Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral Degree Commencement Ceremonies

Saturday, May 4, 2024
The Commencement ceremonies are not held on campus, they are in AMSOIL Arena which is at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center (DECC) located in downtown Duluth.

Please note the DECC bag policyThe following bags may be carried into the venue:

• Small bags not exceeding 4.5” x 6.5” such as a clutch purse, wristlet, or wallet
• Medically necessary bags, including breast pumps
• Diaper bags for individuals/families with a child/children under age 3

Getting to the DECC and Parking

Parking for commencement is at regular DECC rate of $10.   Parking is also available in downtown Duluth, which is connected to the DECC by a skywalk system.  Maps to the DECC are available online at Maps for Commencement.

Traffic gets very congested on commencement day.  In past years, it has been at a standstill on Interstate 35.  Please allow yourself plenty of time to arrive at the DECC, park, get inside and find seating.  If you are able, you may want to consider parking at a downtown location and using the sky walk system to the DECC. 

Canal Park and Downtown Duluth Parking

Accessible Drop Off and Parking

Accessible parking spaces are available on the surface lot near Entrance B (City Side Convention Center) and Entrance E (AMSOIL Arena).  Additional accessible spaces are available in the ramp on all levels. The elevator is located in the northeast corner of the ramp. The elevator transports guests to the ground floor or to the skywalk level (3rd level) of the ramp that connects directly to the DECC to the AMSOIL ticket lobby.  There will be signs to guide guests to AMSOIL Arena.  Guests may also drop off individuals with accessibility needs at entrance E, an elevator is located inside the entrance to bring guests to the skywalk level.  The DECC provides standard vehicle and van accessible parking on the surface level parking lots and on levels 1, 2 and 3 in the parking ramp.  

CEHSP and LSBE ceremony is at 10:00 AM - doors open at 8:30 AM

CAHSS, SCSE, and Medical School* ceremony is at 3:00 PM - doors open at 1:30 PM

(* Medical School Gateways/Biomedical Sciences MS program only)

Each ceremony is approximately two hours long. 

Guest Seating

Guest seating is general admission; no tickets are needed.

Programs will be available at the door and are free of charge.

The doors to AMSOIL Arena will open for guests at 8:30 for the 10:00 ceremony and at 1:30 for the 3:00 ceremony.  ALL seating is on a first come first served basis.  The DECC is fully accessible and able to accommodate the needs of guests.  If you have a guest who is unable to climb stairs or needs American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation, please arrive early and locate an usher for assistance.  There is handicapped seating in a number of locations around AMSOIL Arena and DECC staff will be able to assist.  ASL interpreters are available to guests in section 116 of AMSOIL Arena. 

Students are given a name card with a maroon or gold sticker.  The color denotes which side of AMSOIL Arena they will be seated on; students are encouraged to contact their guests and alert them to the color on their card.  There will be maps of AMSOIL Arena, as listed above, for guest to view so they can see which side of the arena their student will be sitting on and approximately where their college will be seated.  When you are looking at the stage, maroon seating is on the right side of the arena; gold seating is on the left side of the arena. 

The doors to AMSOIL remain open for the entire ceremony; guests arriving late may not be able to find seats next to each other or may end up standing.  We expect a near capacity crowd, please fill in all seats in the rows by moving to the middle of the rows so there are no empty seats.  Thank you.

Commencement Program and Live Stream

The printed commencement program distributed on commencement day will list the names of all graduates and undergraduates who have applied to graduate by the DEADLINE DATE March 15, 2024. All eligible students who have applied for graduation are listed in the commencement program, regardless of whether they participate in the commencement ceremony.  Students that apply to graduate after the deadline may still particiapte in the commencement ceremony, but their name will not be in the program.  

The commencement ceremony will also be available through a live stream, which will be closed captioned, and the program will be available online.  The link will be provided on commencement day through the official Commencement website

The Ceremony

Students enter AMSOIL at the back of the arena and proceed through the faculty who are lined up to greet them as they enter.  They proceed up the center aisle; faculty Marshals and student stage managers will direct students to their chairs. 

Student Seating

Student receive a name card with a color on their card which determines which side of the DECC Arena they will be seated on.  There will be maps of AMSOIL Arena, as listed below so you can see which side of the arena your graduate  will be sitting on and according to their degree and college, approximately where they will be seated.  When you are looking at the stage, maroon seating is on the ride side of the arena; gold seating is on the left side of the arena.

Map of 10:00 CEHSP and LSBE ceremony

Map of 3:00 CAHSS and SCSE ceremony


Professional photographers from GradImages will be at the ceremony to take three photographs of all graduates. A photographer will take a portrait just prior to walking up to the stage to receive their diploma (cover), when graduates shake hands with the Chancellor or Regent, and a photo at the back of the arena, standing in front of Regents seal of the University of Minnesota holding their diploma cover. Students may find their pictures to purchase on the GradImages website approximately 2 weeks after the ceremony.   To find your photos, for the school name type in: University of Minnesota - Duluth  All students who participated in the spring 2024 ceremony will be listed on the GradImages website as spring 2024 graduates no matter what term they completed or plan to complete their degree requirements.  

Questions may be emailed to [email protected]. After the ceremony, photos may order online at GradImages online or call 800-261-2576.

Conferral of degrees

Students are recognized in order by their college, then by their degree and then alphabetically. Please review to the Commencement Program for the exact order.

Graduate students are the first to be recognized, and will proceed to the stage from the gold side first and then from the maroon side.  After all graduate students have received their hood; undergraduate students will then proceed from both gold and maroon sides of the arena at the same time.   

After receiving their diploma cover, students exit on the center ramp, and go down the center aisle to have their picture taken in the back of arena. 

End of the Ceremony

At the end of the ceremony, faculty Marshals and student stage managers will guide students via the center aisle, to exit AMSOIL via the exit to the left of the stage (Zamboni door) and proceed back to the DECC Arena where students lined up. We recommend students and their guests plan ahead with a location to meet after the ceremony.