Student instructions


Purchasing and Picking Up Regalia

Putting on Your Regalia

Representing Your Heritage Outside of Your Regalia

  • Commencement regalia must be worn; however, it can be left unzipped and open to display heritage or cultural regalia underneath.
  • Cap and tassels must be worn. Shawls, cords, stoles, etc., should be academic or from a university recognized student organization.
  • Tasteful decoration of caps is permitted. However, if it is determined to be offensive by a Marshal, you will have to remove it to participate.

How to Wear Your Tassels

  • Tassel should be worn on the right side of your cap until the graduation class collectively moves the tassel from the right side to the left side of your tam or mortarboard. This will be done during the Graduation ceremony.

When and How to Wear Your Graduate Hood

  • Masters graduates wear their hoods.
  • Doctoral and terminal degree graduates will process with the hood draped over their left arm. Hood should not be worn until the PhD or terminal degree hooding section of the ceremony.

Honor Cords

  • University Honors – you may purchase honor cords from the UNM Bookstore.
  • All other honors’ cords are available through the respective honor society, i.e., Golden Key, National Merit, etc.

What Happens if You Lose a Tassel, Hat, or Need a Last-Minute Regalia Replacement

  • There will not be backup regalia available at the Pit, so please double check your regalia before you head down!
  • We recommend that you hang up your regalia a few days before commencement, to make sure you have all the necessary pieces. If you are missing an item, please make sure to pick it up at the UNM Bookstore with enough time to ensure you can arrive at the Pit at the appropriate time.
  • All graduating students will need caps, tassels, and gowns.
  • Graduate students (Masters, Terminal, and Doctoral) will also need hoods corresponding to their respective departments.
  • Bookstore closes at 5pm.

Misc. Items

  • There is no storage available. Please leave all your belongings with family, friends, guests, etc. You will not return to the same seat after you cross the stage, and there is no one to watch or keep track of your belongings. Again, there will be no place to leave your belongings.
  • We encourage you to wear comfortable shoes, you will be walking up and down steep, concrete stairs.


Where To Park

  • All graduating students can park on the West side of University Arena.
  • Undergraduate students enter through the West side doors of the Arena.
  • Graduate students (Masters, Terminal, and Doctoral) enter through the Northwest corner doors of the Arena and proceed up the stairs to the upper Club Level.
  • Visit the parking page for more information

When To Arrive and Guests (No tickets needed)

  • We strongly encourage graduating students to limit their guests to six, to provide enough room for all graduates’ families and guests.
  • Guests do not need to purchase tickets to attend
  • Doors open at 4:30 pm for graduating students and guests.
  • Graduating students should arrive by 5:00 pm to allow time for check-in and seating.
  • Graduating students and guests should allow time for traffic, parking, and seating of their guests.


Picking Up Your Reader Cards

  • Reader cards will be produced from the information you provided when you signed up.
  • Undergraduate students enter through the West side doors of the Arena and pick up their reader cards on the West concourse.
  • Tables will be set with reader cards separated by college or school. Cards are arranged alphabetically.
  • Graduate students (Masters, Terminal, and Doctoral) enter through the Northwest corner doors of the Arena and proceed up the stairs to the upper Club Level. They will pick up their reader cards there. Cards are arranged alphabetically.
  • All graduating students should only pick up their OWN reader cards.
  • If you do not have a pre-printed card, one will be created for you. Make sure to put an email address on the back of the reader card for your pictures to be emailed to you.
  • Keep the reader card with you until you are called to line up to be recognized. You will hand your reader card to the Platform Marshal who will then hand it to the Reader who will read your name while you process across the stage.
  • Doctoral and Terminal degree candidates need prior approval from the Office of Graduate Studies if they have yet to complete their program and want to walk and be hooded.

Student Line Up

  • Undergraduates will sit in the bleacher seats that are behind and below your check-in tables on the West concourse. There will be signs and divided sections for each college and school. You will process in together and be directed to your seating.
  • Master students will be called to line up by a Marshal once it is time to process onto the floor.
  • Doctoral and Terminal degree students will be called to line up with their Faculty Hooder by a Marshal once it is time to process onto the floor.

Where To Sit

  • Undergraduate students are grouped by college or school to be recognized by their respective dean in the ceremony. You will process in together and be directed to your seating.
  • Graduate students will be directed to their seating area and may sit in any order with their college or school.

Late Arrival

  • If, by some unforeseen circumstance you are late, please report to the area in which you were instructed to, and there will be a volunteer to lead you to a Marshal who will get you seated on the floor.
  • Late seating is not guaranteed, depending on where we are in the ceremony.


Contact For Special Accommodation Requests

  • Requests can be made when registering for Commencement at or by calling 505-277-4664.

Students and Accessibility Accommodations

  • All graduating students who require special assistance should to report to the Pete McDavid Lounge, on the Southeast corner of the Arena. There will be volunteers to escort and assist them to their seat.

Medical or Safety Emergency

  • First Aid/Medical is located in the southeast corner of the Pit concourse in a first aid room.
  • Representatives from EMS (Emergency Medical Services) and Police/Security are housed in the Pit command post, which is in the northwest corner of the Pit.

Elevator to Get to the Pit Floor

  • The elevator does not go all the way down to the actual floor. If you are needing to access the elevator, please go to the Pete McDavid Lounge, located on the southeast side of the Arena and someone will escort you.


Ordering and Receiving Your Diplomas

  • Signing up at is not necessary to receive an official diploma. You do not receive your diploma at the Commencement ceremony. You will receive a diploma cover.
  • Official diplomas are mailed to the address on file for the student 6-8 weeks after the end of the semester.
  • Students whose graduation status is Pending for the current semester should receive a detailed email with guidance for diploma sign-up from the Registrar’s Office. Usually the Registrar's diploma information forms open the week after spring/fall break.
  • If there are questions regarding diplomas or transcripts, students should contact the Office of the Registrar at (505) 277-8900 or by email at .


  • The full program, with all graduates’ names, will be available electronically at the day of the ceremony.


Photographs Available for Purchase

Taking Photographs After the Ceremony

  • No Pit floor or stage access is allowed once the ceremony is over.
  • Immediately after the last graduate has recessed out of their seating and the recessional music has ended, the stage will be dismantled, and all supplies removed.


Why We Need Your Email Address

  • We ask for your email address so we can email you details regarding deadlines, details for the day of Commencement, and so that the photographers from Grad Images can email you proofs of your photo.

Bathroom Facilities

  • Restrooms are located around the perimeter of the main concourse.

Water Fountains, Beverages, And Food

  • Water fountains are located around the perimeter of the main concourse.
  • Concessions will be open on the main concourse.

Watching The Ceremonies Online

  • There will be a link on the homepage of to view the livestream of the ceremony.
  • The ceremonies will also be livestreamed on UNM’s official Facebook and YouTube sites.

Meeting Your Families After the Ceremony

  • It is suggested that graduating students pre-plan a meeting location for themselves and their guests after the ceremony, to alleviate congestion while exiting the Arena.

Additional Questions and Information

  • The Office of the University Secretary at or 505-277-4664