Sunday Ceremonies FAQ

There is an 11:00 a.m. ceremony and a 4:00 p.m. ceremony for CLA Undergraduate Commencement 2022 on Sunday, May 15 in 3M Arena at Mariucci.
You will be invited to a time based on the major of your primary bachelor’s degree. You must attend the ceremony time associated with your major.

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 Sunday, May 15, 2022 ceremonies 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.)

There is an 11:00 a.m. and a 4:00 p.m. ceremony. You must attend the ceremony time associated with your major -- no switching to the other ceremony can be accommodated. 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
American Studies
Bachelor of Individualized Studies
Biology, Society, and Environment
Computer Science
Earth Sciences
Economics-Quantitative Emphasis
Environmental Geosciences
Human Physiology
Individually Designed Interdepartmental
Political Science
Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Justice
Statistical Practice
Statistical Science
Urban Studies
4 p.m. Ceremony
American Indian Studies
Art History
Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Chicano-Latino Studies
Communication Studies
Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature
Developmental Psychology
French Studies
Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies
German, Scandinavian, Dutch
Global Studies
Italian Studies
Jewish Studies
Mass Communication
Music Education
Music Therapy
Ojibwe Language
Religious Studies
Spanish and Portuguese Studies
Spanish Studies
Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences
Strategic Communication: Advertising and Public Relations
Studies in Cinema and Media Culture
Technical Writing and Communication
Theatre Arts

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.

Safety guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health evolve, so check the COVID-19 Protocols for the 3M Arena at Mariucci and the University's Safe Campus website for the most up-to-date requirements.

Graduates are asked to limit their in-person guests to six people, because both Sunday 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 Sunday 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

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. 

To apply, email the following application materials to Melissa Grosso at by Monday, April 4.

  • A cover sheet with your name, major, and contact information, including your phone number and email address.
  • A draft of your speech. (There will be time to edit and make changes to your speech if you are the selected speaker.) When spoken, the speech should last no longer than 5 minutes, which is about 750 words. Your speech should reflect on your experiences at the University of Minnesota and in the College of Liberal Arts and address topics that you believe will resonate with your audience (fellow graduates and their guests).
  • Your current resume

RSVP to Commencement

Register as a participant in CLA Undergraduate Commencement by Monday, April 18.

If you have been invited to the 2022 undergraduate ceremony, you should be able to enter the registration site at

Follow the instructions to:

  • RSVP to the in-person ceremony
  • Upload a pronunciation guide for your name (optional)
  • Upload a photo of yourself for your virtual ceremony slide (optional)

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. 

All guests are encouraged to park in lots recommended on the 3M Arena at Mariucci webpage.

This is a printable map showing the entire East Bank campus, including parking areas. This is an online map for the 3M Arena at Mariucci and surrounding areas.

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 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 and are available for pre-order.

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 (link for 11 a.m. graduates; link for 4 p.m. graduates) prior to Commencement day. GradImages will contact you directly when the photo proofs are available to view. There is no obligation to purchase photos.

CLA Commencement Contact Info

For commencement-related questions not addressed here, email