UGA’s May 8, 2020 Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement ceremonies have been canceled.
In keeping with directives from the state and federal government to suspend large events and promote social distancing due to COVID-19, the University System of Georgia has directed that all public events for the remainder of the Spring semester have been canceled, including Spring Commencement.
Students will still earn their degrees and be able to graduate this semester, consistent with academic standards.
These decisions are not made lightly, but with the best interests of our campus community and our students’ families and loved ones in mind. We realize that the cancellation of Spring Commencement is extremely disappointing. Therefore, we are exploring other ways to honor our graduates and will communicate when those plans are known.
There is currently no limit to the number of guests you can invite to the graduate commencement ceremony and tickets are not required. Invitations, rings, diploma frames, and other commemorative items are available at the UGA Bookstore.
Academic attire is required to participate in the ceremony. Caps, gowns, and hoods may be purchased at the UGA Bookstore. Order your announcements online at Jostens.com.
Please note: if you order your academic attire from someone other than the UGA Bookstore, the UGA Bookstore will not be able to assist you with missing or replacement items.
Doctoral students must submit their dissertation title for printing in the commencement program by October 18th, 2019.
Two versions of the commencement program are printed. The longer version includes the names of all candidates and includes dissertation titles and major professor for doctoral students and names and majors for education specialists and master’s students; this program will be placed on the seats for each of the candidates. Visitors will receive an abbreviated program containing information about the ceremony but no candidate names. Extra copies of the longer version are normally available after the ceremony.
Please refrain from disrupting the ceremony by taking copies of the longer version from unoccupied seats during the ceremony.
The Academic Procession
Assembly of the academic procession will begin as follows:
- All candidates for graduate degrees (doctorates, education specialists, and master’s) should enter through the doors to the new Coliseum Training Facility on the Smith Street side (directly across the street from the Carlton Parking Deck). Go up the stairs to the Women’s Practice Gym to check in.
- Doctoral candidates: Pick up hooding instructions and card bearing your name, degree, major, and major professor’s name at the doctoral sign in table and line up with your major professor behind the sign for your degree.
- Master’s and Specialist degree candidates: Pick up your name card and line up according to instructions of assistant marshals behind your degree sign.
§ Children will not be allowed to accompany a graduation candidate in the procession or onto the stage. Please arrange for children to be accompanied by a responsible adult.
§ Cell phones must be turned off during the ceremony.
Please view the assembly location map and instructions.
There is no provision at the ceremony for candidates to store personal items such as coats, purses, etc. You must leave these with family members in attendance. Please note that no food or drinks will be permitted in the gym. If you must have personal items with you, you should only bring a small black purse which you can leave in your seat as as you walk across the stage. Candidates will not be allowed to carry items onto the stage.
Please be prompt. The assistant marshals must have time to register those present so that candidates’ names may be read during the ceremony.
Signs will be posted to assist you in locating your degree lineup area, and the assistant marshals assigned to your group will help you line up for the processional. When the processional begins, the assistant marshals will conduct your degree group to the designated seating area in Stegeman Coliseum. Please stay in line.
Recognition of Candidates
As their names are called during the ceremony, candidates for doctorates, specialists and master’s degrees will move from their seats and walk across the stage. Doctoral candidates will be hooded on the stage. Education Specialist and Master’s candidates will wear their hoods.
Conclusion of the Ceremony
Following the singing of the Alma Mater at the conclusion of the ceremony, the platform party and the faculty will retire. There will be no formal recessional of students.
Graduates Needing Disability Access to Participate in the Ceremony
Please contact Cheri Bliss at the Graduate School.
Parking and Entrance for Visitors with Disabilities and the Elderly
Guests who use wheelchairs or who have physical limitations may be dropped off on Sanford Drive. Nearby parking is available in the Hoke Smith lot or in the Carlton Street deck by the coliseum. It is suggested that visitors with disabilities and the elderly arrive early to ensure nearby parking. Limited special seating is available in Stegeman Coliseum. There is space for a companion to accompany a guest using a wheelchair. Arch Society members in dark suits act as marshals for the ceremony and can assist in directing guests to available seating.
Free parking for commencement guests and graduates is available in the South Deck (S11), Carlton Deck (S15), and lot S14. Disability parking is available in lot S12. Lots S10 and S16 are reserved for designated participants by permit only. Free parking is available in all other lots and decks on the UGA campus.Parking map for the Graduate Commencement Ceremony can be found at: https://www.google.com/maps/d/
To avoid heavy traffic congestion before and after the ceremony in the Stegeman Coliseum area, you may wish to park in the South Deck, the College of Veterinary Medicine Parking lot or the Driftmier Engineering Center parking lot. These parking areas are within easy walking distance to the Coliseum.
Please do not park on sidewalks, landscaped areas, or on streets so as to block lanes of traffic. Improperly parked vehicles may be towed.
First aid care is available for candidates and visitors at the first aid station located in the concourse behind section L in Stegeman Coliseum. This care is provided by staff of the University Health Center. Local ambulance services provide emergency care if required.
Diplomas are mailed by the Office of the Registrar to graduates at their permanent or diploma addresses approximately six to eight weeks after graduation. Please be sure that the Office of the Registrar has your correct address on file. Please note that it may take the Graduate School up to one week to clear all graduate degrees once grades are submitted.