December Commencement Guide for Students

All graduating seniors and graduating master’s candidates are encouraged to attend commencement. No rehearsal will be held. The following information will help you to be fully prepared for this important occasion. Please print and read this information carefully.
Ordering Caps, Gowns and Announcements
Information about ordering procedures will be sent from the University's bookstore via a global email, directly to students' home address and to students' UT mailboxes. Students should order their academic regalia by visiting the bookstore or online at Students may also order personalized announcements suitable for mailing to relatives and friends at these locations.

Students should present their UT ID cards when picking up their academic regalia. Candidates should check immediately to make sure they receive a cap, gown and tassel in their packet. Masters’ candidates should also receive an academic hood. Students residing off campus should contact the University Bookstore at (813) 253-6230 or
Name Cards
Graduates should bring their name cards which they should have received from the Registrar’s Office by mail during exam week. The cards will be used to ensure that names are correctly read aloud at commencement. Name cards, if forgotten, may be picked up on Saturday beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Registrar’s Office table in the Martinez Athletics Center lobby.
Appropriate Dress
Men are asked to wear dark trousers, dark shoes, and neckties under their commencement robes. They are not required to wear suit coats. Women are asked to wear dark skirts, dresses or dress slacks under their commencement robes and shoes with low heels for safety reasons. All candidates should tie their tassels to the button on the top of their hat. Undergraduate candidates’ tassels are to be on their right side. Graduate candidates’ tassels are to be on their left side.
Alcohol and Noisemakers
Alcoholic beverages and noisemakers are not allowed at the commencement ceremony and will be confiscated by the assistant marshals.
Graduates in caps and gowns should arrive by 9 a.m. Graduates should follow the signs and gather in the west hallway of the Martinez Lobby. Commencement assistant marshals and diplomats will guide you to lineup for the processional.

Master's candidates will gather in a special section in the Martinez lobby. The assistant marshals will guide you. Master's candidates wear their hoods and have their tassle of their cap on the left side.
Academic Procession
Graduates must be ready to march at 9:30 a.m.; this is when the procession begins. Graduates can usually sit with their graduating friends by getting in front or behind them in the same line when they assemble for the processional. First the faculty will move to the Martinez Lobby. The platform party will follow the faculty. Next will be the undergraduate candidates and then the graduate candidates. Graduates should remain standing during the processional and the singing of the National Anthem. Men should remove their caps during the anthem and replace them afterward. Women leave their caps in place throughout the ceremony. Graduates should be seated as a group when the anthem is completed.
Graduates will rise one row at a time to be presented with their respective degrees. The assistant marshals will direct the movement to the platform. Bachelor's degree candidates wear their tassels over their right temples. Master's candidates should wear their hoods and wear their tassels over their left temples. After you receive your diploma cover at the bottom of the steps, a UT staff member will assist undergraduate candidates in moving their tassels from their right side to their left side before additional photos are taken.

When the candidates advance toward the stage, they should present their name cards to the announcer just as they reach the head of the stairs. The announcer will read their names. Each graduate should then walk across the platform and receive his or her diploma cover from the president of the University, Ronald L. Vaughn. Graduates should stand next to President Vaughn for a photo. Graduates should walk across the stage as quickly as possible. Graduates then walk down the steps for other photographs and proceed to their seat. 
In order to participate in the Commencement ceremony, graduates must be in academic apparel. During the reading of graduate names, we ask graduates and their guests to be considerate in their applause and celebration so that all names are heard clearly and the ceremony is not disrupted. We also ask that if you decide to attend the Commencement ceremony, you remain in your seat for the entire event. We know that it is a long ceremony (approximately 2 hours 15 minutes), but please afford every other student and family the same respect and honor that you deserve.
Live Stream
We are proud to bring you coverage of the December Graduation Commencement Ceremonies. Live coverage of the ceremonies allows our students to share this important event with loved ones who normally would not be able to attend, due to health issues or great geographic distances.
Graduates should rise when the alma mater is played. While women leave their caps in place, men remove theirs for the alma mater and await the signal from the assistant marshals for their row to join the recessional. Platform occupants withdraw first, then the faculty members. Finally, the graduates exit, beginning with the front rows and following the sequence front to back.

The University has arranged for GradImages to photograph each graduate receiving his or her degree. Each graduate will receive a free passport-sized digital of this photo on an order card some time after commencement. After the ceremony you may order online at or call (800) 261-2576. Since photographs will be available, family members and guests are encouraged to remain in their seats, relax and enjoy the ceremony. For more information, contact GradImages at (800) 261-2576 or

During the ceremony, only official University and media photographers will be allowed access to the stage and graduates' seating area for taking photographs. Family and friends must not enter the floor or stage area to take personal pictures. Following the ceremony, families are welcome to use the stage and surrounding area as a backdrop for photos.

At the commencement ceremony, each graduate receives a diploma cover from President Vaughn. The diploma is mailed to the student’s permanent home address once all degree requirements have been met and all financial obligations to UT have been satisfied. Students should keep their diploma covers and place their diplomas in them when they arrive. Most diplomas are mailed by the Registrar’s Office by the second week in January.
Academic Honors
The names of students receiving bachelor’s degrees who are candidates to receive academic honors are announced at commencement if they have completed their requirements by that day. Upon completion, the honors are inscribed on their diplomas and transcripts. Graduation honors, however, are not awarded to those receiving second bachelor’s degrees. Transfer students must have earned at least 31 hours at The University of Tampa in order to qualify for academic honors.
The three levels of Latin honors are:
Cum Laude for those with grade point averages of at least 3.5 earned on all work attempted at the University and grade point averages of at least 3.5 when combined with all previously attempted college work.

Magna Cum Laude for those with grade point averages of at least 3.75 earned on all work attempted at the University and grade point averages of at least 3.75 when combined with all previously attempted college work.

Summa Cum Laude for those with grade point averages of 4.0 earned on all work attempted at the University and grade point averages of 4.0 when combined with all previously attempted college work.

Master’s candidates with overall GPAs of 4.0 in graduate-level coursework will be recognized at graduation with “highest honors.” Students who graduate with overall GPAs of 3.9 through 3.99 will be recognized as graduating with “honors.”
Honor Cords and Medals
University honor cords will be given out at the Registrar’s Office in Plant Hall Room 90. Students will be notified by email, from Dec. 2 through Dec. 13, to pick up their honors cords. Master’s candidates will receive honor cords for “highest honors” and for “honors.” Department honor cords are given out by the respective departments. Important: Students must bring their ID with them. Only those students with an ID card will be given an honor cord. 
Student Speakers
Students are chosen to speak at commencement. Students interested in speaking must fill out the application and submit it to the Associate Provost and Dean of Academic Services Office in Plant Hall 202 for the committee to review and make a decision. To be considered, applications must be received by 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 18.
Graduates with Disabilities
Graduating seniors with physical disabilities should contact or (813) 257-3147 as soon as possible.
Further Information
If you need additional information, please e-mail us at or call the Office of the Associate Provost and Dean of Academic Services at (813) 257-3147. We will be pleased to answer questions and provide assistance whenever possible.