Commencement Ceremony and Graduation FAQ

This FAQ informs you about the Commencement Ceremony and graduation. Also make sure to look at the Leaving University College Utrecht page. Find the dates of the Commencement Ceremony in the Academic Calendar.

Am I commencing or not?

Graduation and commencement are different. Graduation refers to whether or not you will meet all of your graduation requirements and receive your diploma. Commencement refers to the ceremony itself and whether or not you will be walking in the ceremony.

You can join the Commencement Ceremony only once. This festive event is accessible to all graduating students and their families. The ceremony takes place before students have graduated. That is why it is not possible to have met the graduation requirements before the commencement date. Therefore, students can join the Commencement Ceremony whenever they want, but the preference is with their cohorts and at the end of their studies. For the winter ceremony, you register during the mid-term period in Fall. For the summer ceremony, you register during the mid-term period in Spring.

How many tickets do I get?  

You can apply for up to four tickets for your guests. Note: students do not get a ticket as their seat is reserved and counted among the total number of seats in the hall.


Can I get extra tickets? 

Please, send an email to The allocation of extra tickets is dependent on the total number of tickets available.

What if I, or one of my guests, require(s) wheelchair access?

If you or any of your guests require wheelchair access, please let the commencement team know in advance so that we can make arrangements.

Do I have to wear a cap and gown? 

It is part of the tradition to wear both. However, if you prefer to wear your own traditional costume, you may do so. Some students choose to only wear the cap. We suggest that you iron your gown (on low heat) or hang it for a few days before wearing it to remove the folding lines that result from the packaging.

Where do I pick up my cap and gown?

You can pick up your caps and gowns at Reception at least one week before the Commencement Ceremony. You can pay with a Dutch bank card only; foreign bank cards, credit cards, and cash are not accepted. If you do not have a Dutch bank card, please give the amount to a friend who does and ask him/her to pay for yours at the reception desk. You will receive an email with more specific information before you have to pick up your cap and gown.

Why the cap? And what if it doesn’t fit?

The cap is a necessary part of the celebration. After the conferring of the degrees, students simultaneously throw their caps high in the air. This is also a ‘photo-op’ moment for our photographer and guests.

The cap is one-size-fits-all and has an elastic band fitted at the back of the cap. If it is too small, we suggest opening the elastic to enlarge it and then re-sewing the seam. If you don’t need to adjust the cap but want to secure it, you can use a hairpin to attach the cap to your hair.


What can I expect on the day of the Commencement Ceremony?

The ceremony is a formal ceremony that usually takes place during the afternoon with a reception that follows. Students are expected to arrive a few hours before the official start of the ceremony to have their corsages pinned and photographs taken. Details are provided before the day of the event.

Further queries about the Commencement Ceremony should be addressed to: Further queries about the graduation requirements should be addressed to:

Photos provided by ©Martijn Schruijer Fotografie