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

The ceremony date is 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 to pick up your name card and get into line in a timely manner.  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 parking spaces are available on the surface lot near Entrance B (City Side Convention Center).  Additional accessible spaces are available in the ramp on all levels. The elevator is located in the northeast corner of the ramp.  Students enter at the DECC on the Skywalk Level at the Business Office/Ticket Lobby entrance D, or the ground level on the back side of the DECC entrance F. 

CEHSP and LSBE ceremony is at 10:00 AM

ALL students must report to the name card table in Paulucci Hall, on the ground level of the DECC.  There will be signs from each entrance to direct you.  Doors open at 8:30, you must pick up your name card by 9:00 and be in your procession line by 9:30. 

CAHSS, SCSE, and Medical School* ceremony is at 3:00 PM

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

ALL students must report to the name card table in Paulucci Hall, on the ground level of the DECC.  There will be signs from each entrance to direct you.  Doors open at 1:30, you must pick up your name card by 2:00 and be in your procession line by 2:30. 

Graduating students in cap and gown in two lines waiting to enter the arena.

Student Line Up

Students receiving their bachelor’s degrees, when you enter Paulucci Hall, proceed straight ahead and pick up your name card (ONLY) at the Undergraduate table.   Cards are in order by college, and then in alphabetical order by last name. IF there is not a card with your name, go to the far left by the sign Extra Cards 

If you are graduating with Honors, proceed to the Honors table where cords and medallions are distributed, if you did not pick them up in Kirby in April. 

Students receiving their master's or doctoral degrees will find the Graduate name card table in the back corner to the right of the Undergraduate name card table in Paulucci Hall. Pick up your name card (ONLY) at the Graduate table.   Cards are in order by program and then in alphabetical order by last name. IF there is not a card with your name, please see the Commencement staff member at the Graduate table. 

Name cards are color coded (MAROON or GOLD) and numbered so graduates will know which line to join and their place in line. As you enter the DECC Arena, the gold line will be on your right, the maroon line on your left.  There will be charts on the wall and numbers on the walls and numbering on the floor to help you determine which side to line up on and your approximate position in the line.  Students line up in rows of 20.  Once you have taken your place in line, follow the instructions of the staff wearing "Commencement Volunteer" lanyards; they will also answer any questions.

Do not lose your name card. You will hand this card to the reader as you prepare to cross the stage and be recognized during the ceremony. You must present a card in order for the reader to call your name.

Please note: Anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be asked to leave the premises.

Commencement Regalia

Although not required, more than 99% of students wear a cap and gown.  These items can be purchased at the on-campus UMD Bookstore before the ceremony.  Next to the AMSOIL Box Office is the UMD Bulldog Shop that will have a very limited number of cap and gowns for sale on Commencement day.  Students are advised to purchase these items before May 4.  

How to get from Paulucci Hall to the UMD Bulldog Shop

Guest Seating

The color on your name card determines which side of the DECC Arena you will line up on and also denotes which side of AMSOIL Arena you will be seated on; please feel free to contact your guests and alert them to the color on your card.  There will be maps of AMSOIL Arena, as listed above, for guest to view so they can see which side of the arena you will be sitting on and approximately where your 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.

Map of 10:00 CEHSP and LSBE ceremony

Map of 3:00 CAHSS and SCSE ceremony

Commencement Program

Students who attend commencement will have a program on their chair in AMSOIL Arena.  Programs are available to guests at each entrance and are free of charge.  

The Ceremony

The commencement ceremony is approximately 2 hours long.

Graduates will be walking and standing a good part of the time.

There is no secure area to leave your personal belongings, please leave jackets, purses, etc. with family members.  Graduates are welcome to keep their phones with them and take pictures.  However, please do not take pictures on the stage while receiving your diploma. 

During the ceremony, if you need to use the restroom, there are women and men’s restrooms at the back of AMSOIL Arena that can be accessed by the doors you entered.  There is also a single stall restroom immediately beyond the exit at the front to the left of the stage (Zamboni door).  Commencement staff will be at each exit to direct you as needed. 

Students enter AMSOIL at the back of the arena and proceed through the faculty who are lined up to greet them as they enter.  Proceed up the center aisle; faculty Marshals and student stage managers will direct students to their chairs.  Students using a wheel chair or scooter, will be directed by a faculty Marshal or student stage manage to proceed behind the back row of chairs, to the side aisle of the seating area and to their colleges section. 

You may be seated once you reach your assigned location. 

Conferral of degrees

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.   

Please note: 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 proceed by program.  You will carry your hood over your left arm during the ceremony processional, and will be hooded onstage by a faculty member, your program DGS or representative. The Chancellor will announce your degree and instruct you to stand and prepare to walk forward to the bottom of the side ramp. The student stage managers and faculty Marshal will assist in directing you to the stage. You will meet your program faculty member at the bottom of the ramp, which has railings on both sides, and follow them and all students within your program, up the ramp. When it is your turn to be hooded, the student stage manager will take your hood, and you will step in front of your program faculty member and face the audience. The faculty member will place the hood over your head. If you are tall, you may need to bend at the knees a bit. Do not bend at the waist.  Proceed to receive your diploma cover from your Dean or Associate Dean, and then shake hands with either the Chancellor or Regent.   

Undergraduate students proceed by college.  Your college Dean will request you to stand, Chancellor will congratulate the graduates and then the student stage managers and faculty Marshals will direct you to the stage.  Students proceed up the sides of the arena and access the stage, via a ramp, which has railings on both sides.  A name will be read from one side and then the other.  Once you are on stage, you will give your name card to the person reading name cards.  Then proceed to receive your diploma cover from your Dean or Associate Dean, you will then shake hands with either the Chancellor or Regent.   

After receiving your diploma cover, exit on the center ramp, which also has side railing, and go down the center aisle to have your picture taken in the back of arena.  Students then return via the center aisle to their original location. 

Students using a wheelchair or scooter return to their original location via the side aisle after having your picture taken at the back of the arena.   

If you need special seating arrangements or help crossing the stage, please email [email protected]

Student Speakers

Student speakers rotate by year and are chosen by the designated college in early spring.  For 2024, student speakers will be from LSBE in the morning and from CAHSS in the afternoon. 

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 students will be dismissed 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.  


It is not possible to process final grades and prepare degree lists in time to present diplomas on Commencement day. Instead, you will receive a diploma cover when you cross the stage. Assuming all graduation requirements have been met, diplomas are mailed to students within three months following the end of the semester in which a student applied to graduate. Holds may prevent you from ordering a transcript or receiving your diploma.  Check MyU for any holds on your record.  All diplomas are the same size. 

Information on degree requirements and diplomas should be directed to the Office of Financial Aid and Registrar, One Stop, 23 Solon Campus Center, 218-726-8000, [email protected]