Commencement Day

Ceremony instructions

When you receive your cap and gown, remove it from its packaging and hang it on a hanger. Steaming the garment will help to smooth out wrinkles.

Share the live broadcast link,, with any friends and family who cannot join in person so they can celebrate virtually.

If it is raining on Monday, May 6th, with no severe weather (lightning, high wind, etc.) the ceremony will proceed as planned. Ponchos will be available for all graduates. Please note that no umbrellas will be allowed in the guest seating area. Please have your guests plan accordingly.

If severe weather is expected, IU Ceremonies will make a decision to delay the ceremony. You will be notified of any changes to ceremony times after 8 pm Sunday evening via IU Notify, email, the website and social media.

In the unlikely event that commencement can’t be completed as scheduled on Monday, May 6th the following ceremonies will occur in Stem Hall in the Ogle Center according to the school the graduate will be receiving their degree. Double majors can decide which ceremony they would like to attend.

Tuesday, May 7

  • Arts & Letters – 6:30pm, graduates arrive by 5:30pm

Wednesday, May 8

  • Business – 4:30pm, graduates arrive by 3:30pm
  • Education & Nursing – 6:30pm, graduates arrive by 5:30pm

Thursday, May 9

  • Natural Sciences & Social Sciences - 4:30pm, graduates arrive by 3:30pm

More information will be shared about these ceremonies if a decision to cancel commencement on May 6th is made.

If you have questions please continue to visit this website for the latest information or email

We are excited to celebrate you and all that you have achieved!

  • Your gown
  • Your cap and tassel
  • Your stole of gratitude (if you are a bachelor’s graduate)
  • Your hood (if you are a master’s graduate)
  • Your honor cords (if applicable)

Do not bring in any bags or purses for security reasons. Please leave personal items with a friend or family member. The university cannot be responsible for items left in The Ogle Center’s Caesar Foundation of Floyd County Amphitheater. We also recommend you wear lightweight clothing under your gown and choose comfortable shoes. You may not wear anything over your cap and gown except honor cords and Honors Program medals.

Please check your IU email the morning of Commencement. This is how the university will communicate any necessary updates.

Graduates should arrive at The Ogle Center between 8:15 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. Before entering The Ogle Center, please give all your valuables and personal belongings to a family member or friend to hold.

Doors open for family and guests at 8 a.m., and general admission seating is available on a first come, first served basis.

Check in with your school/college/division to receive your name card. During the ceremony the top card should be handed to the photographer before you cross the stage. The bottom card should be handed to the reader on the stage to have your name announced.

Once everyone is lined up the processional will begin at 9:30* a.m. Please hold onto your name cards. *Note: The processional start time is approximate.

Each school will be led by its faculty marshal, who will direct graduates on where and when to be seated.

Graduates will be invited to the stage to have their names read and receive their diploma covers.

  • Diploma covers presented during the ceremony will not contain actual diplomas.
  • December graduates should have already received their diplomas.
  • Diplomas for May, June, and August graduates should be available approximately six weeks after you have been certified for graduation.
  • Spring and summer graduates will be notified via IU email by the registrar’s office when their diplomas have arrived.

Faculty marshals will lead graduates to the stage and offer instructions on how to cross the stage, and return to the seating area.

All graduates wear custom IU apparel, including a black gabardine gown with braided crimson piping and a cap adorned with the tassel from the school they’re graduating from.

Undergraduates receive and wear a crimson Stole of Gratitude embellished with the Indiana University seal. Master’s degree graduates receive and wear a velvet hood in a color representative of their academic discipline. There are satin accents in a chevron pattern draped down the back representing the university colors.

Tassels on the cap are worn on the right for those receiving their first degree and moved to the left after the degree conferral. Graduates who already have a degree wear their tassels on the left side.

Students graduating with Distinction, High Distinction, and Highest Distinction wear honor cords called fourragères pinned to the left shoulder of their gowns. Pin the honors cords halfway between the shoulder seam and the collar. The loop will drape over the outside of the sleeve with two cords hanging in front and two in the back of the sleeve. Your arm should not go through the loop.

Questions? Our Commencement team can help!

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