Spring Commencement

The 2024 Spring Commencement will be held
Saturday, May 11 at 7 p.m.

A clear bag policy will be in effect for all ceremonies, including the main ceremony, Doctoral Hooding and school, departmental and small group ceremonies. Keep scrolling for more information.

View departmental ceremony schedule

a graduation tassel

Preparing for graduation

New clear bag policy, One Cards, prohibited items

The University will employ some additional safety measures in place this year to support safety for everyone. 

New this year, graduates will need to present their UNC One Card to enter the seating area in Kenan Stadium.

Event officials will also enforce a clear bag policy for all Commencement ceremonies in all venues. The clear bag policy will apply to the main ceremony at Kenan Stadium, the Doctoral Hooding ceremony and all school, departmental and small group ceremonies.

Please also note the list below of prohibited items

Main University Commencement Ceremony in Kenan Stadium

7 p.m., Saturday, May 11 

  • Graduates should arrive in the Loudermilk parking lot at 5:30 p.m.
  • Graduates will enter the stadium through the tunnels and go straight to the seating area. Staff will be on hand to direct.
  • Graduates will need to present their UNC One Card to enter the seating area. 

Clear Bag Policy

Guests are encouraged to leave all bags at home, but the following items will be allowed into all Commencement venues, including Kenan Stadium, the Dean E. Smith Center and all other ceremony locations: 

  • Any clear plastic or vinyl bag no larger than 12″ x 6″ x 12″, including gallon freezer bags.
  • Small clutch purses no larger than 4.5″ x 6.5″.
  • Necessary medical items following inspection at entry gates.
  • Up to two unopened 20 ounce or smaller bottles of water per person and empty drink containers that can be filled up at drinking fountains.
  • For more information, see the Kenan Stadium Policy, which will apply at all ceremony venues.

Prohibited Items

Alcoholic beverages, artificial noise makers, baby seats, large bags, balloons, banners, flags and signs (larger than 8 ½” x 11”), signs on sticks or other devices, beach balls, coolers or containers, explosives, fireworks, folding chairs, food and beverages (except sealed plastic water bottles), illegal drugs, laser pointers, pets (except service animals), strollers (non-collapsible), umbrellas, weapons of any kind and any other item that in the judgment of management staff poses a safety hazard or detracts from the ability of others to enjoy the event. 

All permissible bags and containers are subject to search upon entry.  

Free Speech Laws and Policies

The North Carolina Restore and Preserve Free Speech Act and the UNC System Board of Governors Policy on Free Speech and Free Expression provides a range of possible disciplinary actions for those who substantially interfere with another person’s protected free speech rights. This includes protests that limit the ability of others to hear a speaker.

The University respects the rights of peaceful protesters. While anyone — including students, faculty and staff — may gather and exercise their rights to free speech, state law and the Board of Governors policy prohibit significant disruption of University operations. The University’s Policy on Demonstrative Events provides a list of prohibited items and actions for demonstrations. We expect all campus community members to comply, and those who do not will be subject to arrest.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation with these safety measures. 

For graduates

Main University Commencement Ceremony
7 p.m., Saturday, May 11
Kenan Stadium

  • Please arrive in the Loudermilk parking lot at 5:30 p.m.
  • Graduates will enter the stadium through the tunnels and go straight to the seating area. Staff will be on-hand to direct.
  • Graduates will need to present their One Card to enter the seating area.

We are not requiring student registration or tickets. Our plans are based on current public health guidance, and we will communicate as soon as possible if that should change. 

View the schedule for school and departmental ceremonies. Please reach out directly to the school/department for their specific ceremony details. 

The Graduate School’s Hooding Ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 11 at 9 a.m. in the Dean E. Smith Center. For more information, please go to The Graduate School’s website.

We highly encourage August graduates to attend the December ceremony. Graduates are allowed to choose to attend the May ceremony instead, but please note that you are only allowed (registration not required) to attend one ceremony and your name will not appear in the May program. 

Ceremony

The 2024 main University Commencement ceremony will be held in Kenan Stadium on Saturday, May 11 at 7 p.m. The ceremony will also be livestreamed on several platforms for virtual participation or viewing. The link will be posted the day of the ceremony. 

