Commencement

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Frequently Asked Questions

Undergraduate Student FAQ

When does UNLV hold graduation ceremonies?
Both in the spring (May) and winter (December). In the spring, two ceremonies are held in one day; colleges are assigned to participate in either the morning or the afternoon ceremony. At winter commencement, all colleges participate in one ceremony.
Are tickets necessary for guests?
No. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Where should I park?
Ample parking is available outside the Thomas & Mack Center. Handicapped parking spaces are located in all sections of the Thomas & Mack Center parking lot.
When should I arrive for commencement?
Guests, graduates, and faculty should arrive one hour before the ceremony begins.
How long is the typical commencement ceremony?
Approximately three hours.
What are the dates and times of future commencements?
Dates and times of future commencement ceremonies

Future Commencement Dates

Spring 2013 Commencement

Sunday, May 19, 2013
9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Winter 2013 Commencement

Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013
4 p.m.

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will be posted on the commencement website as soon as they are set. If they are not posted there, they have not yet been set.
How can I find the Thomas & Mack Center?
For those guests unfamiliar with the layout of the university, a campus map is available on the left in the gray bar.
Where do I get my cap and gown?
All commencement-related materials (invitations, announcements, caps, gowns, tassels, class rings, etc.) may be purchased from the UNLV Bookstore, which can be reached by phone at 702-736-3955.
Where can I find information about the commencement reception?
Each of the colleges sponsors its own reception; please contact the appropriate college to check on reception times and locations.
How do I get my actual diploma?
It will be mailed to the student’s MyUNLV “home” address (or degree address if one has been provided) within ten weeks of commencement. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure they have an accurate/appropriate address on file.
What size is the diploma?
Undergrad & Masters is 8.5x11. Ph.D., Law & Dental is 11x14.
Can I participate in May commencement if I am due to graduate (complete my classes) in the summer?
August and December graduates should participate in winter commencement. Summer graduates who wish to participate in May commencement must have extenuating circumstances and must get permission from the Office of the Registrar (SSC-A).
When should I apply for graduation?
The student should apply for graduation two semesters before the expected date of degree completion. For more information about applying for graduation, please refer to the Registrar’s Website.
What is the difference between "applying to graduate" and "signing up to participate in commencement"?
The graduation application process involves UNLV staff reviewing a student's records to determine if he or she is eligible to graduate. After the student applies for graduation Registrar’s Office staff members and the appropriate college advisors determine if the student has taken the necessary courses and then begin the process that will allow the student to officially graduate (or that informs the student what requirements must still be met in order to graduate). Applying for graduation does not mean that the student has actually graduated (degree conferral occurs after final grades are received). Additionally, it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to ensure they take the necessary courses in the appropriate timeframe. This process should not be confused with the process of signing up to participate in commencement.
When and where should I sign up to participate in the graduation ceremony?
Students who intend to participate in the graduation ceremony should sign up to do so at the UNLV Bookstore; this will ensure a seat is reserved for each participating graduate. (Students usually sign up to participate at the time they purchase the cap, gown, and tassel, which are typically available about six weeks before each ceremony. Students will be notified by mail when the regalia is available for purchase.) During the sign-up process, students will be asked to complete a form, and they will receive a name card that is necessary for them to participate in the ceremony. Students may sign up to participate in commencement and purchase their regalia as late as the Friday before commencement, but it is recommended that they complete this process in the weeks preceding the ceremony. For more information, please contact the UNLV Bookstore at 702-736-3955.
Is there a charge to apply for graduation? What is a student account?
Upon enrollment, a student account is set up by Cashiering and Student Accounts for every UNLV student. Upon applying for graduation, a charge of $75 plus $20 if applying late will be applied to your account. Payment may be made in the MyUNLV Student Center.

Graduate Student FAQ

Can I participate in commencement if I have not completed all of my degree requirements?
No. Graduate degree candidates may not participate in commencement prior to completing all requirements leading to the degree.
When should I apply for graduation?
The student must initiate the graduation application process at the beginning of the semester he/she intends to graduate.
What is a student account?
Upon enrollment, a student account is set up by Cashiering and Student Accounts for every UNLV student. To check your account balance, you may view your account information on the Web. You may also receive a copy of your bill at the Registrar's Office or the Cashier's Office. Upon receipt of your graduation application (available on the Graduate College website), all appropriate graduation dues will be charged to your Bursar's account. The UNLV Cashier will not accept graduation fees from graduate/professional students until these charges are posted to their account by the Graduate College. Charges generally appear 48 hours after the Graduate College receives the graduation application.
When will the Graduate College process my application?
The appropriate forms must be submitted to the Graduate College before your application for graduation will be processed. Please see the Graduate Study Timeline. It is your responsibility to ensure that all requirements leading to your degree are completed.
When will my degree be conferred?
Your degree will be conferred at the end of the semester upon verification that all degree program requirements have been met. This includes, but is not limited to, the submission of the Advancement to Candidacy form for doctoral students; comprehensive/final examination results; and the thesis or dissertation, if required. The Graduate College will notify you in writing of any degree requirements not completed.
How do I get my actual diploma?
It will be mailed to the student’s MyUNLV “home” address (or degree address if one has been provided) within eight to ten weeks of commencement. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure they have an accurate/appropriate address on file.
What size is the diploma?
Undergrad & Masters is 8.5x11. Ph.D., Law & Dental is 11x14.
What if my plans change with respect to participating in commencement?
If your plans change about attending commencement from what was indicated on the application, you must inform the Graduate College by the end of April for the May ceremony or by Nov. 15 for the December ceremony.
What if I do not meet the degree requirements for the graduation date for which I applied?
If you do not meet the degree requirements to graduate, you are expected to do so by the end of the next semester or term. You must complete a new graduation application and pay the appropriate fee to update your application. This fee will appear on your student account.
Is there a charge to apply for graduation? What is a student account?
Upon enrollment, a student account is set up by Cashiering and Student Accounts for every UNLV student. Upon applying for graduation, all appropriate graduation dues ($50 summer 11/$75 fall 11 forward plus $20 if applying late) will be charged to your account. Payment may be made in the MyUNLV Student Center.