Who can participate in commencement?

The following three groups of individuals may be eligible to participate in the upcoming commencement ceremonies if they meet all of the listed guidelines.  There will be NO exceptions to the criteria listed below.  Please note that students can only participate in the commencement ceremony in which they are FIRST eligible (based upon the term for which the student submitted an online graduation application).  Students cannot participate in more than one ceremony for the same degree program.  Therefore, if the student already participated in or was eligible to participate in a PREVIOUS ceremony, participation in the upcoming ceremonies is not possible.

Summer 2023 and Fall 2023 Graduates: 
These graduates are automatically eligible to participate. 
Spring 2024 Candidates: 
A Spring 2024 graduation application must be on file in the Office of Records and Registration no later than Feb. 16, 2024.  

Summer 2024 Candidates: 
A Summer 2024 graduation application must be on file in the Office of Records and Registration no later than Feb. 16, 2024.  In addition, an approved Student Petition requesting to participate in commencement must also be on file in the Office of Records and Registration by Feb. 16, 2024.    

How do I register for commencement?

Each student must complete a graduation application by Feb. 16, 2024. Additionally, graduates must complete an online Intent to Participate form. This form will be live on the commencement website from March 11-25, and eligible graduates will receive an email communication when the form is available. 

What happens before and during each commencement ceremony?

Graduates will check in within the lobby outside of Sangamon Auditorium in the UIS Performing Arts Center prior to their ceremony.  Staff will then escort graduates to their seats.  Once the ceremony begins, the processional will begin (consisting of the platform party and faculty).  After several ceremonial pieces, students will walk across the stage, have their name announced, receive a UIS diploma cover, and have their photo taken by a professional photographer with the Chancellor.

Which ceremony do I attend?

A list of academic programs by ceremony and college is listed on the "Graduates" page of the commencement website.

How long will the ceremony last?

The ceremony will last approximately 90 minutes to two hours. 

Do I have to wear a cap and gown?

Academic regalia is required, including a black cap and gown.  It is suggested that you wear lightweight clothing and dark shoes under your cap and gown. Items such as purses should not be brought. 

When will I be able to purchase a cap and gown?

Upon completion of the online Intent to Participate form, graduates will receive a link to purchase their regalia and other items (such as invitations) through Herff Jones.

When and where are diplomas mailed?

At commencement, diploma covers are presented to students by the Chancellor. Official diplomas are 8.5×11 inches and are sent by first-class mail to each student’s diploma address approximately nine weeks after your conferral date. Check your address by logging into Student Self-Service to ensure your correct address is on file. 

My guests or I will require assistance/accommodations for accessibility so who should I contact?

Graduates with an assistance/accommodation request should contact the Office of Records and Registration (217-206-7730 or registrar@uis.edu).

Guests with an assistance/accommodation request should contact Office Disability Services (217-206-6666 or ods@uis.edu).

Tickets, Ticket Distribution, and Accessible Seating Tickets

Tickets will be required for admission into each ceremony.  A notice will be sent to students when tickets are available. Students may print or email tickets to their guests.  Tickets will be general admission by section (orchestra, loge, mezzanine or balcony). A student’s entire group of tickets will be general admission in the same section.  If ticketed guests require accessible seating, students should contact ods@uis.edu. Once accessible seating is assigned to those guests, their general admission tickets will be placed back in the pool for reassignment. 

Overflow Seating for Those Without a Ticket

Overflow seating with livestreaming will be available in the lower level of the UIS Performing Arts Center for those without a ticket.  Signs will be in place noting the designated locations for overflow seating.

Commencement Livestream

Access a livestream of each ceremony at uis.edu/uislive.  The livestream will be broadcast on screens across campus, including in the Student Union, and will be accessible on personal devices.

Student Speaker

The student commencement speaker is an important tradition for UIS. All graduating students are invited to audition for this honor and responsibility.  Speeches for the audition should be no longer than five minutes and should be presented in their entirety. Speeches will be evaluated by a faculty/student committee for clarity of expression, delivery, timing, appropriateness, and relevance of the topic as representative of the graduating class.  Application and audition information will be forthcoming. 


Program marshals have the responsibility of representing their fellow graduates.  Because of this responsibility, it is essential that these individuals can be identified and therefore, they wear gold stoles during commencement.

Some departments, associations and groups recognize their students with colored cords or non-gold stoles. Those seeking approval to distribute cords or non-gold stoles to their students must do so by submitting a formal request to the Registrar in the Office of Records and Registration. The request is considered, the Registrar communicates a decision to the appropriate parties, and updates the master list of approved cords, stoles, and miscellaneous items worn at commencement.

Program marshals receive gold stoles from the Office of Records and Registration on commencement day.  Non-gold cords and stoles are provided by the department, association, or group that requested the recognition.


Graduates will receive professional photo proofs in the mail. There is no obligation to purchase, and they will have the option of ordering several enlargement packages. Questions regarding photographs following commencement should be addressed to GradImages (www.gradimages.com/)

Bookstore Info

Be sure to visit the UIS Bookstore to purchase commencement-related items.  Bookstore hours are posted online at: https://www.bkstr.com/illinoisspringfieldstore/home.

iCard for Commencement Check In

If you have an iCard, please bring it to Commencement to expedite check in. If you do not have an iCard, you can check in using your UIN and NetID.


Want to know the proper etiquette for Commencement? Download the guide here. (pdf)

Ceremony DVD

A ceremony DVD will be available for $25.  This cost includes postage in the continental United States. Complete the form to order your copy. Questions should be addressed to the Office of Electronic Media at 217-206-6799.

NetID Access

Your NetID will remain active for three (3) semesters after graduation. After that time, you will no longer be able to use your NetID to access email, Blackboard, or other campus services such as Box, lynda, Office 365, etc. Please see the User Account Lifecycle for NetIDs policy for more information.

First Destination Survey (FDS)

The First Destination Survey (FDS) is a national survey that is meant to gain knowledge about what activities students are engaging in after graduation from college. The information gained from the survey helps to determine institution effectiveness and provide data for reporting needs, to enhance UIS academic offerings, and support career exploration for current and future students. Prior to graduation day, you will receive emails with additional information and be asked to complete the Outcomes Survey. By completing the survey, you will qualify to win a variety of prizes including iPads and gift cards. For further information, you may visit the UIS Career Development website.


The University of Illinois Springfield is located at One University Plaza Springfield, IL 62703. Please view the helpful information below:

Driving Directions to UIS

Campus Maps of UIS


Parking will be available during the commencement ceremonies in campus parking lots. No parking hang tags or parking fees will be required.

Special Events Related to Commencement

Numerous events are being planned to help graduates celebrate. Special events will be scheduled for certain groups. Please be sure to check our website (www.uis.edu/commencement) for more information.