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University Commencement

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Fall 2018

Date: Thursday, December 13, 2018
Time: 9 a.m. (Procession begins promptly at 8:30 a.m.)
Location: NRG Arena

Overview: College commencement ceremonies are held at the end of the fall semester to recognize fall degree candidates and at the end of the spring semester to recognize spring and summer degree candidates. Summer candidates will participate in spring commencement with no permission or petitions required.

Commencement is the ceremony that celebrates the completion of a degree. Graduation is the completion of all degree requirements as recorded on the official transcript. Actual diplomas are not awarded at commencement ceremonies and participation in the ceremonies is not a guarantee of degree completion.

University Commencement for College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences will be held Thursday, December 13, 2018, 9 a.m. at NRG Arena. The procession for this ceremony will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m. Guest tickets are not required for this event. Families and friends are encouraged to attend. The ceremony will be approximately 2 1/2 hours in length. For CLASS students expected to complete a degree in December 2018, this is the ceremony in which you are invited to participate. Students expected to complete a degree in Spring or Summer 2019 will participate in the Spring 2019 ceremony.

Information about Applying to Graduate

Graduation Application for Fall Candidates 

Apply via myUH April 16, 2018 through September 28, 2018 for a nonrefundable fee of $25 per degree. Late applications are accepted September 29 to October 26, 2018 for a nonrefundable fee of $50 per degree.

  • Who should use the Fall 2018 graduation application?  Only those students who will complete all remaining degree requirements by the end of the Fall 2018 semester.
  • If you are unsure when you will complete all degree requirements, whether fall, spring or summer, please meet with your major academic advisor for clarification.

University of Houston Graduation Fair

When should Fall 2018 graduation candidates order caps and gowns?

The graduation fair will take place Tuesday, September 25 - Thursday, September 27, at the UH Bookstore (Lower Level). This is the time for graduation candidates to order caps, gowns, custom announcements, diploma frames, rings, Grad Images, UH Spirit Cords.

Students may also purchase announcements and regalia online through

Important! Required Before Graduation 

  • There is no rehearsal for Commencement, but each graduate is required to pick up their ‘stage card’ in advance. 
  • When: Thursday,December 6, 2018
  • Where: Agnes Arnold Hall, Second Floor Concourse
  • Time:  Anytime between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • This ‘stage card’ will serve as your RSVP and ‘entry ticket’ into the graduation line-up area the day of the ceremony.
  • Student ID is required to take receipt of your stage card.
  • You will verify whether all information on your stage card is correct. If not correct, you will make the necessary and legible corrections.
  • Do not bend, fold or lose this card.  You will retain possession of this card until the ceremony.

Senior Celebration hosted by the CLASS Ambassadors Student Organization

  • CLASS Ambassadors invite all CLASS undergraduates to decorate their graduation caps!  
  • CLASS Ambassadors will provide all decorating supplies, food and soft drinks free during this event- and a photo booth
  • When: Thursday, December 6, 2018 (This event is optional!)
  • Where: Agnes Arnold Hall Room 210
  • Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ( Arrive no later than 4 p.m.)

Commencement Timeline:  December 13, 2018

  • 7:30 a.m. Graduates must arrive at ‘Graduate Line-up Area’ located inside the Exhibit Hall A entrance. 
  • 8:00 a.m. Guest General Admission
  • 8:30 a.m. Degree Candidate Procession Begins
  • 9:00 a.m. Commencement Ceremony Begins
  • 11:30 a.m. Ceremony Concludes

Venue and Parking Information

Guests are urged to familiarize themselves with driving directions to NRG Arena. Parking is available in the Maroon Lots located immediately in front of the arena. Guests are advised to plan for and expect cash only, per-car parking fees at this event. Ceremony attendees should expect to park some distance from the graduation venue and will need to walk to their destinations. Please wear suitable clothing and footwear for walking and be prepared for a crowd. To avoid expected traffic, crowds and parking fees, guests are urged to review available public transportation routes to NRG Arena. 

Guest Information

  • Guest tickets are not required for this event.  
  • Please allow ample time for travel and parking. Plan for expected heavy traffic and crowds.
  • Guests will enter NRG Arena using the front guest entrance.
  • Interpreters for the deaf and hard-of-hearing will be included in the ceremony.
  • Audience seating for the ceremony is on a first-come, first-seated basis.
  • It is recommended that guests arrive at least 45 minutes before the ceremony begins in order to be seated by a host.
  • Family and guests of graduates needing accommodation will be assisted by NRG Arena staff the day of graduation. Please request these services at the front guest entrance.

Graduate Information

  • Graduates must arrive at the line-up area dressed in cap and gown no later than 7:30 a.m. for line-up and final instructions.
  • All graduates must be in possession of their ‘stage card’ – Please do not forget to have this card with you.
  • All graduates must enter NRG Arena through the Exhibit Hall A entrance.
  • Any graduate requesting special accommodation should contact the CLASS Commencement Team no later than November 16, 2018.
  • Do not bring anything with you (except your ‘stage card’) that would need to be claimed after the ceremony (cameras, bags, purses, etc).

