To-Do List for Fall Graduates

This list applies only to undergraduate and Master’s degree students. Students and families who will be participating in other ceremonies should also view specific details about the relevant fall ceremony or spring ceremony.

Prior to the Ceremony:


Day of the Ceremony: What To Do Before the Actual Commencement Program Begins

  • The recommended dress for graduates is comfortable business attire. Students should wear comfortable shoes for processions and walking up and down stairs. High-heeled shoes are discouraged, especially stiletto heels.
  • The commencement ceremony for all graduates in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Education begins at exactly 9:15 a.m. on Saturday, December 13, 2014, at Bartow Arena , 617 S. 13th Street.
  • The commencement ceremony for all graduates in the Schools of Business, Engineering, Health Professions, Nursing and Public Health begins at exactly 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 13, 2014, at Bartow Arena , 617 S. 13th Street.
  • Students should arrive at Bell-Wallace Gymnasium, corner of 6th Avenue and 13th Street S, to line up one hour prior to the ceremony. Students must arrive, with their caps and gowns already on, no later than one hour prior to the time of the ceremony (8:15 a.m. for the 9:15 a.m. ceremony and 1 p.m. for the 2 p.m. ceremony).

View UAB Bell-Wallace Gymnasium in a larger map
  • UAB strongly discourages students from bringing personal items to the ceremony; however, a secured area will be available in the Wallace Gymnasium. Personal items not retrieved immediately after the ceremony may be picked up at the UAB Police Department. UAB cannot be responsible for any lost or stolen items.
  • In Wallace Gymasium (the line-up area), students will find tables with cards and pencils. Upon arrival, each graduate should complete cards by printing their names (legibly) in block letters. Graduates will hand these cards to the reader, who will announce names as graduates cross the stage. Please note: Anything written on the card other than names will not be acknowledged by the reader. It is imperative that you keep this card with you for presentation to the reader.
  • Students can receive a proof of the professional photograph that will be taken during the commencement ceremony. In order to receive a proof, students must complete the back of the card received in the line-up area with the required information (see above).
  • Undergraduate students eligible for summa, magna, or cum laude honors or those with interdisciplinary honors should go to the Honors Table in the Wallace Gym. Representatives from the Registrar’s Office will be there to provide each graduate with a pre-printed, color-coded card, along with an honors cord to wear and keep. Please note that honors cords and recognition are available only for undergraduate students.

During the Ceremony: What To Expect

  • Students will process into Bartow Arena, led by faculty marshals from the specific school/college. Men should remove their caps at the beginning of the national anthem and keep them off until the conclusion of the invocation.
  • The appropriate dean will introduce to the president the candidates in each school, beginning with the Master’s candidates. As directed, graduates from each school will stand as a group, with the tassels on the right side of their caps. Each class, after being presented to the president, will sit down (with caps on) until all the graduates have been presented.
  • The recognition of graduating students will begin with the Master’s degrees, followed by bachelor’s degrees.
    • Students will ascend stairs to reach the platform and then present their identification cards to the reader and continue walking. Students will hear the reader call their names.  The reader will not read any information on the lineup card other than students' names and the information pre-printed by the Registrar’s Office.
    • Students will approach their school dean and shake the dean's hand.
    • Students will proceed across the stage and shake President Watts’ hand.
    • Students will pause at the base of the descending stairs for individual professional photographs.  Students then return to their seats.
  • The ceremony will end with the singing of the UAB Alma Mater, followed by a formal recessional of the platform party.
    • The audience should remain in their seats until after the recessional.
    • There will be no formal recessional for students.
    • Family and friends are asked to meet the new alumni on the concourse or outside Bartow Arena; they will not be allowed on the arena floor.

After the Ceremony

  • Celebrate!