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Am I required to participate in Commencement to receive my diploma?

Participation in the Commencement Convocation is optional, but encouraged. All students participating in the Commencement Convocation will receive a diploma cover. The official diploma is mailed after the degree conferral process is completed at the end of each term.

Are tickets necessary for guests?

Tickets are not necessary. A maximum of 6 guests per graduating student is recommended.

As a graduate student in the Master’s program, will I be recognized for graduation honors?

There are no graduation honors for students earning Master's and Doctoral Degrees.

Do I need to notify anyone if I plan to walk in the commencement ceremony OR, if I choose NOT to walk in the commencement ceremony?

No, your name will be read simply based on students who attend the ceremony. If you do not attend, your name will not be read. If you plan to attend, you will be given a card to write your name on and you will hand that card to the name reader as you walk across the stage. No list is provided that indicate who can walk and who cannot walk. Attending commencement does not mean that the student has actually graduated (degree conferral occurs after final grades are received).

How can I find the La Crosse Center?

For those guests unfamiliar with the layout of the city of La Crosse, please click on Google maps for directions.

How do I get my actual diploma?

It will be mailed to the student’s “home” address listed in WINGS.

University Records and Registration mails diplomas within ten weeks of commencement.

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure they have an accurate/appropriate address on file.

How long is the typical commencement ceremony?

Approximately two hours.

How is the color of the "hood" determined in the academic apparel?

The color of the “hood” is contingent upon the scholarly field of study, following the guidelines by the American Council on Education.

I don't plan on attending/walking in the commencement ceremony; can I still get a diploma cover?

Yes, you can still get a diploma cover. Details regarding how to request a diploma cover are available here.

Is there a practice ceremony?


What are the dates and times of future commencements?

Dates and times of future commencement ceremonies will be posted on the commencement website as soon as they are set. If they are not posted there, they have not yet been set.

What is the appropriate dress for the graduating student?

Business casual or formal dress is suggested. It is recommended to wear comfortable shoes to walk in the procession which includes stairs. 

When does UW-La Crosse hold graduation ceremonies?

Both in the spring (May) and winter (December). The spring commencement ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 12, 2024 at the La Crosse Center.

9:30 a.m. | Undergraduate Students

  • College of Business Administration 
  • School of Education [including EC-MC; MC-EA; STEP (English, History, Social Studies); World Language Education; Art Education; Music Education]

12:30 p.m. | Undergraduate & Graduate Students

  • Associate Degree Candidates
  • College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities Undergraduate Candidates
  • All Graduate Degree Candidates

3:30 p.m. | Undergraduate Students

  • College of Science & Health Undergraduate Candidates 


When should I arrive for commencement?

Doors to the La Crosse Center will open 60 minutes prior to each commencement ceremony's start time.


When will our degree show up on the transcript?

Degrees will be reflected on the academic transcript after the record has been reviewed, confirming that all graduation requirements have been satisfied. This process is called degree conferral.

Where do I get my cap and gown?

All commencement-related materials (invitations, announcements, caps, gowns, tassels, class rings, etc.) can be purchased from the UW-La Crosse Bookstore and can be reached by phone at 608.785.8855.

Where should I park?

Parking is available outside the La Crosse Center. Handicapped parking spaces are located throughout the downtown area.

Which side of the cap is the tassel worn?

As an associate or bachelor degree candidate, you will march into the La Crosse Center Area with your tassel on the right side. After the Chancellor announces your degree conferral, you will switch the tassel to the left side. As a masters and doctoral degree candidate, you will march into the La Crosse Center Area with your tassel on the left side.

Who sends out diplomas?

The Office of the Registrar.



Upcoming Commencement Ceremony Dates:

  • Sunday, December 15, 2024
  • Saturday, May 17, 2025
  • Sunday, December 14, 2025
  • Saturday, May 16, 2026
  • Sunday, December 20, 2026
  • Sunday, May 16, 2027
  • Sunday, December 19, 2027
  • Sunday, May 14, 2028
  • Sunday, December 17, 2028
  • Sunday, May 13, 2029
  • Sunday, December 16, 2029