Frequently Asked Questions

PNC Arena Policies

May 2018 Commencement assembly and seating map

Where do candidates and faculty line up?

Undergraduate, Master’s, Doctoral and DVM (Spring Commencement only) candidates can find information on their line-up procedures here. College signs will designate where the line-up begins for each college.

Faculty should line up behind the stage.

Where do Valedictorians line up?

Valedictorians will enter through the lower level delivery entrance and line up near the front of the processional lineup. A sign will designate where Valedictorians are to assemble.

What side of the mortarboard (cap) does my tassel go on?

Undergraduate candidates drape their tassel on the right side. Professional, Master’s and Doctoral candidates drape their tassel on the left side and do not move them during the exercises.

Where can I receive a commencement program?

Programs will be given to each candidate as they enter the arena and are available at the front entrance of the arena for guests.

Where do guests enter?

Guests should enter through the main entrance at the front of the arena.

Where is the family seating area?

Family and guest seating is located in all sections of the arena except where indicated. Families and guests may not be seated on the main floor as it is reserved for graduation candidates.

Where is the handicapped seating?

Handicapped seating is located as indicated throughout the arena. Please review the PNC Arena handicapped seating map courtesy of Ticketmaster. Handicapped seating beneath sections 108 and 130 is not available during graduation. Guests must enter on the main concourse level. There is no handicapped seating available on the floor level during graduation as the ground floor is reserved for graduation candidates.

Where are the restrooms for graduation candidates located?

Graduation candidates and assistants can find the restroom located in the breezeway just beyond the Green Room where the faculty line up. There is also a restroom for volunteers in the Green Room.

Where is the robing room for the platform party?

The robing room for the platform party is located in the Interview Lounge, Room 1307, ground level.

Where will departmental/college ceremonies be held?

Please see the list of departmental graduation ceremonies.

Do I have to register or sign up to attend the University commencement ceremony?

Doctoral candidates will be required to let the Graduate School know whether you plan to attend Commencement. Contact the Graduate School with any questions. Master’s and Bachelor’s candidates do not have to RSVP in any way.

Who walks across the stage at the University commencement ceremony?

Only Doctoral candidates will walk at the University commencement ceremony.

Do I need tickets for the University Commencement ceremony?

There are no tickets or limits for guests to attend the university ceremony at PNC Arena.

What time should my guests arrive?

Guests should plan to arrive no later than the start of the processional, which begins promptly at 9 a.m. Be advised that there will likely be a heavy flow of traffic into and out of the arena on graduation day and attendees should plan accordingly.

When will I receive my diploma?

Doctoral students will receive their diplomas at commencement. Diplomas for master’s and bachelor’s candidates will be mailed out no later than 30 days after the semester grades due deadline.

Do degree candidates have to line up in any order at graduation?

Doctoral students will be lined up alphabetically and will walk in and be seated directly with their faculty sponsors. Master’s students will be grouped together but not in any particular order. Bachelor’s candidates will line up and be seated with their major college, but not alphabetically. If students have majors in two different colleges, they can choose which to sit with.

How long should the University commencement ceremony last?

The ceremony should end no later than 11:30 a.m.

Will there be a recessional?

The recessional at the conclusion of the commencement exercise will only be for the platform party, faculty, and the Doctoral and DVM (Spring Commencement only) candidates.

Do you have to pay for parking on graduation day?

Parking is free of charge at PNC Arena for commencement. Parking permits are not required for most areas on campus after 5pm and on weekends. Parking is also free on Hillsborough Street on weekends and after 5pm Monday-Friday. During weekdays, visitors can pay to park in the Dan Allen Parking Deck, Centennial Parking Deck, or Reynolds Coliseum Parking Deck. Visit the university transportation website for a parking map and enforcement schedule.

Will the Commencement ceremony be live-streamed?

No, but it will filmed and made available on the Student Services Center YouTube channel shortly after commencement.

Will there be a way for me to pick up a Commencement program if I cannot attend the University ceremony?

Extra programs will be available to pick up in the Student Services Center in Harris Hall shortly after commencement.

What is the Chancellor’s Reception and when/where is it? Do I have to RSVP?

The Chancellor’s Reception is a casual event hosted by Chancellor Woodson that honors graduating students and their friends and families. Graduating students will receive an e-invitation with a request to RSVP in April for Spring commencement and in November for Fall graduation. The Spring 2018 Chancellor’s Reception will be held on Friday, May 11 at the Park Alumni Center.

I am graduating with multiple degrees and the times of my college/departmental ceremonies conflict with each other. Which one should I attend?

Students can choose which college/departmental ceremony to attend. Be sure to communicate with your major departments with any questions.