December commencement events

Saturday,December 21, 2019

  • Commencement Ceremony : 
  • 1:00 p.m. at Hancher Auditorium
  • Doors will open at 12:00 p.m. Graduates should arrive no later than 12:15 p.m. and proceed to the check-in at the Strauss Rehearsal Hall to pick up their name cards.
  • Parking will be available free of charge on the day.  Visit the parking map for parking options 


The ceremony will be streamed live on the IowaNow website, and an archival video will be posted shortly after the ceremony concludes. The ceremony also will be broadcast live on UITV (Mediacom cable channel 17 in the Iowa City area).

May 2019 commencement events

Saturday, May 11, 2019


 An archival video can now be viewed here

Degree Application Deadlines

  • December 2019 graduates: October 4, 2019
  • May 2020 graduates: February 28, 2020
  • August 2020 graduates: June 12, 2020

* There is no summer ceremony. Students may request to participate in the May or December ceremony by emailing

Information for graduates

Tickets for the commencement ceremony are not required.


All graduates must wear a cap and gown, which will be available at the University Bookstore, Iowa Memorial Union, during regular business hours, three weeks before the ceremony. Men are expected to wear shirts and ties; jackets are not required. Women are advised to avoid high heels, because floors may be slippery in the lobby when crossing the stage. Flowers should not be worn with caps and gowns or carried into the auditorium. 

Beta Gamma Sigma members and Tippie Honors graduates will wear honors cords with their academic attire. Cords can be picked up in the Undergraduate Program Office, C140 PBB.


You may purchase personalized announcements specifically designed with the University of Iowa's school crest and customized with your name, degree, major, time, date, and place of the ceremony.  

May ceremony details


The ceremony will take place at Hancher Auditorium, 141 East Park Road.

Doors will open at 12:00pm. Graduates should arrive no later than 12:15pm and proceed to check-in at the Strauss Rehearsal Hall on the ground floor to pick up your name card.  After check-in, you will be able to re-connect with your guests in the lobby, but you will be asked to gather again in Strauss Rehearsal Hall to line up at around 12:40.  You may line-up in the order you choose;  line-up does not need to be alphabetical. 

At 1:00pm, graduates will process from Strauss Rehearsal Hall through the auditorium and onto the Hancher main stage, where they will take their seats.


The ceremony begins with a welcome and introduction of the platform officials, comments from an invited speaker, comments from the student speaker, and conferral of degrees. Next, the marshals will direct graduates to walk across the stage. You will hand your name card to a college representative who will scan your card so that your name appears on the large arena screens.  Then, you will hand your card to another college representative who will read your name as you proceed across the stage to shake hands with officials, and exit the stage to pick up your diploma cover and have your photo taken.  


At the conclusion of the ceremony, your marshal will dismiss each row in an orderly manner. You will proceed through the auditorium in the same way you entered. You can rejoin your guests in the lobby.


Professional photographers will be taking two photos of each candidate at the ceremonies: a more formal "posed" photo taken prior to being recognized on stage and a "candid" photo taken while shaking hands with a university official.

To receive a complimentary proof (with no obligation to purchase), students must complete the address information on the back of the name card, which is filled out when purchasing their cap and gown. This photo name card will be handed to the reader as each student is recognized on stage. University Book Store personnel will complete this information for mail-in orders. Students should check for accuracy. Complimentary proofs will be mailed and emailed to the graduates within 10 days of the ceremony.


You will receive a complimentary diploma cover the day of the ceremony. Diplomas will be mailed to your residing address after a final audit confirms that all requirements have been met. Participation in the ceremony is not a validation of graduation.

Information for guests

Seats are not reserved and tickets are not required.

Food and lodging information

Special needs

A sign language interpreter will be on-stage to interpret the ceremony. 

For the May ceremony at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, see parking and seating information for guests with physical disabilities and limited mobility.  

For the December ceremony at Hancher Auditorium, see the parking map for locations of accessible parking.