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Frequently Asked Questions
Graduation day can be busy, stressful, and exciting. Here is some general information that can help you plan ahead and make your graduation fun and memorable.
When can my family and friends arrive to the ceremony?
Outside doors to the commencement facilities open early. Doors to the guest seating area will be opened 90 minutes before the start of the spring ceremony and 60 minutes before the start of the summer and winter ceremonies.
How long is the ceremony?
The length of each ceremony differs by the number of degrees granted. A ceremony typically lasts two and a half hours.
The Spring Commencement ceremony typically lasts about two and a half hours, while the Summer and Winter ceremonies are shorter- usually an hour and a half.
Are tickets required to attend the ceremony?
Commencement events are open to the public and no tickets are required.
What is the etiquette for the ceremony?
University commencement ceremonies are special events for all involved. If you choose to participate, graduates are expected to remain for the entire ceremony. Leaving the ceremony early will not be allowed.
The Chester Fritz Auditorium has a designated area for families with small children to watch the event live on TV.
Will I get a photograph taken during the ceremony?
The University has contracted the services of a professional photographer for all commencement ceremonies. This service is provided to ensure quality photographs and to avoid the confusion of many individuals attempting to position themselves for picture taking. All graduates are encouraged to have an optional posed photograph taken prior to the ceremony near the line-up area. Taking a posed photo will ensure that you receive a professional photograph. The photographer will also take a picture of each candidate as he or she receives the diploma scroll from the President. A few weeks after the ceremony, a proof of these photos will be emailed to each graduate at his or her official UND email address. At that time, you may order pictures as desired.
Can I use my cell phone during the ceremony?
As a courtesy to those around you and to our graduating students, please turn off pagers and cell phones during the ceremony. We also ask that you refrain from using extreme noisemakers.
Will the commencement ceremony be televised?
Commencement ceremonies are broadcast live on Grand Forks Cable Channel 3. Family members and other guests who cannot attend the ceremony can watch it on television in the Greater Grand Forks area. The ceremony is always rebroadcast on Cable Channel 3, with the dates of the broadcasts printed in the commencement program. All general commencement ceremonies will be webcast live on the UND homepage during the ceremony.
If I am a double major, which department will I sit with and which college will I be listed under?
You will be listed under all of your degrees in the program, but you will have to decide when you arrive which major you would like to sit with. Please make sure to purchase the tassel with the color that coordinates with the college you plan to march with at the ceremony.
If I am graduating with honors (cum, magna, or summa) is there a special medallion that I will get to wear?
If you are an undergraduate student graduating with honors, you will receive a medallion when you arrive for your ceremony.
If I am a graduate student graduating with honors, is there anything special that I get?
Official UND honor medallions are distributed to eligible undergraduate candidates only. Masters and doctoral students wear a hood to designate their academic achievement.
Do I have to sign up to participate in the ceremony?
No, you do not need to sign up to participate. Just show up, and you will be given a card with your name and degree when you arrive. Just before you cross the stage, you will hand the card to the proctor, who will read your name as you cross the stage.
What is the order of the ceremony?
For the spring and summer commencements, the order is: doctoral, masters, bachelors. For the winter commencement, there are separate graduate and undergraduate ceremonies. All students are expected to stay for the entire ceremony regardless of when they cross the stage.
Can I wear an honor cord if I'm part of an academic organization on campus?
Yes; UND may grant approval to allow specific honor cords to be worn to represent academic honors from a nationally recognized honor society. Advance approval must be received from the appropriate academic dean and from the Office of Ceremonies & University Events.
Approved honor cords:
Alpha Phi Sigma - National Criminal Justice Honor Society; blue and gold cords
Beta Alpha Psi - International Honor Society for Accounting Majors; red and white cords
Beta Gamma Sigma - Honor Society accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International; worn by students and faculty members; blue and gold cords
Epsilon Pi Tau - National Academic Honor Society for Technology; blue,gold and white cords
Gamma Theta Upsilon - International Geographic Honor Society; blue, brown and gold cords
Gamma Sigma Alpha - National Academic Honor Society for Greek Members; red and yellow cords
Golden Key - International Honor Society; royal blue and gold cords
Mortar Board - National College Honor Society; silver and gold cords
Phi Alpha - National Social Work Honor Society; gold cords
Phi Alpha Theta - History honor Society; red and blue cords
Phi Beta Kappa - National Scholarship Honor Society for Liberal Arts and Sciences; pink and blue cords
Phi Eta Sigma - Honor Society for First Year Students; black and gold cords
Pi Alpha Alpha - National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration;light blue and gold cords
Pi Kappa Lambda - National Music Honor Society; gold and white cords
Pi Theta Epsilon - National Occupational Therapy Honor Society; blue and gold cords
Psi Chi - International Honor Society in Psychology; platinum and navy cords
Sigma Gamma Epsilon - National Honor Society for Earth Sciences; gold, blue and silver cords
Sigma Theta Tau - International Honor Society of Nursing; purple and white cords
Tau Beta Pi - National Engineering Honor Society; orange and white stole
Tau Sigma - National Honor Society for Transfer Students; maroon and gold cords
Theta Alpha Kappa - National Honor Society for Religious Studies and Theology; red cords
Upsilon Pi Epsilon - International Honor Society for the Computing and Information Disciplines; maroon and white cords
When will I get my diploma?
A diploma scroll is presented to each graduate during the ceremony. Diplomas will be mailed approximately eight weeks after commencement to your home address as indicated on Campus Connection. Please update your home address within 10 days after graduation.
Can I request a transcript before receiving my diploma?
It will take approximately eight weeks to receive verification of your degree from your college, record this information on your permanent record, and prepare your diploma for mailing. If you are in need of a transcript reflecting your degree, you may request that a transcript be sent once at any time and indicate "hold for degree" on your request.
NOTE: The University of North Dakota reserves the right to deny the release of a student's diploma if that student has an outstanding accounts receivable balance in excess of $100. Questions can be directed to Student Account Services at 701.777.3911.
What if I selected Restricted Directory on my graduation application?
If you have requested "Restricted Directory" please be aware that your name will not appear in the commencement program nor will it be released to newspapers. Also, we will not be able to confirm your degree to employers or others without your specific request in writing. If you have questions or concerns regarding this policy, please call the Office of the Registrar.