Find answers to common questions about the spring commencement ceremony and recognition ceremonies. 

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What’s the difference between the commencement ceremony and recognition ceremonies?

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

Recognition ceremonies are celebrations of individual student achievement. While each ceremony is different in form and structure, these events are typically where graduating students have their names called and receive their diploma cover as they cross the stage. More information on recognition ceremonies is available on our winter recognition ceremonies page and our spring recognition ceremonies page.

Where is the commencement ceremony and what time do families and guests need to arrive?

The spring university commencement ceremony will be in Folsom Field at 8:30 a.m. Early arrival guarantees the best choice of seating; stadium gates open at 7 a.m. Plan plenty of time to find parking and get to your seat. See commencement ceremony details for more information regarding seating, accessibility accommodations and more.

How long does the commencement ceremony last?

The student procession typically arrives at the stadium around 8:30 a.m. The university commencement ceremony begins once all students are seated. It is scheduled to last approximately 90 minutes. Typically, we conclude activities in Folsom Field no later than 11 a.m.

Do we need tickets for the ceremony?

You don’t need tickets for the commencement ceremony in Folsom Field, and there is no limit to the number of guests. Early arrival guarantees the best seating.

Recognition ceremonies may require tickets. Contact the hosting unit for further information.

What about inclement weather?

The commencement ceremony will take place at Folsom Field regardless of the weather. Colorado weather in May can be unpredictable. We encourage you to watch the weather forecast so you can plan and dress accordingly. If poor weather is in the forecast, please bring a poncho, raincoat or other appropriate attire. See list of prohibited items in Folsom Field

In the event of rain or snow, the ceremony may be shortened. 

In the event of an emergency during the ceremony, related to the weather or otherwise, verbal and visual in-stadium messaging will direct visitors to safety, and the CU Boulder emergency alerts system will be activated. 

Families and guests can opt into CU Boulder Alerts messaging by texting “CUGRAD” to 77295. Guest subscribers will automatically be unsubscribed after commencement week. (Campus affiliates—students and employees—are already in the CU Boulder Alerts system and do not need to opt in. They will automatically receive alerts.)

Another option for awareness of any CU Boulder emergency status updates is to follow @CUBoulderAlerts on social media and enable push notifications for the latest alerts, warnings and advisory information.

For outdoor recognition ceremonies or receptions, which follow the main commencement ceremony, we will announce any weather-related updates (delays, abbreviations, etc.) onsite. In the event of an emergency during the ceremony or reception, related to the weather or otherwise, verbal announcements will direct guests to a safe location nearby. For a list of ceremonies or receptions, please visit the spring recognition ceremonies page.

Is there a charge for parking?

No. Parking the day of commencement will be free on campus, including in pay-to-park lots. Additional details on parking are available on the Arrival & Parking Information page.

I have mobility challenges. Where are the accessible parking spaces? What is the best entrance to the facility? Where do I sit?

Close-in parking and drop-off locations are available for those who have mobility challenges. ADA placards are not required for drop-off locations, but a placard is required for the ADA parking lots closest to the stadium. We have already reserved seating areas for those with wheelchairs, the elderly and guests with physical disabilities. You do not need reservations for these areas.

Please see the following links for additional information:

Can we sit with our families, friends or guests who are in the wheelchair and ADA seating sections?

Limited companion seating is available, so we ask that only two guests accompany you in this area. Ushers will be happy to take you to seats as close as possible to your friends and family in these seating areas.

Can I rent a wheelchair for use on campus during commencement?

Wheelchairs are not available to rent on campus. Wheelchairs will be available and staffed to assist guests from close-in parking to the stadium. We are unable to lend wheelchairs for use throughout the day because of the number of guests needing these services, but you may rent one from a local rental agency if you do not have one to bring with you.  More information on wheelchairs is available on the Mobility and Transportation Resources page.

Can we bring bags and purses into Folsom Stadium for the commencement ceremony?

Folsom Field has a clear bag policy that we will continue to enforce the day of commencement. If you plan to bring a bag, it must be clear plastic, vinyl or PVC, and no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches. Folsom Field does not allow backpacks, diaper bags and other bags. More details are available on our Folsom Field Information page.

Where can I get local hotel information?

The Visit Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau can provide information about local accommodations. Detailed information and a search feature are available at the Visit Boulder website.