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Commencement

Fall 2017 Commencement

Date: Thursday, December 14, 2017  
Time: 10 a.m. (Procession begins at 9:30 a.m.)
Location: NRG Arena

CLASS Commencement will take place at NRG Arena , Thursday, December 14, 2017, 10 a.m. Guest tickets are not required for this event. Families and friends are encouraged to attend. Commencement will include Summer 2017 graduates and Fall 2017 bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degree candidates from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. 

Students are eligible to participate in CLASS Commencement only if they will complete all degree requirements by the end of the Fall 2017 semester. At CLASS Commencement all graduates and graduation candidates will be individually recognized – each have the opportunity to have their names (along with any honors) called as they cross the ceremonial stage.

Venue and Parking Information

Guests are urged to familiarize themselves with driving directions to NRG Arena. Parking is available in the South Kirby (Blue) Lot, Kirby Dr. and South Loop 610 or in the Fannin Street (Maroon) Lot, Fannin and South Loop 610. Guests are advised to plan for and expect cash only, $12 per-car parking fees at this event. Ceremony attendees should expect to park some distance from the graduation venue and will need to walk to their destinations. Please wear suitable clothing and footwear for walking and be prepared for a crowd. To avoid expected traffic, crowds and parking fees, guests are urged to review available public transportation routes to NRG Arena.

Commencement Timeline:  Thursday, December 14, 2017

  • There is no rehearsal for CLASS Commencement.
  • 8:30 a.m. Graduates arrive at ‘Graduate Check-in’ area (enter at Exhibit Hall A, front entrance of NRG Arena)
  • 9:00 a.m. Guest General Admission
  • 9:30 a.m. Degree Candidate Procession Begins
  • 10:00 a.m. Commencement Ceremony Begins
  • 12:00 p.m. Ceremony Concludes

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Important! Required Before Graduation  (Updated as of 11/1/2017)

  • There is no rehearsal for Commencement, but each graduate is required to pick up their ‘stage card’ in advance of the ceremony.
  • Important Update: When: Thursday, December 7, 2017 Friday, December 8, 2017
  • Important Update: Where: Agnes Arnold Hall, Room 320 Second Floor
  • Time:  Anytime between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • This ‘stage card’ will serve as your RSVP and ‘entry ticket’ into the graduation line-up area the day of the ceremony.
  • Student ID is required to take receipt of your stage card.
  • You will verify that information on your card is correct. If not correct, you will make the necessary and legible corrections.
  • Do not bend, fold or lose this card. You will retain possession of this card until the ceremony.
  • Please refer any questions regarding this required event to our Commencement Team.
  • Don’t forget to bring your graduation cap if you are participating in our cap decorating event!

Senior Celebration hosted by the CLASS Ambassadors Student Organization

  • CLASS Ambassadors invite all CLASS undergraduates to decorate their graduation caps!  
  • CLASS Ambassadors will provide all decorating supplies, food and soft drinks free during this event- and a photo booth
  • Important Update: When: Thursday, December 7, 2017  (This event is optional!) Friday, December 8, 2017
  • Where: Agnes Arnold Hall Room 210
  • Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ( Arrive no later than 4 p.m.)
  • Don’t forget to bring your cap!

Graduate Information

  • Graduates must wear academic regalia to participate in the ceremony.
  • Graduates should arrive at NRG Arena dressed in cap & gown no later than 8:30 a.m.
  • Graduates will enter Exhibit Hall A and proceed to Exhibit Hall B for assembly by department (major) before the event.
  • Graduates must be in possession of a ‘stage card’ – Please do not forget to have this card with you.
  • Do not bring anything with you (except ‘stage card’) that would need to be claimed after the ceremony (cameras, purses, etc).
  • Guests cannot come with you to the Exhibit Hall staging areas. Guests should go to their seats through the lobby into the arena.
  • Volunteers will assist you in lining up and processing into the ceremony. 
  • When you approach the stage, remember to bring your name card with you and do not fold it. The ceremony reader uses this to announce your name as you cross the stage.
  • Graduates may not leave the ceremony early. All graduates are expected to stay for the entire ceremony.
  • Any graduate requesting special accommodation should contact our Commencement Team no later than November 17, 2017.

Guest Information

  • Guest tickets are not required for this event.  
  • NRG Parking rate is $12 per space. Cash Only.
  • Please allow ample time for travel and parking. Plan for expected heavy traffic and crowds.
  • Guests will enter NRG Arena through the Fannin Street entrance.
  • Audience seating for the ceremony is on a first-come, first-seated basis.
  • It is recommended that guests arrive at least 45 minutes before the ceremony begins in order to be comfortably seated.
  • Guests of graduates needing accommodations will be assisted by NRG staff. Request service at front entrance of NRG Arena.

