May Commencement Guide for Students
All graduating seniors and graduating master's candidates are encouraged to attend commencement. There will be no rehearsal held. No tickets are required; there is plenty of seating for everyone. 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 www.herffjones.com/college/graduation. 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. Master's candidates should also receive an academic hood. Students residing off campus should contact the University's bookstore at (813) 253-6230 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Graduates should bring their name cards, which they should have received from the Registrar's Office two to three weeks before commencement. The cards will be used to ensure that names are correctly read aloud at commencement. Name cards, if forgotten, may be picked up Saturday beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Registrar's Office table located in the foyer area of Gate A.
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 dark shoes with low heels for safety reasons. All candidates should tie their tassels to the button on 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 enter through Gate A and walk down the aisle between sections 128 and 129 and proceed to the gathering area at the floor level of section 129. Prior to the start of the procession, graduates should designate a place where they will meet their family and guests after the ceremony – perhaps at one of the sections on the concourse, on the plaza or at your vehicle.
Master's candidates will gather in a special section near the front of the line in the gathering area. The assistant marshals will guide you. Master's candidates wear their hoods and have their tassle of their cap on the left side.
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 walking in front or behind them in the same line when they assemble for the processional. The stage party will leave the gathering area first. The graduate students will follow the undergraduates. The faculty will join the procession before the procession enters the arena. 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. The assistant marshals will direct you in all phases of the ceremony. Please give them your attention and cooperation.
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 Diplomat 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, Dr. Ronald Vaughn. Graduates should shake hands with President Vaughn with their right hand and take their diploma case with their left hand. Graduates should walk across the stage as quickly as possible. If each person takes 10 seconds to walk across the stage, this part of the ceremony will take 2 and 1/2 hours. Graduates then walk down the steps for another photograph and proceed to their seats. A professional photographer will photograph each graduate as they receive their diploma and again when they are offstage. Please ask friends and family not to block the view of others by taking their own photographs.
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 45 minutes), but please afford every other student and family the same respect and honor that you deserve.
We are proud to bring you coverage of the May 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 www.gradimages.com 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 email@example.com.
During the ceremony, only official University and media photographers will be allowed access to the stage and the 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 June.
The names of students receiving bachelor's degrees who are also 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. However, graduation honors 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. Students who are scheduled to graduate in August do not receive recognition of honors at the May Commencement Ceremony.
The 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."
Academic honors are not announced during May Commencement for those who will complete their academic requirements in the summer; however, any honors earned will be recorded on their diploma and transcript.
Honor Cords and Medals
University honor cords (for the cum laude awards) will be given out at the Registrar's Office table located on the concourse near Section 129 beginning at 8:30 a.m. on commencement day. Master's candidates will receive honor cords for "highest honors" and for "honors." The respective departments give out department honor cords. Please bring your name card with you to verify your UT honors. Only those students whose honor status is recorded on their name card will be given an honor cord.
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, March 8.
Graduates with Disabilities
Graduating seniors with physical disabilities should contact Commencement@ut.edu or (813) 257-3147 as soon as possible.
If you need additional information, please email us at Commencement@ut.edu or call the Associate Provost and Dean of Academic Services Office at (813) 257-3147. We will be pleased to answer questions and provide assistance whenever possible.