Graduate Attire

  • All graduates must wear academic regalia to participate in the ceremony.
  • The academic cap should be worn straight and pulled down slightly on the forehead.
  • Undergraduates:  The tassel of the cap should be worn on the right. 
  • Graduates should carry nothing in their hands (except a stage card). A copy of the program will be placed on each graduate’s  seat.
  • For the safety and security of those attending commencement, no bags will be permitted in the back staging area.

Graduate Instructions:  Entrance, Line-Up, Processional  

  • ENTER Exhibit Hall A entrance
  • FOLLOW signs to ‘Graduate Line-Up’ – the back staging area for line-up by department.   
  • VOLUNTEERS will assist you in lining up and processing into the ceremony. 
  • PROCESSIONAL is your celebratory entrance into the ceremony to pomp and circumstance.
  • WALK two steps directly behind the person in front of you.
  • DO NOT allow large distances to develop between you and the person in front of you.
  • GRADUATES MAY NOT LEAVE the ceremony early. All graduates are expected to stay for the entire ceremony.

Recognition of Graduates and Recessional

  • Graduates will be recognized starting with doctoral, followed by masters, then bachelors (departmental alphabetical order). 
  • Staff will direct all graduates when to rise and how to proceed to the stage.
  • As you approach the stage, give your stage card to the person collecting the cards.
  • Advance across the stage to shake hands with the Dean of CLASS and/or chairperson of your department
  • The seat to which you return will not be the same seat you had before crossing the stage, so do not leave any valuables at your seat.
  • Remain seated until all graduates are recognized.  You will not be allowed to leave early.  Be respectful of all participants.
  • Staff will direct all graduates when to exit. Follow the person in front of you when the recessional begins.
  • Many people have volunteered to help direct this special event. Just follow their instructions, watch the person in front of you and enjoy family members, friends, cheering, clapping, and flashing cameras. Have a great time!


Family and friends should feel free to bring cameras and video recorders and take as many pictures as they desire. However, they must remain in their seats during the ceremony. Guests will not be allowed to stand in the aisles and under no circumstances will they be permitted on the floor of the arena. We also suggest that family photographers take photos at home and at other locations prior to or after the ceremony.

A professional photographer, "Flash Photography," will be on hand taking individual photos during the ceremony. "Flash Photography" will send the proofs via email to the graduation candidate so that prints can be ordered. The photographer will have the email address approved by the student on the stage card used during the ceremony. If you do not receive the proofs within 30 days of your commencement, please contact: Flash Photography at 800.410.8070.

Status of Your Graduation Application

When you submit your application to graduate, your primary major advisor will receive notification in their weekly reports. Your primary major advisor will then begin to collect all documents, petitions, etc. related to your degree progress and begin to make a preliminary recommendation for degree conferral. If your graduation is contingent on completing any coursework, you must first successfully complete those requirements before a decision can be made. If there are any other outstanding items that your primary major advisor is aware of and has already communicated with you about, these items will also need to be completed before a preliminary recommendation for degree conferral can be made. Your major advisor is your contact for questions related to the status of your application and the completion of your degree.

Conditions that Warrant Immediate Disapproval

If there are requirements for your degree completion that will not be met by currently enrolled courses and your major advisor is not already aware of these outstanding items, your application could be disapproved before the end of the semester that you have applied to graduate. A notification of that decision will be sent by UH (not CLASS) to you at your email address listed on your record. You will then need to work with your major advisor to complete any remaining requirements and apply for graduation again in the next feasible semester.

Approval Process

Once the semester officially closes ( Wednesday, December 12, 2018 ) and all grades are posted (last day to submit grades is 72 hours after the close of the semester), a final recommendation will be made by your major advisor and the college Dean’s Office for Academic Affairs will begin their final review for degree conferral.

If you have successfully completed all requirements of your degree program, your application will be approved by CLASS and then sent to UH with final recommendation for degree conferral. After UH has completed their review and has determined that all degree requirements have been satisfied, a final approval decision will be made and posted to your record. A notification of that decision will be sent by UH (not CLASS) to you at your email address listed on your record.

Disapproval Process

Once the semester officially closes (Wednesday, December 12, 2018 ) and all grades are posted (last day to submit grades is 72 hours after the close of the semester), a final recommendation will be made by your major advisor and the college Dean’s Office for Academic Affairs will begin their final review for degree conferral.

If you have not successfully completed all pending requirements by that date, your application will be disapproved. A notification of that decision will be sent by UH (not CLASS) to you at your email address listed on your record. You will then need to work with your major advisor to complete any remaining requirements and apply for graduation again in the next feasible semester.

Printed University Commencement Program

We make every effort to ensure all graduating students who applied on time (Fall Applications April 6, 2018 through September 28, 2018) are listed in the Commencement program. Fall graduation candidates who apply to graduate April 6 through September 28, 2018 will have their names included in the fall program. Unfortunately, printing deadlines will not allow time for the printing of names of fall applicants applying after September 28, 2018.

