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2016 Commencement Participant Instructions

The following information is provided to answer questions about the commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14, in Mariucci Arena

  • Graduates should arrive between 6:15 - 6:45 p.m. so that you will be able to check-in (more info about check-in below) 
  • Line-up for Commencement at 7:00 p.m.; the ceremony will begin at 7:30 p.m. and end around 9:30 p.m.


You are not required to wear a cap and gown, but most students do. If you need to purchase a cap, gown and tassel, you can do so at the University of Minnesota Bookstore in Coffman Union. Please note that the CBS tassel color is golden yellow. 


Please leave purses and bags with your guests before you check-in. Once you check-in, you will not see your guests until after the ceremony. There is no secure place to leave your personal items during the ceremony, and graduates should not be carrying purses/bags during the procession.

Students should enter at the Sundet entrance of Mariucci Arena and follow signs downstairs to the student check-in tables. Check in between 6:15 and 6:45 and pick up your name card. Please hold onto this card. You will hand your name card to the name reader as you proceed across the stage during the ceremony.  It will also have your phonetic spelling if you provided this ahead of time. Honors students who did not attend the Honors Reception should also pick up their medallions at check-in.

Graduate Entrance:
Sundet/Operations lobby of Mariuccui Arena
1901 4th Street S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Guest Entrance:
East Main lobby of Mariucci Arena
4 Oak Street S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455


Student line-up for Commencement begins promptly at 7:00 p.m. Line-up will take place inside the zamboni entrance of the ice level of Mariucci Arena. Signs will be in place to help guide you.

Students are lined up by major in the following order: Biochemistry, Biology, EEB, GCD, Microbiology, Neuroscience, Plant Biology, and Multiple CBS Majors.  Students who have two or more CBS majors will line up separately under the category of “Multiple Majors.”  Please look for the banner that lists your major for your place in the line-up. Staff from CBS Student Services will assist with the line-up.  Students can line-up in any order as long as they are in their respective majors. We will NOT be lining up alphabetically.

Before Commencement and during the ceremony the tassel is worn on the right side, and then flipped to the left after crossing the stage.


Tickets for your guests are NOT required. If you would like to bring more guests than you originally indicated in your RSVP, you may do so.

Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis; guests may sit anywhere in the arena except for the areas roped off for graduating seniors and guests needing accommodations. 


The College of Biological Sciences is happy to provide access for guests needing accommodations. If you will have a guest with a disability who needs special seating and have not already notified CBS via the RSVP form, please email Anna Cullen ( in CBS Student Services.

Graduates who requested accommodations will receive additional information the week of Commencement.  


There are several parking options near Mariucci Arena at differing fees. Please see the following website for parking options and rates on the East Bank Campus: Graduates and guests will be required to pay for their parking.


A professional photographer (from GradImages) will take 3 photographs of each graduate as he or she crosses the stage. A complimentary photograph will be mailed to your permanent address within one month after graduation unless you opted to not have your address be given to the photography studio. You are not obligated to order photographs; this is merely a service. We ask that guests who wish to take photographs be courteous - please stay out of the aisles and do not block the path of other graduating students.