University of Rochester

College Commencement Ceremony

The College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering will hold its annual Commencement ceremony on the River Campus Eastman Quadrangle, beginning at 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 15. During this ceremony degrees will be conferred for all bachelor's and master's candidates. Individual diplomas are presented at the Departmental Diploma Ceremonies.

We anticipate fair weather, but Commencement will be held on the quadrangle come rain or shine. In the event of a dangerous storm or extreme cold, the outdoor morning ceremony will be canceled and degrees will be conferred at indoor Departmental Diploma Ceremonies. An announcement will be made no later than 6 a.m. Commencement morning, via the communications network at (585) 275-6000. In addition, information desks at local hotels will be notified of contingency plans.

Frequently Asked Questions

The College Ceremony

My son/daughter is an undergraduate student. When is his/her graduation ceremony?
Commencement for the class of 2016 is on Sunday, May 15, 2016, 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 at the west lawn of Wilson Commons by 8:10 a.m. Lineup 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.

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.


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 2016 for the 2016 spring semester will be eligible to participate in all commencement ceremonies. Students may check on their classification at the College Center for Academic Support (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 e-mail (, 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 of both concentrations.

Graduation Announcements

How do students order graduation announcements?
Students will get written information and instructions on how to order graduation invitations and announcements from the University Bookstore, (585) 275-4012, during the spring semester.

Cap and Gown

How do students order a cap and gown?
Students will be emailed information and instructions on how to order regalia from the Commencement Office, (585) 275-4111, during the spring semester.
When can students purchase their cap and gown?
Purchases can be made in person at any of the three University of Rochester bookstores beginning in March, 2016.


2016 Mailings will be updated when available. Please find 2015 mailings below.

Commencement Information
Academic Regalia Information
Rochester Lodging Guide
Graduation Week Brochure
Grad Week Fair Flyer
University Faculty Invitation
College Faculty Invitation
University Faculty Regalia
College Faculty Regalia


Where should I park?
Parking on Sunday will be in Park Lot and Crittenden Lot 1. Continuous shuttle service to the River Campus and Eastman School of Music will be provided for all guests parking in these lots from 7:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. Parking staff will be available to assist in all lots. Guests that require assistance because of physical limitations can be dropped off at the Meliora Lot with golf cart service to the Eastman Quadrangle. Handicapped parking will be available in the Library Lot for guests with a valid handicap permit.
For additional information on parking and the best routes to get to campus, please click Here

Shuttle Services

Will there be any shuttle services provided?
Free Shuttle Service will be provided Sunday, May 15. Buses will run continuously from 7:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. Continuous service will be provided between the Eastman Student Living Center and the River Campus (Library Road entrance, Rush Rhees Library). Continuous service will also be provided between Kendrick Lot A, Helen Wood Hall, Goler House, Towne House, Medical Center, Park Lot, Crittenden Lot 1, South Visitor Lot 3 and the River Campus (Library entrance, Rush Rhees Library). There will be two shuttle buses providing continuous service for students residing in the Riverview Apartments to campus on Sunday, May 15 from 7:00a.m. until 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 College Commencement ceremony.

Wheelchair Access and Disabilities

Are there accommodations for guests in a wheelchair?
A drop-off area for guests in wheelchairs and for those with disabilities 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 2016.
Are wheelchairs available?
Wheelchairs are available from several local outlets. The following two companies rent wheelchairs on a daily/weekly basis.

Monroe Wheelchair
3340 Monroe Avenue
(585) 385-3920
(888) 546-8595

Upstate Home Care
200 Air Park Drive
(585) 328-2050

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Where can I find additional information?
For additional information please contact the Commencement Office by phone at (585) 275-4111 or click here to send an e-mail.
*Please note the Commencement Office will be closed for Commencement related activities starting on Friday, May 13- Sunday, May 15.*