What's the difference between the ceremonies?

Graduates and their guests should attend two ceremonies, the University Wide Commencement and the the appropriate college recognition ceremony.

UNIVERSITY WIDE COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY
The University Wide Commencement ceremony is set for Friday, April 30 from 7pm-9pm in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Students graduating with a bachelor's, master's, and specialist's degrees are expected to participate in this ceremony.

At this ceremony, degrees will be conferred by college, ending in the grand moment for bachelor's candidates when they move their tassels from right to left. UF President Kent Fuchs will preside over this ceremony. Our guest speaker will deliver the commencement address.

Contact for this ceremony: Steph McBride, Director of Commencements, UF-commencement@ad.ufl.edu 

DOCTORAL COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY
The University Doctoral Commencement ceremony is set for Thursday, April 29 at 7pm (candidate processional at 6:30pm) in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center. Degrees will be conferred for PhD, EdD, AuD, DPM, DBA, DPT, and DNP candidates, representing 14 colleges across campus. 

President Fuchs will preside over this ceremony. Graduates will be individually recognized as they have their names called, walk across the stage, and are hooded by their respective mentors.

Contact for this ceremony: Steph McBride, Director of Commencements, UF-commencement@ad.ufl.edu

COLLEGE RECOGNITION CEREMONIES
The college recognition ceremonies will take place at various times in several venues across campus over the course of graduation weekend. At these ceremonies, students will be individually recognized and celebrated. Their names will be called.

To find the date, time, and more information for your candidate's recognition ceremony click here:

Do we have to attend both the University Wide and the College Recognition Ceremony?
You are encouraged to attend both.
We invite and encourage graduates and guests to attend both the University Wide Commencement Ceremony on Friday, April 30 at 7pm in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium AND their respective college recognition ceremony!

Ceremony attendance does not impact your candidate's graduation status.
Graduates are not required to attend any ceremony.
Is this graduation weekend guaranteed to take place?

While we are hopeful this graduation weekend schedule will take place in person as scheduled, the Spring 2021 ceremonies will only occur if the threat of COVID-19 is overcome through the widespread administration of a vaccine. If that does not happen, we will postpone them.

We urge our candidates and guests to plan accordingly, building as much flexibility as possible into travel arrangements and lodging reservations.

Can a 2020 graduate participate in this ceremony weekend?

The rescheduled weekend for 2020 graduates is May 6-9, 2021. 

Those who wish to apply to Walk Out of Term (WOOT) in the Spring 2021 ceremony instead of the Make-Up 2020 weekend may apply to do so through their college, following the regular WOOT procedures, beginning in January 2020.

How long will each ceremony be?

Generally, you should plan on each ceremony lasting about 2 hours.

Tickets: Do I need them? How do I get them? How many can a candidate have?

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium: The University Wide Commencement Ceremony does not typically require tickets, however, CDC social distancing guidelines may require us to ticket the ceremony this semester. We will not have definitive answers until the end of March. Doors open at 5:30pm.

Stephen C. O'Connell Center: Ceremonies in this venue do not typically require tickets, however, CDC social distancing guidelines may require us to ticket these ceremonies this semester. We will not have definitive answers until the end of March. Doors open 90 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.

Phillips Center for Performing Arts: All ceremonies in this venue require tickets. College ceremony coordinators will manage ticket numbers and distribution. CDC social distancing guidelines may impact the number of tickets available per candidate. We will not have definitive answers until the end of March.

When, where, or how will diplomas be distributed?

Students finish taking finals on Friday, April 30 at 5pm, so grades aren't finalized graduation weekend; they're finalized the following week.

It then takes about 8 weeks to input grades, update records, certify degrees, print diplomas, sort them for mailing, and put them in the mail to a graduate's diploma mailing address. Hence, graduates receive their diplomas in the mail in July.

What is the policy about cameras and camera bags?

