If I already registered, do I need to register again?

YES.

Even if you registered for your ceremony when you applied to graduate, the ceremony schedule has since changed, so we need all candidates who wish to attend their ceremony must register or re-register through One.UF between February 19 and March 31.

Candidates who re-register between those times will be given 2 guest tickets. Tickets will be distributed in April.

Why did the schedule change?

The schedule changed to accommodate the CDC guidelines and UF Health protocols requiring 6-foot distance between graduates and parties of guests, as well as meet the reduced capacities of the venue.

In order to ensure all our candidates could have an equitable experience, we chose to move the ceremonies into one venue where everyone could invite an equal number of guests. 

Is this graduation weekend guaranteed to take place?

Commencement is the culmination of our students’ academic career and the celebration of their years of hard work. Three commencements have passed virtually and we have been advised by UF Health it is safe to offer the spring graduating class an in-person commencement to celebrate their accomplishments in person.

However, the plans can change at any point based on the latest guidance from health officials.

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

Stephen C. O'Connell Center: Candidates who re-registered for their ceremony between February 19 and March 31 will receive 2 guest tickets. These tickets will be provided in pairs. Tickets will be distributed electronically on April 20.

There will not be an opportunity for additional ticket requests.

Ben Hill Griffin Stadium: For guests who wish to enjoy the ceremony on campus but do not have tickets to join in the O'Connell Center, we will hold "watch parties" April 29-May 3 where the ceremonies will be live streamed in the stadium. No tickets are required for access to this venue. 
Tickets: At what age is a guest required to have a ticket?

A person coming into the O'Connell Center requires a ticket, regardless of age. This is necessary to ensure we maintain the 20% capacity of the venue.

Candidates who registered for their ceremony between February 19 and March 31 will receive 2 guest tickets. These tickets will be assigned in pairs. Tickets will be distributed electronically on April 20.

There will not be an opportunity for additional ticket requests.

Tickets: Can I have the tickets of grads who aren't coming?

Only candidates who register for the ceremonies will receive tickets. Candidates who are not coming will not register and will not receive tickets.

There are 551 candidate seats per ceremony. This math was based on prior registration numbers, it's what allowed us to hold in person ceremonies WITH 2 guests. If a candidate who does not intend to come registers only to give away their tickets to a friend, they would be taking away a seat from a candidate who does intend to come and who would like their 2 guests to watch them. This is not for the Gator Good. This deprives other graduating gators of the opportunity to have guests at all.

We cannot give each candidate 3 tickets because we can't socially distance an additional 551 persons. 2 tickets is the right number to be equitable for every graduate at every ceremony.

Candidates who registered for their ceremony between February 19 and March 31 will receive 2 guest tickets. These tickets will be assigned in pairs. Tickets will be distributed electronically on April 20.

There will not be an opportunity for additional ticket requests.

Can a 2020 graduate participate in this ceremony weekend?

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

Is it safe to hold the ceremonies indoors?

The safety of our campus, our community and all those who might attend commencement is our first priority. Guided by UF Health and CDC guidelines, the University of Florida has taken appropriate precautions to create a safe environment and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 during commencement. Every person attending graduation is required to wear a face covering and maintain a physical distance of 6 feet. In addition, UF will increase cleaning protocols between ceremonies in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, signage will be placed outside and inside to remind guests of all CDC and university restrictions for the event. Sanitizing stations will also be conveniently available throughout the venue.

Will mask wearing and physical distancing be required?

Yes. All visitors, faculty, staff and students are required to wear face coverings with the exception of children less than 2 years old. Seating has been configured to maintain 6 feet of physical distancing. For additional information, please review the university’s Masking and Physical Distancing Policy.

Will there be new safety protocols during commencement?

Yes. Masks are required for all persons in the building. The only exception is that graduates may temporarily remove their masks as they cross the stage and have their picture taken.

Graduates are encouraged, but not required to, quietly exit the building after they cross the stage. Guests of the graduates are also encouraged, but not required to, quietly exit after their graduate is called.

There will be no hand shaking as graduates cross the stage.

