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Commencement and Graduation Information

The University of Northern Iowa

Fall 2016 Commencement Ceremonies will be held:


Saturday, December 17, 2016

11:00 a.m.

McLeod Center







Completing Your Degree Requirements:

Completing your degree requirements means that all course work and all departmental graduation requirements (e.g., comprehensive examinations, internships, student teaching, correspondence work, departmental defense, internship, thesis, dissertation, research paper, project, recital, etc.), that are part of your degree program, are completed.
You can track your progress towards your degree by utilizing your Academic Advisement Report, which provides information on how your coursework applies to your degree requirements.  If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about your academic progress or your Academic Advisement Report, please meet with your advisor or with your Record Analyst.


Applying to Graduate:

If you are completing your final degree requirements this semester and plan to have a degree awarded in December, you must submit your Application for Graduation by November 4, 2016 to ensure inclusion in the Commencement Program.  Students who are graduating during the Spring 2017 semester must submit their graduation application by November 4, 2016 to ensure inclusion in the Commencement Program if they are participating in the Commencement ceremonies on December 17, 2016.

Please note that a $75.00 Graduation Fee will be assessed to your account each time you apply to graduate, and that a Late Application Fee may be assessed for any Applications for Graduation received after the deadline for graduate students.

Students who have multiple majors need to submit only one applocation.

To see if your degree has been awarded, please refer to your unofficial grade report. Please note that Graduation Check-Out takes time to complete as the Record Analysts have to verify that all degree requirements have been met; as such, please do not be alarmed if your degree isn't posted immediately upon grade submission. 



If you are not planning to meet requirements for your degree this semester, and you submitted an Application for Graduation, please notify your Record Analyst as soon as possible.

All deficiencies must be taken care of before January 19, 2017.  If deficiencies are not completed by this date, you will then need to submit an Application for Graduation for the term in which you plan to complete all remaining degree requirements.


Graduating with Honors:

Three levels of honors are awarded to undergraduate students upon graduation from a bachelor's degree curriculum. To receive an honor rating, the student must earn no less than 55 semester hours of credit at UNI. Only credit earned in residence at this university is considered in making honor awards, except for students graduating with the Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree, in which case, both residence and non-residence credit taken at this university is considered.

The names of the students receiving honors are identified in the commencement program and on their academic transcript. Students will be notified by letter from the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs if they have qualified for the Summa Cum Laude Award. The student may then pick up the award at the Office of the Registrar the week prior to commencement any time between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. If the student is unable to pick up their award at this time please contact Kristin Soppe directly via e-mail.

  • Summa Cum Laude: Students whose cumulative UNI grade point average places them in the top 3% of those students graduating from their academic major college/division will be awarded Summa Cum Laude. These students will receive a Summa Cum Laude medallion and will also be noted in the Commencement Program with three asterisks (***) by their name.
  • Magna Cum Laude: Students who cumulative UNI grade point average places them in the top 4% through top 8% of those students graduating from their academic major college/division will be awarded Magna Cum Laude. These students will be noted in the Commencement Program with two asterisks (**) by their name.
  • Cum Laude: Students whose cumulative UNI grade point average places them in the top 9% through top 15% of those students graduating from their academic major college/division will be awarded Cum Laude. These students will be noted in the Commencement Program with one asterisk (*) by their name.


Commencement Ceremony Reply:

The Commencement Ceremony Reply is available and will remain open until November 27, 2016 at 9:00 p.m.

All Fall 2016 degree candidates, whether or not they are planning to attend the Fall 2016 Commencement Ceremony, must submit a Commencement Ceremony Reply. The information provided on the Commencement Ceremony Reply is utilized for the Commencement Program, photographers, the Reader at the Commencement Ceremony, and the UNI Alumni Association.

If you are a degree candidate who is completing your degree requirements in another semester, but would like to walk through the Fall 2016 Commencement Ceremony, you may attend the ceremony if you fill out the Commencement Ceremony Reply. Doing so will allow a reader card to be prepared for you.  Any honors earned will be recognized in the semester you actually complete your degree requirements. The names and academic honors of those students who graduated Summer are automatically put in the Fall Commencement Program since no Summer Commencement Ceremony exists. Please feel free to contact our office directly during the semester you actually complete all of your degree requirements to request a Commencement Program with your name in it; we will gladly provide you with a copy!


Graduate Student Participation in Commencement:

Graduate students may participate in Commencement at the end of the Fall or Spring term that their final degree requirements are completed or the next later term. There is no summer commencement ceremony. Summer degree candidates may participate in Spring or Fall Commencement as indicated below.

Applications for Graduation must be submitted by the following deadlines:

  • Spring Graduate Degree Candidates: April 1
  • Fall Graduate Degree Candidates: November 4
  • Summer Graduate Degree Candidates: July 1
  • For deadlines for commencement participation, see the appropriate paragraph immediately below.

Summer Graduation - Master's and Specialist Degree Students:

Students who will complete their degree requirements in summer, and who apply by April 1 for summer graduation (degree conferral), are eligible to participate in Spring Commencement. Students who will complete their degree requirements in summer, and who apply after April 1 for summer graduation (degree conferral), are only eligible to participate in Fall Commencement.

Summer Graduation - Doctoral Degree Students:

Students who complete their degree requirements in summer may apply for summer or fall graduation (degree conferral), but they will only be eligible to participate in Fall Commencement. Exceptions for summer doctoral candidates to participate in Spring Commencement will only be made if the student applied for Summer Graduation by April 1 and has completed all degree requirements, including defense and final submission of the dissertation to the Graduate College, prior to the last week of classes of the Spring term.


