Frequently asked questions For Students

I think I registered, but I have not received any communications from the Commencement team. Am I registered?

If you are successfully registered, you should have received an email from us on Thursday, April 8 with your ceremony assignment and guest ticket allotment. If you did not receive that email, please check your junk/spam folder. If you do not see the email there either, please contact commencement@unc.edu to check that you are successfully registered.

I submitted my registration form after March 31. Am I registered?

Any graduate who submitted their HeelLife form after March 31 is not registered. Please contact commencement@unc.edu with your name, PID, school and degree information to be added to the waitlist.

I forgot to register; can I still attend?

We are currently accepting students on a waitlist basis due to stadium capacity restrictions. Please contact commencement@unc.edu with your name, PID, school and degree information to be added to the waitlist.

I registered for a ceremony and now I have to take a summer class, can I still attend my ceremony?

Yes, as long as you are already registered August 2021 graduates are allowed to attend an in-person Ceremony in May.

How do I know how many guest tickets I will receive?

You should have received and email from us on Thursday, April 8 with how many guest tickets you will receive. All graduates will receive the number of tickets they registered for. Graduates who want to check how many tickets they registered for can log in to HeelLife, then select “Forms.” Click on “View Submissions” located in the top right-hand corner then select “2021 Spring Commencement Registration” by clicking on the eye under the “Action” column.

The website says I can receive four guest tickets and I only registered for two can I receive more?

Unfortunately, we have reached stadium capacity, and we are not able to make any further registration exceptions or guest ticket additions. Please check the Commencement website for more information on how to participate virtually.

The website says I can receive four guest tickets, is that in addition to the two that I was guaranteed?

All graduates will receive the number of tickets they registered for. If you registered for two and an additional three+ you will receive four total guest tickets.

When will I receive my guest tickets?

Guest tickets were emailed to the graduate’s UNC email on May 5.

How will I receive my guest tickets?

Guest tickets will be emailed to the graduate’s UNC email account.

When will I receive my student tickets?

Mobile student tickets were emailed to the graduate’s UNC email on May 5.

How will I receive my student ticket?

A mobile student ticket will be emailed to the graduate’s UNC email account.

I was accepted off the waitlist; how will I receive my guest and student ticket?

Graduates accepted off the waitlist after Thursday, April 29 will receive their guest tickets and mobile student ticket on Thursday, May 13.

Do I have to purchase/wear a cap and gown?

Students are not required to purchase regalia, but it is encouraged as most graduates will be wearing it. Cap and gown information can be found on the Commencement website.

Where can I purchase a cap and gown?

Cap and gown information can be found on the Commencement website.

Can we decorate our caps?

Yes, you can decorate your graduation cap.

What ceremony am I supposed to attend?

Graduates should have received their ceremony assignment in an email sent on Thursday, April 8. A full schedule can be found on the Commencement website.

Where do I park?

Parking information is available on the UNC Commencement Parking Information website.

Where/when do I arrive for my ceremony?

Graduates should arrive in the Loudermilk lot one hour before their ceremony start time.

Where do I go if I have accessibility needs?

Please arrive at the Loudermilk lot and go to the Accessibility Services Check-in tent.

What time does student check-in start?

One  hour before the ceremony start time

What do I need to bring to the ceremony?

Bring your cell phone with your mobile student ticket and your OneCard.

What happens if I show up without a student ticket?

Graduates will not be allowed to enter Kenan Stadium without a student ticket. If you lose or forget your ticket, please check-in with your department in the Loudermilk lot they will be able to help you. If you are not registered, please reach out to commencement@unc.edu to get registered for a ceremony.

What will I receive upon check-in?

All graduates will receive a bag with two water bottles and a surgical-grade mask. We highly recommend that all graduates wear the surgical-grade mask.

Can I bring food and beverages into the stadium?

Bottled water is allowed and encouraged.

How will I enter the stadium?

Graduates will enter Kenan Stadium through the tunnels. The tunnel entrances are located in the Loudermilk lot.

How will I exit the stadium?

Graduates will walk up into the stadium and exit through the gates with the guests.

How will my guests enter the stadium?

Guests will enter Kenan Stadium through Gates 2, 3, 5 and 6.

How will my guests exit the stadium?

Guests will exit through the gates that they entered.

Can I take pictures with my family on the field?

Unfortunately, due to turnover time between ceremonies, we will not allow families to come down to the field to take photos.

Will I be seated with my family in the stands?

No, graduates will be seated on the field. Guests will be seated in the stands.

Will I be seated with my department/degree?

No, graduates will be seated front to back in the order they arrive not by department/degree.

Can I sit with my friends?

If you want to sit with your friends, please arrive at the same time.

Can I move seats?

No, once you are seated, we ask that you remain in your seat for the duration of the ceremony to keep physical distancing.

Will the graduates be seated 6 feet apart?

Yes, the chairs on the field will be spaced out 6 feet apart.

If the governor lifts COVID-19 protocols, can my family have more guest tickets?

Unfortunately, we have reached stadium capacity, and we are not able to make any further guest ticket additions.

The CDC now says people who are vaccinated do not have to wear masks outdoors. Do I have to wear a mask to/during the ceremony?

Yes, we are still requiring all graduates and guests wear masks while inside Kenan Stadium.

Will masks be provided?

Graduates are asked to arrive with their own masks on and will all be provided with a surgical-grade mask. Guests are asked to arrive with their own mask. If a guest forgets their mask, the gate staff will have extra.

Will physical distancing protocols be in place?

Yes, we ask all graduates and guests to follow physical distancing protocols. There will be signage in Kenan Stadium to follow.

Will there be hand sanitizer stations?

Yes, we will have hand sanitizer stations available for use.

How long will the ceremony last?

Around one and a half to two hours.

What happens if it rains?

This is a rain or shine event, so it will continue in the rain. If there is extreme weather (lightning/thunder) we will postpone until Monday, May 17.

Can I bring an umbrella into the stadium?

Yes, umbrellas are allowed inside the stadium.

Can I bring a sign into the stadium?

We follow the same policies as football, which is no sign bigger than 8.5”x11”.

What is the clear bag policy for Commencement?

We try to adhere to all football policies and would encourage clear bags, but they are not required for Commencement.

Will there be a processional?

Due to physical distancing, we are not able to have a traditional processional. The graduates will enter the stadium and be seated as soon as they arrive. They will be asked to remain in their seats the duration of the ceremony.

Is faculty attending the ceremonies?

In order to de-densify the ceremonies, faculty have been asked to participate virtually.

Will graduates be walking across the stage?

Due to physical distancing, we are not able to allow the students to walk across the stage to receive their diplomas. The students will be asked to remain in their seats the whole time.

Will the graduates names be called?

Due to physical distancing and to keep the ceremonies shorter, graduates names will not be called. The names of the May 2021 graduates will be scrolled on the screen at the end of each ceremony.

Will there be a printed program?

No, this year there will be a virtual program. The official program will be on the Commencement website.

Will there be a sign language interpreter or captioning in the stadium?

Yes, there will be a sign language interpreter and captioning at each ceremony.

Will there be access to restrooms?

Yes, graduates will be directed up into the stadium to use the concourse restrooms.

Where can I find the livestream link?

The livestream links will be posted on the Commencement website shortly before the ceremony start time.

Will the ceremonies be recorded?

Yes, all ceremonies will be recorded. The recordings can be found on the Commencement website after Commencement weekend.