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When is the May 2023 Commencement?

The May 2023 Commencement Ceremonies will be held on Friday, May 5th and Saturday, May 6th at the Central Bank Center at Rupp Arena.

Friday, May 5th 9 A.M.

College of Agriculture, Food and Environment

College of Communication & Information

College of Pharmacy

College of Public Health

College of Social Work

Friday, May 5th 2 P.M.

College of Education

College of Engineering

College of Medicine

College of Fine Arts

Martin School of Public Policy and Administration

Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce 

Friday, May 5th 6 P.M.

College of Nursing

Gatton College of Business and Economics

College of Design

Saturday, May 6th 9 A.M.

College of Arts and Sciences

College of Health Sciences

Will graduates and guests be required to wear masks during the ceremony?

At this time, masks will be optional for graduates and guests during the ceremony. 

Is there a reception following the ceremony?

Yes! The Alumni Association hosts a Grad Gathering following each ceremony. More information can be found here.

Is registering for Commencement and applying for my degree the same thing?

No. You need to apply for your degree through myUK and work with your academic advisor. Registering for Commencement is a separate process and only confirms your participation in the ceremony.

Where can I buy my cap and gown?

All information regarding regalia can be found here.

Do we need tickets for May Commencement?

At this time, there will be no tickets or limits on guests for May 2023 Commencement. However, this is subject to change as we adjust to new guidance surrounding COVID-19.

Is Commencement just for undergraduate students?

No, undergraduate, graduate and PhD graduates are eligible to walk in Commencement.

What services will be available for those needing special accommodations?

We will have closed-captions and an ASL interpreter for all ceremonies both in-person and on the live stream.  Accommodated seating and parking for guests and their families is available at Rupp Arena. This seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis so we recommend arriving when the doors open an hour before each ceremony. If a graduate requires additional accommodations, please contact

Is there a bag policy?

Patrons may only have one clear bag (no larger than 12"x12"x6") or one small clutch purse, with or without a handle or strap (no larger than 9”x 5”) for personal items. Purses and bags larger than these sizes are strictly prohibited. Exceptions will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at a gate designated for this purpose. All bags and items will be searched. To avoid additional touchpoints, patrons are strongly encouraged to leave unnecessary items at home. Diaper Bags may exceed this size requirement, please see Guest Services desk for a visual inspection. 

Where should graduates and guests park?

The Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center parking lot is located on West High Street and will have free parking for all guests and graduates. 

In an effort to ensure all graduates and their families have an enjoyable experience, you are asked to move your vehicle from the High Street Lot immediately after your ceremony concludes to ensure the next ceremony can start on time. 

A map of these locations can be found here.

I'm graduating from the Lewis Honors College. How do I get my Honors medallion?

The Honors medallion is given to Honors graduates during the Honors Medal Ceremony, held prior to UK Commencement, each December and May.

What time should students arrive?

Students should arrive ONE hour before their ceremony for check-in. The entrance is located on West High Street and there will be signage directing students to check-in.

Is the ceremony livestreamed?

Yes. It will be live-streamed to YouTube and the link will be provided the week of Commencement.


Is there a Virtual Ceremony?

No, there will not be a Virtual Ceremony.

How do I register?

Click here for more information about registration.

How long will the ceremony last?

We expect each ceremony to last around 2 hours depending on how many students participate. This may vary from family to family as students will leave after walking across the stage, so you may not be at Rupp Arena for the full 2 hours.

How can I contact the Commencement Office?

You can send us an email at or call 859-218-6699. Our office is on the 1st floor of the Gatton Student Center, Suite A150.

Can I bring an umbrella into Rupp Arena?

Yes, umbrellas may be brought into Rupp Arena.

Will there be any strobe lighting or other elements like this at the ceremony?

Yes. Strobe lighting will be used during the UK Fight Song.  Those with sensitivity to light should avoid this section of the ceremony.  Please contact the commencement office for more details.