Graduate Commencement Ceremony FAQs
Student Activities

Graduate Commencement Ceremony - May 2018
Frequently Asked Questions

Because the same questions often get asked over and over again, answers have been provided below to the most frequently asked questions.  If you do not see the answer to your question here, please contact us so that we may assist you.

The Graduate Commencement Ceremony will be on Sunday, May 6, 2018, at 9:00 am, at The Adirondack Bank Center at theAdirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Graduates are welcome to bring guests to the ceremony.
At Utica College, commencement is a ceremony held each May for students who completed their degree requirements and applied to receive their degree in December or May of the same academic year.  Students who complete their degree requirements in August may choose to participate in the Commencement Ceremony the May before or after they graduate.
All students wishing to participate in the May commencement ceremony MUST submit an online Application for Degree no later than March 15, regardless of the semester in which they anticipate completing their degree requirements (still select the appropriate graduation date – December, May, or August). Don’t forget to submit the RSVP – Attendance Notification form and Order their Regalia!
Yes, students wishing to participate in the Graduate Commencement Ceremony MUST notify Utica College of this intention by submitting the RSVP – Attendance Notification form by the March 15 deadline.  Failure to RSVP by the deadline means a student will NOT be allowed to participate in the commencement ceremony.  
To get your password go to, the same website you use to activate and reset passwords for your email, ENGAGE, and network accounts.  Enter your student ID number, last four digits of your social security number, and date of birth.  Remember to include all four numbers in the year of your birth. Click "Activate/Reset Account."

Where do we park?

Limited paid parking is available near the Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium. Utica College offers a complimentary shuttle service also will be provided between Utica College's campus and The Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium, free of charge, before and after the Ceremony.

How do I obtain invitations for the commencement ceremony?

Provided by Utica College, invitations to the Graduate Commencement Ceremony (2 formal invitations for the student and 4 guest invitations) will be mailed out in early April to the following students:
     - all December 2017 graduates (regardless of intent to participate in commencement),
     - all May 2018 graduates (regardless of intent to participate in commencement),
     - the August 2017 graduates who did not participate in last May's commencement, and
     - the August 2018 graduates who submitted their Application for Degree and RSVP/Regalia Order by the March 15 deadline.


How do I obtain documentation for my family, who lives in another country, to attend?

Graduates and their families traveling internationally will need to obtain a Visitor Visa. Forms and information regarding the Visa can be found here.  Current wait times and information can be found here.  Questions regarding international travel for Commencement can be directed to the Office of International Education.

Are tickets needed for graduation?  Is there a limit to the number of guests?

Tickets are NOT needed for guests to attend the Graduate Commencement Ceremony. 


Can children attend?

Please check back for updated information.
Students and their guests should expect the actual ceremony to last approximately two and a half hours; note that this time estimate does not include the early arrival time required for students and suggested for guests to ensure seating, nor does it include the reception after the ceremony. Students CANNOT leave the ceremony early. Please make travel and dining arrangements accordingly.
Your academic regalia (cap, gown, and hood) must be ordered and purchased from the UC Bookstore either via the link on the Caps, Gowns, and Hoods webpage or in person at the UC Bookstore, located on the lower level in Strebel Student Center.  Ordering your regalia is a three-step process: (1) reserving your regalia based on size and academic program by March 15, (2) arranging payment with the UC Bookstore, and (3) arranging pickup or shipping of your regalia with the UC Bookstore.  Orders MUST be placed by the March 15 deadline to ensure receipt in time for participation in commencement.

How do I wear my cap, gown, and hood?

Prior to the start of the ceremony you should be wearing your gown and cap (the tassel should hang on your left side), the hood should be draped over your left arm and it will be placed on you during the ceremony. Please make sure that cord the back of the hood is un-buttoned to make it easier for the Dean and Program Director to place over your head.

* At the Graduate Commencement Ceremony, graduates are not permitted to decorate their caps or any other parts of their regalia. If any part of your regalia is decorated or altered the commencement staff will direct you to the UC Bookstore table where you will need to purchase replacement pieces.


Can I borrow a cap, gown, or hood used in a previous year’s ceremony?

Due to changes in vendors and color the Office of Graduate Studies will need to verify that the regalia you are borrowing is uniform with what we currently use. If you wish to borrow regalia from a previous UC graduate you must contact the Office of Graduate Studies (OGS) at or 315-792-3335 and provide them with the name, program, and graduation year of the student you wish to borrow from. Please note if your request is granted OGS will need to take your RSVP over the phone (you will not be able to submit it online) and you will still need to purchase a new tassel for the cap with the correct year. Also if the regalia you wish to borrow is from a different academic program than you will need to purchase the correct hood from the UC Bookstore. If your request is denied you will need to purchase a full set.
No, the logistics do not allow for such a request. Hoods will be placed around graduate students’ necks by their Program Chair/Director and their Academic Dean. 
Professional photographers will be present at both Commencement Ceremonies to take photographs of all graduates as they walk across the stage. At the Graduate Commencement Ceremony, photographers may also be on the event floor and in the staging areas taking pictures of graduates as they walk back to their seats.  The photographers will have a set-up just as gradautes exit the stage to take photographs of the graduates with their hood and diploma cover. A link to these photographs will be sent to each student’s UC e-mail address within 72 business hours of the Ceremony, and the pictures will be available for purchase on the photographer's website. There is no obligation to order copies of these photos.

Do grad students graduate with honors?

No.  At the graduate level students do not graduate with honors (e.g., Dean's List, President's List, Cum Laude, Valedictorian).  Such honors are only recognized at the undergraduate level.  Successfully completing an advanced degree at the graduate level is a significant accomplishment in and of itself due to higher academic standards (including the requirement to have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better to graduate), and this separate Graduate Commencement Ceremony is a special recognition of that achievement.

Do I still need to pay the $80 fee if I don't want to participate in Commencement?

Yes. The $80 fee is used to help cover administrative costs of you graduating from Utica College (receiving your diploma), which is separate from participating in the commencement ceremony - graduation and commencement are two separate events (see Graduation Deadlines for clarification between the two).
If you have additional questions, you may contact the Commencement Committee at or the Office of Graduate Studies at or (315) 792-3335.

What is the dress code?

Please check back for updated information.


Commencement Committee
(315) 792-3006
1600 Burrstone Road | Utica, NY 13502