graduate ceremony will be broadcast live on UGA’s University Cablevision Channel 15 and Charter Communications Channel 181. A live stream also will be available online. Visitors to campus may also view the live broadcast of the ceremony in the Tate Student Center Theatre.
Graduate commencement exercises are held in May and December. Students completing Graduate and Doctoral degree requirements during Summer will have the option to participate in the Fall graduation ceremony.
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 email@example.com.
Graduate degree candidates will cross the stage.
PhD degree candidates will be hooded on stage by their major professor.
Two versions of the Commencement program are printed: a longer version and a shorter version. 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 participating. Guests will receive an abbreviated program containing information about the ceremony.
In order to appear in the program, candidates for degrees must remove their FERPA restrictions when applying for graduation.
UGA Photographic Services captures the events of the day. Prints of the ceremony will be available for purchase after the event.
Diploma Frames and UGA Merchandise
UGA merchandise, including diploma frames, can be purchased from the University of Georgia Bookstore located next to Sanford Stadium, the Tate Student Center, and the Zell B. Miller Learning Center.
For items believed lost in the Coliseum, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 706‑542‑7944.
First Aid and ambulance services will be on-site to assist with emergency needs. First Aid is located behind Section L in the Stegeman Coliseum concourse.
Tips for graduates:
- Wear comfortable shoes. You will be walking and standing for long periods of time.
- Leave purses, coats, and other belongings with your family members.
- During the procession, remain in a single-file line and keep pace.
- Remain standing in front of your seat during the entire procession. Do not stand in the aisles.
- Pick a place to meet your family and friends once the ceremony is completed.
- Alcoholic beverages are not permitted at any UGA Commencement ceremony.
Security has the right to inspect any item at any time for the purpose of spectator safety.
Prohibited items must be returned to cars or disposed of before entering and will not be accepted by employees nor stored at the coliseum.
- Bags or purses, 8.5″x11″ or smaller
- Food; items must fit inside the permitted-sized bag
- Beverages, including water, in sealed plastic bottles; items must fit inside the permitted-sized bag.
- Cameras and video recorders
- Sunscreen and hats are recommended
For the safety, security, and experience of all guests, the following items are prohibited.
- Wrapped gifts or packages wherein the contents are not visible
- Glass and aluminum containers
- Tobacco. UGA is a tobacco-free campus.
- Large items, such as banners and posters, or amplification equipment, such as bullhorns or megaphones
Stegeman Coliseum is an indoor arena. In case of inclement (severe) weather affecting UGA’s Commencement ceremony a notice will be place on the University’s homepage.
Parking for Commencement is free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Suggested parking areas include, South Campus Deck (S11), Carlton Street Deck (S15), and Foley Field Lot (S14).
McPhaul Lot (S10) and Coverdell Lot (S16) are reserved for designated participants by permit only.
For disability parking, see disability access.
If you have additional parking questions, please contact Parking Services at 706‑542‑7275.
Many of our campus eateries will be open to serve families and guests and are in close proximity to Commencement venues. Given the high volume of traffic on Commencement day, we encourage families to dine at one of our on-campus eateries.
Our dining halls are used to feeding thousands of students each day. They are a great option for guests looking for a quick meal. Bolton Dining Commons and Snelling Dining Commons will be open 7am – 8pm on Commencement day. Visit UGA Dining Services for daily menus, pricing and payment information.
UGA Hotel and Conference Center
The UGA Hotel and Conference Center is located in the heart of campus. They offer the following options:
The Savannah Room
The Savannah Room offers sit-down dining with a range of entree options.
Open daily for dinner (5:00pm – 10:00pm), weekends for breakfast (7:00am – 9:00am) and weekdays for lunch (11:30am – 2:00pm)
Georgia Java is a quick-service coffee stand offering a variety of drinks and baked goods.
Open daily 6:30am – 6:00pm (4pm on weekends)
The Courtyard Café
The Courtyard Café offers hot entrees, a soup and salad bar, and made-to-order sandwiches.
Open daily for breakfast (7am – 10am) and lunch (weekdays 11:30am – 2:00pm, weekends 11:00am – 1:00pm)
If you choose to dine off-campus, be sure to plan accordingly so that you have plenty of time between events. We strongly recommend that you consider dining at one of our on-campus eateries during the day.
Visitors with disability concerns are strongly encouraged to arrive early to the coliseum. Doors open 90 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.
Main entrances to Stegeman Coliseum along Sanford Drive and Carlton Street are wheelchair accessible. On-site wheelchairs will not be available. Guests with difficulty walking are strongly encouraged to bring their own wheelchair. Wheelchairs are commonly available for short-term rental from medical supply stores and some pharmacies.
Parking for guests with disabilities is available in the Hoke Smith Annex lot (S12). The lot is adjacent to Stegeman Coliseum. The main entrances to Stegeman Coliseum along Sanford Drive and Carlton Street are wheelchair accessible.
Seating for guests in wheelchairs is very limited in the coliseum. Disability and companion seating is located along the top row of the lower level. We ask that accompanying family members be kept to a minimum to allow space for other guests with disabilities.
For University of Georgia alumni with mobility disabilities who choose to pass through the Arch after graduation, the University will have a temporary platform in place on Saturday, May 6, from 8:00am to 8:00pm.
If you have any questions, contact E. Janyce Dawkins, director of the Equal Opportunity Office at (706) 542‑7912.
Appropriate academic regalia must be worn to participate in the Commencement ceremony.
Candidates should wear their tassels on the right side prior to their degree being conferred and on the left side 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:
|Arts, Letters, Humanities||white|
|Business and Accountancy||drab|
|Fine Arts and Landscape Architecture||brown|
|Forestry and Natural Resources||russet|
|Family and Consumer Sciences||maroon|
|Journalism and Mass Communication||crimson|
|Public Administration||peacock blue|
|Public Health||salmon pink|
Review complete information regarding respective standards for honors graduation.
Undergraduate students who anticipate graduating with honors may 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|
Caps, gowns and hoods may be purchased at the University of Georgia Bookstore. Contact the bookstore at 706‑542‑3171 or via email for purchasing information. Announcements can be ordered online from Jostens.
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.
Diplomas are mailed six to eight weeks following the conclusion of each semester.