Skip to main content
Navigate Up
Sign In

University of Colorado Denver

University of Colorado Denver

Commencement FAQs

Answers to common questions about the ceremony

​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 without having completed all degree requirements.

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 Willsie Cap and Gown, our official vendor.

Exceptions may be made in cases where a student owns regalia that is appropriate for the level of degree being earned and that matches the quality of our vendor's products. An appointment must be made with the commencement coordinator to approve any unofficial regalia. Email for more information.



 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 college in Hall B of the convention center 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?

Cancelations received by November 30th will receive a full refund. After this date the commencement fee cannot be refunded.19

 Q: How long is the ceremony?

The fall ceremony is approximately 2 hours.

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

Yes, you can still participate. You will need to go to cap and gown pick-up (Friday, December 11 from 1pm to 7pm in Lobby A of the convention center) to rent your cap and gown and pay the commencement fee. Please note that all on-site payments must be made in cash and will include a $25 late fee.


 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 Commencement Day 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?

Send a request to that contains the following information:

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

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

 Q: Can I purchase regalia?

Contact Diane Phillips at Willsie Cap & Gown at 720-273-7729 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 Alumni Association 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 registering to participate in the ceremony. Click here to visit the site and select Merchandise Only instead of a degree type. Instructions for receiving your items will be provided.21

​Questions frequently asked by guests

 Q: Do I need a ticket for the ceremony?

​No, tickets are not issued for commencement. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.8

 Q: Will the ceremony be streamed on the Internet?

Yes, the ceremony is available to watch live on Livestream.


 Q: How long is the ceremony?

The spring ceremony is approximately 2.5 hours.


 Q: We will have elderly family members in attendance. How can they be accommodated?

​For those guests who require special accommodation, tickets are issued on a first-come, first-served basis for a designated seating section. Please visit the ADA Accommodations page for more information. 7

 Q: Are wheelchairs available on site?

Wheelchairs and scooters are not available for rent on campus. Please visit the ADA Accommodations page for more information for students and their guests. 4

 Q: Where can 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 the Dogwood, Holly, Juniper, Maple, Nutmeg, Spruce lots and the Tivoli Parking Garage. Alternatively, Light Rail drops off and picks up at the Colorado Convention Center on Stout St.


 Q: What lodging options are closest to campus?

There are a number of hotels within walking distance of the Auraria Campus. Some properties have discounted rates for guests affiliated with CU Denver. Be sure to ask if any discounted rates are available for commencement.

Hotel Teatro

Four Seasons

The Curtis Hotel

SpringHill Suites Marriott


University of Colorado Denver

© The Regents of the University of Colorado, a body corporate. All rights reserved.

All trademarks are registered property of the University. Used by permission only.