Frequently Asked Questions

Read our 2017 Commencement venue selection process

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 14: Deadline to apply to graduate (undergraduates) or submit a degree request (graduate students) and for your name to appear in the Commencement Ceremony printed program. Find out more.
  • May (exact dates TBD): Registration open for the Commencement Ceremony
  • June 13, 2017: Arrive at Safeco Field 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 14.
Is there a difference between Graduation and Commencement?
  • Yes. Commencement is the ceremony that brings students, faculty and family together to celebrate your graduation. At Commencement, you will wear degree-appropriate regalia, participate in a formal ceremony with your classmates and faculty, and receive a diploma cover. Graduation is final confirmation that you have completed all degree requirements. Your diploma will be sent to you approximately 4 months after your last quarter once the Office of the Registrar has confirmed that you have completed all degree requirements.
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 will be allotted TEN (10) guest tickets each. Only ticketed guests may enter the stadium; please do not invite guests who do not have tickets. Tickets can be ordered on the registration form and picked up at Grad Fair.
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.
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.
Where do I park?
  • Parking is available at the Safeco Field Garage and the CenturyLink Garage. Parking will be available for purchase day-of, for $15.
Is there a Commencement fee?
  • Not at this time. However, all participants are responsible for purchasing their cap and gown.
Are there student instructions for the day of the ceremony?
  • Yes, detailed day-of student instructions will be available as soon as possible.
Is there a rehearsal for the ceremony?
  • No, there is no rehearsal. If you’re curious what the ceremony generally looks like, watch the 2016 ceremony. Keep in mind the ceremony may change signficantly at a new venue.
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 prior to entering Safeco Field 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) may be requested at Grad Fair when picking up your order.
Can I get a diploma cover if I do NOT participate in the ceremony?
  • Yes. Diploma covers are provided to students who participate in the ceremony, but if you are not participating, you may purchase one through the ceremony registration form. Choose that you are not participating in the ceremony, and you will be directed to make other purchases. The diploma cover is available for $19 and can be picked up at Grad Fair.
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, and anything else you purchased on the registration form. Grad Fair occurs May 23, 24, and 25, 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, May 31 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), 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.