Commencement Details

AHS Commencement Ceremony

Thursday, May 9, 2019
7 p.m.

Credit Union 1 Arena
525 S. Racine Ave.
Chicago, IL 60607

Everything you need to know about Commencement, including where to get your gown, where to park and more.

RSVP by April 19 to attend the ceremony.


If you’re graduating in the spring, you’re eligible to attend Commencement in May. If you expect to graduate in the summer or fall, you should plan to attend the December Commencement.

Final graduation check

All students who intend to graduate are expected to meet with their academic advisor at least one term prior to graduation to ensure that they are on track to graduate. You’re encouraged to meet with your academic advisor regularly to prevent delays in term of graduation.

Graduate students must also meet deadlines set by the Graduate College. All graduate students (excluding professional Doctor of Physical Therapy and Doctor of Occupational Therapy students) are expected to comply with the Graduate College deadlines regarding thesis defense, format approval and graduation form submission. Refer to the Graduate College for deadlines and requirements.

Ceremony basics

  • Doors open at 6pm. You should arrive at the UIC Pavilion by 6:15pm to check in.
  • Leave your personal belongings with a family member or friend—there is no secure location backstage to store items during the ceremony.
  • Please use appropriate decorum on stage—that means NO chewing gum!
  • Wear your tassels on the right as you walk in the forum hall.
  • If you’re being hooded (PhD, OTD, DPT), hoods should be draped over your right arm (unbuttoned) as you process up on stage. Stand between the hooders and turn to face the audience while being hooded. Master’s students should put on their hoods prior to entering the Pavilion hall.

Credit Union 1 Arena bag and metal detector policies

For safety reasons, bags, purses, backpacks and other large bags may not be permitted in the Credit Union 1 Arena.  Bags must fit into a container 12″ x 6″ x 12″ in order to be permitted into the venue.  All graduates, guests, faculty and staff will also be asked to pass through a metal detector. Please plan to arrive early to the ceremony as the safety check-in will add extra time for entry.  Persons passing through the metal detectors will be asked to remove their phones, keys, coins, wallets, etc. A list of prohibited items includes:

  • Camera bags
  • Drawstring bags
  • Briefcases
  • Computer bags
  • Coolers, including thermos
  • Fanny packs
  • Luggage or any kind
  • Diaper bags
  • Bottles/Cans
  • Outside Food/Beverage
  • Noisemakers
  • Laser pointers
  • Mace
  • Weapons/Knives


A reception will immediately follow the ceremony. Credit Union 1 Arena staff will direct guests to the reception in the Student Services Building directly across the street from the Arena. You’ll process from the main seating area directly to the reception area, where you can meet your families and guests at the reception. Light refreshments including desserts, coffee, tea and lemonade will be served.


Where do I get my cap and gown?

Please note that academic dress is required for the Commencement ceremony.

If you have not done so already, you can purchase your robe online from the UIC Bookstore website (beginning April 29) or you can purchase your robe in person from the UIC Bookstore (May 1 through May 9).  The UIC Bookstore is located in Student Center East (SCE) at 750 S. Halsted St., first floor.  All robes pre-ordered through Jostens can be picked up beginning May 1.  Robes can shipped at an additional cost, but you arrangements must be made upon submitting your order for shipping.  Additional instructions can be found here. Other graduation products can also be purchased through the bookstore.

DPT/OTD Robes: Specialty caps and gowns for professional students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) programs must be ordered online by March 21.  A limited number of robes for the DPT and OTD programs will be available for purchase in the bookstore after May 1.

Certificate Students: Students who are earning a certificate, should wear regalia for their highest degree earned.  They can use their prior robe or order a new robe for their prior degree.  If you have any questions, please contact the AHS Student Affairs Office of Elaine Nicholas for more information (

Prices for regular retainable student caps and gowns are as follows:

  • Bachelors – $47.99
  • Masters – $89.99 (includes a red stole)
  • Doctorate – OTD/DPT/PhD – $89.99

Academic regalia consists of the following:

  • Bachelor – Blue cap, blue gown, red stole, and tassel indicative of degree conferred
  • Master – Blue cap, blue gown, red stole, tassel and hood indicative of College (gold hood and green/gold tassel)
  • Doctorate (DPT, OTD) – Black Cap, black gown, teal tassel and hood indicative of College
  • Ph.D – Red cap, red gown, gold tassel, and hood lined with red and indigo


What color tassel should I wear?

  • Bachelor of Science: gold tassel
  • Bachelor of Arts: white tassel
  • Master of Science: green/gold tassel and gold-lined hood
  • PhD students: gold tassel and a hood unique to your discipline
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy: teal tassel and teal-lined hood
  • Occupational Therapy Doctorate: teal tassel and teal-lined hood

A tassel is included with cap and gown orders, but additional tassels are available at the bookstores.

