Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate in Commencement?

To participate in the commencement ceremony, you must

  • be an undergraduate, master’s or doctoral degree student
  • complete an application for degree
  • complete all coursework prior to or during the term in which the ceremony is held

When should I submit an application for degree?

Submit an application for degree 6 months prior to your expected graduation, but no later than the deadline in the Academic Calendar for your graduation term.

How much is the graduation fee?

The graduation fee is $50 and is applied to your student account when you submit an application for degree.

I am graduating with honors; do I receive anything special?

Undergraduate students who have achieved meritorious scholastic standing are eligible to wear a gold honors cord. A representative from the Registrar’s Office will be available on commencement day in the area where undergraduate students line up to pass out honors cords. Honors designations are based on grades reported at the end of the previous term and may not reflect all earned honors.

The honors designations for undergraduates are as follows:

  • Summa Cum Laude 3.9 – 4.00 overall grade point average
  • Magna Cum Laude 3.7 – 3.89 overall grade point average
  • Cum Laude 3.5 – 3.69 overall grade point average

Students graduating in any of the University’s honors programs are eligible to wear a white honors cord. Please contact the Registrar’s Office regarding your honors cords: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Where do I go to get my cap and gown?

Cap, gown, and tassel may be purchased in the UAB Bookstore in Hill Student Center and on

Do I have to get tickets for family and friends who will attend the ceremony?

Tickets are not required for admission to Bartow Arena for the commencement ceremony.

How long does the commencement ceremony last?

Each ceremony lasts about an hour and a half.

How will my name appear in the commencement program?

Your name will appear as you have requested on your application for degree.

Will I be able to purchase an ‘official’ photograph?

A professional photographer will take a picture as your receive your diploma. In the area where students line up for the ceremony, you will complete an identification card used by the reader to recognize you as you walk across the stage. If you wish to receive a photograph, complete the back of this card and a proof will be mailed to you. You are under no obligation to make a purchase.

When will I receive my diploma?

You should receive your diploma approximately 6-8 weeks after grades are posted. It might take longer if there are any discrepancies between the courses you listed on your application for degree and the courses you actually completed or grades you actually earned.

What happens if I submitted an application for degree but do not complete all the courses I needed in order to graduate?

You will be notified by the Registrar’s Office (or by the Graduate School for master’s students) that you must officially change your graduation date with the appropriate office. You will not be charged an additional graduation fee.

If I am a graduate and do not attend Commencement, will my name still be in the program?

Yes, your name will appear in the program, regardless of whether you participate in the ceremony.

Where can I get an extra copy of the Commencement program?

Starting Spring 2020, the commencement program is now electronic. It will be available on the commencement website prior to the commencement ceremony.

If I decide late that I want to participate in the Commencement ceremony, may I still "walk," and how do I get a cap and gown?

You may make a late decision to participate in the ceremony and can order a cap and gown from the bookstore. Beyond a certain date there may be a late assessment charge in addition to the cost of the cap and gown.

If I am graduating with a double major, do I get to "walk" with both schools? If not, with which one do I "walk?"

Students with a double major from two different schools/college must choose one or the other and will walk with that school. The choice is made in the process of completing the application for degree.

I need to order a diploma frame for my diploma. What are the diploma sizes?

Certificates and undergraduate (Bachelors) diplomas are 8.5 x 11. Graduate (Masters, PhD) diplomas are 11 x 14. You can order diploma frames through the UAB Bookstore.