Commencement Details

Everything you need to know about Commencement, including where to get your gown, where to park and more.  RSVP by April 26 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.

UIC Pavilion Bag and Metal Detector Policies:

For safety reasons, bags, purses, backpacks and other large bags may not be permitted in the UIC Pavilion.  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. 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. UIC Pavilion staff will direct guests to the reception in the Student Services Building (SSB) directly across the street from the Pavilion. 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 will be served.


Where do I get my cap and gown?

Please note that academic dress is required for the Commencement ceremony.  Caps and gowns can be ordered through Jostens online through March 22.  Beginning March 23, robes must be ordered through the UIC east campus bookstore in Student Center  East (SCE).  Preordered robes will be available in the bookstore beginning May 1.  Robes will also be available for purchase in the bookstore after May 1.

NOTE:  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 22.  Robes for the DPT and OTD programs will not be available for purchase in the bookstore after this date.

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

  • Bachelors – $45
  • Masters – $56
  • Doctorate – OTD/DPT/PhD – $85

Academic regalia consists of the following:

  • Bachelor – Blue cap, blue gown, red stole, and tassel indicative of degree conferred
  • Master – Blue cap, blue gown, 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 312-996-2077.

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 your email 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.

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

Provisions will be made for graduates with disabilities, if needed. 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 UIC Pavilion directly at 312-473-5700 prior to the day of the college commencement ceremony.

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 312-996-2077.

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.

If there a rehearsal?

No. Just plan to arrive by 6:15pm in the UIC Pavilion 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 UIC Pavilion.  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 UIC Pavilion at 1139 West Harrison Street and in the Harrison Street Parking Structure (HSPS) located at 1100 West Harrison Street just east of the UIC Pavilion.  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. 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.