Skip to Main Content

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

113th Annual Commencement Exercises
Saturday, May 11, 2024
Stan Sheriff Center


An instructional video for students and guests is available at https://youtu.be/7z1067lE0DU


On this page


9:00 a.m. Ceremony

  • Ceremony begins at 9:00 a.m.
  • Estimated end time: 11:30 a.m.
  • Students report at 8:00 a.m.
  • Speaker: Kūhiō Lewis, CEO, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement
  • Estimated Number of Participants: 1100
  • Estimated Length of Ceremony: 2.5 hours

3:30 p.m. Ceremony

  • Ceremony begins at 3:30 p.m.
  • Estimated end time: 6:00 p.m.
  • Students report at 2:30 p.m.
  • Speaker: Kūhiō Lewis, CEO, Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement
  • Estimated Number of Participants: 1100
  • Estimated Length of Ceremony: 2.5 hours

Which ceremony am I in?

9:00 a.m. ceremony

  • College of Arts, Languages & Letters
  • College of Natural Sciences
  • College of Social Sciences
  • College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources
  • Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • School of Ocean & Earth Science & Technology

3:30 p.m. ceremony

  • College of Education
  • College of Engineering
  • John A. Burns School of Medicine
  • Thompson School of Social Work & Public Health
  • School of Architecture
  • Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing, including Department of Dental Hygiene
  • Shidler College of Business

Who is eligible to participate?

Any prospective summer or spring 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 on the commencement registration site by May 1, 2024, 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 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 April 1, 2024.

Prices

Gown Prices
Undergraduate $59.95, Master’s $74.95, Doctoral $90.95*. Note: Gowns requiring special sizing must be ordered by March 15, 2024. Special sizing orders after this date will be assessed a service charge for air freight.

Hood prices
Master’s $59.95, Doctoral $72.95*.

Tam
$50.95

*All prices subject to change

Bookstore Hours

Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

For more information, call the Bookstore at (808) 956-6884.

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

To request a registration form, contact the Commencement Office at (808) 956-GRAD or in writing at:

Commencement Coordinator
2500 Campus Road
Hawaiʻi Hall 209
Honolulu, HI 96822

You may order your cap and gown by phone (808) 956-6884. Place your order by March 15, 2024.

How do I order commencement announcements?

Personalized graduation announcements are available at the bookstore. Minimum order: 25 cards. You may place your order online at https://www.bookstore.hawaii.edu/manoa/

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 I get a stole or cord for graduating with cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude distinctions?

No, there are no stoles or cords issued for graduating with distinction. However, you will be asked to stand and be recognized during the ceremony, and it will be noted on your diploma and transcript.

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 consider limiting their guests to five (5) individuals. Gates will open at 7:45 a.m. for the 9:00 a.m. 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. The clear bag policy does not apply to UH Mānoa commencement exercises.

Guests can take photographs and videos from their seats only.

What happens on the day of 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.

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.

Infographic showing a detailed view of the Stan Sheriff Center loading dock area where the Doctorates, Masters, and Undergraduates will assemble prior to the ceremony

Signs will be posted along a rope originated from the loading dock gate entrance. Please check in with your school/college student marshal once you find your sign, then line up in double-file lines behind the appropriate sign for your degree and college (see Loading Dock map above). If you are uncertain where to line up, please refer to your name card. Friends who wish to sit side by side during the ceremony must line up one behind the other or they will be separated.

Traditionally, flower lei are not presented or worn until after the ceremony. No balloons are allowed into the Stan Sheriff Center.

Note: Large bags (purses, backpacks, etc.), placards or signage, beach balls, and pets (excluding service animals) will not be allowed on the arena floor. Plan to have your guests keep your personal belongings until after the ceremony. The clear bag policy does not apply to UH Mānoa commencement exercises.

Note to Parents and Pet Owners: Children (including infants) and pets (excluding service animals) will not be allowed to accompany graduates in the ceremony. Please plan to have your guests watch your children during the ceremony.

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, 2024, to the

Commencement Coordinator
2500 Campus Road
Hawaiʻi Hall 209
Honolulu, HI 96822.

Photographs will be available after the ceremony at on the PictureMan of Hawaiʻi site.

Will I receive my diploma in the ceremony?

The conferring of degrees at the ceremony is provisional and is contingent upon the successful verification that degree requirements have been met by the Office of the Registrar and your college/school. Diplomas will be mailed ten weeks after the end of the semester. Students are responsible for ensuring their mailing address is correct. Graduates who anticipate a change of address should verify/update their address in their myUH account. Graduates are also advised to continue checking their UH email address for updates and reminders regarding the mailing of diplomas. For further information, please visit the Office of the Registrar website.

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 graduate@hawaii.edu. Guests will be given an abbreviated copy upon entering the arena.

What happens after the ceremony?

Graduates will meet their guests by the appropriate alphabetical sign on the athletic fields:

  • A–K: Clarence T. C. Ching Complex
  • L–Z: Les Murakami Baseball Stadium

To preserve our newly renovated athletic fields, potentially damaging shoes (i.e., stiletto heels, metal cleats, etc.), streamers, and confetti are prohibited. Please also pass this information on to your guests.

Graduates and their guests will be asked to clear the fields by 12:30 p.m. for the 9:00 a.m. ceremony and 7:00 p.m. for the 3:30 p.m. ceremony.

We invite you to support our campus’ waste reduction efforts towards a zero-waste future by taking the following actions before you arrive on-campus:

  • Leave the plastic clamshell containers at home.
  • Carry your lei and makana (gifts) in reusable bags.
  • Make lei from plants growing in your garden instead of purchasing them from the store.

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 (808) 956-GRAD (4723).

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, email graduate@hawaii.edu, or by phone at (808) 956-GRAD (4723).