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Frequently Asked Questions

The deadline to register online to participate in the 2019 Fall Commencement Ceremony is December 13, 2019

1. How do I start the graduation process?

To start the graduation process, please contact the Office of the Registrar to apply for Graduation. Applying to graduate with the Office of the Registrar is a separate process from registering to participate in the Commencement Ceremony. Be sure to apply for Graduation at the Office of Registrar first. Visit Office of the Registrar's Website

2. Who is eligible to participate in the ceremony?

Any student who has filed an application for graduation degree(s) with the Office of the Registrar is eligible and encouraged to participate in the Commencement Ceremony. You must register and have a cap and gown to participate.

3. When and where is the rehearsal?

Friday, December 20, 2019 at 2:00pm, UH Hilo Vulcan Gym.

4. When and where is the ceremony?

Saturday, December 21, 2019 at 9:00am, UH Hilo Vulcan Gym, Candidate Check In & Kīhei Tying Ceremony: 7:00am to 8:00am - Will be located at the Student Life Center.

5. How do I register to participate?

You can register for commencement online, once registration has opened for the semester.

The deadline to register online to participate in the 2019 Fall Ceremony is December 13, 2019.

6. How do I purchase my cap and gown?

Visit the UH Hilo Bookstore or online at UH Hilo Bookstore

Bookstore Hours:
Monday-Friday: 8:00am-4:30pm

For more information you may contact the Bookstore at (808) 932-7394.

General regalia may be purchased starting in the beginning of November. Supplies are on a first-come, first-served basis so do not wait until the last minute.

Master and Doctoral regalia are not kept in stock and must be ordered by October 1, 2019.

Persons over 250 lbs or taller than 6’6”, should place a special cap & gown order before October 1, 2019.

Regalia Prices:

Regalia Price
Bachelor Cap, Gown, and Tassel set $41.95
Master Cap, Gown, and Tassel set $49.95
Doctoral Cap, Gown, and Tassel set $94.95
Tassel Only $8.95
Master Academic Hood $40.95
Doctoral Academic Hood $49.95

7. I am a veteran and would like a Veteran’s Honor cord, how do I obtain a Veterans Honor cord?

If you are a veteran, you may obtain a Veteran’s Honor cord from the Registrar's Office. Read more about the Veteran’s Honor Cord.

If you plan on wearing your Veteran’s Honor cord to the Commencement Ceremony, please be sure to check off the veteran option on your commencement registration form or email us at commence@hawaii.edu.

8. If I am off island and without internet access, how do I register to participate in the Commencement Ceremony and purchase my cap and gown?

Call the Commencement Committee at (808) 932-7840, no later than December 2, 2019, to request a registration form. Your complete registration form needs to be received by December 13, 2019.

Mail to:

UH Hilo Commencement Committee
200 W. Kāwili Street
Hilo, HI 96720

You may purchase your cap and gown by calling (808) 932-7394. Be sure to place your order early to ensure timely delivery.

9. How do I arrange for my name to be called at the ceremony?

As you register to participate in the Commencement Ceremony, you will fill out the section that reads, name as you want it to be announced at the ceremony. The committee has final review and will be in contact with you if they have any questions as to how you would like your name to be read.

10. How do I ensure that my honor society memberships are listed in the program?

By the last week in October, inform your dean/faculty advisor of your honor society affiliations. Confirm, with your dean/faculty advisor, that you are a candidate for graduation. They will be responsible for getting your name to the committee to appear in the program.

11. How do I order Commencement announcement cards?

Personalized commencement announcements are available at the UH Hilo Bookstore for $1.80 each (price subject to change, minimum order of 5). Please note that announcements are not required for entrance into the commencement site. Please contact the Bookstore for more information at (808) 932-7394

12. Are there any other memorabilia that I may be able to purchase?

Class Ring: Herff Jones Ring Company offers customized class rings. Brochures are available at the bookstore for those who are interested. Questions regarding class rings can be forwarded to our Herff Jones Representative, Mary Chiang at (808) 395-1322, or emailed to mbasales@hawaii.rr.com.

UH Hilo Diploma frames are also available at the bookstore.

13. Do I, or my family, need tickets to the ceremony?

No. All guests are welcome to the ceremony on a first-come, first-seated basis. The doors will open at 8:15am for general guests.

Please advise your guests that balloons need to be held down so that they do not obstruct the view of others. Strollers will not be allowed in the gymnasium or walkways.

14. What happens on the day of the ceremony?

All graduates report to the student check in area-located at the Student Life Center, check-in will open at 7:00am and must be completed by 8:00am. Please be on time.

Wear your cap, gown, and hood (if applicable). You will not be allowed to participate without a cap and gown. Do not redecorate your cap with items that may obstruct the view of your fellow candidates.

Candidates are not allowed to carry large bags, pets, children, food and drinks on the gymnasium floor.

15. Can my family and friends take photographs at the ceremony?

The audience may take photographs and videos from their seats. Reed takaaze Photography will take individual photographs of studets as they are recognized on stage. A few days after the ceremony you will be able to view the commencement photos at www.activitypix.com .

16. Will I receive my diploma in the ceremony?

No, during the commencement ceremony, you will receive a diploma cover containing information regarding your diploma. Please see the Office of the Registrar's website for more information on diploma distribution at Graduation and Diploma Information.

17. What happens after the ceremony?

You may meet your guests by the alphabetical sign matching the first letter of your last name around the Stadium.

18. What about disability accommodations?

Requests for disability accommodations can be made through the Commencement registration form. The deadline to submit any accommodation request is December 2, 2019.

19. Are there any other instructions?

The Commencement Ceremony symbolizes the conclusion of a rigorous period of academic study, training, sacrifice, discipline, and perseverance. It is a special rite of passage, honoring you and your fellow graduates. Please show consideration by conducting yourself with respect and dignity.

For further information, contact the Commencement Committee at commence@hawaii.edu or (808) 932-7840.