Why is the university holding two ceremonies for every student?

The growth of the university means that it is no longer feasible to have a university wide commencement in which each student is individually recognized. In May, we held 10 ceremonies for 7,000 graduates over four days, resulting in the ceremonies being rushed and falling short of the quality of a top-10 public university.

As a result, we have decided to follow the practice of most of our peer top-ranked universities, which is to have two ceremonies for every student. One will gather all graduating students and guests together in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Degrees will be conferred, and there will be an orchestra, choir, and external invited speaker, which was not previously possible when we had multiple ceremonies spaced over several days. The other ceremony will be a college-specific ceremony in which each college will recognize and celebrate each graduating student. The college-specific ceremonies will be held at various UF venues depending on the number of graduates and family members.

UF's tradition is to have commencement ceremonies in August, December, and May every year. Future May ceremonies will follow the two-ceremony model. August ceremonies are much smaller, and thus it is feasible to have a single ceremony for every student in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. We will evaluate this coming spring after the December ceremonies, which are smaller than May, but larger than August, to determine which model to follow for future December graduations.

What is the difference between the university wide commencement ceremony and the college recognition ceremonies?

The university ceremony is a campus-wide ceremony in which all students from all colleges participate. UF President Kent Fuchs will preside over the ceremony, and there will be an invited external speaker to provide the address. Members of the UF Board of Trustees will confer degrees at this ceremony.

College recognition ceremonies are celebrations of individual student achievement and will provide a more intimate celebration setting. Ceremonies will vary in length, format, venue and presentation. College ceremony coordinators' names and contact information will be posted shortly.

What is the role of the Commencement Task Force?

The task force is charged with conducting a review of UF commencements and graduation recognition ceremonies. The goal is to have ceremonies that celebrate and are meaningful for all graduates. A balance will be sought between efficiency, tradition, celebration and individual recognition. The task force will recommend principles, values and goals to serve as a guide for all of UF's numerous commencements and graduation recognition ceremonies. It is chaired by Dr. David W. Parrott, vice president for student affairs, and Mr. Ian Green, student body president.

For more about the re-conceptualization of UF commencement, see President Kent Fuchs' column in The Independent Florida Alligator.

How long will the ceremonies last?

We expect the doctoral ceremony to last approximately two and a half hours for the December commencement, including the processional. The university-wide ceremony will last approximately two hours for the December commencement, including the processional. The college recognition ceremonies will vary in length, but we anticipate that most will last approximately two hours.

Do graduating students need a ticket in order to attend the university wide ceremony or college recognition ceremony?

No, your cap and gown is your ticket. You will not be able to check in at your line-up area if you are not wearing your cap and gown.

Do family members and guests need tickets for the ceremonies?

The university-wide ceremonies will not require tickets for family members. Some college ceremonies may require tickets.

If I have a disability and have concerns about participating in the university wide ceremony, what should I do?

Contact the Disability Resource Center, which will work with the university's Director of Commencements to assist. The commencement team will work with you to find a solution that is right for your need.

Does the stadium's clear bag policy apply to the university-wide commencement ceremony?

Yes, for commencement, both graduates and guests must comply with the procedures that are required by Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. You can find those procedures here.

If I am not graduating in the semester I would like to walk in, what should I do?

Speak to your academic advisor about whether you are eligible to request to Walk Out of Term. If you are eligible, your advisor will provide you with the necessary form and help you file it through the proper channels.

Will I get my diploma at one of these ceremonies, and if so, which one?

No, diplomas are not given out during the university-wide commencement ceremony or during college recognition ceremonies. Grades have not been finalized by graduation weekend. Diplomas are mailed out approximately eight weeks after the close of the semester.

If I have questions about a specific ceremony, who should I contact?

For information about the university-wide doctoral or all-degrees commencement ceremony, contact Stephanie McBride, Director of Commencements, at stephmcbride@aa.ufl.edu.

What about inclement weather?

We've scheduled the December university-wide ceremony to begin at 9 a.m. to minimize the chance of rain. The ceremony will take place rain or shine. In the event of severe weather, the ceremony will be canceled. Most college recognition ceremonies will occur indoors.

How do I get my regalia (cap and gown) and from where?

You may order your regalia from the UF Bookstore. For further information, contact the bookstore directly at cap-gown@ufl.edu.

What is the schedule for upcoming commencement ceremonies?

Doctoral commencement ceremonies:

The December Doctoral ceremony is scheduled for Friday, December 14, 2018 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The May 2019 Doctoral ceremony is scheduled for Friday, May 3, 2019 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The August 2019 Doctoral ceremony is scheduled for Friday, August 9, 2019 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

University wide commencement ceremonies:

The December university wide commencement is scheduled for Saturday, December 15 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The May 2019 university wide ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, May 4, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The August 2019 university wide commencement ceremony is set for Saturday, August 10, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

College recognition ceremonies:

The December college recognition ceremony schedule is as follows:

Thursday, December 13 at 5 p.m. - College of Veterinary Medicine (Master's only) at an internal venue to be determined.

Friday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m. - Colleges of Nursing (Bachelor's only), Pharmacy (Master's only), and Public Health & Health Professions at University Auditorium

Friday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m. - College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center

Saturday, December 15 at 1 p.m. - Health and Human Performance at the Florida Gym

Saturday, December 15 at 2 p.m. - College of the Arts at the University Auditorium

Saturday, December 15 at 2 p.m. - College of Education at the Reitz Union Grand Ballroom

Saturday, December 15 at 2 p.m. - College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center

Saturday, December 15 at 7 p.m. - College of Design, Construction and Planning at University Auditorium

Saturday, December 15 at 7 p.m. - College of Journalism and Communications at the Reitz Union Grand Ballroom

Saturday, December 15 at 7 p.m. - Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center

Sunday, December 16 at 10 a.m. - Warrington College of Business at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center

The schedule for the Spring 2019 recognition ceremonies will be posted later this fall.