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Instructions for Candidates

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

All participating graduates must register by May 1, 2024.

An instructional video for students and guests is available at

On this page


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

9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (estimated time) – Stan Sheriff Center

Candidates arrive by 8:00 a.m. to Stan Sheriff Center loading dock area (please see map below).

3:30 p.m. ceremony

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

3:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (estimated time) – Stan Sheriff Center

Candidates arrive by 2:30 p.m. to Stan Sheriff Center loading dock area (please see map below).

Upon arrival, candidates should check in with the student marshal standing near the school/college sign.

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


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 at 2:15 p.m. 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, signs, confetti, 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.


Plan to arrive early, as considerable congestion surrounding the campus is expected. Campus parking for guests is free but limited on graduation day. Carpooling is strongly encouraged. Please check the UH Commencement Transportation webpage for more information.

Graduates and participants should anticipate heavy traffic and plan accordingly for ample time to get to their designated staging area. Vehicle access around this staging area will be restricted and passenger drop off will not be allowed in this area.

For concerns of safety, please do not drop off passengers in the middle of the road or along areas with heavy traffic.

It is recommended that ADA passengers, be dropped off on the third floor of the Diamond Head side of the lower campus parking structure. From the third floor, a ramp leads directly to the main entrance (for guests) of the Stan Sheriff Center. Graduates should proceed to the loading dock area behind the Stan Sheriff Center.

The road leading from the Waiʻalae gate entrance to the Stan Sheriff Center will be closed before and during the ceremony. The area near the ROTC buildings is reserved.

For disability access information for your guests, please see our Disability Information page.

Prior to Commencement

All participating graduates must register by May 1, 2024.

PhD students: Prior to registering, please notify your sponsor that you will be participating in the ceremony. Your sponsor is responsible for hooding you in the commencement ceremony. You must select a sponsor who will attend the commencement ceremony with you. The sponsor is normally the chairperson of your committee. If s/he is not available to attend, a member of your committee should be selected. If no one from your committee is available, please contact the Commencement Office at

Print your Name Card page by logging into the commencement online registration system. Print and bring the name card to the ceremony. Include pronunciation hints, if necessary, for the name reader.

All candidates must have a cap and gown (and hood for advanced degrees – see below) in order to participate. Alteration of gowns is prohibited (i.e., shortening the length). We ask that you refrain from decorating your cap with items that will obstruct the view of your fellow candidates.

Advanced degree candidates: In addition to your cap and gown,please obtain the appropriate hood in advance from the UH Mānoa Bookstore.

  • Master’s, LLM, SJD, DArch, DNP, EdD, JD, MD and SJD candidates are to wear your hoods to the ceremony.
  • For PhDs only: You will carry your hoods. Your sponsor will hood you on stage. Dissertation titles will also be read aloud during the ceremony.

Demonstration videos from Herff Jones on how to wear the cap and gown are available:

We strongly recommend participants view it before commencement day.

Day of Commencement

Caps should be worn at all times. The cap should be worn squarely on the top of the head. The front of the cap, which has the shorter point, should be centered directly over your nose. Tassels on your caps should hang on the right of your cap until after the symbolic conferring of degrees. Advanced Degree Candidates – Tassels on your caps should hang on the left of your cap.

Assemble at the Stan Sheriff Center 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. 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.

Candidates needing disability accommodations are required to contact the KOKUA program at (808) 956-7511.


The student procession into the arena will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. for the morning ceremony and at 3:00 p.m. for the afternoon ceremony under the direction of your faculty marshals. All graduates will be seated facing the stage. Refer to floor map for additional seating details.

Floor Map for Annual Commencement Exercises

**Subject to change. Layout will vary depending on number of graduates registered to participate.


All candidates except PhD: The faculty marshal will ask you to rise when your school/college and degree are called. Follow your school/college student marshal single file up to the side of the stage. You will take your first photograph on the arena floor before going on stage. The second photograph will be taken on stage. Present your printed Name Card to the name reader (ensure that it is folded in half) as you cross the stage. As your name is read, move to stage center to receive diploma scroll and congratulations, exit the stage and return to your original seat. Remain standing until you are instructed to be seated by the faculty marshal.

PhD Candidates
You and your sponsor will be led, single file, to either side of the stage. Name reading and hooding will take place alternately on stage right and stage left. Present your printed Name Card to the name reader (ensure that it is folded in half), and stand on the place-marking in front of the podium. You will be hooded by your sponsor and the faculty marshal as the name reader reads your name and dissertation title. Your first photograph will be taken here. You will proceed to the center of the stage, shake hands with the President/Provost, receive your diploma scroll, and take a second photograph with the President/Provost. You and your sponsor will return to your seats on the arena floor via the center ramp. Please remain standing in front of your original seats until the faculty marshal instructs the entire row to be seated.

When all candidates have returned to their original seats, the President will direct you to shift your tassels to the left as a symbol of graduation and then instruct you to be seated.

Please honor your fellow candidates, who have also worked hard for this moment, by treating them with dignity and respect.

After the Ceremony

Meet your guests by the appropriate alphabetical sign on the following fields:

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

Guests with special needs may want to consider meeting graduates 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 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.

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.

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.


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 are not distributed at the ceremony. Instead, diplomas will be mailed to the mailing address on record ten weeks after the end of the semester. 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.


Audience members can take photographs from their seats only. A photographer will take a photograph of you receiving your diploma. After commencement, you will receive an email message from the photographer with a link to view your proof online at

You may order additional photographs at that time.

If you do not wish to have your contact information forwarded to the photographer, please submit your request in writing by May 1, 2024, to

ATTN: Commencement 2024
2500 Campus Road
Hawaiʻi Hall 209
Honolulu, HI 96822

For further information, email, or by phone at (808) 956-GRAD (4723).