Students are not required to register to attend in person and there will not be a ticketing process. Guest wheelchair seating will be ticketed (see ADA section below for more details).  As keeping with past years, the main Commencement ceremony does not include graduates’ names being called or them walking across the stage. These both take place at the departmental ceremonies due to time constraints. 

Caps, Gowns, Announcements and Diploma Frames

Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Regalia is encouraged but not required to attend Commencement.

Cap and gown (regalia) will be available for in-person purchasing (readily available at time of purchase) March 20, 2024, at the Grad Fair and in-store at UNC Student Stores the following day. The Grad Fair is being held at the Carolina Club from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Cap and gown (regalia) is available for purchase online (shipping only) at https://unchapelhill.shopoakhalli.com/purchasewizard/Welcome. Anyone who would like to purchase in-store will be able to do so starting Thursday, March 21, through Commencement weekend. Individual stoles and and tassels are available for purchase online HERE, at the Grad Fair on Wednesday, March 20, and in-store starting Thursday, March 21.

Faculty

Faculty rental regalia is available for ordering at https://uncchapelhillfac.shopoakhalli.com/purchasewizard/Welcome. The site will remain open through Wednesday, April 3, and the regalia will be available for pickup at UNC Student Stores starting the Monday of commencement week (May 6). Payment is due at time of pickup, and the return deadline to have your items back in-store is Friday, May 17.

Customized, more elaborate doctoral regalia can be ordered in-store or by contacting graduation@store.unc.edu. Orders for custom regalia can be placed year-round and take 8-10 weeks to ship once ordered. For guaranteed delivery by Spring 2024 Commencement, the order deadline is Friday, March 1, 2024.

Customized graduation announcements can be purchased through Balfour (https://balfour.com/unc). Generic announcements in packages of 10 may be purchased at Student Stores.

Class Ring Ordering Information – please visit Balfour’s website (https://balfour.com/unc).

Diploma Frame Ordering Information – order your diploma frame through Student Stores (https://unc.bncollege.com/Categories/Gifts–Accessories/All-Diploma-Frames/c/ac-gifts-all-diploma-frames).

For other questions, please call 919-962-7239 or email graduation@store.unc.edu.

Senior Campaign

The Office of University Development invites seniors to support UNC-Chapel Hill through the Senior Campaign for Carolina. As Carolina students, you have been touched every day by private gifts to Carolina that maintain and enhance the University’s tradition of excellence. You can make a gift to any part of the University that is meaningful to you — your major, a professorship, a student organization, scholarships and student aid, or campus-wide programs. To make an immediate difference where it is needed the most, consider supporting The Carolina Fund. All gifts to Carolina are included as participation in the Senior Campaign. To learn more about how Carolina benefits from private support from alumni and friends, please visit the Annual Giving website.

Make your gift today.

For families

  • Gates open at 6 p.m.
  • Gates 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 will be open for guests.
  • Clear bags are required. Please see the policy above.
  • Hydration stations will be available, please bring your own refillable water bottle.

Hotel Accommodations and Visitor Information

We recommend making hotel reservations as early as possible. The Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau can help you find the type of accommodation appropriate for your stay.

Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau Resources:

Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership Resources:

UNC Visitors Center Resources:

Useful Contacts

Accessibility services

General Information

To best accommodate the various needs of our visitors at Commencement, Carolina is providing two options for accessible seating.

General Disability Parking for the Kenan Stadium Ceremony (No Reservation Required)

Guests not requesting Wheelchair Seating but who need accessible parking may wish to make use of the accessible shuttle transit options available from certain on-campus and off-campus lots. Carolina Livery will service the on-campus Bowles, Manning and Cardinal Parking Lots and convey guests to a Kenan Stadium Gate 6 drop-off point starting at 5:30pm. Alternatively, guests may park at the Friday Center Park and Ride Lot off-campus. Chapel Hill Transit (also accessible) will convey guests to the Kenan Stadium Gate 2 drop-off point. Please note that shuttles will not run from/to any other parking lots/decks for the Kenan Stadium Ceremony. State issued disability hangtags / plates can be used in non-shuttle lots that are not otherwise reserved for alternate events or event operations, even where there is not an accessible shuttle.

Return transit will be available from the Gate 2 and Gate 6 drop-off points up to 45 minutes following the main ceremony. Shuttles will make return trips to both the Kenan Stadium ceremony shuttle lots and the departmental ceremony lots: Spangler Complex, Smith Center, and Friday Center Park & Ride and Friday Center South Park & Ride.

