CLA Undergraduate Commencement
This webpage is about the undergraduate ceremony. Visit Arts, Sciences, and Engineering Graduate Student Commencement for info about the ceremony for CLA master’s and Ph.D. graduates.
CLA Undergraduate Commencement 2022
Note: The details in the following "Frequently Asked Questions" could evolve as pandemic conditions shift. Any updates will be communicated by U of M email to CLA’s expected 2022 graduates and posted here.
Planning for Commencement
CLA Undergraduate Commencement is held once each year (in May) for all fall, spring, and summer graduates.
During March 2022, you will receive an invitation via your U of M email account with RSVP instructions for the May 15, 2022 ceremony if:
- You graduated with a CLA degree in Summer 2021 or Fall 2021
- By the time the RSVP system opens in March, you have an Expected Graduation Term (EGT) in MyU of Spring 2022, May Term 2022, or Summer 2022. (See the One Stop Graduation webpage for how to apply for graduation.)
For this year only, recent CLA graduates who missed out on participating in their commencement ceremony in person because their virtual ceremony was in May 2020 or May 2021 will be invited to fully participate in an in-person ceremony to be held either May 14 or May 15, 2022. These graduates will receive an invitation via their U of M email account by March 2022.
There is an 11:00 a.m. and a 4:00 p.m. ceremony. You will be invited to a time based on your major for the primary bachelor’s degree you are earning:
11 a.m. Ceremony
African American and African Studies
Bachelor of Individualized Studies
Biology, Society, and Environment
Individually Designed Interdepartmental
Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Justice
4 p.m. Ceremony
American Indian Studies
Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature
Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies
German, Scandinavian, Dutch
Spanish and Portuguese Studies
Strategic Communication: Advertising and Public Relations
Studies in Cinema and Media Culture
Technical Writing and Communication
You must attend the ceremony time associated with your major. Please share your ceremony time with your family and guests so they are able to make the appropriate travel arrangements.
Yes, CLA is currently planning to host in-person undergraduate ceremonies at the 3M Arena at Mariucci on May 15. However, should circumstances change due to COVID-19 we will follow all guidelines from federal, state, and University health authorities for an event of this size, including changing it to a virtual ceremony if necessary.
Graduates are asked to limit their in-person guests to six people, because both ceremonies will fill to capacity. If seating becomes restricted due to COVID safety guidelines or higher than anticipated graduate participation, the number of guests per graduate may become further restricted.
All seating is general admission (first-come, first-served), and specific seats and/or consecutive seats are not guaranteed.
Please note that your ceremony will be broadcast live for remote viewing.
Yes, a link to the live webcast will be added prominently to this webpage on the day of the ceremony.
Typically, each ceremony takes between two and 2.5 hours. The ceremony includes a procession of faculty, students, regents, and other guests, a commencement address, and the presentation of degree candidates. All degree candidates cross the stage as their names are called
Although we don’t require graduates to wear regalia (a cap and gown), it is strongly encouraged. 99% of all CLA graduates do wear a cap and gown. You can buy a graduation cap and gown at UMN Bookstores, located in Coffman Union or online. The UMN Bookstores will host GradFest in March with graduation sales, services, and products.
Students who meet a specific GPA or Honors Program threshold may receive special recognition.
If, at the end of fall semester, you have a minimum GPA of 3.75, you’ll receive the “distinction” recognition. If your GPA is 3.9 or higher, you’ll receive “high distinction” recognition. Both distinctions receive a special cord to wear at commencement. You will receive an email from CLA Student Services with instructions for picking up your cord during late April/early May. If you are unable to pick it up in this timeframe, you will be able to pick it up the day of the ceremony at the Maturi Sports Pavilion. Please note you will only be issued one set of cords and it is your responsibility to wear it to the ceremony.
If you are in the University Honors Program (UHP) and will graduate with Latin honors, UHP will contact you with details about the medallion ceremony that is held prior to commencement.
The College of Liberal Arts will select one student speaker for each commencement ceremony. This is a unique opportunity for a graduate to take part in the program by addressing their fellow graduates. To qualify as the student speaker, you must be eligible to graduate, scheduled to complete your degree requirements by August 2022, and in good standing with the university.
