Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony


Date: Saturday, December 18, 2021

Time: 1:30 p.m.

Location: Hilton Coliseum

**  It is anticipated that the ceremony will not last any longer than 2 hours and 30 minutes.  **


Doors Open:

  • The doors to Hilton coliseum will open at 11:30 a.m. for guests.



  • Guest seating is unlimited – please invite everyone who wishes to celebrate your significant achievement! 
  • No tickets are required.



  • Masks are encouraged, but not required, for all attendees.
  • Graduates who choose to wear a mask are welcome to remove it for the onstage picture, if desired.



  • Graduates and guests are encouraged to park in any of the parking lots around Hilton Coliseum, with the exception of lots B1, C1, and the East Ramp, which are reserved.
  • A parking map is available online here: https://www.fpm.iastate.edu/maps/



Special Accommodations/Accessibility:



  • Handicap parking is available in the B2 parking lot which is located southwest of Hilton Coliseum. 

Elevators and Seating: 

  • Special accommodation seating will be available on a first come, first served basis.  
  • Guests needing a handicap accessible entrance and/or elevator should utilize Hilton Coliseum’s west entrance, located under the catwalk between Scheman and Hilton.

Additional Information: 

  • A sign language interpreter will be available.  
  • Captioning will be available.





Information for Undergraduate Candidates


Arrival Time:

  • You may begin arriving for check-in at 12:00 p.m., but plan to arrive by no later than 12:30 p.m.


Check-in/Line-up Information:

  • Your primary college will determine your assigned check-in location:
    • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
      • Hilton Coliseum, Southwest Corner, Top- Level
    • Ivy College of Business
      • Hilton Coliseum, Northeast Corner, Top-Level
    • College of Design
      • Hilton Coliseum, North Wall, Top-Level
    • College of Engineering
      • Scheman Building, 100-Level (Middle Floor)
    • College of Human Sciences
      • Hilton Coliseum, West End Tunnel, Ground-Level
    • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
      • Scheman Building, 200-Level (Top Floor)


Academic Attire (e.g., Caps, Tassels, and Gowns):

Academic attire is required at the December 18, 2021 Commencement Ceremony.


  • Graduates are required to wear a bachelor's gown, a black cap, and the appropriate color tassel. Students are encouraged to wear their academic adornments (e.g., cords, medallions, etc.)
  • Graduates who are a member of the United States Armed Forces, are welcome to wear uniforms. Graduates who need to wear specific attire for religious or cultural purposes (e.g., hijab, etc.) are welcome to do so.
  • Your cap should be worn level, not tilted. Your gown should hang freely from the shoulders. Appropriate business clothing should be worn under your gown.
  • Academic attire can be purchased from the University Book Store in the Memorial Union or via their website (http://www.isubookstore.com/MerchList.aspx?ID=8392). 
    • Delivery options included shipping or pick-up in store.
      • If shipping domestically, it can take up to 4 days.
      • For graduates who would like their academic attire shipped to an international address, the University Book Store strongly encourages picking up at the store, instead, as there are currently significant delays when it comes to international shipping.


Special Accommodations/Accessibility:

  • Graduates needing special assistance (e.g., wheelchair seating, sign language interpreter, captioning services, service animals, etc.) prior to, or during, the ceremony should contact Amber Tiarks, atiarks@iastate.edu, by December 15th.


Personal Belongings: 

  • Leave purses, coats, and other valuables with family or friends since there will be no secure place to leave them.


Ceremony Process: 

  • After check-in, graduates will proceed to the line-up area.
  • Please complete the photography portion of the card you were given at check-in prior to the start of the ceremony. 
  • During the ceremony, graduates will be led to the photography area and then led across the stage by a Faculty Marshal.  Photographers will us a flash when taking photos.
  • Handshakes with the President or Provost are optional. Please approach the stage with hands folded if you do not wish to be offered a handshake.
  • After crossing the stage, graduates will be led back to their original seats. 



  • On-stage handshakes with the President or Provost are optional.
  • If you prefer not to shake hands, please fold hands together to indicate you do not wish to be offered a handshake. 



  • Students/candidates will have two pictures taken at the ceremony: 
    • A staged photo before walking across stage. 
    • A posed photo with the president or provost while on the stage. 
  • Graduates will receive information via e-mail from Flash Photography as to how they can purchase their photographs. 
  • Questions regarding photography should be directed at Flash Photography (http://www.flashphotography.com/docs/contactus.html). 

Flash Photography has been contracted to take your photograph at the ceremony. Photographers will use a flash when taking photos, please reach out to us at graduation@iastate.edu or 515-294-1840, if you have any questions or concerns about the use of a flash during your photograph.


Diploma Covers and Tubes:

  • The President and/or Provost will hand you a diploma cover on stage during the ceremony.


Distinction Cords:

  • Students may start picking up their cords on Monday, November 29, 2021 from our office, located at 214 Enrollment Services Center between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Please be sure to bring a valid form of photo ID with you (student ID card, driver’s license, passport, etc.).
  • Please be aware that the distinction listed on your diploma and transcript may be different than your distinction at graduation, as your final distinction will be based on your cumulative GPA after final grades are posted.