There are handicapped accessible parking spaces in each of the lots on a first-come first-served basis. Guests can drop off at the shuttle departure points within each shuttle lot.

Place check the UNC Transportation and Parking website for the latest updates.

Concourse Level Wheelchair Seating (Reservation Required)

The Concourse Level Wheelchair Section is reserved, and each reservation is for one wheelchair user plus up to three companions. To maximize the limited concourse space available, the wheelchair user will be able to position themselves with one companion on the concourse level, the other 2 guests will need to use seats directly behind or in front of the concourse level. To reserve Concourse Level Wheelchair Seats, please complete the Reservation Request Form no later than May 3, 2024; reservations are first-come, first-served.

This wheelchair seating section is located near the Kenan Football Center between Gates 3 and 5. ADA-accessible restrooms are located near the seating, as well as water stations; please bring a water bottle to fill or to bring your own water.

This section faces the main stage and provides a direct view of the event. Please understand this event is in an outdoor stadium and there will be exposure to the elements. A limited number of accessible seats are available for families of graduates, and only a small portion of those will offer shelter/shade. If you are concerned about exposure related to the weather or the elements, please know that the ceremony will be livestreamed at commencement.unc.edu. Once the Concourse Level Wheelchair Section is filled, those requesting wheelchair seating will be assigned to a secondary wheelchair seating area.

Guests who request Concourse Level Wheelchair Seating will receive a parking pass for a designated lot close to Kenan Stadium and a seating ticket, sent to the requestor’s email the week of the Commencement ceremony. If you are not a wheelchair user but cannot ascend or descend stairs on the shuttle or in the stadium, please contact Commencement Accessibility Services at access@unc.edu to explore seating options.

Other useful information

Departmental Ceremonies

There will be designated disability parking for department ceremonies held in Memorial Hall, Carmichael Arena, Student Union, Smith Center and Friday Center. Disability plates / permits will be honored on a first-come-first serve basis in the designated lots. ADA compliant shuttles will provide drop-off and pick-up to / from those facilities.

Please check the UNC Transportation and Parking website for latest updates.

Arrival at Kenan Stadium

Travel and parking information can be found at move.unc.edu. Visitors with a ticketed reservation (parking and seating) or general accessibility needs are strongly encouraged to arrive at the stadium no later than an hour before the ceremony begins in order to ensure you are in your seat for the start of the ceremony. Gates open at 6 p.m.

Mobility equipment

UNC commencement staff cannot be responsible for any wheelchairs, walkers, crutches or other mobility aids at the stadium; to help ensure your medical device is not taken accidentally, we suggest that you tag or label your items with name, address and phone number. When the ceremony concludes, we ask for your patience as individuals retrieve their mobility aids and exit this area.
Neither ARS, EOC nor the University maintains a supply of wheelchairs for Commencement ceremonies. Guests with difficulty walking are strongly encouraged to bring their own wheelchair or to rent one; wheelchairs are generally available for short-term rental from medical supply stores and some pharmacies.

Restrooms

ADA-accessible restrooms are located throughout the stadium.

Departmental and individual school ceremonies

Commencement Accessibility Services does not coordinate accessible seating or parking for departmental ceremonies. For information about individual departmental or professional school ceremonies, guests should check the Commencement Information website for information regarding on building location, available parking and building access, or please contact the school or department of your graduate.

Graduating students

Students needing accessible seating, please contact Commencement Accessibility Services at access@unc.edu.

Livestreaming, captioning and sign language interpretation:

The Kenan Stadium commencement ceremony will be livestreamed and captioned and available for viewing both in the stadium and remotely. For remote viewers, the livestream link will be posted on the Commencement website the day of the ceremony.

A sign language interpreter will be available for the duration of the Kenan Stadium ceremony; if you or your guest(s) require this access, please contact access@unc.edu so that appropriate seating can be arranged.

Commencement Accessibility Services

If you have any Commencement/accessibility questions, please contact: access@unc.edu.

Additional information

  • The livestream link and digital program will be available on the Commencement website on the day of the ceremony.
  • Parking information can be found at move.unc.edu/events/commencement
  • If you have accessibility needs, please contact access@unc.edu

Frequently asked questions

For more information about the ceremony, please visit frequently asked questions.