Day of Ceremony Instructions

Based on the uncertainty surrounding the timing of the state’s reopening guidelines and limitations around large gatherings, the University will not be able to effectively plan for an August commencement ceremony for our May 2020 graduates. We are moving forward to determine ceremony options that will comply with state guidelines and expect to finalize plans by the end of September.


All students must bring a valid UNC Charlotte ID or a government-issued photo ID and their UNC Charlotte ID number to participate in commencement.

LINE-UP:  Graduates will line up in the practice gym located on the ground level of the Barnhardt Student Activity Center (SAC). DO NOT report to the SAC food court. You may enter the building from the lower level ATAC entrances - the SAC entrances close to the College of Education building or near Woodward Hall. Signs will be posted.

SECURITY: Leave all bags in your car or with guests. Security checks will be conducted at entry points. Allow for extra time. Arrive at the practice gym 90 minutes prior to the ceremony. All students must have a valid UNC Charlotte ID or a government-issued photo ID and their UNC Charlotte ID number to participate in commencement.

Names are meant to be heard as graduates walk across the stage.   Graduates, please consider how you may impact the student behind you as you cross the stage.  Please be respectful so that all names can be heard at Commencement.  

  • Undergraduate and graduate candidates will wear caps and gowns; master's candidates are to wear their hoods; doctoral candidates are to carry their hoods.
  • Low heels or flat shoes should be worn, as the march to and from your seat and the stage may include steps, and high heels may present some difficulties.  Students with access needs should contact Disability Services 704‑687‑0040 (TTY/V) prior to Commencement to arrange accommodations.
  • Each graduating student will receive an email a day or two prior to Commencement indicating their row assignment.  Signs will be posted with row numbers.  A representative from your department will provide you with a name card which you will hand to the faculty member on stage. Remain in the line-up area until the procession begins.  All graduates must be in line and ready to process into the arena 45 minutes before the start of the ceremony.  Once seated in the arena, please do not leave your seat other than for an emergency.
  • In the graduate line-up area, you will be given your name card. Do not bend or lose your name card as it will be used to announce and display your name.
  • Cap tassels are worn on your right. When do you remove your cap during the ceremony? Women do not remove their caps during the exercises; men take their cue from the Chancellor and do as he does.  
  • Student marshals will lead the procession into the arena.  Once conferring of degrees begins, you must present your name card to the ceremony leader as you reach the stage where your name will be announced. You will then cross the stage to be congratulated by the Chancellor or the Dean of your college before returning to your seat.  For the Graduate School, doctoral candidates (section 1will be recognized first, followed by master's candidates and graduate certificate candidates, in alphabetical order by department.  Undergraduate ceremonies will process by college (in alphabetical order) and then by department.
  • After all candidates have returned to their seats, the Chancellor will ask you to stand together while he formally confers all degrees. Instructions will then be given regarding the turning of the cap tassel.


Diplomas will not be distributed at the Commencement ceremony. If all degree requirements have been met and there are no financial holds, diplomas will be mailed to graduates six to eight weeks after commencement to the diploma address provided on the application for degree. To change the address to which the diploma should be mailed, go online through, select the Personal Information menu, then select Update Address(es) and Phone(s), and then select "Diploma" for the "Type of Address."


Prior to the ceremony, make arrangements with your guests to meet at a certain location following the ceremony.  Remember, the area surrounding the Barnhardt Student Activity Center will be very crowded immediately after the ceremony.