Candidate Instructions

Join us during Commencement Weekend as we celebrate and recognize the academic achievements of the Class of 2013 in Coleman Coliseum. The information found in this commencement bulletin will assist you and your guests as you make plans to participate in the weekend's celebration events.

We look forward to celebrating the weekend with you!


CAPS, GOWNS, HOODS, AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

Official Academic regalia may be purchased from the University Supply Store located in the Ferguson Center or online here. Supply Store hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Caps and gowns for undergraduates and graduates are available for immediate purchase in the Supply Store during normal business hours. Doctoral candidates wishing to purchase academic regalia should contact the Supply Store for information. For information concerning class rings, ring ceremony, and other graduation supplies visit the Supply Store web site, www.universitysupplystore.com. Inquiries may be made by calling telephone numbers 1.800.825.6802 or 205.348.6168. Orders for announcements and invitations may be placed at the Supply Store.

Full academic regalia is required for degree candidate participation in University of Alabama graduation ceremonies. Regalia for all master and educational specialist candidates must include a hood representing the appropriate area of study. It is the responsibility of the degree candidate to secure academic regalia prior to the graduation ceremony and bring all regalia items with you to the Coliseum.

It is encouraged that Regalia be purchased at the University Supply Store to ensure correct college/school regalia. The priority deadlines for renting or purchasing regalia can be found on our Graduation Calendar here.   In order to ensure correct sizing, please order all regalia by this date.  After this date, additional fees may be assessed.  

Doctoral level degree candidates may return doctoral regalia immediately after the ceremony. University Supply Store representatives will be located in the east lobby of Coleman Coliseum for a brief period. Graduates should look for directional signs. If the Coleman Coliseum regalia return opportunity is missed, graduate level degree candidates must return their regalia directly to the Supply Store in the Ferguson Center.

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COMMENCEMENT DAY INSTRUCTIONS

Degree candidates, their families and guests will recognize academic accomplishments and celebrate the institution's Commencement Ceremony in Coleman Coliseum.

Family members and guests will enter the Coliseum through the north and east lobby entrances. Family and guests should plan their arrival time so they may be seated at least 45 minutes prior to the published start time of the ceremony. The candidate processional begins approximately 20-25 minutes prior to the announced starting times of the ceremonies.

Candidate Report Times:

All students participating in the commencement ceremonies need to report to the Crisp Indoor Practice Facility which is located directly to the West of Coleman Coliseum.  All students should report 90 minutes prior to the published start time of their ceremony. Please consult the Commencement Map page for additional information. Information assistants will be located in the practice facility and on the arena floor to assist you before and during the ceremony.

College and/or school marshals will meet candidates at the assembly locations and direct candidate movement throughout the ceremony concluding with the recessional. Candidates will follow their college marshal to the appropriate seating on the arena floor or in the stands. You should remain standing until all candidates have processed to their seat and the Platform Party has reached their place on the stage.

A formal academic processional that includes all candidates and members of the faculty mark the start of the commencement ceremony. All degree candidates must wear approved academic regalia. Official Academic regalia should be purchased from the University Supply Store prior to the day of the ceremony. The deadline for renting or purchasing Doctoral regalia can be found on the Graduation Calendar.   To ensure that your size is available, Bachelors or Masters regalia should also be purchased by the deadline shown on the Graduation Calendar.

Ceremonial Medallion and Reader Card:

The Reader Card provides your name to the announcer for individual recognition as you walk across the stage. Candidates receive their card at the time they assemble for the processional. You will take the "Reader Card" with you to the stage. Do not lose, destroy, or leave the "Reader Card" in your seat when it is time for you to approach the stage.  The Ceremonial Medallion will also be given to you at that time when you check in with your appropriate college.

Late Arrival Degree Candidates

Degree candidates arriving after the start of the ceremony should report through the south east spiral entrance. University Registrar Office staff will be available to assist candidates with seating. *Candidates will be seated in the next available seat which may not be with their college or school.

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DISABILITY ACCESS

We are pleased to provide a reserved area for family members and guests in need of disability accommodations or special seating needs. Consult the Commencement Maps page for a map of seating locations in Coleman Coliseum. Seating for these areas is on a first come basis with priority given to wheelchair guests. One family member may sit with the guest requiring special accommodations. Admission to these areas does not require a ticket.

