Frequently Asked Questions on Participating

109th Annual Commencement Exercises
Saturday, May 16, 2020
Stan Sheriff Center

9:00 a.m. Ceremony 3:30 p.m. Ceremony
  • Ceremony begins at 9:00 a.m.
  • Estimated End time: 11:30 a.m.
  • Students report at 8:00 a.m.
  • Speaker: TBA
  • Est. No. of Participants: 1200
  • Est. Length of Ceremony: 2.5 hours
  • Ceremony begins at 3:30 p.m.
  • Estimated End time: 6:00 p.m.
  • Students report at 2:30 p.m.
  • Speaker: TBA
  • Est. No. of Participants: 1200
  • Est. Length of Ceremony: 2.5 hours

An instructional video for students and guests is available at

Which ceremony am I in?
Who is eligible to participate?

Any prospective spring or summer graduate who has filed a degree application is eligible and encouraged to participate in the commencement ceremony.

Please consult with the student academic services office of your college/school for instructions on filing a petition to graduate – preferably prior to the semester you will be graduating. A degree check is usually performed to confirm if you are qualified to graduate.

How do I register to participate?

Register at by May 1, 2020 to participate in the ceremony. Please be advised that registering for the ceremony is not the same as filing a degree application.

You must register and have a cap and gown (and hood for advanced degree candidates) to participate.

How do I order my cap and gown?

You may purchase your cap and gown (and hood for advanced degree candidates) online via the Bookstore’s Website or visit the Bookstore between March 2, 2020 and May 16, 2020 to purchase your cap and gown in person. * Note: Purchase your regalia early. The Bookstore cannot guarantee the availability of all sizes, hood and tassel colors after May 4, 2020.

Prices: (*All subject to change)
Gown prices: Undergraduate $44.95, Master's $49.95, Doctoral $59.95 *. Note: Gowns requiring special sizing must be ordered by April 1, 2020. Special sizing orders after this date will be assessed a service charge for air freight.

***Please note that the undergraduate gowns are GREEN.

Hood prices: Master's $40.95, Doctoral $49.95 *.

Bookstore Hours:
Monday-Thursday, 7:45 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday, 7:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

For special and school break store hours, visit the website at For more information, call the Bookstore at 956-6884.

How do I register if I am off-island and without internet access?

Contact the Commencement Office at 956-GRAD or in writing to: Commencement Coordinator, 2500 Campus Road, Hawaiʻi Hall 209, Honolulu, HI 96822 to request a registration form. You may order your cap and gown by phone by calling (800) 842-6657. Place your order by April 11, 2020.

How do I order commencement announcements?

Personalized graduation announcements are available at the Bookstore. Minimum order: 25 cards. Regular price: $1.95 each (price subject to change). You may place your order online at the

How do I arrange for my name to be called at the ceremony?

When you register online, be sure to print your name card. After printing, please fold the sheet in half, and bring it with you to the ceremony. Please present the name card, to the name reader as you cross the stage.

How do I ensure that my honor society memberships are listed in the program?

Approximately three months before the ceremony, inform faculty advisers of the honor societies to which you belong that you are a candidate for graduation.

Do my family or I need tickets?

No tickets will be issued. All guests are welcome to the ceremonies on a first-come, first-seated basis. However, as a courtesy, graduates are asked to limit their guests to five (5) individuals. Gates will open at 7:45 a.m. for the 9:00 a.m. ceremony and at 2:15 p.m. for the 3:30 p.m. ceremony. ceremony and 2:15 for the 3:30 p.m. ceremony. We strongly recommend that guests arrive early, as the doors to the Stan Sheriff Center will be closed when the arena reaches maximum capacity.

Balloons, large signs, and strollers are not allowed into the arena for safety reasons.

What happens on the day of the ceremony?

All graduates meet at the Stan Sheriff Security Entrance by 8:00 a.m. for the 9:00 a.m. ceremony and 2:30 p.m. for the 3:30 p.m. ceremony Please be on time and bring your completed name card to the ceremony.

Wear your cap and gown (and hood for advanced degree candidates). Alteration of gowns is prohibited (i.e. shortening the length). Without a cap and gown, you cannot participate in the ceremony. Please refrain from decorating your caps with any items that may obstruct the view of your fellow candidates seated behind you. To preserve our newly renovated athletic fields, potentially damaging shoes (i.e. stiletto heels, metal cleats, etc) are prohibited. Please also pass this information on to your guests.

Can my family and friends take photographs?

The audience may take photographs and videos from their seats. A photographer will take individual photographs of students as they are recognized on stage. After commencement, you will receive an email message from the photographer with a link to view your proof online. If you do not wish to have your contact information forwarded to the photographer so that he can send the proof to you, please submit your request in writing by May 1, 2020 to the Commencement Coordinator, 2500 Campus Road, Hawaiʻi Hall 209, Honolulu, HI 96822.

Photographs will be available after the ceremony at

Will I receive my diploma in the ceremony?

Because semester records will not be available by the date of commencement, the conferring of degrees at the ceremonies is provisional, pending verification that degree requirements have been met.

Diplomas may be picked up approximately 10 weeks after the commencement ceremonies at the Office of the Registrar, Queen Liliʻuokalani Center for Student Services 010.

Students planning to leave Oʻahu before picking up their diplomas should report to the Office of the Registrar to complete a "Request to Mail Diploma." For diplomas mailed to foreign countries, check with the same office regarding postal costs. For more information on having your diploma mailed, please call 956-8010.

How can I get an extra copy of the printed program?

Programs containing a list of the graduates will be provided to graduates at their seats. For additional copies (while supplies last) after the ceremony, call (808) 956-3889 or email Guests will be given an abbreviated copy upon entering the arena.

What happens after the ceremony?

Meet your guests by the appropriate alphabetical sign at the Clarence T. C. Ching Field (A-K) and the Les Murakami Stadium Field (L-Z). You should consider meeting guests with physical disabilities at a location closer to the Stan Sheriff Center.

While giving lei is a Hawaiʻi tradition, we ask that you encourage family and friends attending the commencement to help with UH Mānoa's sustainability efforts by leaving the plastic clam shell containers at home or even consider using a reusable bag to help reduce the high volume of trash that takes up our garbage cans.

What about disability access information?

Persons with mobility needs will be able enter the arena without using the stairs as elevators are available both in the parking structure and in the athletics complex. As you enter the main entrance to the Stan Sheriff Center, you will arrive on the mezzanine level of the main concourse. The row of seats around the main concourse is reserved for persons with disabilities. Ushers will be available to assist you as needed. For information and referral, visit the Commencement Disability Access page or call 956-GRAD.

Are there any other instructions?

The commencement ceremony is a special rite of passage, honoring you and your fellow students who have all worked hard to reach this moment. Please honor your fellow graduates throughout the ceremony by treating them with respect and dignity.

For further information, contact the Commencement Coordinator at, or by phone at 956-GRAD. An instructional video for students and guests is available at