Am I eligible for University Honors?

University Honors are awarded to undergraduate students who are earning a degree and whose UIC grade point average falls within the following honors categories:

  • Summa cum laude: 3.90 and above
  • Magna cum laude: 3.75 to 3.89
  • Cum laude: 3.50 to 3.74.

The UIC cumulative grade point average must be at least a 3.50/4.00 based on at least 30 graded semester hours. Latin Honors designation for commencement purposes will be based on grades and credits earned through the end of the fall term prior to the commencement ceremony. Students eligible for University Honors will receive an e-mail notification from the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs. If you believe you are eligible for University Honors and have not received a letter of notification by first week of April, please contact Elaine Nicholas at 312-996-2079.

Students eligible for honors will receive a cord that should be worn during the ceremony. Honors cords will be distributed at the Honor’s College Convocation and at the Grad Finale Ceremony or during check-in for the AHS Commencement.

What name will be on my diploma

It is recommended that you access your final grade report via my.UIC for your records. Your name as it appears in the portal as of the last day of classes will appear on your diploma. If you have a change of name that you would like to appear on your diploma, please complete the current student diploma name change form to request changes to your name.

If you have any questions, contact the Records Office at 312-996-4381, M-F, 8:30 am to 5 pm.

When will I receive my diploma?

Diplomas will be mailed two to three months after graduation. The printed diploma will be delivered to your active mailing address, unless you have created an active diploma address in my.UIC. Addresses can be updated from the Personal Information menu. Any changes to the delivery address of the diploma after the last day of classes should be reported to the Records Office at 312-996-4381, M-F, 8:30 am to 5 pm.

Will I receive a diploma cover?

Diploma covers will be provided at the Commencement ceremony.

Will photos be taken?

Photography services will be provided by Grad Images. An individual photograph will be taken of each graduate as they process on and off the stage and as they receive their diploma cover. A photo proof will be sent to the email address and mailing address approximately one week after the ceremony. Prints are typically available two weeks after an order has been placed. Proofs will be sent to the mailing address you provide in the RSVP form. Please be sure that your mailing address information is accurately submitted to ensure proper delivery of your proof and photo order.

Will there be a webcast?

AHS will broadcast our ceremony online. The webcast will be available on the UIC Commencement Website.

How do audition for the role of AHS Commencement Student Speaker?

You can submit your audition for the AHS Commencement student speaker using the link below.

The Office of the Dean is now accepting submissions for the 2019 Commencement Student Speaker!  The selection process will be facilitated by the College’s Commencement Committee.

Please visit the following link to view the student speaker guidelines and submit your online audition form.  A You Tube video of your speech should be included with your submission. The 2019 Student Commencement Speaker will be selected based on the following criteria: Presentation, Content and Engagement.

All auditions should be submitted no later than March 8th.  For additional questions, please contact Elaine Nicholas at

NOTE:  Professional , graduate, and undergraduate students are all eligible for submission

What if I or one of my guests needs accessibility accommodations?

Provisions will be made for graduates requesting accommodations. Please make your program coordinator aware of any accommodations required. Accessibility accommodations should also be noted on the RSVP form that all graduates are required to fill out.  Students should also contact the Credit Union 1 Arena directly at 312-473-5700 prior to the day of the college commencement ceremony to identify specific needs from the venue.

Special needs/hearing-impaired guests may obtain seating assistance by going to the Guest Services entrance just east of the main entrance (on Harrison St.)

If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact Elaine Nicholas, AHS Commencement Coordinator, at 312-996-2079.

Will there be a place to store my belongings during the ceremony?

No. You should leave your personal items with your families or guests. There is no secured location available during the ceremony to store purses, coats, etc.

Is there a rehearsal?

No. Just plan to arrive by 6:15pm in the Credit Union 1 Arena to begin checking in for the ceremony.

Are tickets required for guests?

No tickets are required for guests for the AHS Commencement ceremony in the Credit Union 1 Arena.  Seats are available on a first come, first served basis.

Is there lodging available near campus for my guests?

There are several local hotels relatively close to campus.  A list of these hotels can be found on the following page.  For guests visiting from out of town, additional information about visiting UIC can be found at the following link.

Where do I park?

Parking will be available at no charge in Lot 1B located across from the Credit Union 1 Arena at 1139 West Harrison Street and in the Harrison Street Parking Structure (HSPS) located at 1100 West Harrison Street just east of the Credit Union 1 Arena.  Refer to the UIC Commencement website for additional directions.

Where can I purchase announcements or a class ring?

Graduation announcements, diploma frames, and class rings can be ordered through the UIC bookstores or Jostens. Additional information regarding these items will be posted later in the spring term.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions?

If you have additional questions about commencement or graduating this semester, please contact your department’s Commencement representative.