Graduate Commencement

A Message from President Satish K. Tripathi

Out of concern for the health and safety of our campus community, the University at Buffalo’s May 2020 commencement ceremonies will not take place as scheduled. Plans to reschedule graduation celebrations are currently being developed. We will update our graduates and our entire campus community as soon as possible.

While we know this is disappointing news to UB’s Class of 2020 as well their families, friends and our university community, this is a necessary decision given the unprecedented circumstances we face. As we look forward to celebrating our 2020 graduates in a manner befitting their accomplishments, I thank you for your continued patience and understanding.

Event Schedule

Date: Friday, May 15, 2020
Time: 1:00pm
Location: Center for the Arts

Coordinator: Danielle Lewis 
Contact: (716) 645-1457, 

Participation Policy

This ceremony is for College of Arts and Sciences master’s and doctoral students with degree conferral dates of September 2019, February 2020, and June 2020. Eligible candidates will receive initial notification via email in January 2020. An email confirmation will be sent out to registered candidates by the end of April. 

It is expected that students participating in graduate commencement will have completed all degree requirements. In extraordinary circumstances, students who have not yet completed all requirements may request – with agreement of their advisor – to participate in commencement by contacting the ceremony coordinator, Danielle Lewis. All written requests must be received prior to the registration deadline.

Caps and Gowns

Students are responsible for obtaining regalia. The University Bookstore, located on the North Campus, will handle all academic apparel orders. Visit the university's commencement website for info on caps/tams, gowns, hoods and tassels.

Master's and Doctoral Candidates

Master's: If you are graduating with a master's degree, you can buy your cap, gown, hood, and tassel at the University Bookstore. If you are living out-of-town and are unable to stop in, please contact the University Bookstore for information on how to order your regalia.
(Pricing for cap, gown, hood tassel: $99.50)

Doctoral: Students graduating with a doctoral degree can order their rented tam, gown, hood and tassel, online. You will need a tam (rather than a mortarboard cap); please be prepared to provide your head measurement when you place your order. 
(Rental for tam, gown, hood and tassel: $72.00)

January 14 - March 1

Place your order online. Orders placed during this time will be available for pick-up in the University Bookstore (N. Campus) beginning 4/15. Payment due at time of pick-up.
March 2 - March 28 Late fee of $20 applied to orders placed during this time. Orders placed during this time will be available for pick-up in the University Bookstore (N. Campus) beginning 5/06. Payment due at time of pick-up.
March 28 Last day to rent regalia online. If you miss this deadline, please contact the University Bookstore.
June 1 Regalia must be returned to the University Bookstore (N. Campus) by this date.

Commencement Photography

Grad Images is the contracted photography studio. Photography information will be included in an email notification to registered candidates in late April, and proofs will be mailed to each student about one week following the commencement ceremony. Please direct all post-ceremony inquiries to Grad Images. 

After commencement weekend, a video link will be posted online and you may watch a recording of the ceremony. 

Commencement Vendors

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do my guests need tickets to attend the ceremony?

A: No. Tickets are not required and there is no limit on the number of guests students may invite.

Q: Where should my guests park?

A: Guests are welcome to park in any of the public lots surrounding the Center for the Arts building. Passengers may be dropped off at the Center for the Arts main entrance. Please advise guests not to park in handicapped parking areas unless appropriate.

Q: Is the Center for the Arts – Mainstage Theatre handicapped accessible and/or is special handicapped seating provided?

A. Yes. Center for the Arts staff will be on site to help facilitate seating in the handicapped seating sections. Assistive listening devices are also available. For additional information, please refer to UB's Accessibility Services. Questions may also be directed to Center for the Arts staff at (716) 645-6259.

Q: Do I need to make prior requests for handicapped guest seating?

A: No. Once your guest arrives on site, any of the Center for the Arts staff can be asked to assist with seating.

Q: I am a participating candidate or faculty member with special needs (visually or physically impaired, etc.) What do I need to do?

A: Please notify the commencement contact person as early as possible to help facilitate the necessary arrangements. In most cases, questions and/or special requests can be directed to Center for the Arts staff at (716) 645-6259.

Q: Are baby strollers permitted?

A: Graduates and guests with small children may bring a baby stroller into the Center for the Arts. However, strollers are not allowed in the seats or aisles of the theater due to potential hazards in the event of an emergency. Strollers may be left in the entrance of the theater at your own risk; ushers inside the theater can direct you to appropriate parking areas for strollers. Please note that guests with children who are talking, crying, or moving around in a manner that is distracting to other guests or the ceremony may be asked to step outside of the theater.

Q: How long is the ceremony?

A: Approximately 90 minutes.

Q: Are all candidates announced during the ceremony?

A: Yes. Each candidate is announced as he/she crosses the stage. Doctoral candidates are also hooded and their dissertation titles are read while onstage.

Q: When will I receive my diploma?

A: The Office of the Registrar will mail your diploma to your PERMANENT ADDRESS approximately six weeks after the conferral date. Please note that students are responsible for submitting any address changes.

If you have additional questions, please review the Countdown to Commencement or contact David Lang at

Prohibited Items

Safety is our first priority. Students and guests will be greeted upon entry by security personnel who will conduct a speedy inspection of all bags, purses, and containers. You may also be asked to unfasten any outerwear. Due to these new security measures, please arrive a few minutes early.

Please note and alert your guests that the following items are strictly prohibited on the premises:

  • Large bags
  • Backpacks
  • Weapons
  • Alcohol
  • Illicit drugs and/or related paraphernalia
  • Signs/sticks
  • Flags
  • Banners
  • Balloons
  • Umbrellas (except the small, collapsible kind)