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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.​​1

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

Students are permitted to participate in commencement only after completing all degree requirements and applying to graduate. Questions about this policy should be directed to student advisors.  Summer graduates are invited to participate in the fall ceremony or the spring ceremony following their degree completion.
Exceptions to this policy are granted by the Dean of the respective school/college from which the student is receiving their degree and are limited to international students.  For information about the process for requesting an exception, please contact your advisor.

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


 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.​2

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

Yes, you can still participatebut you will be charged late fees. You will need to go to cap and gown pick-up (Thursday, December 5, 10am-7pm or FridayDecember 610am to 5pm 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.​​​3

 ​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.​4

 Q: How will ADA needs be accommodated?

​Please visit the ADA Accommodation 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.​5

 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 Commencement Day​ page for more information about how the ceremony works.​6

 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.​7

 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: 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 on Friday 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.​17

 Q: How long is the ceremony?

The fall ceremony is typically 2 hours.  In consideration of the audience and the significance of this event, all guests and graduates must remain seated for the entire ceremony.​10

 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 Colorado Convention Center Hall B no later than 7:45am on Saturday morning. Students who arrive late may risk missing the procession.11

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

Cancellations received by November 4th will receive a full refund. After this date the commencement fees cannot be refunded.

 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.​

 Q: Where do I park?

Parking is available in the convention center garage for $12 for up to 8 hours as well as in surrounding lots. Free parking is available on the Auraria Campus in surface lots including the Holly, Juniper, Maple, Nutmeg, and Spruce lots. Alternatively, Light Rail drops off and picks up at the Colorado Convention Center on Stout St.​15

 Q: What happens if there is severe weather?

​​If dangerous conditions are in the forecast, commencement may be delayed.  Check the commencement website for details and communication on the day of the event.16

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