Spring 2020 University Commencement Ceremonies

We regret that Iowa State University must cancel all Spring 2020 University Commencement Ceremonies for undergraduates, graduate students, and veterinary medicine students.

Campus leaders are working on plans for a live-streamed graduation address in May.

Graduates will also have the opportunity to participate in a future commencement ceremony in December 2020.

Please refer to this webpage, where information will be posted as soon as it is known. The Office of the Registrar will be reaching out to all students who have applied to graduate Spring 2020 in the near future.  

Spring 2020 Doctoral Candidates Attending Spring Commencement Ceremony

Indicate attendance at the University Commencement Ceremony

  • Form will be available after March 1, 2020.
  • Log into your student AccessPlus account and click on your student tab. Select Graduation from menu on left and then Diploma/Ceremony in upper left corner.
  • Complete the following online form information in AccessPlus before before Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Note: system will close after this date. 

1. Attendance at the University Commencement Ceremony
2. Presenting professor email
3. Newspaper release
4. Diploma mailing address

  • Your presenting professor will be sent an email to confirm they will present you at the university ceremony.

    Doctoral Candidates attending the Spring 2020 Ceremony who graduated in a previous term

    • Contact Deb Lettow in the Graduation Office, 210 Enrollment Services Center at with the following information before April 10, 2020:

    1. Your name as it appears on your ISU record
    2. Student ID number
    3. Degree received
    4. Presenting professor name and contact information (email address and phone number)
    5. Your email address and phone number

    University Commencement Ceremony Instructions for Graduate College Ceremony

    • Graduate College Ceremony Instructions available after April 1, 2020.

    Hooding Demonstration Video

    Hooding Demo Video for PhD Candidates

    PhD Line Up Areas

    • Plan to arrive at Benton Auditorium, first floor Scheman Building (date and time to be determined).
    • There will be a representative from the Registrar’s Office to assist you in obtaining a hood and finding your place in the line up area.

    The following timeline must be strictly followed:

    6:00 p.m.   Arrive and check-in at Benton Auditorium, first floor Scheman
    6:15 p.m.   Pickup reader’s card and complete photographer information on back
    6:30 p.m.   Instructions for crossing the stage and hooding demonstration
    6:45 p.m.   Candidates leave the line-up area for processional (latecomers will not be included in
                       the processional)

    Candidates for the degree Doctor of Philosophy will be seated on the coliseum floor in the front rows. Major Professors, or their representatives, will be seated on the stage.

    Caps and Gowns

    • PhD's must rent or purchase the appropriate cap and red gown from the University Bookstore, Memorial Union, phone 515-294-5684.
    • Deadline for renting Ph.D. graduation attire is Thursday, April 23, 2020. Regalia ordered after this date may incur late charges and risk not having their attire arrive in time for the ceremony.

    Hoods used during the University Ceremony

    • The Office of the Registrar will provide each candidate with a Ph.D. hood to be used during the ceremony. These will be handed out in the line up areas before the ceremony.
    • If you will be bringing your own hood to the ceremony, contact Deb Lettow in the Graduation Office at

    Returning University Hood used during the Ceremony

    • Ph.D. hoods are university property.  Do not return the hood with your rental cap and gown. 
    • Return your hood either to Registrar’s staff on stage following the ceremony or to the Graduation Office, 210 Enrollment Services Center, by Friday, May 15, 2020.
    • The hood must be returned to the Office of the Registrar, not the University Book Store, by Friday, May 15, 2020 or you will be billed $175.00 for replacement cost of the hood and a hold will be placed on your university record.
    • If you would like to keep the hood longer, contact Deb Lettow in the Graduation Office at to make arrangements.

    Graduation Photos

    • Photos at the university commencement ceremony will be taken by Flash Photography and posted on their website.
    • Graduates will receive instructions via email from the photographer on how to view and purchase photos.  
    • Questions regarding photos should be directed to Flash Photography (select the Contact Us tab) or phone 214-443-9393.


    For information about diploma covers, mailing address and distribution, visit the Diplomas page.