  • Disability Parking: Your state-issued disability placard prominently displayed inside your vehicle is required. The disability parking area is located on the east side of Coleman Coliseum. University Parking Services personnel are located at the entrance to this area. Entrance to Coleman Coliseum is from the Second Avenue entrance off of Paul Bryant Drive.
  • Coliseum Entrance: Persons with disability accommodation needs may enter Coleman Coliseum by way of the ramp located in front of the Coliseum or at the north east spiral. The front entrance places you on the main concourse where the disability seating areas are located. The north east spiral entrance is at street level from the disability parking location. You will find an elevator inside the north east spiral that takes you to the main concourse.
  • Priority seating in the disability platforms located off the main concourse is given to wheel chair family members and guests. Additional disability seating is found at the various portal entrances into the basketball arena. Please look for the disability insignia on the end of the chair rows.
  • Wheelchair Availability: Family members, guests, and degree candidates in need of a wheel chair should make provisions to bring this item with you to Coleman Coliseum. The reserved seating area is wheel chair accessible. Wheelchairs or walkers are not provided at Coleman Coliseum or at the CrimsonRide locations.
  • Auditory assistance: Accommodations for those who are hearing impaired will be provided in the form of an American Sign Language interpreter. You should contact the Office of the University Registrar, telephone number 205.348.0261 for seating arrangements in an area within close proximity to the interpreter. Arrangements must be made no later than one week prior to the commencement ceremony.
  • Emergencies: Emergency Medical assistance is located in the south east corner of the Coliseum main concourse. Assistance is also available through the University Police, telephone number 205.348.5454. University Police officers are stationed in Coleman Coliseum before and during the ceremony.

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PARKING INFORMATION

Graduates

Parking for graduates is available in either the Moody Music parking lot at the corner of Bryant Drive and Second Avenue or in the Soccer Lot located just off University Boulevard. Transportation to and from Coleman Coliseum is available free of charge using the CrimsonRide transportation service. This service is disability accessible. Reserved and disability parking is located in the Coleman Coliseum parking lot accessible from the Second Avenue entrance off of Paul Bryant Drive. Admission to the Coleman Coliseum parking lot is by the State-issued disability placard or the special event commencement reserved parking hang tag only; those without these special permits will not be allowed to park in the Coleman Coliseum parking lot. To view the commencement parking map including the address to Coleman Coliseum, visit our maps page here: Commencement Maps.

Reserved & Disability Parking

Parking for guests with disabilities is available in the Coleman Coliseum parking lot accessible from the Second Avenue entrance off of Paul Bryant Drive.  Admission to the Coleman Coliseum parking lot is by the State-issued disability placard only. To view the commencement parking map, visit our maps page here: Commencement Maps.

Family & Guests

Parking for family and guests is available in either the Moody Music parking lot at the corner of Bryant Drive and Second Avenue or in the Soccer Lot located just off University Boulevard. Transportation to and from Coleman Coliseum is available free of charge using the CrimsonRide transportation service. This service is disability accessible. Reserved and disability parking is located in the Coleman Coliseum parking lot accessible from the Second Avenue entrance off of Paul Bryant Drive. Admission to the Coleman Coliseum parking lot is by the State-issued disability placard only. To view the commencement parking map, visit our maps page here: Commencement Maps.

Drop-Off Area

For guests wishing to drop-off family and/or friends with disabilities, or those with mobility issues, there will be a drop-off area located outside of Coleman Coliseum. Those wishing to make use of this service should use the main entrance to the Coliseum located at Bryant Drive and Coliseum Drive. Vehicles will be allowed to drop off their guests at the northern end of the Coliseum and will then be directed back out to Bryant drive. After dropping-off, the vehicles in question will proceed to one of the standard parking lots as outlined in the information above.

There will also be an additional drop-off area located within the Coleman Coliseum Lot for those vehicles allowed entry with a State-issued disability placard.  For detailed information regarding the location of these drop-off areas, visit our commencement maps page here: Commencement Maps.

RV Parking

RV parking is available at the Northington Campus lot located behind Bruno's Supermarket on McFarland Boulevard. RV hookup and transportation to campus is not available at this location. RV parking is not allowed in other areas of campus for the commencement weekend.

