Commencement Change Notice

Based on the Centers for Disease Control recommendations, we are postponing the May commencement ceremonies at all three campuses.

Please note that we are not canceling, but we are looking at alternatives to celebrating our seniors’ accomplishments.

"I remain firmly committed to being able to congratulate each and every senior."
Chancellor Dennis Shields.

Schedule of Events

Date Ceremony Guest Seating Begins College/School
Postponed 7 p.m. 6 p.m. School of Business
School of Graduate Studies (all degree programs)
Postponed 9 a.m. 8 a.m. College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture
(excluding School of Business)
  12: 30 p.m. 11:30 a.m. College of Liberal Arts and Education
Civil and Environmental Engineering majors
  4 p.m. 3 p.m. College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science
(excluding Civil and Environmental Engineering majors)

Commencement Eligibility

To participate in commencement, you must be a degree candidate and one of the following:

  • A recent graduate who did not participate in a prior ceremony
  • A degree candidate who expects to complete all degree requirements including internships or student teaching at the end of the current semester
  • A degree candidate who plans to complete requirements in the winterim or summer terms and wishes to participate in the May or December ceremony preceding or following completion of the degree.

Exceptions to these requirements are considered for extraordinary circumstances, and subject to space availability. Please see the Commencement Petition to Walk Early form for details regarding exceptions.

Participation in commencement without permission is considered academic misconduct and subject to disciplinary action.

Requests to attend an alternate ceremony should be directed to the Office of the Registrar at 608.342.1321.


Tickets are not required for commencement ceremonies. Seating is available on a first-come basis. Out of courtesy to all guests, degree candidates should limit their total guests to a maximum of six. If you have additional guests, please consider overflow seating or online streaming video as alternatives.

Special Needs Seating

Guest seating will be on the bleachers in the gymnasium. If you have a guest who has limited mobility or requires wheelchair viewing, please notify the Office of the Registrar no later two weeks prior to commencement by calling 608.342.1321.

Ceremony Broadcasts

The commencement ceremony will be broadcast online via streaming video. Access the live stream on the day of the ceremony from anywhere.

There will be overflow seating and guests are welcome to view the ceremony by video feed in the Markee Pioneer Student Center, 2nd floor.

Commencement Instructions

  • No practice will be held for commencement.
  • Please read the commencement instructions below regarding lining up for the ceremony.
  • The commencement stage will have ramps; however, if you feel that you may have difficulty crossing the stage, please call the Office of the Registrar and special arrangements will be made.
  • If you are concerned about your name pronunciation, please visit the Office of the Registrar table at Countdown to Commencement in the fall or spring prior to the ceremony. You may also contact the Office of the Registrar directly at least two weeks prior to the ceremony.
  • If you have any additional questions, please contact the Office of the Registrar at 608.342.1321.

Undergraduate Honors

Degree candidates who have a minimum grade point average of 3.50 or higher and 48 or more credits in residence prior to the term in which they intend to graduate will be recognized during the ceremony.

Undergraduate students whose cumulative grade point average is between 3.50 and 3.74 graduate Magna Cum Laude while undergraduate students whose cumulative grade point average is between 3.75 and 4.00 graduate Summa Cum Laude. Students walking early by petition will not have honors recognition.

Qualifying degree candidates may pick up an honor cord in the Registrar's Office the week before commencement. If you are unable to pick up your cord, it will be available in the line-up area. Graduation honors posted on transcripts will be calculated once all coursework is graded and degree requirements are completed.

Students, please make certain that you have taken care of the following:

  1. Master’s candidates need to pay a $50 graduation fee. Bachelor’s degree candidates were already assessed a $50 senior fee. The graduation or senior fee is not a commencement fee; it does not include cap and gown fees.
  2. Clear all financial obligations with the University including the library, housing, Business Office, Markee Pioneer Student Center, Textbook Center, NDLS/Perkins Loan Office and Financial Aid Office.
  3. Read the Commencement Apparel information. Caps, gowns and personalized announcements are ordered through the University Bookstore or during Countdown to Commencement. Orders for commencement attire are needed by the end of March or October for the respective semester ceremony to avoid a late fee. Specific deadlines will be provided at Countdown to Commencement. Tassels are also available for purchase. The University Bookstore is the official provider of graduation announcements and those may be purchased year-round. If you have any questions, contact the University Bookstore at 608.342.1486.
  4. Your application for graduation/intent to graduate form requested a mailing address for your diploma and a copy of your final transcript. During the commencement ceremony, each student will receive a diploma cover along with a congratulatory word from the Chancellor. Students will receive the original diploma within approximately 12 weeks of the close of the semester after a review of academic credentials is completed, and diplomas are ordered. If you need to change your diploma mailing address, please contact the Office of the Registrar at 608.342.1321.

Prior to Commencement

When you order your cap and gown, you will be provided dates for pick-up which is normally one to two weeks prior to the day of the commencement ceremony. Pick up your cap and gown at the University Bookstore in the Markee Pioneer Student Center. Check your tassel color in the apparel section. Students with majors from more than one discipline must choose which color tassel to wear at commencement. Master’s degree candidates should have a black tassel. Only one tassel may be worn.

