Frequently Asked Questions

I registered to graduate with the Office of the Registrar. Am I ready for the ceremony?

What dates do I need to be aware of?

  • April 15: Deadline to apply to graduate and for your name to appear in the Commencement Ceremony program (contact your advisor)
  • May 2 – 22: Registration open for the Commencement Ceremony
  • June 12: Arrive by between 12-1 p.m. to participate in the Commencement Ceremony
Can I participate in the commencement ceremony even if I am taking summer courses?
  • Yes, please file your graduation application with your advisor by April 15.
Do I need a ticket?
  • Yes, all graduates need a graduate ticket. One will be generated for you when you register for the ceremony, and you will pick it up at Grad Fair. All graduates are required to present a graduate entrance ticket along with a UWID or other ID to gain entrance to the student line-up areas. No student will be admitted without a ticket and appropriate ID.
How many guest tickets do I get?
  • Each student is allotted 4 (FOUR) guest tickets each. Only ticketed guests may enter the arena; please do not invite guests who do not have tickets. Tickets can be ordered on the registration form and picked up at Grad Fair.
Why are students receiving 4 tickets this year?
  • Each year, the number of students who choose to participate in the commencement ceremony grows. Last year, 1197 students or 75% of the graduating class participated and both student and guest seating exceeded capacity. This year, to accommodate the 1300+ students projected to participate, we will move in bleachers previously designated as guest seating. In tandem with more students participating, fewer guest seats available reduces the number of guest tickets per each student.
Doesn’t Hec Edmundson Pavilion seat 10,000?
  • During a basketball game, Hec Edmundson Pavilion seats 10,000. A commencement ceremony is held in a U shape floorplan facing a stage, and, for the first time, courtside bleachers will be pushed in to accommodate all graduates on the floor. There are 5,800 guest tickets.
How are guest ticket limits calculated?
  • The number of available guest seats (5,800) are divided by the number of students projected to participate in the ceremony (1,300). Any unclaimed or extra tickets will be distributed by lottery. Students may enter the lottery when registering online for the ceremony (May 2 – 22) and if drawn, pick up during Grad Fair (May 24 – 26).
Will there be extra tickets available?
  • It is possible that there may be extra tickets within Hec Edmundson Pavilion, as some students may not need all four guest tickets. When you register for the ceremony (May 2 – 22) there will be an option to be entered into a lottery for up to two additional tickets. Some seats may be behind the main stage and have a blocked view.  We will provide TV monitors in these sections displaying the ceremony. The tickets page of the website will show the latest information.
  • Extra tickets are not available for purchase.
  • Ask friends and classmates if they have an extra ticket available.
If I don't get enough tickets, can family and friends at home watch the ceremony?
  • Yes, family and friends who cannot attend can watch a live-stream of the ceremony on UWTV and the UW Bothell website.
Viewing Areas
  • There will be separate viewing area at Husky Stadium in the North Stands Sections 125 – 133 where guests will be able to view the ceremony live on large screens. You may request tickets to the viewing areas when registering for the ceremony online (May 2 – 22). These tickets will be distributed at Grad Fair (May 24 - 26) along with all other items: regalia, student ticket, parking, guest tickets, etc.
Why don’t we move to a larger venue? What about Husky Stadium?
  • Each year, we evaluate the ceremony venue. In recent years we have been actively exploring different arrangements at the current venue as well as alternate venues. Larger venues within reasonable distance to UW Bothell are booked a few years in advance and all are currently booked for 2016. Husky Stadium was explored as a possibility but deemed not logistically feasible to prepare the stadium in less than 24 hours after UW Seattle’s ceremony.
Were students involved in these decisions?
  • Creating a phenomenal and memorable experience for the graduating class and their families is paramount as the Office of Commencement plans the ceremony each year, and the decision to seat all students on the floor together was made by leadership with the student experience in mind.

    As we received feedback that students desired more tickets, we met with student leadership to distribute a survey to hear from more students about which seating and guest ticket options they prefer most. Four hundred students responded to our survey.  The most popular option was to hold our commencement ceremony at Husky Stadium.  After careful analysis and review, unfortunately this year it's not logistically possible to prepare the stadium following the UW Seattle ceremony on Saturday and have it ready for UW Bothell's ceremony on Sunday.  We are continuing to see how we can make this a possibility in future years. 