Parking areas near campus that do provide hookups are as follows:
Lurleen State Park, 205-339-1558, located west of Tuscaloosa on Highway 82, Geer Brothers, 205-553-9233, located east of Tuscaloosa off of 120/59, and Candy Mountain RV Park, 203-553-5428, off of 120/59, east of Tuscaloosa.

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COLLEGE EVENTS

For the current Commencement event schedule, click here.

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CEREMONY ATTENDANCE REPLY CARD

Degree candidates indicate their intent to participate in the graduation ceremony when filling out the online degree application.  Additionally, all applicants have the ability to check and/or change their initial response through myBama.  To check/change your initial response, log into myBama and go to the student tab.  Click on the Student Services folder, then Student Records, and finally the View Graduation Applications link.  After you select your application, you will be able to view your application and make any necessary changes.

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PROPER ATTIRE AND ETIQUETTE

Commencement is a dignified occasion honoring important educational accomplishments. Decorum and courtesy are important to you and your family, and to your fellow degree candidates and their families.

  • Suggested Attire for Women
    • dark dress or pants, cool fabric
    • dark low heel or flat shoes
    • no high collars or bows at the neck
    • no corsages or jewelry on the robe
  • Suggested Attire for Men
    • dark trousers, white shirts, tie is optional
    • dark shoes and socks
    • no sandals
  • Ceremony Etiquette
    • Once you have entered the basketball arena and have been seated you are expected to remain seated until the conclusion of the ceremony marked by the candidate recessional.
    • Adherence to the University's alcohol policy is expected.
    • Improper attire, signs, and insignia will be removed by the marshals.
    • Cell phones and other electronic equipment should be turned off.
    • Valuables should be left with family members or guests prior to. arriving at your college or school assembly location. Do not leave purses, keys, or other personal items in the Coliseum hallway or the Crisp Indoor Practice Facility. The University is not responsible for items left in these areas or on the Coliseum arena floor.
    • The ceremony should last approximately two hours. If you should need to leave your seat, please notify one of the aisle ushers for assistance.
    • The arena floor will be cleared at the conclusion of the ceremony. You should plan to meet family and guests in the north or east lobby areas or outside Coleman Coliseum. Candidates and/or family and guests are not permitted on the commencement stage.

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HONOR CORDS AND STOLES

Undergraduate degree candidates eligible for honors designations should contact their school or college Student Services Office for information concerning the distribution of honor stoles. Degree candidates eligible for honor cords through the Honors College should contact honors@ua.edu or 205-348-5500 for distribution information.

Undergraduate honors designations at the time of the graduation ceremony are calculated based on the student's cumulative Institutional grade point average at the end of the semester previous to the semester of graduation. The Institutional GPA consists only of courses taken at The University of Alabama and does not include transfer work.  To be eligible for Latin honors designations, a student must have completed at least 45 hours through The University of Alabama.  The honor announced during the ceremony may, at the time of final grade point calculation at the end of the grading period, change. In some cases, the degree candidate may not actually graduate with an honor designation. 

Latin honors designations are based on the following GPA ranges.

cum laude 3.50-3.69
magna cum laude 3.70-3.89
summa cum laude 3.90-4.00

 

Final honors designations are placed on the student transcript and diploma.

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PHOTOGRAPHS/COMMEMORATIVE DVD

Photographs of graduates as they walk across the stage and DVDs of the entire ceremony are available through professional groups who have contracted with the University to provide these services. Color, on stage photographs with the President and individual portraits photographed off stage are available from ZAP Professional Photography, P.O. Box 2686, Tuscaloosa, AL 35403, (205) 345-2686. Toll free: (888) 345-2686, email: info@zapfoto.com.

The University of Alabama has partnered with GradMemory to provide a professional video of your Commencement ceremonies. This DVD contains the complete graduation ceremony. The DVD package can be personalized with the graduate’s name and a picture of choice.

TO ORDER: Visit www.gradmemory.com

Questions: Call 866-977-4723 or email support@gradmemory.com

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FLOWERS FOR GRADUATES (Flowers will not be available for the August 2013 ceremony)

Roses will be for sale by the local chapter of Mortar Board inside the Coleman Coliseum at the North and East Doors. Roses will be available by the dozen [$30.00] or half-dozen [$20.00] on a first-come first-serve basis. All sales are cash-only, and proceeds will go towards supporting student scholarships. Mortar Board is the premier national honor society recognizing college seniors for superior achievement in scholarship, leadership and service.