Details for how to apply to be the student speaker will be emailed to your U of M email address, and the application deadline is typically in early April.
RSVP to Commencement
You must register as a participant in CLA Undergraduate Commencement 2022 to be recognized individually during the ceremony.
In March, students who are eligible to participate in the ceremony will receive commencement registration instructions via their U of M email account about how to RSVP to their ceremony by a specific deadline. (The information here will be updated as more details are confirmed.)
No, they are different processes. The application for degree is automatically done based on the Expected Graduation Term (EGT) noted in your MyU account. For this reason, it is very important that your EGT is correct. If your EGT is incorrect, please email your CLA Academic Advisor with your correct EGT so it can be updated.
In the best-case scenario, tickets will not be required and each graduate will be allowed up to six in-person guests. However, if seating becomes restricted due to COVID safety guidelines or higher than anticipated graduate participation, an electronic ticketing system may need to be put in place to limit the number of guests.
Arriving at the Ceremony
Graduates need to check in at the Maturi Sports Pavilion located across the street from Mariucci Arena on Fourth Street SE.
For the 11 a.m. ceremony, graduates need to check in between 9:30 and 10:15 a.m.
For the 4 p.m. ceremony, graduates need to check in between 2:30 and 3:15 p.m.
Graduates who completed their RSVP before the deadline will be able to line up in random order. (Graduates who registered late will need to line up as directed by the lead student marshal at check-in.) To sit with a friend, that person should be in front of or behind you in line.
Yes. Persons with accessibility needs can be dropped off at the ground-level entrance on the northeast corner of the 3M Arena at Mariucci (access to this area is located between 5th and Oak Streets). Parking is not allowed in the transitway, but drivers with state-issued disability permits may park in designated spaces in nearby parking facilities, such as Lot 37.
Once inside, there is an elevator to the seating level, with wheelchair seating areas and seats (top row) that do not require the use of stairs. The arena has adapted restrooms. Both ceremonies are live streamed and closed captioned on giant monitors in the arena.
If you have additional questions or if you would like to request an ASL interpreter, email firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks before the commencement ceremony.
Guests can arrive up to 75 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. (If they arrive earlier, the doors may be locked because we are prepping for the ceremony.)
Yes. For example, balloons are NOT allowed in the arena. (No exceptions, due to fire codes.)
Your guests are welcome to bring flowers, and flowers will also be available for purchase in the lobby of the arena.
See the 3M at Mariucci Arena Policies & General Procedures for prohibited items and the bag policy. There are no camera restrictions for commencement ceremonies (the camera policy only applies to sporting events).
No. If you must bring a purse, backpack, coat, or other personal items, please leave them with your guest(s) in the audience. You will not be able to leave anything behind at the Maturi Sports Pavilion where you check in.
During the Ceremony
Yes. During the RSVP process you will have the opportunity to record your name for professional readers to reference the pronunciation. At the ceremony, you will scan a printed or electronic name card just before you cross the stage, so your name can be announced.
No. Because the majority of students who attend commencement have not completed their degree requirements by the ceremony date, an empty diploma cover is handed to you as you cross the stage. This is standard practice at university graduation ceremonies.
Your diploma will be mailed to you 6 to 8 weeks after the commencement ceremony. It is up to you to make sure your diploma is mailed to the correct address. Your diploma will be mailed to the diploma address that appears in MyU: My Info.
By default, your diploma will be printed with your primary/legal name, the degree you earned, the confer date, and honors earned (if applicable). If you want to change the name on your diploma you can update your degree name. Your diploma lists only your degree. (Your major, minor and GPA are only listed on your official transcript, not on your diploma.)
Yes, we have made arrangements with GradImages to have a professional photographer take three pictures of each student: one as you wait to ascend the stage, one on stage with your diploma cover in hand, and one after you exit the stage.
Please pre-register with GradImages prior to the commencement ceremony. GradImages will contact you directly when the photo proofs are available to view. There is no obligation to purchase photos.
CLA Department Graduation Celebrations
Some of CLA's academic departments may host additional celebrations for their students. Details about these events will be sent to expected graduates directly from their academic department. For questions, consult the academic department contact list.
CLA Commencement Contact Info
For commencement-related questions not addressed here, email email@example.com.