Winter Commencement

Attending Winter Commencement

Winter Commencement, also called December Commencement, will be held on Saturday, December 19, 2020, at 10 a.m. in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, 1001 E. 17th Street in Bloomington.

There is one ceremony for all degree candidates. You do not need tickets, and there are no reserved seats. You may invite as many guests as you wish.

Graduating students who attend Commencement will be given a complimentary diploma cover. If you do not attend, diploma covers may be purchased at the Indiana University Official Bookstore.

Determine your eligibility

Candidates who have completed degree requirements between September 1 and December 31 are invited to participate in the Winter Commencement ceremony.

Candidates completing degree requirements between January 1 and August 31 are invited to participate in the Spring Commencement ceremony. Candidates for all master’s, doctorate, and specialist degrees; Ph.D.’s; artist diplomas; and performer diplomas should attend the graduate ceremony. Candidates for all associate and bachelor’s degrees should attend the undergraduate ceremony.

There is no summer ceremony.


8 a.m. Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall opens to guests. Friends and family should proceed to the seating area.

All graduates should report for lineup in Gladstein Fieldhouse, 1101 E. 17th Street, directly east of Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall, no later than 8 a.m. During lineup, graduates are directed to their specific school locations, designated by bright red banners, to form the processions.

Faculty must also arrive by this time. If you are a faculty member and will be hooding a doctoral candidate, please meet up with that student in Gladstein Fieldhouse so that you can walk together in the processional.

8:45 a.m. School processions begin.

10 a.m. Main ceremony begins. The main ceremony includes the procession of the platform party, a Commencement speaker and student address, induction of the graduates into the IU Alumni Association, and the conferral of the degrees. The ceremony will last approximately 90 minutes.

11:30 a.m. After the ceremony, graduates can wait for family and friends at Gladstein Fieldhouse. If possible, designate a meeting location in or near the fieldhouse. Photo stations will be available inside the fieldhouse.

5 p.m. Graduates must return cap and gown rentals by 5 p.m. at Gladstein Fieldhouse.

Where to sit

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Seating for winter commencement is in the west half of Simon Skojdt Assembly Hall.

The audience may enter through the north or south lobbies.

Emergency exits are located on the far west side of Assembly Hall, just west of row 46.

Procession entrances are located on the north and south sides of the stage.

Faculty, Ph.D.’s, doctorates outside the University Graduate School, and doctorates in the University Graduate School are seated directly in front of the stage.

Students from the following schools are seated in their respective areas in sections D-E, rows 1-46:
College of Arts and Sciences, School of Art and Design, School of Global and International Studies, Media School.

Students from the following schools are seated in their respective areas in sections C-D, rows 1-46:
Kelley School of Business, School of Optometry, School of Education, School of Informatics and Computing, Jacobs School of Music, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and School of Public Health.

General audience seating is in sections A-C and E-F, rows 1-46.

Seating map of Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall

Guest seating

Guest seating is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Ushers will be stationed throughout the building to direct all guests to the best possible seats.

Special seating is available for guests in wheelchairs and with limited mobility. Check ADA accommodations to learn more.

Graduate seating

Graduate seating is arranged by school and occupies the floor and some of the stands in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

Students do not line up alphabetically. They process through a number of doors, which means that a graduate may wind up anywhere within a school’s section.

Commencement day reminders: for graduates

  • Do not bring umbrellas, briefcases, or any other personal items, as they cannot be stored during Commencement.
  • Wear business or business-casual attire with comfortable—though formal—footwear.
  • Wait until you arrive at lineup to put on your cap and gown.
  • All degree candidates in attendance are expected to stay for the entire ceremony.
  • No alcoholic beverages are permitted at Commencement.

Commencement day reminders: for guests

  • Guest seating is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Come early for the best seat.
  • Given the size of the Commencement audience, large parties are not allowed to save seats. Instead, we ask groups to gather outside and come in together, asking an usher to help find group seating.
  • Because of the large number of participating graduates, we are unable to introduce each graduate by name.
  • No alcoholic beverages are permitted at Commencement.
  • Guests may purchase flowers for their graduate at Commencement. However, if you would like to preorder flowers in your graduate's favorite colors, you may do so on the website of the Commencement Group, Inc.

Questions? We are committed to making Commencement a memorable day for you and your guests.

Contact us directly