Arrival Time

It is important that degree candidates arrive at the Coliseum Loading Docks dressed in regalia and ready to participate in the ceremony at least 45 minutes prior to their ceremony start time. The student entrance door for the ceremony will open one hour prior to the ceremony start time. Late-arriving candidates may not be permitted to participate in the ceremony.


Graduates and guests are encouraged to carpool to alleviate vehicular congestion around the Coliseum. Please make your guest(s) aware that all guest seating, with the exception of handicap seating on the upper level, will be in the bleachers. You may inform your guests to arrive early to allow time for parking and locating seats before the ceremony begins. It is advised that any guests with ambulatory issues be dropped off near the Coliseum before parking your vehicle.  Students who need physical accommodations should contact the UWG Graduation Team ( for additional assistance.  

Attire and Personal Items

You should arrive to the graduating student check-in at the Coliseum via the loading docks on the lower-level east side dressed and ready to participate in the ceremony. You are required to wear a cap & gown to participate in the ceremony.

It is important that students do not bring handbags or personal items because there is no secure holding area. Effective March 2024, the University of West Georgia implemented a clear bag policy for all events. You can find more information on the clear bag requirement page.

If you have not purchased a cap & gown, they are available for purchase directly from the UWG Bookstore. Undergraduate students should purchase a cap, gown and tassel in order to participate in commencement. Graduate students should purchase a cap, gown, tassel and hood for their college in order to participate in commencement.  Cords and stoles are optional.  Undergraduate students who qualify to purchase Latin Honors cords will be contacted by email.

Physical Distancing & Face Coverings Guidelines

To accommodate physical distancing and other public health guidelines, modifications to the traditional ceremony are necessary. These include, but are not limited to:

There will be no student processional; students will be seated as they arrive.

Students will be individually recognized at the ceremony and will have their picture taken as they cross the stage. Handshakes with the President, Provost, and Dean will take place. If students wish to refrain from shaking hands, students can place their hand over their heart to signal a desire to refrain from the handshake or extend an offer for a fist bump.

Check-In Procedures

Enter the Coliseum via the loading docks on the lower-level east side.

Once you enter the Coliseum, you will be directed to a series of tables with signs that are split by last name alpha groups. You will find the table that corresponds with your last name and walk up to meet the commencement staff member to receive your marching card. 

Your marching card is color-coordinated based on your graduating college and has your name printed on the card as it will be called during the ceremony. If you are an undergraduate student who qualifies to graduate with honors (cum laude, etc.), your honors status will also be listed on your marching card. Please review your marching card and verify that the information on the card is correct. If any information listed on the marching card is incorrect, please proceed to the Commencement Questions table located beside the check-in table. Please always keep your marching card with you and do not write on it.  

Once you have your marching card you may proceed to the Coliseum floor to be seated. There will be guides to lead you to the floor. You will not be permitted to bring food, drinks, or other personal items.  It is highly advised that you use the restroom prior to taking your seat.  Once you are seated, it is likely to be at least two hours before you will have access to restroom facilities.

Ceremony Procedures

Students will be seated by college and level (undergraduate, graduate, doctoral). The ceremony will begin promptly at the designated start time. When it is your turn to cross the stage, commencement staff will guide you on when to stand up, when to be seated, undergraduates moving of the tassel, where to line up to cross the stage and when to march across the stage.  Be sure to have your marching card ready to hand to the name-caller just prior to crossing the stage. As you cross the stage, you will have an opportunity to have your photo taken with the President. You will return to your seat as directed by a commencement staff member. When the ceremony ends you will be directed by a commencement staff member to exit the Coliseum. After exiting students should have plans for where they will meet their families after the ceremony. The ceremony is expected to last around 1.5 hours. 

Graduation Tassels

Undergraduate students should wear their tassel on the right side of their cap. Graduate students should wear their tassel on the left side of their cap. Don't worry -- you will be reminded of this at the commencement ceremony. 

Cords and Stoles

Commencement is a grand celebration of community and your success as each student begins their journey beyond degree completion at the University of West Georgia. We celebrate you and all of your accomplishments. In that vein, guidelines for appropriate cords and stoles can be found in the recommendations of the various entities that provide them, such as for Honors. Should you be interested in specifics regarding attire, the student code of conduct outlines the behavior and attire that are acceptable to be displayed as part of the academic regalia at commencement.

Honors Cords: Students who qualify for Honors will receive notification from the UWG Graduation Team and those students may purchase their honors cords directly from the UWG Bookstore. 

Graduation Rehearsal

UWG does not host a graduation rehearsal. Students will be guided by experienced commencement professionals on where to sit and when to march on the day of graduation.

Congrats Class of 2020

Guest Ticket Guidelines

  • No Tickets will be issued or required for entrance to the Commencement Ceremonies. All seating will be general admission.