Instructions for graduates


Please follow these instructions for the College of Science and Engineering Commencement Ceremony:

  • Graduates should check in at 3M Arena at Mariucci no later than 6 p.m. on Friday, May 10. Enter the Sundet Lobby entrance on the southwest corner of the building at 1901 4th Street, proceed downstairs and follow directions from staff. Please redirect your guests to 3M Arena at Mariucci’s main entrance.
  • Arrive in your cap and gown with tassel on the right. Wear your honors cord (if you have one). Men generally wear dark trousers, dress shirt, and tie under their gowns. Women usually wear a lightweight dress or a blouse and skirt that is shorter than the gown so it does not hang below the robe. An honors cord is worn with the middle of the cord behind the neck and the ends of the cord hanging to the front. The graduation cap is worn flat on the head, one point of the square facing forward (like a diamond). Cap tassels are worn on the right side at the start of the graduation ceremony and flipped to the left side at the designated time when graduates are officially conferred their degrees from the University of Minnesota Regent toward the end of the ceremony. It is best to take your cap and gown out of the package before arriving at the arena to be sure you have all of the pieces, and the gown is not wrinkled.
  • Leave valuables at home or with family members. There will be no secure coat check area available backstage. Please silence all cell phones and electronic devices.
  • Get your name card from the check-in table. This is critical. You cannot walk across the stage during the ceremony without your name card! Cards will be sorted and picked up by last name (family name).
  • Do not bend, write on, or lose your name card. Please do not change any notation made by the person who will be announcing your name as you cross the stage.
  • Gather by the sign designating your major. When you find your major, look for the marshal who will be wearing a maroon gown. Remember, you must have your name card prior to finding your major’s marshal (e.g., Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, etc.). The procession lines will form by major. If your card lists multiple majors gather with the graduates from the first major listed on your card.
  • Guests should enter by 3M Arena at Mariucci’s main entrance, which is the east lobby, 4 Oak Street. Doors open at 6 p.m. Guest seating in the arena is open. No tickets are required, and you may invite as many guests as you wish. ADA seating for guests with limited mobility is available on the concourse level.
  • The ceremony will begin promptly at 6:45 p.m. and conclude at approximately 9:30 p.m. All graduates and their guests are expected to stay until the end of the ceremony.
  • As the ceremony begins and you enter the arena, follow the marshal to your major's designated seating on the arena floor. To assure there are enough seats for all graduates, fill in every seat leaving no empty chairs. You will remain seated until you are asked to rise for the National Anthem.
  • At the designated point in the ceremony, the dean will announce the “presentation” of the graduates. Your Marshal will queue your major when to stand and begin lining up. Do not forget your card, you cannot cross the stage without it.  As you reach the stairs to the stage, your name card must be scanned by the staff member at the base of the steps. Once on the stage, wait for the staff member to take your card and cues to proceed across the stage to the podium area, shake hands with the dean and department representative, receive your diploma cover, and exit to the right side of the stage. Three photos will be taken: before you reach the stage, on stage shaking hands with the dean, and after you return to your seat at the base of the stage. You are not allowed to take photos of any kind while you are on stage.
  • Guests are to remain in their seats and not enter the arena floor area to ensure a quick flow of graduates during the ceremony.
  • When the ceremony ends, all graduates will leave the arena after the stage participants but not in any special order. You can meet your guests in the lobby or on the plaza.
  • The ceremony will be streamed LIVE online at 6:45 p.m. Central (7:45 p.m. Eastern). Be sure to tell your family and friends.
  • The Commencement Ceremony will be video recorded, and the video web link will be made available after Friday, May 24 on the CSE Undergraduate Commencement webpage.
  • Use hashtag #UMNProud before and after the ceremony to share your excitement and join in the conversation. Be sure to mention @umncse. Tell your family and friends to wish you well, and we’ll share their words of congratulations!

If you have questions, contact the College of Science and Engineering Student Services office at