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College Commencement

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have additional questions or can't find the answer here please contact the Commencement office by phone at (585) 275-4111.


The College Ceremony

My son/daughter is an undergraduate student. When is his/her graduation ceremony?

Commencement for the class of 2019 is on Sunday, May 19, 2019, at 9 a.m. Individual diploma ceremonies where students receive their diplomas, follow in the late morning through mid-afternoon.

How long does the ceremony last?

The general commencement ceremony is approximately one hour.

How do I get tickets?

Tickets are not required for any Commencement or Departmental Diploma Ceremony. Seating is available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

How many guests are allowed to attend the graduation ceremony?

There is no limit for the number of guests a student may invite, and there are no tickets issued. Seating is on a first-come-first-serve basis at the outdoor ceremony.

Where and when do students need to lineup?

Degree candidates should arrive on Fraternity Road in front of Todd Union by 8:10 a.m. Line-up will begin no later than 8:15 a.m. Candidates should assemble, as directed by signs on the lawn, into columns by school or college and degree. The procession begins at 8:30 a.m.

When does seating open on the Eastman Quadrangle?

General seating opens at 7:45 a.m.

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Bad Weather

What happens if it rains?

The College Commencement Ceremony will proceed outdoors rain or shine. Please bring raincoats and/or umbrellas if necessary. Only in the event of a truly dangerous storm or extremely cold temperatures will contingency plans be called into effect. An announcement regarding these contingency plans will be made no later than 6 a.m. on Commencement morning. Information desks at local hotels and motels will be notified of any scheduling changes, or you can call (585) 275-6000 for a recorded message. If the contingency plans are put into effect, the morning outdoor ceremony will be canceled and all candidates and guests will attend their diploma ceremony.

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How can I confirm that my son or daughter is on the graduation list for this year?

Any student who is classified in the class of 2019 for the 2019 spring semester will be eligible to participate in all commencement ceremonies. Students may check on their classification at the College Center for Advising Services (585) 275-2354, or the Office of University Registrar (585) 275-8131.

Will my son or daughter receive his or her diploma during the morning ceremony?

No. The president will formally admit the degree candidates to their respective degrees at the general ceremony on Eastman Quadrangle Sunday morning. Students receive their diplomas at individual departmental diploma ceremonies. These ceremonies vary in length depending on the number of graduates in the department and the layout of the various programs.

Where is my diploma ceremony held?

For details on Diploma Ceremony times and locations, click here.

My son or daughter is receiving two diplomas; do we have to attend two separate ceremonies?

Individual diplomas are presented at the diploma ceremonies of the department, school, or special degree program where your academic work has been concentrated following the general ceremony in the morning.

Students with double majors must notify the University Registrar, via email, of which diploma ceremony they wish to receive the actual diploma. Double major students will receive only a diploma cover at the other (unselected) ceremony. Candidates for double degrees will find their diplomas in their respective departments for each degrees .

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Graduation Announcements

How do students order graduation announcements?

Graduation announcements and class rings can be purchased through the Balfour website found here.

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Cap and Gown

When can students purchase their cap and gown?

Purchases can be made in-person at either of the University of Rochester bookstores beginning on April 4, 2019. 

The last day to guarantee size for regalia is May 4, 2019. After that date regalia will still be available for purchase but correct sizing cannot be guaranteed.

What is the cost of a cap and gown?

$72.96 for full Bachelors regalia, $79.96 for Masters.

Is a cap and gown mandatory?

Yes. A cap and gown is mandatory for participation in the College Commencement ceremony. 

Academic Regalia Information Sheet

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Hotel and Airport Information

Rochester Area Lodging Guide

Airport Information: The University’s River Campus is about two miles from the Greater Rochester International Airport (airport code ROC). Commercial taxi service and car rental are available from the airport. Cab fare is approximately $10, depending on the number of people and luggage.

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Free parking will be available Friday and Saturday in all River Campus lots. Parking on Sunday will be in Zone 3 South, Intercampus Drive Lot, and Crittenden Lot 1. Continuous shuttle service will be provided for all guests parking in these lots. Parking staff will be available in all lots to assist. Guests who need more assistance because of physical limitations or disabilities may be dropped off at the Meliora Lot with golf cart service to the Eastman Quadrangle. Golf cart service is provided as a convenience to all guests on a first come, first served basis. Handicapped parking will be available in the Library Lot for vehicles with an authorized handicapped parking permit. 

Parking for the Saturday Commencement for the Doctoral Degrees, the Arts, Sciences & Engineering and School of Medicine and Dentistry Master’s Degrees, and the Warner School will be available for a fee in the East End Garage on East Main Street between Swan and Scio streets, or in the Allpro Parking Lot on the corner of Gibbs and East Main streets. Parking for the Eastman School of Music and Hajim School of Engineering & Applied Sciences Diploma ceremony will be available for a fee in the East End Garage on East Main Street between Swan and Scio streets or in the Allpro Parking Lot on the corner of Gibbs and East Main streets.

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Shuttle Services

Saturday and Sunday

  • Shuttle service to the Larry and Cindy Bloch Alumni and Advancement Center from Rush Rhees Library on Saturday from 11:15 a.m.–2:45 p.m. and on Sunday there will be continuous service beginning at 10:45 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
  • Continuous service between the Eastman Theatre, Eastman Student Living Center, Goergen Hall (BME), and the River Campus (Library Road entrance, Rush Rhees Library) from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Continuous service between Helen Wood Hall, Goler House, Southside/University Park and Whipple Park, Medical Center, Sarah Flaum Atrium, Zone 3 South, and the River Campus (Library Road entrance, Rush Rhees Library) from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Continuous service for graduates residing in the Riverview Apartments to campus ceremonies from 7 a.m. to noon.

Commencement participants should board a bus no later than 7:55 a.m. to be on time for robing and assembly for the academic procession on the Eastman Quadrangle, River Campus. Buses will be scheduled to return to the Eastman School immediately following the Arts, Sciences & Engineering Commencement ceremony.

Please utilize the UR Bus Tracker section of the UR Mobile App to view real-time maps and arrival predictions.

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Wheelchair Access

Are there accommodations for guests in a wheelchair?

A drop-off area for guests in wheelchairs is provided at the Meliora Parking Lot on campus. Ushers will assist guests to the Eastman Quadrangle with golf carts as necessary. A special seating area for guests in wheelchairs is provided on the Eastman Quadrangle.

How do I get tickets for the wheel chair accessible seating area?

Please call the Commencement Office at (585) 275-4111 to reserve tickets. Tickets will be sent out to students during the first week of May 2019.

Are wheelchairs available?

Wheelchairs are available from several local outlets. The following two companies rent wheelchairs on a daily/weekly basis.

Monroe Wheelchair
2165 Brighton Henrietta Town Line Road
(585) 385-3920
(888) 546-8595

Upstate Homecare 
200 Air Park Drive 
(585) 328-2050

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I didn't find my answer here....

Where can I find additional information?

For additional information please contact the Commencement Office by phone at (585) 275-4111 or send us an email.

Please note the Commencement Office will be closed for Commencement related activities starting on Friday, May 17- Sunday, May 19, 2019.

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