Please also be aware of the following information:

  • If at any time you have requested privacy protection for your academic records, your name cannot be published in the program by law unless you have indicated on your application for graduation that you desire your name be included in the program.
  • Although your name might not be included in the printed program, you will still be individually recognized by name as you cross the stage.

Academic Regalia

Academic regalia (the traditional black mortarboard cap and black gown) are required for all graduates. The University of Houston has selected Official UH Regalia for undergraduates and Master’s. We strongly encourage you to purchase your regalia at the UH Bookstore.

Regalia and regalia item purchases must be made prior to CLASS Commencement through Herff Jones or through the UH Bookstore. A cap and gown is a requirement to participate in the commencement ceremony. Students not attired in appropriate regalia will not be allowed to participate in commencement.

Bachelor graduates and candidates

  • Must wear the appropriate black commencement gown and black mortarboard cap with UH CLASS tassel.
  • Wear your tassel on the right side of the mortarboard.

Master graduates and candidates

  • Must wear the appropriate black commencement gown and black mortarboard cap with UH Class tassel.
  • Must also rent and wear the appropriate hood.
  • Wear your tassel on the left side of the mortarboard.

Doctoral graduates and candidates

  • Must bring the appropriate black commencement gown and black tam with tassel.
  • Must bring the appropriate hood with you.
  • Please contact the Program Director for Graduate Studies regarding the hooding ceremony process: Anna Marchese, CLASS Graduate Studies Program Director,


Students can order personalized invitations and announcements from Herff-Jones Company, the authorized vendor for the University of Houston. Orders may be placed online or 713-864-6464.

Cougar Spirit Cord

Don't be left out at graduation!Give to the University of Houston and get your Cougar Spirit Cord today! The Cougar Spirit Cord is a symbol of your pride and a way to help make more scholarships available to next year's students or show support for a program that's made a difference in your UH experience. Make a minimum $18 donation (perhaps a gift in honor of your class, $20.18) to any CLASS department or program of your choice (perhaps your major?) and wear the cord at commencement to show your Cougar Pride!

Baccalaureate Candidates Graduating with Honors

Once the Fall 2018 semester has officially closed and all grades have been posted, your honors status will be updated accordingly and will be engraved upon your diploma. Undergraduate students who have completed the graduation requirements of the Honors College may graduate with special honors designations. Please see your advisor in the Honors College for more information. Undergraduate students who successfully complete a senior honors thesis/project and who are not members of the Honors College graduate with "Honors in Major."

Undergraduate students who complete their degree requirements will graduate with the stated academic honors if they achieve the following grade point averages earned in the last fifty-four (54) hours (all of which must be A, B, C,... letter grade courses) completed at the University of Houston. Grades of S, U, I and W are not assigned grade point values and are not used in the computation of the grade point average.

Honors Designations:

3.90 to 4.0 GPA

Summa Cum Laude (with highest honors)

3.70 to 3.89 GPA

Magna Cum Laude (with high honors)

3.50 to 3.69 GPA

Cum Laude (with honors)

Further, the honors calculation will include all hours completed in the semester in which the first of the final fifty-four (54) hours was completed.

Where is My Diploma?

Diplomas will be mailed out 6-8 weeks after graduation. If you do not receive your diploma, call the Graduation Office at 713-743-1010.

Do you need documentation of your degree for a job or grad school?

  • If you are applying to graduate programs or if you have a job offer for which your degree posting is required, you may request that your degree processing be expedited.
  • To do so, you must supply documentation of urgent need to your major department advisor. The documentation should be addressed to you and should include a deadline. 
  • No reviews can post prior to the close of the term.

Diplomas are mailed directly to graduates at the most current address provided through their myUH student account. The diploma printing company will also send email notifications to diploma recipients indicating when diplomas have been mailed. It's important to keep contact information updated in myUH to avoid shipment delays.

Alumni graduating as of Summer 2008 and/or who have placed order(s) for additional diplomas from other graduating semesters, can check their Diploma Order Status online. Contact Get Help if you have additional questions about your diploma order.

Please note: There is a $25.00 fee for each additional diploma ordered (postmarked by received on or after this date). This fee does not apply to the initial diploma mailed upon graduation, but will apply to additional quantities as requested via the diploma order form. The fee is applicable to diplomas requested as a result of a diploma name change. Diploma names must be provided at the time of completing the online graduation application. Failure to do so may result in a $25 diploma order fee for subsequent name changes.

For Questions Not Answered on this Website

Undergraduate Students - Your major advisor is your contact for questions related to the status of your application and the completion of your degree. If you have questions related to Fall 2018 CLASS Commencement, please contact: CLASS Undergraduate Commencement Coordinators

Graduate Students - Master and PhD students who have questions about the ceremony and degree conferral process are asked to email Anna Marchese, CLASS Graduate Studies Program Director,