Published: May 1, 2024

The university commencement ceremony is the premier event to recognize the conferral of degrees, celebrate the accomplishments of outstanding graduates and hear the commencement address and congratulatory messages. 

This annual tradition officially marks every Buff’s passage into the company of scholars. Buffs graduating in the fall, spring or summer semester are encouraged to participate in the commencement ceremony. 

Here’s what you need to know to soak it all in and celebrate.

Commencement ceremony details

The commencement ceremony will begin at 8:30 a.m. MDT on Thursday, May 9, at Folsom Field stadium. No tickets or registration are required for guests of the graduating students. 

Graduating students: Day-of information 

Please review this information so you know what to expect and how to prepare for the big day. 

  •  7–8 a.m. Gather on Norlin Quad. Refreshments will be available for graduating students. Follow the signs to find your college or school for the procession.
  • ​ 8 a.m. Procession departs from Norlin Quad. 
  • ​ 8–8:45 a.m. Students follow the procession to Folsom Field, pass through security and take seats. The ceremony begins as soon as all students are seated.
  • The ceremony lasts approximately an hour and a half. 

Arrival and parking

Take a look at parking and shuttle information ahead of time. Guests should plan to arrive early. Parking is free on campus during commencement and recognition ceremony days, but it is limited. The stadium gates will open at 7 a.m., and we recommend that guests are seated by 8:15 a.m. to watch the student processional into the stadium.

Conduct, inclement weather and safety

To ensure a safe and fun commencement for all,  graduates will be expected to abide by the Student Code of Conduct. Disruptions to the ceremony will not be permitted. 

Everyone entering Folsom Field will pass through a security screening before entering the stadium. Use these tips to understand what to bring (and what to leave at home), and what to do in case of a weather delay, evacuation or emergency. 

Stay informed

Here's where to go for any last-minute updates:

  • The Folsom Field clear bag policy will be strictly enforced. Please keep personal items to a minimum. 
  • In the event of a weather delay or evacuation, listen carefully and follow any instructions provided audibly and on screens throughout the stadium. Commencement marshals and police officers will be available to assist those who need extra help. 
  • No bottles or containers, flags on poles or sticks, unapproved signs or banners, artificial noisemakers, inflatable balls, balloons or other prohibited items will be allowed in the stadium. Learn more about the permitted and prohibited items.
  • As during any large event held in Folsom Field, there is an in-stadium number individuals can call or text to report issues, including suspicious or disruptive activities. Call or text 720-812-1769. 
  • Call CU Police Department’s non-emergency line at 303-492-6666 for activities that violate campus use policies but do not pose an immediate threat to life or safety. 
  • Call 911 if someone is experiencing a medical emergency, is unresponsive, is engaged in a crime or is displaying behavior that is a threat to themselves or others.   
  • CU Boulder is committed to continuously improving our violence prevention and education efforts to meet the needs of the campus community. We encourage a campuswide culture of reporting through the Don’t Ignore It website. Anonymous tips can also be reported through CU Boulder Safe2Tell.

How to watch virtually

Can’t make it to the commencement ceremony? A livestream of the event will be available starting at 8:30 a.m. on the commencement homepage. The livestream will have captions in English and Spanish. The link will be posted on the site the morning of the ceremony. 

Congratulations, Buffs, and please enjoy the celebration!

     Changes to building access during finals, commencement: Carry your Buff OneCard
    Through finals week, commencement, and with the summer term approaching, the campus is preparing to follow different building access protocols. Remember to carry your Buff OneCard, Buffs!

    ​ Plan for increased traffic, parking congestion May 9–11
    CU Boulder and the city of Boulder roadways will be heavily impacted during commencement. Campus community members should plan ahead.