Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility and Registration

> Am I required to attend Commencement?

Attendance at Commencement is not mandatory. All graduates are strongly encouraged to attend so that UK can recognize your achievement and your family and friends can share in your celebration.

> Who is eligible to participate in the May Commencement Ceremony?

All undergraduate and graduate degree candidates who received their degrees as of August 2013 or December 2013 and May 2014, are allowed to participate in the May 10, 2014 Commencement Ceremony. Some professional degree programs also participate in this ceremony and will receive information from their College.

Undergraduates: The last day for filing an application for a May 2014 undergraduate degree in your college dean's office is November 30, 2013. If you did not file your application for degree, please contact your academic advisor as soon as possible to file your paperwork. You may still participate in the Ceremony even if your paperwork was delayed.

Master's candidates need to complete the "Graduate Degree Application" in the MyUK portal (Click on Student Services / myRecords / Graduate Degree Application) by February 20, 2014. Students who fall into this category will have their name printed in the Commencement booklet. If you know you will not be able to finish by May, please notify Matt Patterson, mpatter@uky.edu, so your name can be removed from the program.

Doctoral candidates need to complete the "Graduate Degree Application" in the MyUK portal (Click on Student Services / myRecords / Graduate Degree Application) AND a "Notification of Intent to Schedule a Final Exam" online form by February 20, 2013. May 9th is the final date to be able to defend and still earn a May 2014 degree.

> Do I need to notify anyone that I am coming to Commencement?

If you are planning to attend the May Commencement Ceremony, please complete the online registration form at www.uky.edu/Commencement. This will allow us to have degree cards prepared for you.

> Is filling out the Application to Graduate form the same as registering for Commencement?

No. The Application to Graduate form does not serve as your reservation for the Commencement Ceremony. To reserve your spot, you must register via the Commencement website or at the Grad Salute event at the King Alumni House February 25 - 28 from 10 am to 6 pm.

 

Ceremony Specifics

> Do I need to check-in upon arrival at Rupp Arena?

All students MUST check in with their college at Rupp Arena.

Graduate Student Check-In will begin at 8:00 a.m. on the morning of May 10th.

Check-In for the first Undergraduate Ceremony will begin at 12:00 p.m. on May 10th. Checkin-In for the second Undergraduate Ceremony will begin at 5:00 p.m on May 10th.

> How long do the Commencement activities last?

The May Commencement Ceremonies are expected to run between 2.5 - 3 hours depending on the number of graduates who participate.

> Will my name be called?

Yes. Each graduate taking part in Commencement will have their name read aloud as they walk across the stage. In addition, the student's walk across the stage will appear on the video screen with their name and major at the bottom of the screen.

> Etiquette

In order to participate in the Commencement ceremony, graduates must be in academic apparel. During the reading of graduate names, we ask graduates and their guests to be considerate in their applause and celebration so that all names are heard clearly and the ceremony is not disrupted. Cell phones and other electronic devices will need to be turned off during the ceremony so as not to disrupt the event. We also ask that if you decide to register for the Commencement ceremony, you remain in your seat for the entire event. We know that the ceremony is long, but please afford every other student the same respect and honor you deserve.

> Is there a rehearsal? How will I know what to do when I arrive at the May Commencement Ceremony?

There is no rehearsal for the Commencement Ceremony. Instructions for the processional will be given at the time of check-in.

> When will I receive my diploma?

Diplomas will be mailed to degree recipients approximately 90 days after graduation. In order to ensure delivery of your diploma, please make sure you have updated your permanent mailing address on the MyUK portal. If you do not receive the diploma after 90 days, please contact the Registrar's Office at 859-257-3161.

> Where may I find more information about Commencement Honors, such as Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Cum Laude?

These terms are defined in Section 5.4.2 of the University Senate Rules. These terms are also explained in the Student Rights & Responsibilities Handbook, Part II in Section 5.4.2 (Commencement Honors) at www.uky.edu/StudentAffairs/Code/part2.html. Please note that these honors apply to undergraduates only.

> Will the May Commencement Ceremony be available to watch online?

If you are unable to attend in person, you can still share this special moment by viewing the live stream at www.uky.edu/uknow. Live coverage will begin at 8:45 for the Graduate Ceremony, 12:45pm for the afternoon Undergraduate Ceremony and at 5:45 pm for the evening Undergraduate Ceremony. The webcast will be archived on www.uky.edu/uknow and available for viewing there and on YouTube about a week after Commencement.

> What is #UKGrad?

#UKGrad is a hash tag that is used through www.twitter.com to collect all tweets regarding UK's Commencement ceremonies. To follow the University of Kentucky's official Twitter account, visit: www.twitter.com/UniversityofKy. Search #UKGrad to find all UK Commencement-related tweets.

> Are signs, posters, and banners permitted at Commencement activities?

In the interest of safety and concern for everyone's ability to view your Commencement activities, banners, signs and poster boards are prohibited in Rupp Arena during all Commencement activities.

> Are alcoholic beverages permitted at Commencement activities?

Alcohol is prohibited at all public Commencement activities in Rupp Arena.

 

Academic Apparel

> Must I wear a cap and gown?

