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.
Whether you’re participating in the undergraduate Commencement ceremony or supporting your graduate, this information will help you prepare for and navigate the big day.
Ernie Johnson is a 1978 graduate of UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. He hosts Turner’s NBA coverage and TNT’s “Inside the NBA” studio show. He also serves as the studio host for NBA TV’s “Fan Night” as well as Turner and CBS’ NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship coverage.
Tickets are not required for the undergraduate ceremony.
Sanford Stadium gates will open at 5:30pm.
Undergraduate degree candidates should enter through Gate 10 by 6:00pm. Please be prompt.
Graduates are seated with their school or college.
In addition to viewing the ceremony in person, the undergraduate 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.
Undergraduates who are eligible to complete their degrees in Spring or Summer semesters will be allowed to participate in the Spring ceremony.
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 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.
Undergraduate degree candidates will rise with their school or college when degrees are conferred.
Degree candidates earning Latin honors will be recognized during the ceremony. Degree candidates who meet the following GPA criteria and who do not have a FERPA restriction will be noted in the Commencement program.
|Latin Honors Distinction||GPA Requirement|
|Magna Cum Laude||3.70–3.89|
|Summa Cum Laude||3.90–4.00|
First Honor Graduates have maintained a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade point average on all work attempted at the University of Georgia as well as all college-level transfer work attempted prior to or following enrollment at the University. These students are celebrated for their high standards of academic excellence and their outstanding achievements. Their regalia includes a fourragère, a braided cord, worn on the shoulder.
For the purposes of the Commencement program, Latin honors recognition is based on the student’s overall undergraduate GPA going into his or her last semester. Final Latin honors will be determined following the conclusion of the student’s last semester.
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.Commencement Photos
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 Sanford Stadium, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
First Aid, Red Cross, and ambulance services will be on-site to assist with emergency needs. First Aid stations are located at Section 119, Section 229, and on the Field Level.
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.
- 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 may be confiscated.
- 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 safety.
Prohibited items must be returned to cars or disposed of before entering and will not be accepted by employees nor stored at the gates.
- 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
The undergraduate Commencement ceremony is held rain or shine and will only be rescheduled in the event of severe weather. Severe weather is defined as rain accompanied by high wind, thunder, and lightning. The alternate ceremony time is 10am the following day.
If it is raining on the morning of Commencement, but not declared severe weather, 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 a poncho to wear.
Any changes to the Commencement ceremony will be announced by 10:00am the day of Commencement, and the information will be placed on the UGA homepage by 10:30am.
We will provide the information to major local radio stations, but please be aware that many stations rely on computerized programming and are not able to broadcast special announcements.
If weather is a concern for you or a member of your party, you may wish to consider a different viewing option.
Parking for Commencement is free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Suggested parking areas include, Hull Deck (W05), South Campus Deck (S11), East Campus Deck (E04), and Performing Arts Center Deck (E20).
The Tate Center Deck and lot E12 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 at the Stadium. Gates open 90 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.
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.
Disability Parking and Transportation
Parking for guests with disabilities is available at the East Campus Deck (E04) and North Campus Deck (N06). An ADA accessible shuttle will be available from those areas to the stadium.
The Reservations System for Disability Seating is closed. Please follow instructions below and you will be directed on-site to the section that can best accomodate your needs.
To better accommodate the various needs of our visitors at Commencement, UGA is providing two options for accessible seating which may be reserved online. Reservations may be made for one person in a wheelchair and one companion. Guests who do not have a reservation will be directed on-site to the section that can best accommodate your needs.
Field Level Wheelchair Section — East End Zone - FULL
The Field Level Wheelchair Section – East End Zone allows access for one person in a wheelchair and one companion (two individuals per reservation). Additional family members will need to sit separately in general seating. Please plan accordingly.
This section is located in the East End Zone, near the hedges, on the field level of the Stadium. Guests must access this section from the Will Call elevators. Water is available, and ADA accessible portable restrooms are located nearby.
This section faces the main stage and provides a direct view of the event; however, this seating area will not be covered or enclosed. Please prepare appropriately for direct sun — sunscreen and hats are highly suggested. If it is raining, ponchos will be distributed to this section.
Indoor Wheelchair Section — Press Box
The Indoor Wheelchair Section allows access for one person in a wheelchair and one companion (two individuals per reservation). Additional family members will need to sit separately in general seating. Please plan accordingly.
This section is located in a club level box on the 200 level near Section 229, south side of the stadium. Guests should access this section using the Will Call elevators. Water is available, and accessible restrooms are located in the press box.
The press box is enclosed, air conditioned, and has televisions which display a live feed of the ceremony; however, there is no field view, so anticipate watching the ceremony on the television screens. This is a popular option for guests with heat sensitivity.
Disability Seating Reservations
The Reservation System for Disability Seating is now closed. Please arrive early and come to the Will Call Entrance and you will be directed on-site to the section that can best accommodate your needs.
Disability seating is limited and requests will be processed as they are received. Once the Field Level Wheelchair Section – East End Zone is filled, those requesting the Field Level Wheelchair Section — East End Zone will be assigned to the Indoor Wheelchair Section — Press Box.
Guests who do not have a reservations will be directed on-site to the section that can best accommodate them.
Disability Seating Reservations
For more information or questions, please contact email@example.com.
Additional Limited Mobility Seating
The first few rows of sections 114 through 124 are designated for Limited Mobility Seating. These seats will not be reserved or monitored and are open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Seating in this area fills quickly. Please arrive early to ensure the best seating for your party.
The undergraduate ceremony will have open captioning in Sanford Stadium. A live streaming transcription of the audio portion of the ceremony will be displayed on the large reader boards for guests with difficulty hearing.
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.