There will be no processional or recessional. 

Will candidates be required to get COVID tests prior to attending their ceremony?

No. However, if candidates wish to get tested prior to the ceremony, UF has made scheduling testing easier using One.UF. Simply go to One.UF, complete the screening questionnaire again and schedule the test within the next two days, and results will be emailed to you no later than 48-72 hours after the test.

How many people will attend each ceremony?

In order to adhere CDC guidelines, just under 2,000 people will be in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center at one time. This is approximately 20% of the venue's capacity.

While the numbers will vary slightly from ceremony to ceremony, the approximate breakdown is 584 graduates, 1168 guests, and 225 UF employees and vendors.

How many ceremonies will UF hold for the Spring 2021 weekend?

We will hold 14 ceremonies the extended graduation weekend of April 29-May 3.

The full schedule can be found here: Spring 2021 Ceremony Schedule

How long will each ceremony be?

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

Won't having so many out-of-town guests lead to community spread?

We are partnering with local government officials, hotels, restaurants and bars to help promote a healthy and safe practices among guests and customers.

I thought there were two ceremonies to attend? Is there still a University Wide Ceremony?

Typically in the spring semester we hold a University Wide Ceremony in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium AND each college has a recognition ceremony in an appropriate venue on campus.

However, when we re-set this semester's schedule, we canceled this year's University Wide Ceremony. This allowed us an extra time slot in the O'Connell Center. This also gave us additional time to host the live-stream watch parties in the stadium for guests who wish to watch the ceremonies on campus but do not have tickets for the O'Connell Center.

What if I have a final exam at the same time as my ceremony?

We recognize there are a handful of candidates whose final exam times may conflict with their ceremony times. We will work with your professors to ensure that you are able to cross the stage. There will be flexibility in these very specific situations to take their exams at a different time.

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, 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 or the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

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.

Will the ceremonies be available online for those who cannot attend in person?

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

Ceremonies will also be live streamed in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium for "watch parties" for guests who wish to view the ceremonies on campus but do not have tickets to join us in the O'Connell Center.

What if two members of our family are in two different ceremonies this weekend?

If you have two family members participating in two different ceremonies this weekend, we can try to arrange for your family's graduates to walk in the same ceremony if there are additional spaces in one of the ceremonies available. We likely won't know until the middle of April whether that will be a possibility, as that is when registrations will be complete.

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.

Please see the WOOT Info Page for information about requesting to Walk Out-of-Term in a different weekend.

Because of the very limited capacities of the venues this semester, we cannot accept any further WOOT requests for this semester's ceremonies, outside of the two above mentioned exceptions.

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

If a student is graduating from more than one college, they are invited to attend the ceremonies each of their colleges is a part of, if they so choose. They will receive 2 guest tickets for each of those ceremonies, provided they register between February 19 and March 31 in their One.UF.

However, if they happen to be graduating from two colleges in the same ceremony, they must choose one college or the other to walk with and will receive only one pair of guest tickets for that ceremony.

What if a student is graduating with more than one major from the same college in multiple ceremonies?

If a student is graduating with more than one major in the same college, and those majors are scheduled in different ceremonies, they are invited to attend one or the other or both ceremonies each of their degrees is a part of, if they so choose. They will receive 2 guest tickets for each of the ceremonies they attend, provided they register between February 19 and March 31 in their One.UF.

They will be contacted after the registration deadline by the Director of Commencements to be placed in the specific ceremony(ies) they wish to attend.

However, if they happen to be graduating with multiple degrees in the same ceremony, they must choose one degree or the other to walk with and will receive only one pair of guest tickets for that ceremony.

What about inclement weather?

The ceremonies are all scheduled in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center, an indoor venue, so they will not be affected by weather. 

The "watch parties" April 29-May 3 in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium are rain-or-shine events. However, if lightining touches down within 8 miles of the venue, safety protocol requires we evacuate the stands. Attendees may remain in the corridors and hallways until the there has been no sightings of lightning within 8 miles for 30 minutes, at which time the stands can re-open.