University-wide Commencement ceremony for all graduates:

Saturday, May 12, 2018
9:30 am

Memorial Stadium

Participation Information


Formal ceremony for School of Music Graduates:

Sunday, May 13, 2018
6:00 pm
Tryon Festival Theatre, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

Official Photographer:  Memory Lane Photography

Letter to Degree Candidates

Convocation Checklist — you may wish to print this page

Register to Participate — deadline is April 10 at 10 PM

Order Academic Attire deadline is April 12 at 10 PM

For questions related to undergraduate eligibility:

FAA Undergraduate Academic Affairs
Teresa Henderson

For questions related to graduate eligibility:

SoM Graduate Academic Affairs
Jenny Phillips

For all other questions about School of Music Convocation:

SoM Convocation Coordinator
Jennifer Gavel


Q. HELP! It is 9:00 AM on Sunday and I just discovered that I can participate in the ceremony after all.

A. Grab your checkbook and go directly to ARC. You can still get something to wear and will be allowed to walk. But get there before 10:00 am or it really will be too late! (All late orders will incur a $20 late fee, which is due when you pick up your attire.)


Q. When should I walk if I am not finishing my degree in May?

A. If you are an undergrad with thirteen (13) or fewer credits remaining, or master student with eight (8) or fewer credits remaining, and you expect to finish in August, then you may walk in the spring.

If you student teach in the fall, but are otherwise finished with coursework, then you may walk in May. There is a check-box in the online registration for you to notify us.

Recipients of doctoral degrees, who are registered in MUS 576 or 599,  must have deposited their dissertations in the Graduate College Thesis Office or SoM Graduate Academic Affairs by 4:00 pm on the deposit deadline date in order to participate in the university-wide Commencement ceremony and/or SoM Convocation.

For more specific information, visit the eligibility page of the university-wide Commencement ceremony website.

Q. How can I make sure I’m on the May graduation list?

A. When you register for the spring semester in Student Self-Service, select “Graduation Information” then “Notify Intent to Graduate.” Complete the requested information.  If you are still unsure of this process, please contact Teresa Henderson (undergraduates) or Jenny Phillips (graduates).

COLLEGE HONORS – Undergraduate students only

Q. How do I know if I’m getting College Honors (Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, or Cum Laude)?

A. Check with Teresa Henderson in the College of Fine and Applied Arts.


Q. Are tickets required?

A. Yes, tickets are required for both university-wide Commencement and SoM Convocation ceremonies.  For SoM Convocation, each graduate will be limited to six (6) tickets.


Q. What do I wear? 

A. Candidates participating in the university-wide Commencement ceremony, as well as the School of Music Convocation, are required to wear appropriate academic attire. Complete information can be found on the Commencement Academic Attire Page.

Q. What regalia should I order for the Artist Diploma?

A. You should order and wear the master’s degree regalia.

Q. How is the tassel worn?

A. The tassel is worn on the right front quadrant of the mortarboard and is moved to the left after the degree has been conferred. Since this happens at the university-wide Commencement ceremony, all tassels should start and end on the left side during the School of Music Convocation.

For undergraduate degrees, the color of the tassel indicates the college from which the degree is received. Bronze Tablet students also wear an orange and blue braided cord on the left shoulder. These cords will be distributed at a special Bronze Tablet reception hosted by the Chancellor in early May. If you cannot attend this reception, you must request your cord when you pick up your cap and gown.

For Master’s and Doctoral degree students, the color of the velvet on the hood indicates the field of study and the tassel is black.

Women should wear mortarboards at all times; men should remove mortarboards only during the singing of the National Anthem. Jewelry, flowers, or emblems worn on the mortarboard or gown are inappropriate.
Q. What if I am not sure about my participation?

A. If you are unsure of your plans but are considering participating in either the university-wide Commencement ceremony or the School of Music Convocation, go ahead and order your academic attire for pick-up at ARC. After placing your order, you will have the opportunity to print a receipt. Please present the receipt when you pick up the apparel. You will not be charged the rental fee if academic attire is not picked up during the distribution period.

Rental fees must be paid in full by check (payable to Herff Jones) or cash when you pick up the apparel. Payment cannot be made in advance, unless you choose the ship-to-home option.


Tassel – Brown (FAA)
Caps/Gowns – UIUC Custom Regalia, Blue

Caps/Gowns – UIUC Custom Regalia, Blue
Master of Music Hood — PINK with BLACK tassel (MM & AD DEGREES)
Master of Music Education Hood — LIGHT BLUE with Black Tassel

UIUC Custom Regalia, Blue cap and gown
Pink hood with black tassel

PHD DEGREES (Musicology or Education) 
UIUC Custom Regalia, Blue cap and gown
Light Blue hood with black tassel


Q. Are there any accommodations for students or family members with special needs?

A. For the university-wide Commencement ceremony, guests requiring special assistance should enter Portal 1 along Kirby Avenue and enter Memorial Stadium at Gate 24. Inside the stadium, an usher will direct you to the designated accessibility seating areas. Graduates with disabilities who require special assistance to fully participate in the university-wide Commencement events may contact the Committee on Commencement at (217) 333-8834 or email the Commencement Office. Please note the University does not have wheelchair rental available.

Visit the Commencement page for Accessibility and Special Needs for more information.

Sign language interpretation will be provided on stage as well as near Section 127 at the university-wide Commencement ceremony. Hearing-impaired students should sit as close to the stage as possible within their designated section on the field. Guests should let an usher know they need seating in Section 127 to improve visibility of the sign language interpreter. CART services will also be provided during the ceremony.

As a service to parents with small children who may become restless during the two-and-a-half-hour Commencement, the ceremony will be televised in the West Main Hall of the stadium.

B. Guests requiring special assistance for the School of Music Convocation at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts should contact Patron Services at 217.333.9716.

We do not automatically request a sign language interpreter, but will schedule one if a request is made. Please contact the SoM Convocation Coordinator directly.


For family members who need to acquire a visa in order to attend their student’s graduation ISSS suggests that students may write invitation letters themselves. You may also use the “Letter to Degree Candidates” above.

Should students need a more specific letter (for example, one that includes enrollment verification and program end date), they should ask the Registrar’s Office for such a letter.

ISSS advises that visa requirements vary by country, and graduates and their families should contact the embassy issuing the visa directly regarding those requirements.

Please visit the International Student and Scholar Services website, ( for additional information. If you still have questions, you should contact the ISSS office at, or 217-333-1303.