Frequently Asked Questions

How can I contact ASE Commencement if I have questions?
The commencement planners can be reached at [email protected].

What is the COVID policy for the ceremony?
Face masks, proof of vaccination, and health checks are not required for graduates and their guests. The University of Minnesota is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable experience for all graduates and guests attending events on our campus. Guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health do not limit venue capacity or require physical distancing between individuals. In accordance with Minnesota Department of Health and University of Minnesota COVID-19 guidelines, masks are no longer required indoors at spring commencement events. Graduates and guests should follow CDC quarantine guidelines if they are exposed to, or test positive for, COVID-19.

How many guests may I invite and do they need tickets?
Guest seating in the arena is available on a first-come, first-served basis. No tickets are required, and there is no limit to the number of guests who may attend.

Where do I rent a cap and gown?
Graduates are responsible for renting their own academic regalia. Order your academic costume from the University Bookstore. Doctoral students: be sure to order hoods in addition to the cap and gown. Check the University Bookstore for deadlines and costs.

Where can I purchase graduation announcements?
Announcements can be purchased at the University Bookstore Announcements or at GradFest.

What is GradFest?
GradFest 2022 will be held Wednesday, March 16, 2022 at 10:00 AM to Thursday, March 17, 2022 until 5:00 PM. Gradfest is the U of M's official "one-stop" source for graduation information, services and products. You can pick up your cap and gown, order graduation announcements, and much more.

Will I be hooded on stage?
Doctoral candidates will be hooded on stage. Although master’s students will not be hooded on stage, they may choose to wear an academic hood with their gown.

Can my adviser hood me?
Yes, your adviser can hood you. There will also be designated faculty on stage who can perform this role for students whose advisers are not able to attend.

What if I registered to attend and but have to cancel?
Please send an email to [email protected] to notify the commencement planners that you are unable to attend.

What if my international guests need a visa to attend the ceremony?
If your guests need an invitation letter in order to apply for a visa, please contact Jill Johnson at [email protected].

Is there a fee to attend the ceremony?
There are no registration or entrance fees; however, graduates are responsible for renting or purchasing their own academic attire.

What if I missed the registration deadline?
We will make every effort to accommodate you. Contact [email protected] for information. Depending on the date, it may be too late for your name to appear in the program booklet.

May family members take photographs during the ceremony?
Yes, but they will not be allowed on the arena floor during the ceremony. Professional photographers will take 3-4 photos of each graduate during the ceremony.

What if my guests or I have special needs?
Send an email to [email protected] to request accommodations. Be as specific as possible (e.g., if you need wheelchair seating, state how many guests are in the entire party).

Is there a place where I can keep my belongings back stage?
No. Leave all your valuables at home or with family members. There is not a secure area available and you will not return to the backstage area after the ceremony is over.

Can my family and I leave once I have crossed the stage?
No. All graduates, faculty and guests are expected to stay until the end of the ceremony.

Will I be able to purchase a copy of the recorded ceremony?
No. The video recording will be for viewing only; it cannot be downloaded and we will not have copies for sale.

How long will the ceremony last?
The ceremony starts at noon and is expected to conclude by 2:30 p.m.

Is there a reception following the ceremony?
There is no formal reception; however, refreshments will be served on the concourse.

When will I get my diploma?
Diplomas are mailed 4-6 weeks after you are officially cleared for graduation. A University of Minnesota diploma is printed on 8.5 x 11" paper and includes the following information: your name, the degree you earned, and the confer date. The diploma does not indicate your major or minor; these details are recorded on your official transcript.