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Commencement Ceremony

NOTE: The 2015 CFANS Commencement Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 15. Details will be posted on this page as soon as they're finalized.

Congratulations to our 2014 graduates!

The CFANS 2014 Commencement Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 16 at 7:00 p.m. in Northrop Auditorium. For those who cannot attend in person, a live videostream is available online. For additional information about the CFANS commencement ceremony, see the "Frequently Asked Questions" section below.

The College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences holds one commencement ceremony each year, at the end of spring semester. (This is usually in May.) All students who have completed their degree—or who will be completing their degree during the academic year—are invited to attend commencement.

Frequently Asked Questions about Commencement:

How can I participate in the commencement ceremony? What do I have to do?
In order to participate in commencement, you must have applied to graduate (aka, applied for degree clearance). If you have done this, the CFANS Student Services office will email you a commencement invitation in mid-March (about 2 months before the commencement ceremony). You will also have to RSVP to the commencement invitation. We'll send it to your U of M email address, so please check it regularly.

CFANS Commencement 2014 Video

Wondering what commencement is like? Watch the 2014 video below. The keynote speaker was Mark Seeley. 

When do I have to finish my coursework to be eligible for commencement?
CFANS commencement takes place every spring, usually in May. You are eligible to participate if you finish your degree by 1) the fall semester before commencement, 2) the spring semester of commencement, or 3) the summer session after commencement. To be eligible for commencement, you must file your graduation application by the spring deadline, as listed on One Stop. If you have questions about eligibility requirements, contact the CFANS Student Services office.

How do I get a cap and gown for the commencement ceremony?
Students can buy the required graduation cap and gown at U of M bookstores located in Coffman Union and the St. Paul Student Center, or online. Each year, the University of Minnesota also holds the GradFest event. This provides commencement information, services, and products such as your cap and gown, announcements, and more.

Are tickets required for the ceremony?
Yes. Instructions about requesting tickets will be provided soon. Note that because of size constraints at Northrop Auditorium, each graduate will be limited to 6 tickets/guests. This will allow all students to share their day with loved ones.

Where should my guests park?
All guests are encouraged to park in lots recommended on the Northrop Parking page.

What time should my guests arrive?
Your guests are encouraged to arrive by 6:30 p.m. Guests are welcome to arrive earlier, but please note the area will be congested, because there's a different ceremony here before the CFANS ceremony. Seating should be available for CFANS guests by 6:00 p.m.

Can my guests bring balloons or flowers?
Balloons are NOT allowed in the auditorium. There are no exceptions. Your guests are welcome to bring flowers.

Will there be a photographer at the ceremony?
Yes, we have made arrangements with GradImages to have a professional photographer take three pictures of each student. One photo is taken on stage with your diploma cover in hand. The other photos are taken as you enter and exit the stage. GradImages will contact you directly when the photo proofs are available to view. There is no obligation to purchase photos.

Is there somewhere for me to store valuables during the ceremony?
No, sorry. If you must bring a purse, backpack or other valuables, please leave them with your guest(s) in the audience.

Does Northrop Auditoirum have disability access?
Yes. If you have questions, or if you'd like to request disability accommodations, including ASL interpreters, please contact Karen Sprengeler at

Will I get my diploma at commencement?
No. Because the majority of students attending have not completed their degree requirements by the ceremony date, empty diploma covers are given as you cross the stage.

Additional questions?
Contact the CFANS Student Services office.