FALL COMMENCEMENT FAQs
- Regalia and Attire
- Parking and Transportation
- Commencement Event Information
What is the difference between participating in commencement and graduating?
Commencement and the recognition ceremonies are the congratulatory ceremonies hosted by university officials in which students are publicly and formally recognized. Graduation is the process of being awarded a degree after completion of credit hours and other degree requirements. Actual diplomas are not awarded at commencement ceremonies and participation in the ceremonies is not a guarantee of degree completion. To officially graduate from UNT, a student must apply for graduation by the posted deadline. After receipt of final grades, the student's degree audit must show the student satisfied all university, college and departmental requirements for the specific degree. A degree becomes official when it is posted to a student's transcript -- typically two to three weeks after the completion of their final term -- not by their participation in commencement exercises. A student does not have to be present at commencement to receive their degree.
What are the requirements for fall commencement participation?
Fall Undergraduate College Commencement Ceremony
Each college holds Fall Undergraduate College Commencement Ceremonies in December for bachelor's degree candidates and traditional commencement elements in a more intimate setting.. Graduates wear their regalia at this event. These ceremonies include degree conferral.
To participate in the Fall Undergraduate College Commencement Ceremony, bachelor's degree candidates must be a candidate for graduation or a summer graduate at the time of the ceremony, must apply for graduation and must RSVP using the links provided in the mailed graduation packet.
The university no longer holds an August commencement.
Fall Doctoral and Master's Commencement
The university holds a separate ceremony in in December for master’s and doctoral candidates and the ceremony features degree conferral, hooding and other traditional commencement elements in a more intimate setting. Graduates wear their regalia at this event.
To participate in the fall Doctoral and Master's Commencement, doctoral and master's students must apply for graduation, complete their degree requirements and RSVP using the links provided in the mailed graduation packet. Master's candidates must have completed all degree requirements in the spring to participate in the Spring 2017 ceremony. Doctoral students must have defended their dissertation by April 15th to participate in the Spring 2017 ceremony.
Do graduates need to RSVP for commencement?
Yes. Candidates must RSVP for commencement by following the instructions listed in the information packet mailed to them two weeks prior to the ceremony. RSVPs must be received by the deadline listed in the packet.
Is there a limit to the number of guests? Are tickets required for guests?
There is no limit to the number of friends and family that graduates can invite as their guests to attend the college and doctoral/master’s ceremonies. Graduates and their guests are expected to remain for the duration of the ceremony.
What if venues reach capacity?
If ceremonies reach seating capacity, guests will be directed to nearby venues to watch live broadcasts of the ceremonies on television screens. Due to fire codes and safety issues, there will be no standing room for guests.
What if I can't afford to purchase or rent a cap and gown?
We know some of our undergraduate students are not able to afford the price of a cap and gown and therefore do not walk across the stage to celebrate this huge academic accomplishment. The Dean of Students office has created the “Mean Green Gowns for Grads” program to support our low income and first generation University of North Texas students with a free rental of graduation caps and gowns. In addition to a cap and gown, recepients will also have the option to participate in a free photo session to provide them with graduation pictures. Learn more about the program and how to apply.
Why did UNT decide to require that undergraduates and doctoral graduates wear green caps and gowns?
Regalia for recipients of each level of degree – bachelor’s, master's and doctoral -- prominently features the official UNT green school color. But the regalia is different for each level to clearly distinguish baccalaureate, master's and doctoral graduates from each other. Learn more about the different academic regalia.
The green robes create a visual "sea of green" during commencement ceremonies to stoke and symbolize our Mean Green pride. Since bachelor’s degree recipients make up most of the graduating class, having them wear green gowns has the most visual impact. The doctoral regalia also is green but prominently features black to distinguish it from baccalaureate regalia. The master's regalia is black but prominently features green.
The master's and baccalaureate regalia also are the most cost-effective options. The doctoral regalia cost is higher, but we've provided a rental option to help mitigate the higher price.
Why aren't biodegradable robes being offered any more?
Many students and graduates provided feedback that the price of the biodegradable options was too cost prohibitive, so we've returned to a non-biodegradable gown to make them more affordable for students.
Why are there different colors of tassels and hoods for each college?
Each master’s and doctoral hood color is based on the graduate's degree. The addition of colored tassels for undergraduates started in 2015 and came at the request of the college deans to allow bachelor’s graduates to be visually recognizable based on their college.
What if I'm a double major in two different colleges? Do I wear tassels for both of the colleges?
Typically, a graduate who is double-majoring in two colleges chooses which color he or she would like to wear.
