How to Participate

Before the Ceremony

  • 1. Apply for Graduation

    1. Apply for Graduation

    An application for graduation must be submitted prior to walking in the commencement ceremony. For steps to apply for graduation, visit Graduation & Degree Services. Deadlines are:

    • Nov. 12, 2021 – Deadline to apply for fall graduation and be included in the printed commencement program
    • Dec. 3, 2021 – Deadline to apply for fall graduation and walk in the commencement ceremony


    *Graduates from other University of Alaska campuses wishing to walk at UAA must complete an application for graduation through their respective campus and email with their request to participate in UAA's ceremony.

  • 2. RSVP for the Ceremony

    2. RSVP for the Ceremony

    An RSVP is required for all graduates participating in the ceremony or watching online and is an important step to assure a seat is reserved for you. The RSVP page opens two months prior to the ceremony and students who have submitted an application for graduation will be notified via email at that time.

    Graduates can invite two in-person guests and must reserve their seats in advance.  A reservation link to the Alaska Airlines Center socially distanced seating chart will be made available to graduates shortly after they RSVP.   Masks are required for all attendees.  

  • 3. Purchase Regalia

    3. Purchase Regalia

    Cap, gown and tassel are required to participate in commencement. A hood is also required for master's and doctoral degree candidates. These items will be available for purchase from the Seawolf Store.

Day of Ceremony

  • 4. Arrive the Alaska Airlines Center

    4. Arrive at Alaska Airlines Center

    For the safety and security of our graduates and guests, mandatory security screening by walk-through metal detectors will be in place at UAA’s commencement ceremonies. Opening times for screening stations outside all entrances, doors to the arena, and seating inside will be posted soon.*

    To help assure an efficient and positive experience for all, we ask that you:

    • Bring only essential items needed for the event.
    • Leave backpacks and bags larger than 4.5 x 6.5 inches at home.
    • Note that noisemakers and weapons will be refused at the screening stations.

    Please see the metal detector FAQ on the Alaska Airlines Center website for full details.

    *Adjustments to the timeline are possible should weather require.

    Please see Parking and Maps for parking and shuttle information.

  • 5. Attend registration

    5. Attend registration

    Registration is held before the ceremony in the auxiliary gym of the Alaska Airlines Center OR 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. the Friday before in the University Center Lobby (times for both hybrid December commencements will be posted). Registration is for graduates only. Graduates must attend one of the two registration sessions to pick up their "reader card" which will be handed to the person reading names as students cross the stage. Once a reader card is in hand:

    • Look for the letter in the top right hand corner. This corresponds to letters posted around the auxiliary gym designating where you will line up for the processional on Sunday.
    • Write a phonetic spelling of your name if it is difficult to pronounce
    • Complete the information on the backside for the photographer

    Commencement Crew will be available to answer questions during registration on Sunday.

    Coat check will be provided in they auxiliary gym for graduates only.

  • 6. Line up for processional

    6. Line up for processional

    *Times will be adjusted and posted for the fall 2021 hybrid commencements. 

    At 12:30 p.m.*, Commencement Crew will begin lining up students for the processional in the Alaska Airlines Center auxiliary gym. Graduates must be in line with their colleges, reader card in hand, no later than 12:45 p.m.* to begin the processional. Within each college, doctoral and graduate degree candidates will be first, followed by all undergraduate degrees and certificates. Other than that, there's no particular order.

    Remember to start the ceremony with your tassel on the right of your cap.

  • 7. The processional

    7. The processional

    Each college will be led by an alumni flag bearer in a green robe who will lead graduates down to the main arena floor. Once on the arena floor, Commencement Crew will direct graduates into a row of seats. Do not sit down until the reader instructs you to be seated. After all students are on the floor, the stage party will enter. Once everyone is in the arena, the reader will ask all to be seated.

  • 8. The ceremony

    8. The ceremony

    After introductions, the chancellor's address, and the student speaker, candidates will participate in the ceremonial presentation of degrees (Note: diplomas will not be inside diploma covers presented on stage). Doctoral degree candidates are called to the stage first and acknowledged individually, then each college proceeds, led by a flag bearer, followed by master's degree candidates, then undergraduate degree (bachelors, associates and certificates) candidates. A professional photographer will take photos of each degree candidate crossing the stage.

    Once every graduate has crossed the stage, all students will stand to sing the UAA Alma Mater and remain standing while a regent ceremonially confers degrees. Graduates will then be instructed by the chancellor to move tassels from right to the left of their caps, confetti will fly and the recessional will begin.

  • 9. The recessional

    9. The recessional

    The academic recession, led by the stage party, concludes the formal program. You must remain at your seat until Commencement Crew directs you out of rows and into line, through the faculty honor aisle, and back to the auxiliary gym. Graduates can meet friends and family outdoors on the south side of the Alaska Airlines Center.

Additional information

  • Diplomas will not be inside diploma covers. It will take a few weeks to calculate grades for graduates who have just finished finals. Graduates will receive an email from Degree Services when diplomas are printed and ready for pick-up/delivery.

  • Conferring of degrees at the ceremony is provisional, pending verification that all degree requirements have been met.

  • Graduates who do not want their diploma covers should leave them on their seat to be collected and given to another student.

  • Graduates will recieve an email from the photographer approx. 1- 2 weeks following the ceremony with links to purchase photos taken at the event.