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

Prior to the Ceremony

  • Apply for degree by the appropriate deadline (see the Academic Calendar for more details).
    • Undergraduate deadline: August 31, 2020
    • Graduate deadline: September 4, 2020
  • Graduates who are unable to use the stairs or have other special needs should contact the Office of the Provost at (205) 934-0622 at least one week prior to the ceremony.
  • Register online that you plan to attend the commencement ceremony.
  • Purchase cap, gown, and tassel at the University Bookstore (in the Hill Student Center), 1400 University Blvd.
  • Complete the UAB First Destination Survey. The UAB First Destination Survey is used to provide important information to our accreditors and future students about where you are going upon graduation.

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.
  • Students must arrive at Wallace Gymnasium, corner of 6th Avenue and 13th Street S, to line up no later than one hour prior to the ceremony. Students should have their caps and gowns already on. Masters students should have their hoods on, and doctoral students should carry their hoods.
  • Students should arrive to the Wallace Gym dressed in their regalia.
  • Honors students and Veterans should report to the appropriately labeled station to receive cords that denote distinction.
  • 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).
  • If you have not completed the First Destination Survey, please do so in advance.
  • Doctoral students should check in with Kimberly Eaton with the Graduate School. She will assist you with check in and doctoral hood assembly.

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 highest degree. 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 highest degree.
    • 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.
    • Master’s candidates will shake the Dean of the Graduate School’s hand, and honors students will shake the Honors College Dean’s hand.
    • Doctoral students will be hooded by their mentor and the Dean of the Graduate School.
    • 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.

After the Ceremony


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.