The University of Iowa

Graduate Masters Commencement Ceremony

Friday, May 12, 2023 - 7:00pm Carver-Hawkeye Arena
Graduate College Masters Ceremony at Carver
Friday, May 12, 2023 - 7:00pm
1 Elliott Drive
Iowa City, IA 52242

Doors open one hour prior to the start of the ceremony. No tickets required.

Executive Vice President and Provost Kevin Kregel and Associate Provost for Graduate Education and Dean Amanda Haertling Thein will deliver messages to students. The alumni speaker will be Beth Westlake Blanco (MS ’09, ’10, ’16). Graduate Cesar Perez, of Aurora, Illinois, will give the student address.

A livestream of the ceremony is available.

Katie Bottorff

Ceremony Information

To be eligible to participate, you must be a Spring or Summer 2023 degree applicant who submitted an RSVP in MyUI prior to the deadline (April 9 at 11:59 PM). Degree applicants from previous semesters or for Fall 2023 will not be permitted to participate in this spring's in-person ceremony. Spring 2023 degree applicants will not be permitted to participate in Fall 2023 commencement ceremonies.

Doors to the arena will open one hour prior to the start of the ceremony. Graduates should arrive no later than 15 minutes after the doors open.

Public Safety officials will search any purses or bags brought into the building. Everyone will be asked to open their coat, jacket, or graduation gown for visual inspection.

No backpacks, large bags, packages, wrapped gifts, balloons, flowers, or outside food and beverages (with the exception of one factory sealed or empty reusable water bottle) are allowed at Carver-Hawkeye Arena during this event.

Carver-Hawkeye now has a clear bag policy. The following items are allowed inside Carver-Hawkeye. All permitted items and patrons are subject to search and will be tagged at entrance.

  • Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC that do not exceed 12"x6"x12"
  • Clutch bags that do not exceed 4.5"x6.5"
  • Factory-sealed water bottles or empty, refillable bottles [Limit one (1), under one (1) gallon]
  • Medically necessary items (including equiptment for nursing parents and diaper bags

See a full list of Carver-Hawkeye Arena commencement policies here.

Accessible seating in Carver-Hawkeye Arena is available on a first come, first served basis and cannot be reserved. Accessible seating is available on the concourse in sections K through N. We ask that this space be limited to the individuals needing accessible seating and one support person so that we are able to accommodate as many individuals as possible. Seating will also be available in the Feller Club Room, which is climate-controlled, though seating in the Feller Club Room does not have a direct view of the stage. The ceremony will be live streamed on a large screen for guests in the Feller Club Room. We again ask that this space be limited to the individuals needing this seating, with one support person.

There are several parking lots near Carver-Hawkeye Arena that will be open to the public at no cost during the ceremony. All parking facilities on the University of Iowa campus have designated accessible parking spaces. All parking spaces are available on a first come, first served basis. A parking map can be found here.

Graduates should plan to arrive no later than 6:15 PM to Carver-Hawkeye Arena with their mortar board, tassel, gown, and hood. Graduates will enter through Carver-Hawkeye Arena's East Doors and proceed down the arena stairs to the floor. There, graduates will stop at the appropriate name card table to pick up and fill out their name card. This is used by both the name readers and Flash Photography during the ceremony. Please check the card for accuracy and make any necessary changes/corrections. Graduates should then make their way to the graduate seating area and sit down. Seating will not be assigned. Graduate College staff and volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and provide assistance throughout the ceremony. The temperature in Carver-Hawkeye Arena can vary - graduates can bring one factory-sealed water bottle or one empty, refillable bottle under one gallon. Medically necessary items are also permitted in the graduate seating area.

At 7:00 PM, the ceremony will be called to order by Associate Dean Campo. Graduates and guests will be invited to stand as the academic procession is led to their seats on the stage by Associate Provost and Dean Amanda Thein and Executive Vice President and Provost Kevin Kregel.

Once the academic procession is seated on the stage, graduates and guests will view the Celebrating Iowa video.

There will be a brief welcome by Associate Provost and Dean Amanda Thein.

Masters degrees will be conferred by Executive Vice President and Provost Kevin Kregel and Associate Provost and Dean Amanda Thein.

Graduates will be invited row by row to come forward and be recognized. Graduates will take their name card up with them, hand it to the person reading names at the podium, then proceed to the center of the stage to be recognized by the Dean or the Provost. 

As graduates approach the stage, they will first have a professional photo taken by Flash Photography.

Once all graduates have been recognized, fellow graduate, Cesar Perez, will give brief remarks, followed by closing remarks from Executive Vice President and Provost Kevin Kregel.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the academic procession will leave the stage. After the academic procession has cleared the floor, graduates are free to leave. 

To provide an environment in which graduates and guests all have an enjoyable experience, the following rules of behavior will be enforced at all ceremonies:

  • No alcoholic beverages of any kind
  • Inappropriate dress and costumes worn under gowns will not be allowed
  • Cell phones must be turned off or silenced in the graduate seating area
  • No flowers, purses, gifts, balloons, or bags will be allowed in the graduate seating area
  • Marshals and security staff will be looking for intoxicated persons. Inebriated graduates are not permitted to participate.

Graduate student regalia can be rented or purchased online at The deadline for purchasing regalia is Friday, March 17th, at 10:59 PM Central Time. The deadline for renting regalia is Tuesday, April 11th, at 10:59 PM Central Time. If you have questions, please contact Herff Jones directly at or (952) 447-4449. It is your responsibility to return rented regalia - regalia cannot be returned at the ceremony. Rented regalia must be postmarked back to Herff Jones within one week of the ceremony. A prepaid shipping label is included in your regalia box.

Business attire is suggested but not required. Graduates are cautioned regarding their choice of footwear, as stairs and floor may be difficult to navigate. Wearing high-heeled footwear is not advised. Bags or purses may not be carried or left in the graduate seating area. 

Decorating caps and gowns is not permitted. Flowers are not to be worn on gowns or carried in hand. Caps are to be worn with the tams or mortar boards horizontal and the tassel on the left. Tams/mortar boards should be worn during the academic procession to the stage, while degrees are being conferred, and as the academic procession departs the stage. However, they may be removed at other times.

All rented regalia must be postmarked back to Herff Jones within one week of the ceremony. There is return information included in the regalia box, along with a prepaid return label. If you lost your prepaid label or did not receive one, please use the link below to request a new label. Your confirmation number to request a new label begins with CPA and is found in your confirmation email. You may use any box to ship the regalia back, it does not have to be the box it was shipped to you in.

Watch Live

All ceremonies will be livestreamed with captions enabled. 

If you cannot watch the livestream during the ceremony, the video will be uploaded to the University of Iowa's YouTube channel shortly after the conclusion of the ceremony.