Recognition of Graduates

  • Graduates will be recognized starting with doctoral, followed by masters, then bachelors (departmental alphabetical order). 
  • Staff will direct all graduates when to rise and how to proceed to the stage.
  • As you approach the stage, give your stage card to the person collecting the cards.
  • Advance across the stage to shake hands with the Dean of CLASS and/or chairperson of your department.
  • The seat to which you return will not be the same seat you had before crossing the stage - do not leave valuables at your seat.
  • Remain seated until all graduates are recognized. You will not be allowed to leave early. Be respectful of all participants.
  • Many people have volunteered to help direct this special event. Just follow their instructions, watch the person in front of you and enjoy family members, friends, cheering, clapping, and flashing cameras. Have a great time!

Photographs

Family and friends should feel free to bring cameras and video recorders and take as many pictures as they desire. However, they must remain in their seats during the ceremony. Guests will not be allowed to stand in the aisles and under no circumstances will they be permitted on the floor of the arena. We also suggest that family photographers take photos at home and at other locations prior to or after the ceremony.

A professional photographer, "Flash Photography," will be on hand taking individual photos during the ceremony. "Flash Photography" will send the proofs via email to the graduation candidate so that prints can be ordered. The photographer will have the email address approved by the student on the stage card used during the ceremony. If you do not receive the proofs within 30 days of your commencement, please contact: Flash Photography at 800.410.8070.

We make every effort to ensure that all graduating students are listed in the Commencement program.

Please also be aware of the following information:

  • If at any time you have requested privacy protection for your academic records, your name cannot be published in the program by law unless you have indicated on your application for graduation that you desire your name be included in the program.
  • Although your name might not be included in the printed program, you will still be individually recognized by name as you cross the stage.

Cap, Gown and Invitations

All graduates participating in the commencement ceremony must wear the updated UH custom regalia. Students may order their cap, gown, announcements and invitations online from Herff-Jones Company, the authorized vendor for the University of Houston. For additional information please call the UH Bookstore at 713-748-0923. Herff-Jones orders can also be placed at 281-379-3825.

Academic Regalia

Academic regalia (the traditional black mortarboard cap and black gown) are required for all graduates. The University of Houston has selected Official UH Regalia for undergraduates and Master’s. We strongly encourage you to purchase your regalia at the UH Bookstore. Regalia and regalia item purchases must be made prior to CLASS Commencement. A cap and gown is a requirement to participate in the commencement ceremony. Students not attired in appropriate regalia will not be allowed to participate in commencement.

Bachelor graduates and candidates

  • Must wear the appropriate black commencement gown and black mortarboard cap with UH CLASS tassel.
  • Wear your tassel on the right side of the mortarboard.

Master graduates and candidates

  • Must wear the appropriate black commencement gown and black mortarboard cap with UH Class tassel.
  • Must also rent and wear the appropriate hood.
  • Wear your tassel on the left side of the mortarboard.

Doctoral graduates and candidates

  • Must bring the appropriate black commencement gown and black tam with tassel.
  • Must bring the appropriate hood with you.
  • Please contact the Program Director for Graduate Studies regarding the hooding ceremony process: Anna Marchese, CLASS Graduate Studies Program Director, amarchese@uh.edu

Regalia Colors for All Departments

 

Tassels

Hoods

Baccalaureate

Citron

None

Master

Black

Citron

Doctoral

Gold

Dark blue

Bachelor and Master Candidates Regalia Purchase Prices (Updated Fall 2017)

Bachelor Unit (Cap, gown, tassel)

$62.50

Bachelor Gown

$45.00

Master Unit (Cap, gown, tassel, & hood)

$87.00

Master Hood only

$35.00

Master Gown

$60.00

Cap only

$9.25

Key Chain Tassel

$8.25

Tassel only

$8.50

Mega Tassel

$9.25

Honor Cords

$14.50

Gratitude Stole

$30.00

Doctoral Candidates’ Regalia Rental Prices

Doctoral custom rental unit (Rental gown, keeper hood, tam, & tassel)

$140.00

Ph.D. Keeper Hood

$40.00

Ph.D. Rental Gown

$80.00

Ph.D. Keeper Student Tam

$35.00

Prices do not include sales tax.

*PhD Hood & Tam w/Tassel are keepers and only the gowns will need to be returned to the Bookstore.

Cougar Spirit Cord

Don't be left out at graduation! Give to the University of Houston and get your Cougar Spirit Cord today! The Cougar Spirit Cord is a symbol of your pride and a way to help make more scholarships available to next year's students or show support for a program that's made a difference in your UH experience. Make a minimum $17 donation (perhaps a gift in honor of your class, $20.17) to any CLASS department or program of your choice (perhaps your major?) and wear the cord at commencement to show your Cougar Pride!

