Mid-year graduation ceremonies happen in less than a month, which means it is time to start preparing! Here are some things you should do before your graduation so that you are not scrambling at the last minute. As a December graduate myself, I will be following my advice. 

Collect your graduation cap and gown. You can pick up these items for free at the university bookstore until Nov. 30, and you must bring your student ID. 

If you are graduating with academic distinctions, you can also buy a set of cords for $17. If you are a member of the Honors College or other organizations, check with your faculty advisors about getting honor cords and graduation stoles, as they are not available for purchase at the bookstore.

Reserve your guest E-tickets. You can invite up to six people to your graduation this year. Register your account with the Charlotte Athletics Student Tickets page and reserve the tickets by the priority deadline on Nov. 29 at 5:00 p.m. You will be notified by Dec. 2 if any extra tickets are available. Once you get your tickets, you should get an email confirmation and a separate email for your mobile tickets. 

If you opted for the Print-at-Home option, you need to print your tickets and have your guests present the physical tickets on the day of the ceremony. If you opted for the Mobile option, you should access your tickets, then download and save them to your Apple Wallet or Google Pay. Send the digital tickets to your guests and have them ready to scan before entering the arena. 

Plan your outfit and any decorations. Now you can worry about what to wear with your cap and gown. The University does not have a dress code for the ceremony, but it is customary to wear formal attire. You are also allowed to decorate your cap. I will be decorating mine, though I do not know what kind of design I want yet. 

Get to campus 90 minutes before your ceremony starts. You will need to check-in at the outdoor tented area between the Cato College of Education building and the Barnhardt Student Activity Center to pick up your name card. You will line up with other graduating students in the practice gym, and you must have a UNC Charlotte ID or a photo ID and your UNC Charlotte ID number to participate. 

Luckily, the campus parking situation will be relaxed for the most part. All UNC Charlotte parking lots and decks will be open for commencement, and parking will be free for everyone. There will be parking attendants and police officers stationed around campus to help direct traffic, so you can travel separately from your guests to check in on time.

The doors open 90 minutes before each ceremony. All guests will need a ticket to enter the Dale F. Halton Arena, whether they arrive altogether or not. There are no designated accessible seating tickets, so arriving early is recommended. Closed captioning will be provided, and Section 132 has limited seating for individuals with vision impairments plus one accompanying person.

The following includes the dates and times for each ceremony, as listed on the commencement website

 

  • Friday, Dec. 17, 2:00 p.m.
    • The Graduate School (Doctoral, Master's and Graduate Certificates for all programs)
  • Saturday, Dec. 18, 10:00 a.m. (Bachelor's)
    • College of Arts + Architecture
    • Cato College of Education
    • College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Saturday, Dec. 18, 3:00 p.m. (Bachelor's)
    • Belk College of Business
    • College of Computing & Informatics
    • ​The William States Lee College of Engineering
    • College of Health & Human Services

Note: Masks will be required for all graduates and guests. 

Graduate. The name card that you receive when you check-in has a unique barcode on it. The barcode will be scanned when you walk across the stage, and your name will be displayed on the jumbotron and announced. You should have already recorded your name through MarchingOrder to assist with pronunciation. Do not panic if you have not done this step—your name will still be announced. 

Get your diploma. Make sure there are no financial holds on your NinerNET account. Your diploma should be mailed six to eight weeks after the commencement ceremony, which is sometime between Jan. 29 and Feb. 12. If you do not receive your diploma after this time frame, email Niner Central at ninercentral@uncc.edu

Take your senior pictures. You can do this step before or after commencement, depending on your schedule and personal preference. Here are a few scenic locations on campus you might consider:

 

  • Belk Plaza
  • Student Union overlook 
  • The UNC Charlotte sign by North Tryon
  • The top-level of a parking deck at sunset
  • Academic buildings that hold some significance to you 

Congratulations to all December 2021 graduates! I see you, and I am with you. Good luck next semester to all May 2022 graduates. You are almost to the finish line!

For any further questions about graduation, contact commencement@uncc.edu.

halton arena photo

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