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Commencement FAQs

​Questions frequently asked by graduates

 Q: Is participation in the commencement ceremony required?

No, you do not have to attend. Commencement is an optional activity to celebrate the completion of your degree. A fee is charged to those students who do opt to participate to help offset the costs of producing the ceremony.

 Q: I cannot attend the ceremony. How do I get my diploma?

Diplomas are mailed to graduates approximately two months after the end of the semester. Diploma addresses can be updated via the student portal. 12

 Q: I am not officially graduating this semester. Am I still able to participate in the ceremony?

Doctoral graduates must complete 100% of degree requirements before they can be hooded in the ceremony. Bachelor's and master's degree recipients, however, are permitted to walk in the ceremony up to one semester early without having completed all degree requirements.  Students are encouraged to participate in the ceremony in which they have been approved to graduate, but it is not required.  Summer graduates are invited to attend the fall ceremony.  Requests to participate in the spring ceremony should be emailed to with the student ID #, ucdenver email address, school/college, and number of credits remaining in degree until completion.  All requests must be received by cap and gown distribution in order to receive approval.  Requests received after this time will be denied.

Please note that graduate names are printed in the commencement program only in the semester for which you have been approved to graduate.


 Q: I already have regalia. Do I still need to rent it through the university?

To ensure that all students are wearing the proper regalia and that it is consistent with the university's quality standards, all graduates are required to rent caps and gowns through Herff Jones, our official vendor.  All CU Denver Graduates wear regalia featuring CU's colors.



 Q: Can someone else pick up my regalia at Cap & Gown pick-up if I can't make it?

Yes, if you need someone else to pick up your regalia on your behalf, please email them a copy of your registration confirmation and they can show that to the regalia provider at pick-up.24

 Q: Where do I go the morning of the ceremony and what time should I get there?

Graduates must check in with the schools and colleges in the PE/Events Center gym no later than 7:45am on Saturday morning. Students who arrive late may risk missing the procession.

 Q: I can no longer participate in the ceremony. Can I cancel and get a refund?

Cancellations received by April 8th will receive a full refund. After this date the commencement fees cannot be refunded.  If you chose to ship your regalia to you, it can be returned for a refund in the return envelope.  You will receive a full refund if the gown was unopened.19

 Q: How long is the ceremony?

The spring ceremony is typically 2.5 hours.  In consideration of the audience and the significance of this event, all guests and graduates must remain seated for the entire ceremony.​

 Q: I missed the deadline to register online for commencement. Can I still participate?

Yes, you can still participate, but you will be charged late fees. You will need to go to cap and gown pick-up (Thursday, May 9, 10am to 7pm or Friday, May 10, 8am-4pm in St. Cajetan's on the Auraria Campus) to rent your cap and gown and pay the commencement fees. Please note that all on-site payments must be made in cash and will include a $25 late fee in addition to the standard commencement fees. The on-site fees are listed on the commencement homepage.


 Q: Do my guests need tickets?

No, guests do not need tickets for the ceremony. You may invite as many guests as you wish, but please note that seating is first-come, first-served. 7

 Q: How will ADA needs be accommodated?

​Please visit the ADA Accommodations​ page for more information about arrangements in place for graduates who need assistance. You will be asked during the registration process whether you require special accommodation to fully participate in the ceremony.


 Q: Is there a rehearsal?

There is no rehearsal for the ceremony. Once you have checked in with your school/college you will receive instruction from the faculty marshals. Visit the Ceremony Details page for more information about how the ceremony works.9

 Q: I will have guests attending from outside the U.S. How can I request a letter of invitation for a visa application?

As a courtesy, the Commencement Office will draft a letter of invitation to friends and family abroad to include in a visa application packet. Requests should be sent to and must contain the following information:

1. Your name
2. Degree to be earned
3. Semester attending commencement​
4. Name and relationship of each guest to be invited
5. City and country of embassy/consulate where visa application interview will take place

An electronic letter will be sent to you within one week of your request.

 Q: Can I purchase regalia?

Contact Alex Frieler at Herff Jones at 970-397-1819 or​ to ask about buying regalia. Graduates who purchase regalia will register normally. The rental fee will be applied to your purchase. 4

 Q: How can I purchase commemorative merchandise if I'm not participating in the ceremony?

Graduates can purchase souvenir tassels, University of Colorado license plates and more through the registration website without registering to participate in the ceremony. Instructions for receiving your items will be provided.21

 Q: Where do I park?

​Parking is free in all Auraria Campus lots for commencement.22

 Q: What happens if it rains?

Commencement is a rain or shine event and will be held in Tivoli Quad unless severe weather is expected. If dangerous conditions are forecast, commencement will be held as two ceremonies in the PE/Events Center gym. More details will be available prior to the ceremony.

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