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?
You are required to register for graduation and for commencement.
You can join the Commencement Ceremony only once. This is a festive event that 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 prior to the commencement date. Therefore students can join the Commencement Ceremony whenever they want, but preferably with their cohorts and at the end of their studies. For the winter ceremony you register in the mid-term period in Fall and for the summer ceremony you register in the mid-term period in Spring.
Graduation and commencement are two different things. Graduation refers to whether or not you will meet all of your graduation requirements and receive your diploma, whereas commencement refers to the ceremony itself and whether or not you will be walking in the ceremony.
How many tickets do I get?
You will receive at least 4 tickets for your family and 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?
Yes, we can put you on a waiting list for extra tickets. Usually it is possible to get two extra tickets.
What if I, or a member of my family, require(s) wheelchair access?
If you or any member of your family requires wheelchair access, please let the commencement team know in advance, so that we can make prior 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, it is fine as well. Some students choose to wear the cap only. We suggest that you iron your gown (on low heat) or hang it up for a few days before wearing to remove the folds 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 prior to the Commencement Ceremony. You can pay with a Dutch bankcard only; foreign banks, credit cards and cash are not accepted. If you do not have a Dutch bankcard, give the money 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 well 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 as there comes a point during the ceremony, after the conferring of the degrees, when the students simultaneously throw their caps high in the air. This is also a ‘photo-op’ moment for our photographer and our 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 at the commencement rehearsal?
The rehearsal is the meeting of the commencement students and usually takes place on a Tuesday afternoon, a week before the ceremony. All commencement students must attend. You will meet the Dean as he goes over the details of the commencement ceremony with you. In addition, you will pick up your caps, gowns and tickets for your guests. Following that, we will take you through a practice procession line so that you are well prepared in advance of the ceremony.
What if I cannot attend the rehearsal?
If you cannot attend, please ask one of your peers (preferably a student who is also commencing) to take notes on your behalf. This way, he/she can provide you with the details of the ceremony, and pick up your cap/gown and tickets before the day of the event.
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 1-1/2 hours before the official start of the ceremony to have their corsages pinned and photographs taken. Details are provided well before the day of the event.