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COVID-19: News and Campus Updates | University Resources | COVID-19 County Status | Fall 2021 Plans

Frequently Asked Commencement Questions

  • Will the May 2021 ceremonies be held in person?

    Following the January announcement from President Feinstein, UNC is planning to host in-person commencement ceremonies for all graduates. The ceremony livestreams will be available for guests and those unable to attend in person. A virtual hooding ceremony will take place on Friday, May 7 and in-person ceremonies will be on Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9. Visit the ceremonies page for more details.

  • Do I need a ticket to get into the ceremony?

    Yes. Public health guidelines significantly reduce the number of guests who can attend the ceremony in person, so a ticket is require to attend the ceremony. The ceremony livestreams will be available for guests and others unable to attend in person. 

    Each graduate will receive the same number of tickets for the in-person ceremonies. Final guest allowances will be determined closer to the ceremony because of the changing nature of Weld County’s status on the Colorado COVID Dial.

    Guest tickets will be distributed to bear email addresses during the week leading up to the event. The UNC Ticket Office will distribute digital tickets directly to graduates. Seats will be assigned to accommodate spacing requirements and graduates will have the opportunity to request ADA accessible seating.

  • Do I have to wear a mask to attend the ceremony?

    Yes. The university requires anyone on campus to wear face coverings at all times while in public or shared spaces. The full mask policy is available on UNC's spring operations site.

  • How long is the ceremony?

    We know commencement ceremonies can be lengthy, but we are here to celebrate each grad and their achievement. The size of the graduating class varies at each ceremony, meaning they can last anywhere from 1.5 – 2.5 hours.

  • What if the weather is bad?

    The university will do everything possible to host the ceremonies outside at Nottingham Field as planned, however spring weather in Northern Colorado can be volatile.

    To remain COVID compliant, the ceremonies would shift to a grad walk across a stage in the Bank of Colorado Arena without guest attendance or speakers. A grad walk allows graduates to enter the arena and walk onto the stage as their name is read. While on stage, each graduate will receive a diploma cover and have their photo taken. The ceremony schedule would remain unchanged.

    Inclement weather decisions will be announced at 11 a.m. the Wednesday before the ceremony through the UNC website, social media, and an email to each graduate. Inclement weather decisions are not reversed.

  • Can I watch the ceremony from anywhere?

    Yes! Just visit the ceremonies webpage to watch the ceremony livestream.

  • Is there accessible seating available?

    There is designated accessible seating along the first row of bleachers in Bank of Colorado Arena, and designated seating areas in the bleachers on the east and west side of Nottingham Field.

  • Where can I park?

    UNC parking lots around campus are open to the public during Commencement weekend and permits are not required. View parking map.

    There are a number of ADA parking spaces near the venue(s). These spaces are reserved for vehicles that display the appropriate state-issued hang tags or license plates. Parking can only be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

  • What can I bring to the ceremony?

    Feel free to bring personal items such as purses, camera bags and diaper bags. We do ask that guests refrain from bringing backpacks into the venue. Keep in mind that personal items are subject to search by the UNC Police Department.

  • Are animals allowed inside ceremony venues?

    Any certified service animal is welcome anywhere on campus. Pets that are not certified service animals won’t be permitted at commencement ceremonies.

  • Where can I stay and dine in Greeley?

    Visit Greeley maintains information on local lodging and dining options.

  • How do I make sure my name appears in the program?

    Students must apply to graduate by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, February 12 to guarantee their name appears in the program. Students who apply to graduate after this deadline are welcome to participate in the ceremony but will not have their name in the program.

    Pick your level of study to apply for graduation:


  • How do I rent regalia? Can I purchase regalia to own?

     Renting Regalia

    Your years of hard work are almost over and it’s time to celebrate in style! You can get everything you need at the Commencement Fair or order your cap and gown online. Rental orders must be placed by 9:59 p.m. Mountain Time on Thursday, April 1, 2021 to ensure delivery before the ceremony and rented orders will be shipped directly to students homes. 

    Rent Regalia   Instructions for Ordering

    Rental orders must be placed by 9:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 1, 2021 to ensure delivery before the ceremony. Rented orders will be shipped directly to students homes. Remember all students must return their rental gowns. Graduate students must also return their hoods. All students get to keep their caps, tassels, and any other accessory items purchased on the Herff Jones rental site.

    Purchasing Regalia

    If you are a student interested in purchasing your regalia to own, you can visit the site below to purchase regalia to own.


    Remember purchased regalia is made to order and has a standard lead time of 6-8 weeks (shipping not included). If you intend to purchase regalia, please make sure you leave plenty of time to ensure that your regalia order will arrive in time for your ceremony. Additionally, since all items on this site are made to order, all sales are considered final. Please use caution when ordering from this site and ensure that all of the information you are providing is accurate. If you are uncertain on something, like which color hood to order, please reach out to our local Herff Jones representative for assistance

    Local Representative: Alex Frieler ajfrieler@herffjones.com

  • What are the regalia refund policies?

    UNC partners with Herff Jones to provide regalia rental to all graduates. Please see their policies below.

    • Herff Jones Refund Policy
      • Caps, Tassels, Gowns, and Regalia Accessories (i.e. Stoles): A refund will be provided so long as the product is unused and unopened. Refunds must be requested prior to your ceremony date. Keeper products being returned by students are returned at their expense. Certain customized and year dated products are not eligible for refund or return. Please reach out to me if you have specific questions.
      • Announcements and Fine Paper Accessories: All sales are final.
      • Frames: Refund must be requested within 1 month of the product being delivered to the customer.
      • Class Rings: All sales are final.

      We stand by our products and will offer refunds on any product if a manufacturing or material defect is present.

    • Herff Jones Customer Service
  • What are my options for photos?

    Each graduate has a portrait taken in front of a green screen at the side of the stage and a photo taken on the stage with your diploma cover. You will receive an email from Lifetouch when your proofs are ready and you can choose whether to purchase photos at that point. Because portraits are in front of a green screen, you will have several background options to choose from. View and order photos here

  • I’d like to walk in a future ceremony when public health restrictions allow. How can I do that? 

    Please reserve your spot online or reach out to alumni@unco.edu or 970-351-2551 to coordinate your plans.

  • What does the graduation fee cover?

    The graduation fee covers the cost of processing and posting a student’s degree, covering the ordering and postage of the diploma. All graduating students are assessed the graduation fee independent of their participation in a commencement ceremony.

  • How do I get my diploma?

    Graduates receive their diplomas via mail following completion of the semester and verification of academic requirements.

    Learn more

  • I'm a journalist interested in covering UNC's Commencement. Who do I need to contact?

    Contact the university's News and PR team to request credentials at least two days before the ceremonies.

  • Who should I contact with additional questions?

    For questions about the commencement ceremony, contact University Advancement at 970-351-2551 or email events@unco.edu.

    For questions about completing an undergraduate degree, contact the Registrar’s Office at 970-351-4862, option 3 or email graduation@unco.edu.

    For questions about completing a graduate degree, contact the Graduate School at 970-351-1803 or email laura.hulsey@unco.edu.