Commencement and department recognition ceremonies — what is the difference?

The university commencement ceremony is the campuswide ceremony in which students from all colleges are invited to participate. The chancellor of the Boulder campus officially confers degrees upon graduating students at this ceremony.

Department recognition ceremonies are celebrations of individual student achievement. Each ceremony is different in form and structure. Please contact the individual department for more information. See Department Recognition Ceremonies for schedules.

Where do I get my diploma?

Doctoral students can pick up their diploma from the Graduate School following the university commencement ceremony. Diplomas for all other graduates will be mailed eight weeks after graduation. Check the Graduation & Diploma Calendar for the semester-specific date.

How long does the ceremony last?

The ceremonies last approximately one and one-half hours.

How do I change my graduation date?

Contact your academic advisor if your plans for graduation change.

How do I check to see if my name will be in the program?

Your name will be printed in the program if you graduated in the fall or submitted a spring or summer graduation application by the April 1 deadline. See the “Program” section of the Office of the Registrar Graduation & Commencement page for more details.

Do we need tickets for the ceremony?

No tickets are required for the ceremony. Early arrival guarantees the best seating.

Where and when do I get my cap and gown?

Undergraduate students can purchase their caps and gowns anytime in advance at the CU Book Store. Master’s, law, and doctoral students are required to rent regalia. See Caps and Gowns for detailed information.

Where is the ceremony and what time do I need to be there?

The spring ceremony is held in Folsom Stadium at 8:30 a.m. Early arrival guarantees the best choice of seating. Plan plenty of time to find parking and to get seated. See Spring Ceremony for more information regarding seating, disability services, and parking.

I have a family member in a wheelchair. Where do we park? What is the best entrance to the facility? Where do we sit?

Close-in parking and drop off is available for those who have difficulty walking at both the winter and spring ceremony locations. ADA placards are not required to access close-in parking or drop-off location. Specific seating areas are already reserved for those with wheelchairs, the elderly, and guests with physical disabilities. (Reservations for these areas are not required.) See Accessibility or Spring Parking for more information.

Is there a charge for parking?

No. Parking the day of commencement is free on campus, including meters. See Spring Ceremony Parking for more information.

Can we sit with our friends and family who are in the wheelchair and ADA seating sections?

Companion seating is available, but as space is limited during commencement, we ask that only two guests accompany you in this area.  Ushers will be happy to show you to seating as close as possible to your friends and family these seating areas.

How can I get ADA accommodations for a ceremony at a specific school or department?

Please contact the ADA Compliance office at (303) 492-9725 or at least two weeks in advance of the event so that the appropriate arrangements can be made.  You may also wish to contact the department directly regarding specific parking and other concerns such as nearby accessible restrooms and elevator use.

Where can I get local hotel information?

For hotel accommodations please contact the Boulder Marriott at 1-888-238-2178 or   Additional information about Marriott accommodations can be found at

The Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau can provide information about local accommodations at or 303-442-2911.

Can we bring bags and purses into Folsom Stadium for the Commencement Ceremony?

For the safety of all of our guests, only soft-sided bags or containers no larger than 12x12x12 (the size of a purse or small backpack) are welcome at Folsom Field. Clear, plastic grocery-type bags are strongly recommended to facilitate security screening at the gates. All persons and packages are subject to screening prior to entry into the stadium. Please report unattended or suspicious bags to police immediately.