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Fall Commencement Saturday December 11th, 2021

College of Liberal Arts & College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics @ 10:00AM
College of Business and Technology & College of Education @ 1:00PM
School of Graduate Studies @ 4:00PM

The Traditions of Commencement

The commencement exercise is the apex of the academic year in that it marks the culmination of years of acquisition of knowledge and skills by the students.

Commencement is an occasion for joy as students enter another phase of their lives, but it is also a formal ceremony, steeped in tradition, and a time for solemn and reflective appreciation of the experience afforded by a university. We thus ask the graduating students and their guests to adhere to the proper decorum for this hallowed event.

Commencement Day Instructions

WHERE & WHEN TO REPORT: All degree candidates must report to the front entrance of the Math and Science Building one hour prior to your scheduled ceremony.

UPON ARRIVAL: All degree candidates should check in at the entrance, you will then be directed to the assembly location of the college to check-in with your Dean.

PROCESSIONAL: Faculty marshals will meet candidates at the assembly locations and direct movement throughout the ceremony. The candidate lines will begin processing out of their locations approximately 30 minutes prior to the start time of the ceremony. Candidates will follow their college marshal to the appropriate seating location. All candidates should remain standing until the ceremony begins and they are instructed to be seated.

DEGREE CONFERRAL: Faculty marshals will direct candidates to the stage at the appropriate time to receive their degrees. Doctoral students should bring their hood with them at commencement check-in. After crossing the stage, all candidates must return to their seats.

DURATION: The commencement ceremony will last approximately 2 hours. Out of respect for all degree candidates, once seated, all participants are expected to stay until the conclusion of the ceremony.

LATE ARRIVALS: Late arrivals run the risk of not sitting with their college.

Commencement Etiquette 

  • Arrive on time

  • Men remove caps during national anthem and state song

  • Walk cheerfully and gracefully across the stage

  • Silence cell phones

  • Be respectful of others

  • Remain in your seat until the ceremony has ended

  • Remove gum before going across stage

  • Hold applause until all graduates are recognized


Regalia is the ceremonial attire you will wear during the Commencement ceremony.

Caps and gowns may be purchased on campus at the UWA bookstore or online at the Grad Fair or by going online here. The UWA Bookstore will be open on the day of the commencement ceremony if students wish to have their academic regalia shipped to campus. 

Check the regalia for proper fit and allow the gown to hang to remove wrinkles. The decoration of Caps is not allowed for the ceremony. Students will be asked to remove decorated caps.

Instructions on how to measure yourself for your regalia can be found here.

Attire and Belongings

Students should wear dark shoes and clothes that will harmonize with the academic regalia. Women should wear appropriate dresses and/or pantsuits, and men should wear dark slacks, dark ties, and dark shoes and socks. Jewelry that “dangles” or “jangles” should be avoided. Please wear flat shoes or wedges. The mortarboard should be worn parallel to the floor with the tassel on the left side.

Limit items you plan to carry during the ceremony: You will need to lock valuables in your vehicle or ask a guest to carry bulky items as there is no available storage space and bags or purses are not flattering in your regalia. Make sure your shoes are comfortable enough to wear for walking across campus. Have extra bobby pins and safety pins on hand for attaching mortarboard and tassel as well as securing regalia hoods.

Honor Cords & Stoles

Only academic honor stoles, hoods, cords, and medallions approved by the Commencement Committee (see list below) may be worn during the Commencement ceremonies.

Alpha Chi Cardinal Key Lambda Pi Eta Psi Chi
Alpha Epsilon Delta Chi Alpha Sigma  Lambda Sigma Pinnacle
Alpha Psi Omega Delta Mu Delta Order of Omega Sigma Beta Delta
Alpha Upsilon Alpha Iota Tau Alpha Omicron Delta Kappa Sigma Tau Delta
Beta Beta Beta Kappa Delta Pi Phi Kappa Phi Upsilon Pi Epsilon
Blue Key Kappa Mu Epsilon Phi Alpha Theta UWA Scholar Athlete


*The wearing of stoles from fraternities and sororities is prohibited as student cross stage to accept their diplomas. These stoles may be worn for ZAP photos following commencement.

Honors at Graduation (as quoted from the undergraduate catalogue)

“At graduation special recognition is given to baccalaureate candidates who have quality-point ratios of 3.50 or higher as determined by dividing the number of quality points earned by the number of semester hours attempted. These students are graduated with ‘honors,’ according to the following scale:

Summa cum laude – a quality point ratio of 3.90 or higher

Magna cum laude – a quality point ratio of 3.75, but less than 3.90

Cum laude – a quality point ratio of 3.50, but less than 3.75

A transfer student may be graduated “with honors” only if he/she has two semesters of work in residence at UWA and has at least a

3.50 average (1) in all work taken in residence at UWA and (2) in the combination of work taken here and that accepted from other institutions. If these two computations place the student in two different levels of honors, as outlined above, he/she will be graduated according to the lower of the two.

Professional Photographer

To avoid interference with the marching lines of degree recipients, a professional photographer will be present to photograph each graduate receiving a diploma. Students will be sent an email and snail mail proof of photos. Two pictures will be taken at the ceremony. The first photo will be taken as the student crosses the stage and the second photo will be taken after the student exits the stage. There is no obligation to buy these photos.

Ticket Policy


  • Tickets will be required for the ceremony 
  • Every person attending must have a ticket, regardless of age. 
  • Each participating graduate will receive three (3) tickets for their college ceremony. 
  • No additional tickets are available. 
  • Tickets will be emailed only to graduates participating in the ceremony two weeks prior to the ceremony.
  • Masks are highly encouraged for all graduates and visitors to campus.



Graduates or Guests requiring ADA Accommodations or Assistance for the ceremony or other events should email, to make arrangements.