Commencement Ceremony and Graduation FAQ - Spring 2024

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?

Commencement and graduation are two distinct events. Commencement refers to the ceremony celebrating the near conclusion of your studies, while graduation refers to fulfulling of all academic requirements and receiving your diploma.

The Commencement Ceremony is a festive occasion available to all graduating students and their families. As University College Utrecht students come from all over the world, the ceremony takes place at the end of the spring or fall semester - before most students have officially graduated (August 31 or January 31) and enables all graduating students to participate.

To attend the spring ceremony, students must register during the mid-term period in the spring, while for the winter ceremony, registration takes place during the mid-term period in the fall.

How many tickets do I get?  

You will automatically receive two complimentary tickets for your guests. Note: Commencing students do not get a ticket as their seat is reserved and counted among the total number of seats in the hall, but your guests need one to enter the venue. A livestream of the event will be broadcast, so others can also watch from all over the world.

Can I get extra tickets? 

Each commencing student may purchase a maximum of 3 additional tickets. Each additional ticket will cost €20. The ticketing system is being set up and will be announced in due course. 

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 the mandatory rehearsal in the weeks leading up to the Commencement Ceremony. Caps and gowns can be ordered online using the form provided by the Commencement Team. Cash is not accepted.If you are unable to make the payment, please give the amount to a friend who does and ask him/her to pay for yours. 

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