Applying to Graduate Fall 2017

Students must apply for graduation on myUH to be considered for the degree. Applying for graduation and/or participating in commencement does not guarantee the degree will be approved. Conferral of degree is contingent upon successful completion of all coursework and degree requirements, regardless of attendance at graduation events. Students are assessed the application fee(s) for each application they submit and for each degree they are seeking.

Before you apply!

  • Please confirm that your major and minor information is listed correctly on myUH prior to submitting your graduation application. (If it is incorrect you should check with your major advisor.)
  • Graduation applications cannot be retracted. Once you submit a graduation application you must graduate if you meet graduation requirements.

How to Apply

Deadline to Apply

  • Friday, September 29, 2017. $25 non-refundable application fee.
  • Late applications accepted Saturday, September 30, 2017 through Friday, October 27, 2017. $50 non-refundable application fee.

Status of Your Graduation Application

When you submit your application to graduate, your primary major advisor will receive notification in their weekly reports. Your primary major advisor will then begin to collect all documents, petitions, etc. related to your degree progress and begin to make a preliminary recommendation for degree conferral. If your graduation is contingent on completing any coursework, you must first successfully complete those requirements before a decision can be made. If there are any other outstanding items that your primary major advisor is aware of and has already communicated with you about, these items will also need to be completed before a preliminary recommendation for degree conferral can be made. Your major advisor is your contact for questions related to the status of your application and the completion of your degree.

Conditions that Warrant Immediate Disapproval

If there are requirements for your degree completion that will not be met by currently enrolled courses and your major advisor is not already aware of these outstanding items, your application could be disapproved before the end of the semester that you have applied to graduate. A notification of that decision will be sent by UH (not CLASS) to you at your email address listed on your record. You will then need to work with your major advisor to complete any remaining requirements and apply for graduation again in the next feasible semester.

Approval Process

Once the semester officially closes (Wednesday, December 13, 2017) and all grades are posted (last day to submit grades is 72 hours after the close of the semester), a final recommendation will be made by your major advisor and the college Dean’s Office for Academic Affairs will begin their final review for degree conferral.

If you have successfully completed all requirements of your degree program, your application will be approved by CLASS and then sent to UH with final recommendation for degree conferral. After UH has completed their review and has determined that all degree requirements have been satisfied, a final approval decision will be made and posted to your record. A notification of that decision will be sent by UH (not CLASS) to you at your email address listed on your record.

Disapproval Process

Once the semester officially closes (Wednesday, December 13, 2017) and all grades are posted (last day to submit grades is 72 hours after the close of the semester), a final recommendation will be made by your major advisor and the college Dean’s Office for Academic Affairs will begin their final review for degree conferral.

If you have successfully completed all requirements of your degree program, your application will be approved by CLASS and then sent to UH with final recommendation for degree conferral. After UH has completed their review and has determined that all degree requirements have been satisfied, a final approval decision will be made and posted to your record. A notification of that decision will be sent by UH (not CLASS) to you at your email address listed on your record.

Baccalaureate Candidates Graduating with Honors

Once the Fall 2017 semester has officially closed and all grades have been posted, your honors status will be updated accordingly and will be engraved upon your diploma. Undergraduate students who have completed the graduation requirements of the Honors College may graduate with special honors designations. Please see your advisor in the Honors College for more information. Undergraduate students who successfully complete a senior honors thesis/project and who are not members of the Honors College graduate with "Honors in Major."

Honors Designations:

3.90 to 4.0 GPA

Summa Cum Laude (with highest honors)

3.70 to 3.89 GPA

Magna Cum Laude (with high honors)

3.50 to 3.69 GPA

Cum Laude (with honors)

The honors calculation will include all hours completed in the semester in which the first of the final fifty-four (54) hours was completed.

Where is My Diploma?

Diplomas will be mailed out 6 - 8 weeks after the official close of the fall semester. If you do not receive your diploma, call the Graduation Office at 713-743-1010.

Do you need documentation of your degree for a job or grad school?

  • If you are applying to graduate programs or if you have a job offer for which your degree posting is required, you may request that your degree processing be expedited.
  • To do so, you must supply documentation of urgent need to your major department advisor. The documentation should be addressed to you and should include a deadline. 
  • No reviews can post prior to the close of the term.

Diplomas are mailed directly to graduates at the most current address provided through their myUH student account. The diploma printing company will also send email notifications to diploma recipients indicating when diplomas have been mailed. It's important to keep contact information updated in myUH to avoid shipment delays.