What you need to know about Commencement Day:

Commencement Day Etiquette

  • Report in a timely manner to your assigned Marshal
  • Remain in your assigned area until the processional begins
  • Follow Marshal’s directions
  • Tassel is on right until degrees are conferred
  • Listen for directions to stand or to be seated
  • Return to seat after walking across stage
  • Remain for the entire ceremony
  • Respect your peers and others in attendance
  • Recess as directed through the rear of the seating area – continue down the hallway or outside – do not stop at rear of seating as others are continuing to recess

Arrival Time

Please arrive at the McKenzie Arena, 1st floor, 45 minutes prior to start time. You will line up in the designated area located on the first floor of the Arena. Graduate candidates and undergraduate candidates robe in separate rooms. Please watch for the posted signs to determine the appropriate room for you to use. Faculty marshals will be available with signs to indicate where the line for your college is forming. Marshals will make a final check of graduation candidates approximately 20 minutes prior to start time. All graduates not in line at that time will be considered in absentia.  Names will be read only for those graduates participating in the ceremony.


Students should wear lightweight, comfortable clothing underneath the gown. Male graduate are advised to wear dress trousers in a dark color, a dress shirt with tie, dark shoes and dark socks. Female graduates are advised to wear an appropriate day dress or slacks, and comfortable dark shoes and should not carry a purse or handbag.

The cap should be worn so that the mortarboard is level/flat on the head. It should not be slanted to the back or side of the head. The crown should be approximately one inch above the eyebrow.

Commencement Ceremony Process

Please hand your pronouncement card to the faculty secretary who will read your name as you ascend the stairs and cross the stage. You will shake hands with the dean of your college as you cross the stage. After you cross the stage, you will return to your seat on the Arena floor for the remainder of the ceremony.

Disability (Special Needs) Accommodations

Guests in wheelchairs should speak with an usher for directions to designated wheelchair seating. Space is limited to the wheelchair user and one companion.

Faculty Marshal Assignment List

Please check here to determine the assistant marshal who will assist you in lining up for the processional. 

Honors Designation 

Honors designations at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga are based upon a student's entire academic career and are not finalized until grades for the final semester are posted to the student's record. Grades are not finalized until after the Commencement ceremony.


Parking on Commencement Day will be a challenge, therefore, be sure to allow plenty of time for traveling on campus and finding available parking.

Lot 20 behind McKenzie Arena is dedicated Handicap Parking on a first-come-first-available basis. Overflow Handicap Parking is available in Lot 32 across the street from the Arena. The handicap lots fill quickly so be sure to arrive early. Click here for the Campus Parking Lot Map: http://www.utc.edu/auxiliary-services/maps.php#map04 

Arena Gates 2 and 3 are available for handicap drop-off needs.

Lots 7 and 35 are reserved for Commencement Officials.


A professional photographer will take your picture as you cross the stage. You will be mailed a proof of the photograph at no expense to you provided that the Records Office has an accurate permanent address for you. If you have moved and not updated your mailing address, please be sure to submit a change of address form to the Records Office.

Where do I line up on Commencement Day?

Please click here to determine where you report to line up. The Faculty Marshal List will indicate which faculty marshal will have your name card and will assist you in lining up for the processional. Please keep your card with you, as you will hand it to the faculty secretary who will read your name once you ascend the stairs to the stage.

Video of Commencement

Please contact University Relations in regards to streaming the Commencement activities live over the internet.  Personal videos may be purchased after the event through the UTC Alumni Affairs Office.


Graduation Participation Guidelines

What you need to know about Commencement Day