Commencement

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When does UW-La Crosse hold graduation ceremonies? expanding section

Both in the spring (May) and winter (December). In the spring, two ceremonies are held in one day; colleges are assigned to participate in either the morning or the afternoon ceremony. At winter commencement, all colleges participate in one ceremony.

Are tickets necessary for guests? expanding section

No tickets are required to attend the commencement ceremonies. However, we strongly encourage students to limit the number of guests to no more than six (6). The venue reaches full capacity with standing room only. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Where should I park? expanding section

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

When should I arrive for commencement? expanding section

Doors open 90 minutes prior to ceremony.

What are the dates and times of future commencements? expanding section

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.

How can I find the La Crosse Center? expanding section

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

Where do I get my cap and gown? expanding section

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.

How do I get my actual diploma? expanding section

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.

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

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.

Who sends out diplomas? expanding section

The Office of the Registrar.

When will our degree show up on the transcript? expanding section

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.

What is the appropriate dress for the graduating student? expanding section

Business casual or formal dress is suggested.  It is highly recommended that ladies wear comfortable shoes as you will be walking in a procession and up and down stairs. 

Can I decorate my cap? expanding section

No. The University recommends against the decorating of caps.

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

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

What side of the cap is the tassel worn? expanding section

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.

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

There are no graduation honors for students earning Masters 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? expanding section

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)