Video, film, and digital cameras are permitted, including those with interchangeable lenses. For both the safety and consideration of those around you, the following rules are in place:

  • Due to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium's clear bag policy (bags must be clear and no larger than 12"x6"x12"), camera bags are not permitted in this venue.
  • Camera bags are permitted in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center and Phillips Center for Performing Arts, but they are subject to individual security inspection.
  • Tripods, monopods, selfie sticks, or similar apparatuses that can obstruct aisles or others' view are not permitted in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Stephen C. O'Connell Center, or Phillips Center for Performing Arts.

Will pictures be taken at the ceremony? How can I get copies?

Professional photographers from University Photography take photos during our ceremonies, they've been our ceremony photographers for more than 25 years. Proofs of those photos are sent to graduates approximately 10 days after the ceremony.

Contact information for University Photography
University Photography, P.O. Box 2454, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403-2454
205-391-9500
questions@universitygradphoto.com

Family members nor privately hired photographers will be allowed in graduate seating areas or the stage.

How can I get a copy of the commencement program?

Graduates will receive two copies of the printed university commencement program in the mail a few days before the ceremonies. These keepsake programs have the names of graduates this semester.

(Please note this may not be an exhaustive list, as it reflects applications at a given point in the semester; academic honors designations are determined at this time and may have fluctuated through the course of the semester)

Approximately two weeks before graduation weekend, the full PDF of the programs will be available online at past commencement programs. This version can be viewed and/or downloaded at any time once it becomes available.

Some colleges will also have printed programs for their recognition ceremonies.

Will the ceremonies be available online for those who cannot attend in person?
  • The University Wide Commencement in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Friday, April 30 at 7pm will be live streamed.
  • The University Doctoral Ceremony in the O'Connell Center on Thursday, April 29 at 7pm will be live streamed.
  • Some college recognition ceremonies will be live streamed, some colleges will choose not to live stream. Check your college's ceremony website for more information regarding the streaming of their recognition ceremony.

About three weeks before graduation weekend, the links for those ceremonies that are being streamed will appear on the live stream spring 2021 page.

What if two members of our family are in two simultaneous ceremonies (siblings, cousins, spouses)?

If you have two family members participating in recognition ceremonies scheduled for the same time, one of the candidates can request to walk in the other's ceremony. This will allow both family members to see each other walk on stage, and avoid requiring visiting family members to choose between ceremonies.

Affected candidates should email Steph McBride, Director of Commencements, at uf-commencement@ad.ufl.edu to make arrangements.

What if I want to walk in another ceremony weekend, such as summer 2021?

These ceremonies have already been planned, with an estimated number of attendees and graduates, so space is limited. However, we will allow for applications for walking out-of-term (WOOT).

Exceptions will always be allowed for situations such as military deployments and station changes and VISA limitations for our international students. We will accommodate requests while we have seats.

At this time, the request process is submitting a WOOT application to your advisor or advising office. The college approves it, if appropriate and if seats are available in the requested ceremony. The form is an editable PDF, so this process can all be handled electronically. The full description of the WOOT process, and the form, can be found on the WOOT page in the RESOURCES section of this website here: WOOT Info Page

What if a student is graduating from more than one college this semester?

If a student is graduating from more than one college, in addition to attending the University Wide Commencement ceremony, they are invited to attend both college ceremonies if they so choose.

However, if they happen to be graduating from two colleges with simultaneous ceremonies, they must choose one ceremony or the other.

What about inclement weather?

The University Wide Commencement ceremony is a rain-or-shine event.

In the event of severe weather, the ceremony will be postponed or canceled, dependent upon the timing and duration of the inclement weather. We will provide timely updates via the commencement website (https://commencement.ufl.edu), UF's radio station WUFT 89.1, and, in the event of a cancellation, our UF Alert system. UF's online weather center is https://ufweather.org/.

Weather will NOT impact any college recognition ceremonies, as they are all scheduled indoors.