    The second most popular option was to move forward with the proposed 2016 floor plan inside Hec Edmundson Pavilion where all of the students are seated together on the floor. Many students found this to be very important and left comments on the survey.  

    Here's what students told us: 

    “I want to have the same experience as my classmates.” “…the intimate seating plan is best.” 

    "I believe it allows for the ceremony to be more meaningful.”  

    "…all grads sit on the floor together.  Separating us is unfair, and I don't believe it should even be an option.” 

    With the proposed 2016 seating plan, every student participating in the ceremony will receive four guest tickets to Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

Do I need a ticket for a child or infant?
  • Children ages 2 and under do not need a ticket, but they must sit on an adult’s lap.
Is there a Commencement fee?
  • No. However, all participants are responsible for purchasing their cap and gown.
Is there a rehearsal for the ceremony?
Can I sit next to my friends at the ceremony?
  • Graduates are organized by School. You may sit next to whomever you like within your school. When you line up, make sure you line up in front or behind who you want to sit next to.
Where can I store my belongings?
  • Do not bring anything you cannot carry with you across the stage as you receive your diploma. There is no storage of personal belongings. Please leave them with your friends and family or at home.
What do I receive when I cross the stage?
  • You will receive a diploma cover, and your diploma will be mailed to you approximately 4 months after graduation.
I am participating in the ceremony and have limited mobility or special needs.
  • Requests for accommodations can be made on the registration form for the ceremony. Find out more about accommodations here to ensure we plan the appropriate accommodations at the ceremony.
Ceremony registration and order form
I completed my purchase but want to add something to it – how do I do that?
  • Once your form has been submitted, you will not be able to make changes online. Any changes required to your order (e.g., extra tassel, parking passes) may be requested at Grad Fair when picking up your order.
I’m eligible for an honor cord, how can I get one?
  • Honor cords are provided by the Commencement Office to all eligible students. If you have a question about your eligibility, please contact the Registrar.
Grad Fair
What is Grad Fair?
  • Grad Fair is when you pick up your regalia and ticket, guest tickets, parking permit, and anything else you purchased on the registration form. Grad Fair occurs May 24, 25, and 26, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. at North Creek Events Center.
What if I can’t make those dates?
  • Late Pick-Up will be Wednesday, June 1 at UW2 Commons Lobby, 4 - 7 p.m. If you can’t make Grad Fair or Late Pick-Up, you can ask someone else to pick up for you; however they must have your student ID number in order to pick up your regalia and order.
I need to change my pick-up date!
  • Please feel free to pick up your regalia and order any time during Grad Fair.
Can I borrow regalia?
  • Yes, you can borrow regalia from a friend if the gown is appropriate to your degree (BA vs MA) and fits the guidelines for the University of Washington academic regalia, and is correct for your height. You must also wear a degree-appropriate tassel, which can be purchased separately. Motorboards may be purchased separately as well. Please email the Commencement Office a photo of the gown you hope to wear at the ceremony for approval at uwbgrads@uw.edu
Can I decorate my cap?
  • Yes, you can decorate your cap. The UW Bothell Alumni Council will also have a cap decorating station at the graduate line-up and check-in area at the ceremony.
My gown is too small/big!
  • Purchased gowns can be exchanged if you bring the gown and your order form to Grad Fair or Late Pick-Up. Please keep in mind the gowns are not fitted and are meant to be loose.
What color tassel do I need? Can I wear the purple and gold tassel at the ceremony?
  • Your tassel color will be automatically generated when you fill out the ceremony participation form based on your degree.
  • You must wear your degree tassel at the ceremony.
What are stoles? Can I wear them?
  • The only approved stole for a graduate to wear is the veteran's stole.
  • The purple or gold Stole of Gratitude are not meant for graduates to wear. A graduate can give the stole to a family member or friend who has offered support to wear during the ceremony.
How much does parking cost? Can I buy it the day of the ceremony?
  • Parking is $14 if purchased through the ceremony participation form or $15 day-of at Hec Ed.
Someone in my family needs to park near the stadium, what are my options?
  • Disability parking is available in specified lots (please see the registration form, open May 2 - 22, for availability). The UW Bothell Alumni Council will also offer a DAWG Sled golf cart service to shuttle guests from parking lots to the arena.