Commencement Ceremony Instructions


  • Graduates should arrive 30-45 minutes prior to the Commencement Ceremony and should enter at the rotunda on the east end of the Activity Center.
    • You do not need a ticket for yourself but you will need your White Walking Card.  If you did not receive a card or you have lost your card, you will need to CHECK IN when you arrive.
  • Guests should arrive early in order to find parking and be seated.
    • Please review the Commencement Map.
    • Guests should enter through the Visitor's Center/Bookstore.  Guests will not be allowed to enter through the Activity Center Rotunda.
  • A ticket is required for entrance into the Commencement Ceremony.
  • Children (12 months of age and under) who sit in a lap during the entire ceremony do not require a ticket.



  • The dress for the Commencement Ceremony is business casual.  Graduates are required to arrive wearing the approved Graduation Regalia.  Please review information regarding Honors Regalia.  No other embellishments will be allowed.
  • Place your tassel on the right side of your cap.  You will be instructed by the UT Dallas President during the ceremony regarding when to move it to the left side.
  • Graduates may bring bobby pins to secure their graduation cap.
  • Wearing the white collar with the gown is optional.
  • You will be going up and down steps as you cross the stage, therefore, please choose your shoes carefully.
  • Please leave all personal items, including purses, with guests as you will not be allowed to take anything with you to your seat.



  • Upon arrival, please line up according to the number printed in the corners of your White Walking Card.  If you do not stand under the correct number, you will walk across the stage under the incorrect degree.
  • As the ceremony begins, Graduation Marshals will lead graduates to their seats.  When you are directed to a row, take the next available seat and be seated immediately.  Do NOT leave empty seats.
  • After speeches and recognition of Honors, the Graduation Marshals will lead you to a staging area before you walk across the stage.
    • Take only your White Walking Card with you as you enter the staging area.
    • While in the stage area, Flash Photography will take your photograph.
    • When you approach the stage, your White Walking Card will be collected.
    • You will then walk across the stage, shake the hands with the UT Dallas President and Associate Dean of your school and receive a certificate (Doctoral graduates will receive their diplomas).
    • Step down from the stage and follow the Graduation Marshal back to your seat.
  • The Commencement Ceremonies typically last 1.5-2 hours.


  • All graduates and guests will be recessed out the north doors of the Activity Center to the center of campus for "Memories on the Mall", which includes photo opportunities and special gifts.
  • Graduates and guests WILL NOT be allowed access back in the Activity Center following the Commencement Ceremony.
  • All doctoral regalia, except the hoods, are to be returned to the UT Dallas Bookstore representative.


Updated: November 26, 2013