Winter Commencement

Winter Commencement will be held at
2 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2019, at the Dean E. Smith Center.

More information to come

Commencement speaker

Grammy Award-winning professor Bill Ferris will deliver the University’s 2019 Winter Commencement address. Senior director emeritus of the Center for the Study of the American South and adjunct professor emeritus in the folklore curriculum, Ferris joined Carolina’s faculty in 2002.

In February, Ferris won two Grammy Awards for the multimedia set “Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians Documented by William Ferris” released by Atlanta-based record label Dust-to-Digital. Curators built the collection from a massive archive that Ferris created and donated to the Southern Folklife Collection at the Wilson Special Collections Library.

Bill Ferris

Preparing for graduation

For graduates

Apply to Graduate

All students must apply for graduation through their ConnectCarolina account.

Select “Apply for Graduation” from the drop-down box on the Academics tab and follow the directions to confirm all program and personal information. Be sure to confirm the listed home address. If this is not where your diploma should be sent, you can update your home address yourself in your Student Center. Please also confirm the spelling of your name, including capitalization. Email if you have questions about how your name is listed.

December Commencement Program

The December Commencement Program includes the names of all August graduates and all December degree candidates with an active application for graduation at the time of printing. The name listed will be the student’s permanent name as it appears in ConnectCarolina at the posted deadline (see important graduation dates).


Diplomas for all December degree recipients are ordered after graduation and are mailed in mid-March to each graduate’s home address (as it appears in ConnectCarolina at the posted deadline – see important graduation dates).

Diploma Frames may be purchased through UNC Student Stores.

Additional information is available on the Registrar’s website.

Winter Grad Expo  — Nov. 20 from 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

UNC Student Stores is having a one-day special event to get you ready for winter commencement! Mark off your campus check list with special promotions on all your graduation needs, including regalia, announcements, diploma frames and much more. Don’t miss out on savings with special bundling options available in-store on this day only.

  •  Save at least $25 on grad essential bundles.
  •  Get information about Commencement day parking.
  •  Find out more details about life after Carolina, and how you can stay connected to UNC-Chapel Hill.
  •  Learn how to manage your Carolina email account after graduation.

Caps, Gowns and Announcements

Online Orders: Oct. 9 to Nov. 24 through
In-store sales: Oct. 23 to Dec. 15 (Commencement day)

Faculty can rent regalia through Oct. 9 through Nov. 8. Rentals will be available for pickup at UNC Student Stores beginning Dec. 9.

If a student needs only part of an outfit, all pieces except the gown are available separately.

*For reference, the gown always comes packaged with a cap and tassel.

Graduation announcements may be purchased through Herff Jones. Graduates will receive a mailing that contains pricing, packages and an order form with instructions for ordering via mail, fax or online. Generic announcements in packages of ten may be purchased at Student Stores. For questions, please contact Herff-Jones at (919) 544-3332 or 800-837-4235.

Class Rings are available to order through Balfour.

For questions regarding regalia, please email

Buy your 2019 Yackety Yack, UNC Yearbook

Want to keep all those wonderful memories from this year? Purchase a copy of this year’s yearbook, Yackety Yack. We capture big events on campus ranging from multicultural to athletic events to just simply beautiful photos of campus life. Remember your days at Carolina by reserving your copy of the Yackety Yack today.

Order at

Senior Campaign

The Office of University Development and senior class marshals invite 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 Chancellor’s Unrestricted 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.


For faculty

Commencement Ceremony

Faculty participating in the December Commencement Ceremony in the Dean E. Smith Center will gather at 1:30 p.m. in the press room. Enter through the Gate D doors and take the elevator to court level.

The academic processional will begin promptly at 2 p.m.

Parking will be available for faculty members in the Manning Lot.


If you wish to rent or purchase academic regalia, you may arrange to do so by calling Student Stores at 919-962-7239 or 919-962-4720 or emailing Faculty who hold Carolina doctorates may also purchase distinctive Carolina regalia. Deadline and purchase information may be found through Student Stores.

International Students

Students and scholars who desire to invite family members to visit the U.S. as tourists may use the information below to assist those family members in applying for a visa.

