Commencement Day

Ceremony instructions

When you receive your regalia, remove it from its packaging and hang it on a hanger. Steaming the garmet will help to smooth out wrinkles.

Share the live broadcast link,, with any friends and family who cannot join in person so they can celebrate virtually.

  • Your robe
  • Your cap and tassel
  • Your stole of gratitude (if you are a bachelor’s graduate)
  • Your hood (if you are a master’s graduate)

Do not bring in any bags or purses for security reasons. Please leave personal items with a friend or family member. The university cannot be responsible for items left in the Whitewater Hall parking lot. We also recommend you wear lightweight clothing under your gown. You may not wear anything over your cap and gown except honor cords and Honors Program medals.

Please check your IU email the morning of Commencement. This is how the university will communicate any necessary updates.

Graduates will assemble in the Student Events Center. Before entering the building, please give all your valuables and personal belongings to a family member or friend to hold.

General admission seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The ceremony lasts about 60 minutes and includes conferral of all degrees, a student speaker, and induction into the Alumni Association. The names of individual graduates are read as they cross the stage.

Check in at the Student Events Center no later than 8:30 a.m. to receive your name card. The card should be handed to the reader on the stage to have your name announced.

Once everyone is lined up the processional will begin at approx 9:45 a.m. Please hold onto your name card.

Each school will be led by Commencement staff on where and when to be seated.

Graduates will be invited to the stage to have their name read and receive their diploma covers.

  • Diploma covers presented during the ceremony will not contain actual diplomas.
  • Diplomas for May, June, and August graduates should be available approximately six weeks after you have been certified for graduation.
  • Spring and summer graduates will be notified via email by the registrar’s office when their diplomas have arrived.

Commencement Staff will lead graduates to the stage, instruct them on how to cross the stage, and return to their seats.

All graduates wear custom IU apparel, including a black gabardine robe with braided crimson piping and a cap adorned with the tassel from the school they’re graduating from.

Undergraduates receive and wear a crimson Stole of Gratitude embellished with the Indiana University seal. Master’s degree graduates receive and wear a velvet hood in a color representative of their academic discipline. There are satin accents in a chevron pattern draped down the back representing the university colors.

Tassels on the cap are worn on the right for those receiving their first degree and moved to the left after the degree conferral. Graduates who already have a degree wear their tassels on the left side.

Students graduating with Distinction, High Distinction, and Highest Distinction wear fourragères pinned to the left shoulder of their gowns. Pin the fourragères halfway between the shoulder seam and the collar. The loop will drape over the outside of the sleeve with two cords hanging in front and two in the back of the sleeve. Your arm should not go through the loop.

Questions? Our Commencement team can help!

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