If I've been given regalia as a gift, but it's not green, can I still wear it?
UNT encourages all graduates to wear the official, approved regalia to ensure uniformity. But if you've been given regalia as a gift, we will not prevent you from wearing it in lieu of the official, approved regalia. All graduates must wear regalia to participate in all formal UNT commencement events including Doctoral and Master’s Commencement and the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies. Master’s and doctoral candidates must wear the official UNT hood as part of their regalia.
What if I already bought my regalia from an outlet other than Barnes & Noble and it's not the right color? Can I wear it anyway?
We recommend that you return the previously purchased regalia and purchase or rent the official, approved regalia from Barnes & Noble at UNT.
Where do graduates purchase their cap and gown?
Graduates will wear official approved regalia for all formal commencement events. All arrangements for regalia approved by the university should be made with the official provider, Barnes & Noble at UNT, 1700 Chestnut Street, Denton, Texas 76201 (940-565-2592). All candidates will receive a tassel as part of their regalia purchase or rental.
Which side should the tassel be on?
Typically, undergraduate candidates wear the tassel on the front right side of the cap and graduates wear it on the front left side. As graduates look down, tassels fan out and often interfere with photographs that are taken as they cross the stage. It is advised that graduates adjust their tassels accordingly.
What should I wear?
Barnes and Noble at UNT is the official vendor for purchasing UNT regalia. Graduates will wear the approved academic regalia over cool, dark dress clothes and comfortable dress shoes. Casual wear is not appropriate and photos will look best if graduates wear dark colors.
Can graduates bring an extra pair of comfortable shoes?
No. Candidates are encouraged to wear comfortable dress shoes for the duration of the ceremony, as they will be standing for extended periods of time and walking up and down stairs. Please do not bring anything except the name card that is mailed to you two weeks prior to commencement. There is no storage available for handbags, umbrellas, or extra shoes, etc. during the ceremony. You may carry in your cell phone and keys but during the Undergraduate College Commencement Ceremonies and the Doctoral and Master’s Commencement, there will not be a secure place to leave these items as you cross the stage. If you choose to bring these items into the ceremony, you must leave them at your own risk in your seat while you cross the stage.
Where do graduates store personal belongings during the ceremony?
Please do not bring anything besides the name card that was mailed out prior to Commencement. There is no storage available for coats, handbags, extra shoes, etc. during the ceremony.
What time should graduates arrive?
Graduates are expected to arrive at the time included in the information packet mailed to them two weeks prior to graduation, usually one hour before the event starts. Graduates should take into consideration increased traffic, as well as time to walk or ride a shuttle from the parking lot to the Coliseum, Murchison or Apogee. Ceremony processionals will begin on time. Learn more about the different commencement events.
What should graduates bring with them to commencement events?
Only what's noted in the information packets. Graduates need to bring the name card from the information packet mailed to them two weeks prior to graduation. The name card will be handed to the announcer before the student walks onto the stage and also will indicate the graduate's position in the line-up. Graduates should not bring handbags, umbrellas or other large items. You may carry in your cell phone and keys but during the Undergraduate College Commencement Ceremonies and the Doctoral and Master’s Commencement, there will not be a secure place to leave these items as you cross the stage. If you choose to bring these items into the ceremony, you must leave them at your own risk in your seat while you cross the stage.
Will graduates walk the stage?
Yes, at the college ceremonies (undergraduate and doctoral/master’s commencement ) graduates will have their name called, walk the stage, shake hands with college administration and have their photo taken. The Doctoral and Master's Commencement will include hooding by faculty mentors for those earning terminal degrees.
How can I get pictures of the event?
Graduates will have their photo taken by professional photographers during the Undergraduate College Commencement Ceremonies and the Doctoral and Master's Commencement. A posed photo will be taken with your diploma cover, and a candid shot will be taken as you shake hands with the university official. Proofs of these photos will be emailed from Flash Photography to the the graduate’s UNT email address in the weeks following the ceremony.
When will graduates receive their diplomas?
Diplomas will be printed and mailed to official UNT mailing addresses within eight weeks of commencement following receipt of final grades and after verification that the candidate has met the final requirements for graduation. It is the responsibility of the graduate to ensure UNT has the correct mailing address on file after graduation.
What address will the diplomas be mailed to?
Diplomas will be mailed to the official UNT mailing address within eight weeks of commencement. Graduates should verify and/or update their mailing address by logging into my.unt.edu with their EUID and password.
What if there is severe weather when commencement events are held?
In the event of severe weather, UNT will activate its Commencement Inclement Weather plan and will post information on the Commencement website and notify graduates as quickly as possible.