Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need tickets?
Tickets are not needed for the December Commencement ceremony held in the Dean E. Smith Center. You may bring as many family members and friends as you like.
What time do graduates need to be there?
Graduates need to arrive at the Smith Center no later than 1 PM to line up.
How long does the ceremony usually last?
The ceremony will last about one hour.
Where do we park?
Parking is available in all of the lots around the Smith Center. There is no charge for parking.
Is there handicapped parking?
Yes. Contact Accessibility Services with requests for handicapped parking or seating. Office of Accessibility Services, SASB – Suite 2126, 962-0754 or visit their website.
Will they call out my name?
The names of the graduates are not announced. All candidates will be recognized by the dean of their respective school. Candidates for the doctoral degree will be recognized individually and walk across the stage.
Is my School or department having a separate ceremony?
Check the schedule page.
Where do I get my diploma?
Your diploma will be mailed to you in March 2014. See the section on diplomas for more details.
Is there housing on campus for Commencement?
No, housing is not available on campus for parents and guests. A list of hotels in the area is available on the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau and the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau Web sites.
How are speakers selected?
The Speaker Selection Committee is composed of four undergraduate students, the faculty chair, the faculty secretary, two distinguished faculty members, and the chair of the Commencement Committee. The committee is advisory to the chancellor, and he makes the final decision on the speaker. December Commencement speakers are traditionally respected members of the faculty. For both the December and May Commencements, the Chancellor selects a speaker who has made significant contributions to the world and who will honor the graduates, their parents and friends, and the faculty.