Ceremony Details

Please Note: Applying to graduate is a separate process from registering for the ceremony.

Registration is required for participation in the commencement ceremony. Early registration is conducted through the Herff Jones regalia rental website and is now closed. For late registration please email commencement@ucdenver.edu.

What to Expect

CU Denver's commencement is an all-campus ceremony during which we recognize all doctoral, educational specialist, master's, and bachelor's degree recipients. Below is a quick overview of what to expect on the morning of commencement. Please note that there is no rehearsal for the ceremony.

Check In

There will be two graduation ceremonies. Please note that check in will be split between two ceremonies. Please follow event signage to find check-in locations. Check-in and run-of-show times are listed below.

Morning Ceremony

Doors open at 8 a.m. Please allow time for travel and to find parking.

9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

  • College of Engineering, Design and Computing
  • College of Architecture and Planning
  • Business School

Afternoon Ceremony

Doors open at 1 p.m. Please allow time for travel and to find parking.

2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

  • College of Arts & Media
  • School of Public Affairs
  • School of Education & Human Development
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Find Your School/College

Bachelor's and master's degree candidates should locate the flag with your school/college's name on it and check in. If you didn’t bring your reader card (the card is what you present to have your name read as you cross the stage) that was included in your regalia packet, your school/college will have extras for you to fill out. Doctoral students check in at the Doctoral Candidates table. All other students should check in with their respective school or college. If you don't know which school/college your major falls under, you must find out before you register for the ceremony. If you are interested in purchasing professional photographs, confirm that your contact information is correct on the back side of the reader card.

Please note: This is a rapidly evolving event, and we will update ceremony and line-up details as we have them.

Follow Faculty to Your Seat

Graduates should follow faculty marshals. Upon reaching your seating row, faculty marshals will direct you into your seats. Please fill every seat in the row. You will remain standing until the commencement marshal invites you to sit.

The following items are prohibited in the event floor: bags of any sort, alcohol, illegal drugs, artificial noise makers, banners, large signs, bottles, cans, coolers, fireworks, helium balloons, aerosol cans, defensive weapons, and pets (service animals are permitted, please contact the Commencement Office).

Cross the Stage

Degrees are conferred in the following order: Doctoral and educational Specialist degrees, master's degrees and then bachelor's degrees for each college and school. The doctoral graduates are called to the stage, followed by educational specialists. Then each college or school will have their master’s degree graduates followed by their bachelor’s degree graduates whom are directed to both sides of the stage. Names are read alternately from each podium as printed on your reader card. Photos are taken by professional photographers at the bottom of each ramp and as you receive your diploma cover and shake the CU Denver chancellor's or CU System president's hand. You will reach out with your left hand to accept the diploma cover from the chancellor or president and shake hands with your right hand (if shaking hands with a male is not culturally acceptable, you may simply accept the diploma cover from the President with your left hand).

For safety and consideration for the significance of the ceremony, graduates with children are not allowed to bring their child to the stage with them.

Return to Your Seat

After crossing the stage, you exit down the stairs and return to the same seat. You'll be excited, so a faculty marshal will be there to help you find it again. As a courtesy to your fellow graduates, nobody is permitted to leave until the ceremony has concluded.

Ceremony Completes

At the end of the ceremony, graduates recess out of the main stage area in order that they processed in: first in, first out. Gowns and hoods (if applicable) are returned upon the conclusion of the ceremony. Caps and tassels are yours to keep!