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ABOUT THE CEREMONY

Each commencement ceremony is expected to be two hours in length. Ceremony length may vary slightly depending on the size of the candidate participation at each ceremony.

Procession: The candidate processional begins approximately 20-25 minutes prior to the announced starting time of the ceremony.  This processional denotes the start of each commencement ceremony. Family members and guests should be seated at these times.

Members of the graduating class will process to the reserved seat area on the Coliseum arena floor. Candidates will follow your college marshal to the appropriate seating location for your college or school. An overflow in attendance may result in candidates being seated in the stands. You should remain standing until all candidates have arrived on the floor and the Platform Party has reached its place on the stage. You will continue standing for The National Anthem and the Invocation. Men will remove their caps for the singing of The National Anthem and Invocation.

Presentation of Candidates: The Dean of each college or school will present to the President the candidates for the various degrees. The President will deliver the conferral remarks. Candidates for the various degrees will then be asked to rise and approach the stage for presentation. Candidates will: 1)ascend the stairs on the right hand side of the stage; 2) hand the Reader card to the announcer; 3) wait for their name and academic honor, if applicable, to be spoken; 4) walk across the stage to be greeted first by the dean of their school/college, then the President; 5) have their picture taken; 6) descend the stairs on the left side of the stage; 7) proceed to the second photo station; 8) return to their seat.

Candidates should place their tassel towards the back of the mortarboard on left side for the on stage picture. Candidates are expected to return to their seat and remain seated until the ceremony has concluded.

Recessional: The ceremony will conclude with a formal recessional led by the platform party, followed by the faculty, and ending with the degree candidates. Your college  marshal will direct your exit of the arena floor.

Additional Viewing: The ceremonies will be web cast live at http://www.ua.edu/commencement/index.html

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DIPLOMA DISTRIBUTION

The University of Alabama conditionally confers degrees upon all candidates for the degrees of Law through undergraduate. Candidates for all doctoral degrees are actual degree recipients provided all degree requirements have been completed. Doctoral candidates may pick up their diploma immediately following each ceremony in the concession stand located on the south end of the Coliseum main concourse.  Photo identification (driver's license, student I.D., passport) must be presented by the doctoral degree recipient for the release of the diploma. University Registrar Office staff will be available for 30 minutes after the conclusion of the ceremony for diploma pick-up.

Diplomas for all other candidates, contingent upon final grade submission and degree verification, will be mailed to the diploma address specified on the online degree application approximately 6-8 weeks following the commencement ceremony. To check/change the diploma address that was submitted on your application, log into myBama and go to the student tab.  Click on the Student Services folder, then Student Records, and finally the View Graduation Applications link.  After you select your application, you will be able to view your application and make any necessary changes to your diploma address.

Degree candidates should carefully review their student transcript information found at https://mybama.ua.edu. Candidates have one month after the mailing of diplomas to address questions or resolve issues related to the content of their academic history as represented on the transcript. 

Diplomas and transcript are not released until all unpaid balances of any nature on the degree candidate's account are paid in full. The same applies for a degree candidate that has unfulfilled requirements associated with Perkins Loans. Degree candidates have responsibility for notifying the Office of the University Registrar once their financial account is cleared. Notification should be submitted via email to registrar@ua.edu or by calling 205-348-8178, 205-348-8176 or 205-348-9511. The diploma cannot be mailed until requested notification is received.

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GRADUATION FEES

Degree candidates are assessed a graduation fee of $36.00 for undergraduate candidates and $41.00 for graduate level degree candidates. The fee is applied to the student account in the semester during which the student intends to graduate. Degree candidates who do not actually complete degree requirements are refunded all but $10.00 for administrative charges. Each time a candidate applies for graduation a fee is assessed. A new degree application is required each time a candidate applies to graduate for a future graduation. It is the responsibility of the degree candidate to make contact with their school or college to reapply for graduation by the date established in the school or college.

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CANDIDATE COMMUNICATION

All communication is conducted via the degree candidates' Crimson email address, the official University of Alabama means of communication. Degree candidates have responsibility to insure their mail boxes at their Crimson email address is clear to receive mail and that the mail is read and managed appropriately.

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