Graduate Frequently Asked Questions

Congratulations on your accomplishments! Find answers to your most pressing questions here!

Before the Ceremony

Graduate Hooding Ceremony

Grad Fair and Regalia

Tickets and Seating

Commencement Day

Before the Ceremony

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 a final confirmation that you have completed all degree requirements. Your diploma will be sent to you approximately 3-4 months after your last quarter once the Office of the Registrar has confirmed that you have completed all your degree requirements.

What dates do I need to be aware of?

  • April 12: 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.
  • April 29 – May 19: Registration is open for Commencement.
  • May 21 – 23: Grad Fair at North Creek Events Center. Grad Fair will open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on May 21 and 22. Then 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. on May 23.
  • May 22: Graduating Senior & Family Celebration at UW Bothell, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • June 8: Graduate Hooding Ceremony on the UW Bothell Sports Field. This is for Masters students only.
  • June 9: Commencement at T-Mobile Park.

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

No, you must register to participate in Commencement and order regalia.

I’m eligible for an honor cord, how can I get one?

Eligible students can buy an honor cord through the online registration form. Students awarded an honor cord may choose to receive it at Grad Fair or at the Awards & Recognition Ceremony. If you have a question about your eligibility, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Can I participate in Commencement even if I am taking summer courses?

Yes, please file your graduation application with your advisor by April 12.

Is there a Commencement fee?

Not at this time. However, all participants are responsible for purchasing their cap and gown.

Is there a rehearsal for the ceremony?

No, there is no rehearsal. If you’re curious what the ceremony generally looks like, you can look up any of our annual commencement ceremonies on YouTube.

I completed my purchases on the registration form 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. 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 $19.00 and can be picked up at Grad Fair.

Graduate Hooding Ceremony

What to expect:

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

  • Student check-in
  • Find your School check-in table and collect your name card.

10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

  • Line up with your school and program and stay in line. The people in front and behind you will be seated next to you.

11:00 a.m.

  • Process to the ceremony and stay in your line. Staff Marshals will guide you.
  • Faculty and Stage Party process.
  • Ceremony begins.
  • Don’t forget your name card! You will be hooded on stage. You will NOT receive a diploma cover.
  • Closing!
  • Stage Party and Faculty exit.
  • Students are released row by row by Staff Marshals. REMAIN SEATED until your row has been released.

12:15 p.m. – Ceremony ends (approximate time)

  • Students will exit to meet family and friends. Enjoy refreshments on the Plaza.

More information can be found on the Graduate Hooding Ceremony website.

What should I wear and bring?

  • Master’s apparel: Black master’s gown with cap, degree-colored hood and black tassel.
  • Carry your hood with you – you will be hooded on stage by faculty.
  • Comfortable shoes, there is some walking on pavement and the ceremony is on turf.

Guests & Seating

The ceremony will be held in a large tent on the sports field. There are no tickets. However, due to space restrictions and respect for others, it is requested that students bring no more than 4 guests so that all guests may have a seat.


Parking is available to all visitors and members of Bothell campus. Payment for parking is required 24/7 on Bothell Campus. For parking information, please visit Commuter Services.

Grad Fair and Regalia

What is Grad Fair?

Grad Fair is when you pick up your cap and gown, student ticket, guest tickets, and anything else you purchased on the registration form. Grad Fair is from May 21 – 23 at the North Creek Events Center, which is located on the east side of the UW Bothell campus. Grad Fair will open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on May 21 and 22. Then 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. on May 23.

What if I can’t make those dates?

If you can’t make Grad Fair, you may ask someone else to pick up for you; however they must have your confirmation order and student ID number in order to pick up your apparel and order. We do not mail any graduation orders.

I need to change my pick-up date!

Please feel free to pick up your graduation items 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 (Bachelor vs Master), 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. Mortarboards may be purchased separately as well. Please email the UW Bothell Office of Ceremonies & Events a photo of the gown you hope to wear at the ceremony for approval at
  • Bachelor’s Apparel: Black gown with seal, cap, and degree-colored tassel.
  • Master’s Apparel: Black master’s gown with cap, and degree-colored hood and black tassel.

I need help purchasing my regalia. Is there any aid?

If you need assistance in purchasing academic apparel, you can request for emergency aid.

