Commencement: Doctorate and Graduate

There will be no rehearsal for the commencement ceremony. Please read the following instructions carefully to fully understand the day’s agenda.

    Ceremony Information

    Graduation Candidates

    General Standards Regarding Academic Regalia

    • The cap is worn straight, the shallower part in front.
    • Degree candidates should wear their tassels over the right side of the cap, above the right eye. Tassels will be moved to the left side after candidates receive the graduation charge from the president.
    • Men should remove caps during the national anthem.
    • Hoods should be draped over the left arm and presented to the faculty for hooding.

    Academic Apparel

    If you ordered your regalia prior to the deadline, you should receive your apparel before the day of commencement.

    Please open the packaged regalia to ensure all pieces are accounted for.

    To be comfortable, we suggest that you do not wear a jacket underneath your gown. Women are advised to leave purses with guests or at home.

    Your academic apparel (cap, gown, tassel, and hood) is yours to keep after the ceremony.

    Robing & Assembly

    All graduates must report to the UPMC Event Center by 3:00pm on Friday, May 8 for robing and assembly.

    Name Cards

    Graduate degree candidates must pick up their name cards in the practice gym. Your card designates your particular school of study. Be sure to line up in the area designated by your card. Volunteers will be there to assist you.

    Your card will be handed to the announcer so your name may be pronounced accurately over the public address system. Please keep the card easily accessible for that purpose.

    A faculty marshal will be present in each area to assist the candidates and lead them in the procession to their seating area.

    Diploma Distribution

    Approximately 6-8 weeks after the ceremony, Master's degree recipients will receive their diplomas via U.S. mail.


    Guests should go directly to the UPMC Event Center.  Do not accompany your graduate to the assembly area before or after the ceremony.  Guests may not approach the stage or take photos or video while the ceremony in in progress.


    Faculty will assemble in the court level locker room area.


    There are no tickets required for entry. There is not a limit to the number of guests a graduate may invite.

    Processional and Recessional

    The processional and recessional will include two single-file columns of graduates entering and exiting the arena via the center aisle. Faculty marshals will assist the graduates to the appropriate seating locations in the arena. 

    The processional will be called to order at 3:55pm. Please be orderly and quiet, and listen carefully for instructions from those in charge of the processional.

    The general order of processional will be:

    • Fife and Drum
    • Alumni Flag Bearer
    • Grand Marshal
    • Degree Candidates (from the front and rear of the arena)
    • Faculty
    • Platform Party

    The events of the ceremony will be:

    • National Anthem
    • Opening Remarks
    • Commencement Address
    • Conferring of Honorary Degrees
    • Presentation of the Graduating Class and Conferring of Degrees in Course
    • Concluding Remarks
    • Recessional

    The general order for the recessional will be:

    • Grand Marshal
    • Platform Party
    • Faculty
    • Graduates (to the front and rear of the arena)