Student Arrival and Seating:

Students participating in Commencement should arrive to the southwest entrance to the UNIDome at the following times:

Graduate College students should start arriving at 9:00 a.m. to the southwest entrance of the UNIDome.

Undergraduate students in the College of Education and the College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences should start arriving at 9:15 a.m. to the southwest entrance of the UNIDome.

Undergraduate students in the College of Business Administration, the College of Social and Behavioral Science and in the Division of Continuing Education should start arriving at 9:45 a.m. to the southwest entrance of the UNIDome.


Guest Arrival and Seating:

Other than students who are graduating and members of the faculty, guest seating will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. While there is not a limit to the number of guests who can be in attendance, we encourage students to keep in mind a seating ratio of approximately six guests per one student. Tickets are not required for the General Public Seating areas. However, if you are in need of Special Needs/Accommodations Seating, please see below.

Special needs seating is available. You must request a ticket for the special needs area.  This can be done by submitting the Request for Special Needs/Accommodations Seating Tickets WebForm. Please limit your ticket requests to the specific individual(s) with special accommodations/needs and a family member or small group sitting with them to assist as necessary. Special accommodations/needs tickets will be sent out a couple of weeks prior to the Commencement ceremony to those requesting them.  Special needs seating for guests will be on folding chairs on the concourse level of the McLeod Center and there will be room for wheelchairs.

Graduate arrival information:  

All graduates should enter the Southwest entrance to the UNIDome.  There will be signs directing graduates where to go and what doors to enter. You will check-in right inside the entrance to the UNIDome.  We will seat you in the Dome to get colleges and departments in order before we process to the McLeod Center.



 Parking and Entrances:

Parking will be in the lots around the UNI-Dome, McLeod Center, and Wellness-Recreation Center (WRC), as well as the Latham Field, Hagemann Hall, Campbell Hall, and other lots on the East side of Hudson Road.

For a UNI Parking Map, including special needs parking, please click here.


Caps and Gowns:

Students can purchase commencement apparel at the Spring 2016 Graduation Fair.  After the Graduation Fair, apparel may be purchased in person at University Book and Supply.

  • Undergraduate Students:
    • Cap, Gown, and Tassel: $36.99
    • Tassel Only: $6.99
  • Masters Students:
    • Cap, Gown, and Tassel: $44.99
    • Hood: $39.99
    • Tassel Only: $6.99
  • Doctoral Candidates:
    • Cap, Gown, and Tassel: $63.99
    • Hood: $47.99
    • Keeper Tam: $31.99
    • Tassel Only: $6.99 



Individual commencement photos will be taken by Lifetouch Photography, Des Moines, Iowa. Photos will be available on the Lifetouch Photography website one week after the ceremony, and proofs will be mailed to you.


Diplomas and Outstanding Bills:

Your diploma will be mailed to your permanent home address after grades have been reported by the faculty and eligibility for graduation has been determined. You can check MyUNIverse for the accuracy of your permanent home address or make changes to your permanent home mailing address prior to Commencement through your MyUNIverse account by clicking on the "Update My Personal Information" link and selecting the "Home Address" tab. If you wish your diploma to be mailed to a different address other than your home address after Commencement, please notify Kristin Soppe and include your student UID. Please do this within one-week after the Fall 2016 Commencement ceremony.

A diploma will not be mailed to any student who, at the time of graduation, has holds with the university. Once the hold has been removed, please notify Kristin Soppe in the Office of the Registrar.

International students who wish that their diploma be sent to their home country, or to an address outside of the U.S. border, please send an e-mail to Kristin Soppe with your complete international address and international phone number. International diplomas will be sent out by DHL express mail service. 

Diploma covers are received at either the Fall or Spring Commencement ceremonies (no Summer ceremony is held). If you will not be attending a ceremony and would like a diploma cover, please notify Kristin Soppe and indicate your student number and mailing address. Additionally, you may stop by the Office of the Registrar to pick one up Monday through Friday during regular office hours.


Perkins Loan Borrowers:

If you borrowed under the Perkins Loan program while attending UNI, you are required to complete a Perkins Loan Exit Interview before leaving the University. If this is not completed, it will prevent your diploma from being sent to you.

For more information pertaining to borrowing under the Perkins Loan program, please see Frequently Asked Questions for Perkins Loans. Please contact Joyce Willms with any questions.


Attention!!  Teaching Majors:

If you are a Teaching major, please navigate to our Common Questions about Teacher Licensure at UNI webpage. Additionally, you will want to review the information regarding Accessing Your Information on the BOEE Online Licensure Application.


Office of Career Services:

Career Services is available for students up to one year after graduation. Students can find job opportunities through the UNI Job Board by visiting We encourage all students to start their job search early! If you have any questions on a job search, resume building, interviewing or networking please contact Career Services at 319-273-6827.


UNI Alumni Association:

The mission of the UNI Alumni Association is to encourage and support a life-long relationship between the University of Northern Iowa and its alumni and friends; to promote the interaction of alumni with each other; and to promote and advance the interests of the University and its alumni.

The Alumni Association's Membership Program allows UNIAA members to choose from an exciting series of benefits and premiums. There are three levels to the membership program. Each supports the Association's endeavors and programs. Each strengthens our university. Each has different types of premiums and benefits. You decide at what level you would like to participate. For more information, you can e-mail or call (319) 273-2355.

Commencement Archives:

Download past UNI Commencement Programs in Adobe PDF format through the links below.

**This program is not an official graduation list.

Fall 2015

Spring 2016



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Office Hours

Fall/Spring: (M-F) 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Summer:(M-F) 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


(319) 273-2241


(319) 273-6792


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