  1. Visit this document to learn how you can invite family members to the US for your commencement ceremony
  2. Request a graduation  application confirmation letter from the Registrar’s office. Please email registrar@unc.edurequesting for a letter of confirmation for graduation for you family visa’s.

For families

Hotel Accommodations

We highly recommend making hotel reservations as early as possible. The Chapel Hill Visitor’s Bureau can help you find the type of accommodation appropriate for your stay.


You may order announcements and other Carolina graduation products here through Herff Jones.

Useful Contact Numbers:


Dean E. Smith Center Entry Policy

All guests and their belongings are subject to screening by entry personnel. The following items will not be permitted in the Smith Center:

  • Backpacks, duffel bags, backpacks or oversized purses or computer cases
  • Alcohol, bottles, cans, food, thermoses, coolers, drugs, chains and fireworks
  • Weapons, noisemakers, signs, laser pointers and other items deemed inappropriate by Smith Center personnel
  • No signs larger than 8.5 inches by 11 inches

Water is permitted as no refreshments will be available at the ceremony

Visit GoHeels for more information on Smith Center policies.

Directions to the Dean E. Smith Center

Address: 300 Skipper Bowles Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27514

Take I-85 South to Durham, NC. Exit left at US 15-501 in Durham and follow 15-501 approximately 9 miles to Chapel Hill. Once in Chapel Hill, maintain US 15-501 Bypass (Fordham Boulevard). At around the 7th stoplight, turn right onto Manning Drive. The Smith Center is a half mile on the left on Skipper Bowles Drive.

Take I-85 North towards Durham. Exit just past Burlington onto NC 54 East (Exit #148, Chapel Hill Exit). Follow NC 54 for approximately 20 miles to Carrboro. Pass Carrboro Plaza on the right and stay on NC 54 for about 4 miles to the next stoplight, Manning Drive. Turn left on Manning Drive. The Smith Center is a half mile on the left on Skipper Bowles Drive.

Take I-40 West toward Chapel Hill. Exit at NC 54 West (Exit #273 A) and follow for approximately four miles. Once in Chapel Hill, continue to follow signs for NC 54 West, which means you will have to exit right under first overpass. At the top of the exit turn right at light. Follow NC 54 West/15-501 South until the second stoplight. Turn right onto Manning Drive. The Smith Center is a half mile on the left on Skipper Bowles Drive.

Take US 15-50 North toward Chapel Hill. Exit right onto US 15-501 Bypass in Chapel Hill. Turn left at first stoplight onto Manning Drive. The Smith Center is a half mile on the left on Skipper Bowles Drive.

Accessibility services

Parking for guests with disabilities will be located in the Williamson Lot directly in front of the Dean Smith Center. A state (any state) disabled license plate/placard will admit you to the parking area. If you do not have such a license plate or placard and you will be transporting a guest with a disability, please contact the Office of Accessibility Resources & Service at and we will mail you a placard.

Golf carts will be available to assist guests who need help moving between the parking lots to the Dean Smith Center entrance marked “A.” Guests with disabilities will be greeted at this entrance by student marshals and assisted to the concourse area or to the elevator if appropriate. Golf carts will also be available at the close of the ceremony to assist guests returning to their vehicles. We appreciate your patience and cooperation as you wait for the carts to ensure the safety of all guests at these busy times. The top two rows of seats closest to the concourse will be reserved for those guests who are unable to climb/descend many steps. No seating passes will be necessary, however, we respectfully request that only the guest requiring assistance and one other person sit in these rows. The remainder of the family may sit in the rows directly in front of the reserved seats. This will ensure that families can sit together as far as is possible while still maintaining adequate seating for guests with mobility difficulties.

If you have any questions about any other accessibility related issues, please contact:

Accessibility Resources & Service
Phone: 919-962-0754
NC Relay: 711

UNC General Alumni Association

There is no better way to keep in touch with Carolina and Tar Heel friends and classmates than through membership in the UNC General Alumni Association. Find out more about how the GAA can enrich and benefit your life, and the special rates offered to Carolina’s newest graduates.

“The GAA is not merely an organization that brings people together who share a common alma mater, it’s a springboard to a world of opportunity. The GAA is the cornerstone of the powerful Tar Heel alumni community.”

Dillon Vess ‘15