Can I decorate my cap?

Yes, you can decorate your cap.

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. Length should be 6 inches below the knee.

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 Registration/Order Form based on your degree.
  • You must wear your degree tassel at the ceremony.
  • The purple and gold tassel is a souvenir.

What are stoles? Can I wear them?

  • Stoles are typically worn to highlight a student’s academic or extracurricular achievement, or their affiliation with a particular group or field of study.
  • Students and clubs are able to purchase the official purple or gold stole that is available during the registration process and at Grad Fair. You may add a club patch or pin to this stole.
  • There is no longer funding available for club stoles. Clubs wishing to purchase a stole for Commencement may do so at their own expense. Clubs may add their club logo to the stole. The UW Academic seal, the UW and the UW Bothell logo are prohibited from use.

Tickets and Seating

Do I need a ticket?

No, your UW Husky ID card or other valid ID will allow you to gain entrance into the ceremony.

How many guest tickets do I get?

Students participating in the ceremony may receive up to 12 guest tickets. Only ticketed guests may enter the arena; please do not invite guests who do not have tickets. Tickets are ordered through the online registration form and picked up at Grad Fair. There is no option to purchase tickets.

You should consult with your family to determine the number of tickets you will need. Remember to find out if any of your guests will need special disability accommodations (e.g., wheelchair, mobility impaired, assistive listening devices, sign language interpreter). As a courtesy to others, please do not request more tickets than you can use.

What about access and seating for the elderly and those needing accommodations such as wheelchairs or listening assistance?

Students should request accommodated tickets for their guests requiring extra time to access their seats, have mobility issues or accommodations or need assistive listening devices, through the commencement registration form. Ushers will help guide guests to accessible seating. Assistive listening devices will be available on the concourse, and guests requiring ASL services will be escorted to a designated section.

If I don’t get enough tickets, can family and friends at home watch the ceremony?

Yes, there will be a live webcast of Commencement. To view, visit the UW Bothell Commencement website live stream page.

Do I need a ticket for a child or infant?

Children ages 2 and under do not need a ticket.

Commencement Day

Are there student instructions for the day of the ceremony?

Yes, registered graduates participating in the ceremony will receive a detailed email with instructions. The instructions and itinerary is also available on our website.

What time should I arrive at T-Mobile Park?

  • ​10:00 a.m. Student check-in opens.
  • 11:00 a.m. Doors open for guests.
  • 11:45 a.m. Procession begins.
  • 12:00 p.m. Ceremony begins.

How long is the ceremony?

The ceremony is expected to be about 2.5 hours long.

Can I leave the ceremony early?

It is particularly important that students respect their fellow students and the faculty, administrators and guests who have come to witness and participate in the conferring of their degrees. For this reason, graduates are expected to return to their seats after they walk and remain there until all students have walked and the members of the stage party have exited the stage.

Please plan post-ceremony activities accordingly.

Where do I go on Commencement Day?

  • Students: Check-in at Right Field Gate.
  • Guests: Enter through Home Plate Gate entrance and Left Field Gate entrance.

Where do I park?

Parking is available in the Mariners Garage. Additional parking information can be found on T-Mobile Park’s website.

Where can I store my belongings?

Do not bring anything you cannot carry with you cross the stage as you receive your diploma. There is no storage of personal belongings and bags are not allowed on the ceremony floor. Please leave them at home or with your friends and family prior to entering the field.

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 of or behind who you would like to sit next to.

What do I receive when I cross the stage?

You will receive a diploma cover, and your diploma will be mailed to you approximately 3-4 months after graduation. If you have any questions about your diploma, please email the Office of the Registrar at

I am participating in the ceremony and have limited mobility or special needs.

If you have any mobility issues or special needs, be sure to make your requests for accommodations on the commencement registration form for the ceremony. Find out more about disability accommodations to ensure we plan the appropriate accommodations for you at the ceremony.

How do I find my family and friends after the ceremony?

Students should have a pre-determined plan to meet friends and family members after the ceremony.

COVID protocol

The University of Washington Bothell will follow the health guidance of the State of Washington and King County Health Department for COVID protocols for this year’s commencement ceremonies.

Masks are not required but are strongly recommended.

*If you feel sick, test positive or have been exposed to COVID-19 please do not attend the ceremony.