Commencement Day

  • Please park in designated areas. If you park on city streets, please observe signs with parking restrictions.
  • All graduates should meet on the lower level of the Pioneer Activity Center (track level of Williams Fieldhouse). You should report to the check-in table to obtain your name card. KEEP THIS CARD: you need to hand it to the name reader on the stage during the ceremony. Line up will begin one hour prior to your designated ceremony.
  • After obtaining your name card, proceed to available tables to complete the reverse side. This information will be used by the photographer to send proofs. The Registrar or Associate Registrar will be available if you have concerns about your name pronunciation.
  • With the assistance of faculty or staff, arrange yourself with other graduates in alphabetic order within your college. Do not walk across the center of the track.
  • Master’s degree candidates should wear their tassel on the left side of their cap. The hood should be draped over the right arm. The hood will be placed on graduates on-stage during the ceremony. Undergraduates should wear their tassel on the right side of their cap. Tassels will be moved to the left during the ceremony when directed to do so.
  • Faculty leaders will lead you to the appropriate section in the gymnasium. The leaders will count the seats so please move in to completely fill each row.
  • Remain standing in place until all graduates have entered. The faculty leaders will motion for you to be seated before the faculty procession begins. It is customary to remove your caps during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.
  • When the dean calls your college, you will be directed to stand in unison. After some brief words, you will be directed to proceed to the stage in a single-file line.
  • Proceed up the ramp to the first turn. One person at a time may proceed from the turn to the top of the ramp and hand their card to the name reader. The next person should start walking to the top of the ramp as soon as the previous person reaches the name reader. As your name is read, walk across the stage. Your college dean and/or Provost Wilson will congratulate you at center stage. Proceed to Chancellor Shields to receive your diploma cover and shake his hand. Proceed down the ramp and have your photograph taken before returning to your seat.
  • After the ceremony, the stage party and faculty will proceed out of the gym, but graduates may remain and connect with their family and friends.
  • After greeting your guests, we ask your cooperation to promptly exit the gymnasium. There are three ceremonies held on Saturday and staff need to prepare for the incoming guests. You are invited to remain on campus either outdoors if weather permits or in the Markee Pioneer Student Center.


Commencement is the most preeminent event on campus. We know that you and your family are excited about your completion of your degree. While we expect people will celebrate this accomplishment, we ask that the celebration be respectful of others in attendance. Please do not allow your celebration to spoil the celebration of other guests and graduates.

Since the gymnasium is usually filled to capacity, we ask that you consider those around you, including children and the elderly. Even though artificial noisemakers are not allowed, you will still be able to enjoy the festivities respectfully and tastefully.

The university alcohol and drug advisory committee also reminds everyone in attendance that commencement is a “no use event.” If you are believed to be intoxicated, you will be asked to leave.

Remember, have fun, stay safe, and accept our congratulations on your upcoming life-changing achievement. Be proud that you will soon be a diploma-wielding Pioneer.

Commencement is a university ceremony which recognizes academic achievement. Academic apparel is required for the University of Wisconsin-Platteville graduation ceremony. Official attire is ordered through the University Bookstore. Academic attire from third party providers may vary in quality, style, and color.

At UW-Platteville, both undergraduate and graduate students wear black robes and black mortarboard caps. All undergraduate students wear a tassel with a color identifying their academic field of study.

Graduate students receiving a master’s degree wear a black tassel on the left side of the mortarboard. Undergraduates wear their tassels on the right side of the mortarboard. It is suggested that students choose shoes and other articles of visible apparel that will harmonize with their academic gowns.

Undergraduate Honors

Undergraduate students who have completed 48 or more credits at UW-Platteville and who have earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or higher wear gold honor cords. The honor cords are provided by the Office of the Registrar to eligible students.

International Study

Undergraduate international students may wear an international flag stole. This stole is white and features the flag of the student’s home country (right side) and the American flag (left side).

UW-Platteville undergraduate students who have spent a full semester in an academic program studying in an international location may wear an international sash. This sash features the colors of the flag of the international location where a student has studied. Eligible students purchase these sashes through the University Bookstore.

Student Organizations, Honor Organizations or Campus Programs

Students who have qualified for membership in registered student organizations, honor organizations, or campus programs, for example the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, during their studies at UW-Platteville may wear approved cords, stoles, sashes or pins. Gold cords are reserved for university honors and may not be used for other purposes.

Additional information, including an application form for organizations requesting approval for regalia, may be found in PioneerLink. Applications must be submitted no later than thirty days prior to commencement. A sub-committee appointed by the university commencement committee will review the request and the applicant will be notified of the decision.

Multiple Sashes and Stoles

Students may wear only one standard size stole or sash. If a student is eligible to wear both cords and a stole or sash, the student may wear both.

Master's Hood

During the UW-Platteville commencement ceremony, students earning master’s degrees are “hooded.” Master’s degree candidates carry their hoods over their right arms during the processional. The University does not provide the master’s hoods. Students should purchase the hood at the University Bookstore early in the semester in which they plan to graduate.

Tassel Colors

Brown - Fine Arts (Art & Theatre) Light Blue - Education Russet - Sustainable and Renewable Energy Systems
Crimson - Media Studies Maize - Agriculture (A.S. or B.S.); Biology; Reclamation, Environment and Conservation Sage - Physical Education
Drab (Tan) - Accounting, Applied Computer Science, Business Administration (A.S. or B.S.), Computer Science, Industrial Technology Management Navy - Criminal Justice and Forensic Investigation White - English, Foreign Language, History, International Studies, Mathematics, Political Science, Psychology, Social Science, Associate of Arts and Science
Gold - Chemistry, General Sciences, Geography, Physics Orange - Engineering Pink - Music
Royal - Philosophy Black - Master's programs  

Pre-register for your graduation ceremony photo and get 20% off. Receive a coupon for 20% off your entire order when you pre-register before graduation.

Image removed.

We suggest using Lots 26, 3, 3A, 4, 5, 6, 7, 7A, and 8. All of these lots are a short walk to the Markee Pioneer Student Center and the Pioneer Athletic Center. Lot 9 is handicap parking only and close to both locations. You can find all of these parking lots on the parking map.