Ceremony Details

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Commencement Viewing the stage
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Arrival and Pre-Ceremony Information

Student check-in at 3M Arena at Mariucci is from noon-1:30 p.m. You will begin lining up no later than 1:30 p.m. Enter via the lobby on the southwest corner of the building at 1901 Fourth Street and proceed downstairs.

Bring your GradPass with you to the arena. Visit the check-in tables to have your GradPass scanned. You must have a GradPass to cross the stage.

After you have checked in, gather by the signs designating your college and degree objective (e.g. CSE Master’s or CLA Doctoral). The procession lines will form by degree, not program.

Wear your cap and gown to 3M Arena. There is limited space to change in the arena. You are responsible for obtaining your own cap, gown, and hood. Extras will not be available at 3M Arena. Doctoral students will be hooded onstage. Master’s students wear the hood throughout the ceremony.

Leave valuables at home or with family members. There is no secure coat check area available backstage. Please silence all cell phones and other electronic devices.

Regalia Instructions

The cap is worn with the pointed end to the front and parallel to the ground. The tassel is worn on the left side throughout the ceremony. Men should remove their caps for the National Anthem. Master's students wear their hood throughout the ceremony (this YouTube video shows how to wear the hood); doctoral students are hooded onstage. Doctoral students walk in the procession with the hood draped over your arm. As you approach the stage, make sure the cord on your hood is unbuttoned! Hand the hood to the designated faculty member by the small end.


The procession will form in two lines and will come from behind the stage as described in the bullets below. At 1:40 p.m. staff volunteers will begin moving degree candidates into place. Promptly at 2:00 p.m. the mace bearer and flag marshals will begin the procession. The procession will proceed to the far end of the arena, meet in the middle, and walk down the center aisle towards the stage. Marshals will assist in seating you in the designated area on the floor. Master’s degree candidates will be seated on the right side as you face the stage and doctoral candidates will be seated on the left.

Line up behind stage:

  • Line 1(Left side of back stage): Flag bearers and master’s degree candidates in the following order: CLA, CSE.
  • Line 2 (Right side of back stage): Mace bearer, faculty participants lined up behind mace, and doctoral degree candidates in the following order: CLA, CSE. 

Degree Presentation

Marshals will direct you to the stage, row by row, when the presentation of degree candidates begins. Master’s students will process to the stage first, grouped by college; doctoral candidates will follow in the same order. When your name is announced, you will cross the stage to shake hands with the Dean. If you prefer not to shake hands, place a hand over your heart or keep your hands at your sides.

Students are recognized on stage for one degree only. You may have more than one degree printed in the commencement program, e.g. a master’s degree and a doctoral degree, but you may only walk for one.

Hooding ceremony for doctoral degree candidates:
Doctoral candidates will be hooded before they cross the stage to shake hands with the Dean. Advisors of participating doctoral students will be sent invitations to the ceremony and instructions on the hooding procedure. If your advisor is unable to attend, there will be several designated faculty members onstage to hood students. 


When the ensemble has begun to play the recessional music and after the mace bearer has left the stage, marshals will release you row by row starting at the back. You will proceed up one of the four sets of stairs at the rear of the arena to the concourse level. Arrange to meet your guests on the concourse; you will not go backstage.

Use the Twitter hashtag #umnasegrad before and after the ceremony to share your excitement and join in the conversation.

Tell your family and friends who are unable to attend commencement that they can watch the ceremony LIVE online. Online link coming soon.