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2020 Commencement Day Graduate Guide


Download the Commencement Map of Activities

Graduate check-in:  4:00-5:30 p.m.

Students must enter through the southwest Legacy Gates on the west side of U.S. Bank Stadium.  There will be no admission at other gates.

Once inside, students will check in on the concourse level, and be escorted to field level to check-in (name cards and/or graduate hoods) and for line-up.  All participating graduates need to be checked in and ready to process by no later than 5:30 p.m.

Please be sure to allow adequate time for parking and to get through security when planning your arrival to the stadium.  

Student RSVP Ticket & Security Protocols

When you received your tickets, you should have received one ticket labeled “Student RSVP Ticket”.  You should print out this ticket and bring it with you on Commencement Day to gain admission to the stadium.   

We recommend that you look carefully at the stadium’s security policies, bag size limits and list of prohibited items to ensure your ability to quickly enter the facility.  Among other items, large bags such as backpacks, oversized purses, briefcases, etc., balloons and large signs will not be permitted inside the stadium.  Please plan accordingly so that you are able to proceed through security without issue.

Guest Arrival & Seating

Doors to the stadium for your family, friends and other guests will open at 4:30 p.m.  All guests will also be required to go through security screening as outlined on our website.  Please encourage them to plan accordingly to ensure smooth access to the space. Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and will be primarily located in the lower seating bowl on the west end of the stadium.  Ushers will be onsite to assist with locating appropriate seats and assisting with any accessibility needs that may exist.

Important Note about your Tickets:  Please be aware that EACH ticket you have has an individual bar code on it and will only work at a ticketing station one time.  If you inadvertently distribute the same ticket to two guests, only the guest who arrives first will work for admission.  Each ticket in your packet is individually numbered, so carefully identify who is receiving each of your tickets prior to distribution.

Accessibility Seating  

Guests with accessible seating needs (including ASL interpretation) should check in with staff located on the main concourse level at the top of section 140.  To ensure our ability to meet the needs of everyone needing accessible seating, those requiring accessible seating may be joined by one companion.

Getting to the Stadium

You are responsible for your own transportation. Please see the information below for more information.  

  • Parking
    There are several options for parking around U.S. Bank Stadium with over 20,000 parking spaces within a 20 minute or less walk. For parking details, visit
  • Public Transportation
    A variety of Metro Transit options are available for getting to U.S. Bank stadium including Metro Transit buses, light rail or the Northstar Line.  For complete details on public transportation options and schedules, visit the Metro Transit Information page for U.S. Bank Stadium.

Conferring of Degrees  

Following the student representative speech, candidates will be presented.  We expect this portion of the program to begin between 6:45pm-7:15pm and take one hour to one hour and 15 minutes to complete. 

Order of degree presentation:

  1. Doctoral
  2. Masters (in alphabetical order by program name)
  3. Undergraduate (AU/ROCH followed by Day students)

Marshals will signal your row to stand and walk up to the left side of the ramp.  Graduate program grads will be hooded right before proceeding up the ramp. At the top of the ramp, you will hand your namecard to the reader, continue to the Chair of the Board of Regents, Matt Entenza and then to President Pribbenow to receive your diploma cover (your diploma will be sent to you by mid-summer). Continue down the ramp. There will be photos taken of you as you receive your diploma cover and at a designated area in the back of the floor, which you will go to on the way back to your seat. Please follow the directions of the Marshals onsite as they will ensure you follow the appropriate path.

Academic Attire

Academic dress (caps and gowns) are worn for the Commencement ceremony.  Caps and gowns are purchased at the bookstore.

  • Gowns are worn closed without jewelry or flowers
  • Caps are worn with the mortarboard flat and parallel to the floor.  Tassels are worn to the right throughout the ceremony until you are instructed by the provost to turn it to the left side.
  • Honor Cords and other program stoles are worn around the neck.  If you did not receive your Honor Cords during Honors Convocation, they can be picked up after rehearsal today or on-site at the ceremony at Graduate Check-In

Graduate Program Hooding

Your hoods will be distributed to you at line-up.  Graduates will carry their hood into the ceremony and be hooded by your Program Director just prior to approaching the stage.  Members of the graduate program staff will be assisting as you line-up to ensure that you have your hood folded appropriately and on the correct arm.


Arrangements have been made with Grad Images to take your photo as you receive your degree.  Proofs and purchase information will be mailed to you after Commencement if we have accurate information for you on file or by visiting the Commencement website.  You are under no obligation to purchase.

Field Access

If you and your family would like to take photos on the field following the ceremony, the field will be open for 1 hour following the conclusion of the recessional.  To gain access to the field, guests should remain in their seats following the end of the ceremony and wait for announcements. Access will be made available 10 minutes following the end of the recessional.


Downloadable Guide