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Applying to graduate

When is my graduation application due?

Bachelor's candidates

Undergraduate students must apply for graduation with an academic advisor. Once their application has been completed and received by the Registrar’s Office, undergraduate students are then eligible to complete the Commencement registration form. In order to access the online Commencement registration, spring and summer graduation applications must be completed by April 17, 2020.

Master’s candidates

Graduate students must contact their graduate program advisor by April 17, 2020 to have their name listed in the Commencement program. All graduate students must complete the Commencement registration form so that you can order apparel even if only participating in your department's hooding ceremony.

Does completing my graduation application automatically register me to participate in Commencement (or vice versa)?

No. Applying to graduate and registering to participate in Commencement are two separate steps. You must apply to graduate first and then register for Commencement. Commencement registration is open in May.

Am I eligible to participate in Commencement?

All undergraduate and graduate students who earned a degree in autumn 2019 or winter 2020, or an undergraduate who has applied to graduate with an academic advisor for spring 2020 or summer 2020 by the deadlines are eligible. Graduate students must contact their graduate program advisor for eligibility. You will then be eligible to register for Commencement when it opens online in May.

Commencement ceremony

Is there a difference between graduation and Commencement?

Yes. Graduation is the final confirmation that you have completed all degree requirements. Commencement is the ceremony to celebrate your graduation.

When is the Commencement ceremony?

Saturday, June 13, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.

Can I participate in both the 2020 virtual Commencement and the 2021 in-person Commencement ceremony?

Absolutely! We hope to see as many members of the Class of 2020 back in June 2021. 

How do I find out details about the 2021 in-person ceremony?

There are several options to stay connected and learn details about the 2021 in-person ceremony: check back on the Commencement website for details, complete the ASUWT survey asking for feedback about the 2021 ceremony and include your personal email address, forward your UW email address to your personal email address before it runs out or click on the "sign up for email updates" link on the Commencement website and share your personal email address.  

What will special recognition look like in the 2021 in-person ceremony?

All Class of 2020 graduates will have the opportunity to cross the stage, shake the Chancellor's hand and receive their diploma cover.

How long does the ceremony last?

The ceremony will last approximately two to three hours.

Is there a fee for Commencement?

Participation in the ceremony is free for all students and guests. Because this year's ceremony is virtual, purchasing a cap and gown is optional. Registration is still required but there are no required purchases to participate this year.

I'm eligible for an honor cord. How can I get one?

You can purchase an honor cord while purchasing other regalia after registering to participate in Commencement.

Diplomas, diploma Covers and programs

Will I receive my diploma at Commencement?

No. Diplomas are mailed approximately 12 - 16 weeks after the end of the quarter.

How do I update my address for my diploma?

Login to MyUW to change your mailing address. Your diploma will be sent to the mailing address we have on file for you at the time you are cleared for graduation.

How will I know if I’m listed in the virtual program?

The Commencement program lists the names of graduates from autumn 2019 through summer 2020. Note: Spring and summer 2020 bachelor's degree candidates must have their application to graduate submitted and received by the April 17, 2020 deadline in order to have their names listed. Master's and doctoral degree candidates must contact their graduate program advisor by April 17, 2020 in order to have their names listed.

Can I change how my name is listed on my diploma or in the program?

Your diploma and the program will both use your full name as listed in your student record. Contact the Registrar's Office no later than May 3 via their name management website if you wish to change this.

If I am not planning on returning for the 2021 in-person ceremony how do I get my diploma cover?

In the coming weeks ASUWT will release a survey to ask for your input about the 2021 in-person ceremony.  In this survey you will have an opportunity to let us know you are not planning to return and provide us with your mailing address for after Commencement this year so we can mail you your diploma cover.  Once the survey is open we will add a link to it here. 

Cap and gown

How do I order my cap and gown?

You can order your cap and gown online when you register for Commencement. Registration opens April 29, 2020. Ordering a cap and gown is not required for participation this year.

How do I know what size cap and gown I need?

The caps are "one size fits all." The gowns are sized based on your height and weight.

Is there a charge for my cap and gown?

Yes. See the Apparel page for details.

Do I have to order from the university's supplier?

Yes. The gowns have the University's seal on them.

When and where do I pick up my cap and gown?

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, caps and gowns will be mailed to the address your provide during registration at no extra charge.

Do I need to return my cap and gown?

No. Your regalia is yours to keep.

Do I wear my hood during the ceremony? (Master’s  and Doctoral students only)

Yes, if you purchased regalia.  Regalia is optional for the 2020 Virtual Commencement ceremony.


Can I come to campus to take photographs for Commencement?

As we continue to combat the spread of COVID-19 and honor Gov. Jay Inslee's statewide stay-at-home order, which has been extended through May 31, 2020, UW Tacoma is asking people to avoid coming to campus this year for Commencement-related photography.

While Washington is in Phase 1 of our state's four-phase approach to resuming activity, we especially want to avoid having gatherings of people at iconic campus locations such as the steel W at the top of the Grand Staircase.

We do encourage you to get outside and take graduation photos while following social distancing and prevention guidelines. You can share your photos with the world by using the hashtag #UWTgrad in Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. We will be featuring #UWTgrad tagged photos during the 2020 virtual Commencement ceremony.

Is there a social media hashtag for Commencement?

We encourage you to use #UWTgrad in Instagram, Twitter or Facebook when posting about Commencement. We will be featuring #UWTgrad tagged posts during the ceremony.

Will the Commencement ceremony be recorded for later viewing?

Yes, Commencement will be recorded and can be viewed through the Commencement website after the ceremony is over.

Where can I get announcements, a class ring, a diploma frame, or other commemorative items?


Other questions? Please contact tcommenc@uw.edu