Participation in the commencement activities requires that you wear appropriate academic attire, the traditional cap and gown. Caps and gowns may be purchased at the University Book Store in the Student Center.

> How can I order my cap and gown for the ceremony?

Caps and gowns can be ordered at the University Book Store in the Student Center or at the Grad Salute event held at the King Alumni House February 25 - 28 from 10 am-6pm. While there are a variety of commencement-related services and products available at this event, you will only be required to purchase the cap and gown to participate in the Commencement ceremony.

> On which side of my mortarboard do I wear my tassel prior to receiving my degree?

Before undergraduate degree candidates receive their degrees, the tassel is worn on the right side of the mortarboard; after conferral of the degree, the tassel is moved to the left side.

> If I am a Master's or Doctoral degree candidate, is it correct to wear my tassel on the left?

Yes, Master's and Doctoral degree candidates may correctly march in the processional with their tassels on the left, signifying their previous degree or degrees.

 

Accessibility

> Is the May Commencement Ceremony accessible?

The quickest way to access seating for individuals needing special assistance or accommodations is through the High Street entrance of Rupp Arena.

For attendees in need of assistive devices such as wheelchairs and walkers, it is suggested that personal assistive devices are brought to the ceremony/recognitions from home or arrangements made with local leasing services.

> What if I have an accessibility issue or need additional assistance at Commencement?

Students requiring additional assistance should contact the commencement assistant Shea Henningshea.henning@uky.edu.

> What accommodation has been made for my relative who is hearing impaired?

A sign language interpreter for the hearing impaired will be present during the ceremony.

> Will there be accessible parking?

TThere are multiple spots around Rupp Arena that are identified as handicapped accessible. These spots can be found in the parking lots surrounding the Arena. For a parking map of the area, please click here. We are expecting a large number of guests for all ceremonies, so please allow for plenty of time to park and find seating in Rupp Arena.

> Will I be able to drop off members of my party?

Yes. If a member of your party is unable to walk the distance from your parking spot Rupp Arena offers a drop-off and pick-up area on High Street/South Side of Rupp Arena.

 

Family/Travel

> Where may my family and I park?

There are more than 10,000 parking spaces available within a 10-minute walk of Rupp Arena. All surrounding parking lots and garages offer spaces for guests with disabilities. .

> At what time will my family be able to enter Rupp Arena for the May Commencement ceremony?

For the Graduate and Professional Commencement Ceremony at 9:00 a.m., the doors to Rupp Arena will open at 8:00 a.m. For the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony at 1:00 p.m., the doors to Rupp Arena will open at 12: 00 p.m. For the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony at 6:00 p.m., the doors to Rupp Arena will open at 5:00 p.m.

> What if there is inclement weather?

In the event of inclement weather, please monitor the Commencement website, www.uky.edu/Commencement or the UK Commencement Twitter feed at #UKGrad. We encourage all Commencement visitors to allow for plenty of time for travel, parking, and getting to the Arena for Commencement activities. In the event of inclement weather, Commencement check-in will be moved inside to Heritage Hall, which is next to the Loading Dock area.

> Is there a list of hotels or other area accommodations?

The Lexington Chamber of Commerce (859) 254-4447 and/or the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau 1-800-845-3959 or (859) 233-1221 can provide a list of lodging and housing.

> Is there any way for my family to know where I will be seated?

A diagram of the seating arrangements for the graduating candidates can be found in the Commencement Program. The diagram shows where the graduates of each college will be seated. For your family to sit nearest to you, they should review the diagram and sit on the appropriate side of Rupp Arena. Copies of the Commencement Program will be available on Commencement Day as your family enters Rupp Arena.

> Does my family need tickets, and how many family members may attend?

Tickets are not needed for the May Commencement Ceremonies. There is adequate seating in Rupp for all guests.

> What is the quickest way to access seating in Rupp Arena?

The quickest way to get to your seats in Rupp Arena is through the front entrances on High Street. Other entrances can be found on the Vine Street side of the Lexington Convention Center, but are less direct..

 

Photographs

> Will I have my photograph taken by an official, professional photographer at the commencement ceremony?

Yes, Grad Images will be photographing each graduate as s/he crosses the stage at the ceremony. There is a no obligation to purchase any photographs. You will have the opportunity to order prints after you have seen your proofs.

> How will I receive the proofs of my commencement photograph?

You will receive your proofs via email and direct (U.S. Post Office) mail and via text message. You will be asked to provide your permanent mailing address and a .com e-mail address when you register for the ceremony. Additionally you will be asked to provide your cell phone number so proofs can be sent to your phone.

> When should I expect to receive my commencement ceremony photo proofs?

Proofs are normally emailed to graduates within a week of Commencement. Proofs are direct-mailed to the street address provided within two weeks of Commencement, if you do not place an order via the Internet.

> Who should I contact with any questions concerning my commencement ceremony photos?

You can email Grad Images by visiting their their website, or call toll free at 800.261.2576.

> Is there anywhere for us to share our photos of Commencement?

All graduates, family and friends can submit their Commencement-related photos by submitting them to UK's official Flickr account at www.flickr.com/photos/universityofkentucky or UK's official Facebook Fan Page at www.facebook.com/UniversityofKy.