CFANS Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony

The 2019 CFANS Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony is Friday, May 10 at 2 p.m. in the 3M Arena at Mariucci

For details about the ceremony and eligibility for it, see the "Frequently Asked Questions" section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I participate in the commencement ceremony? What do I have to do?
It's a two-step process. First, you must apply to graduate. (This is also known as applying for degree clearance.) After you do that, the CFANS Student Services office will email you a commencement invitation, usually the week after spring break. Follow that email's registration instructions. In order to attend the commencement ceremony, you must register for it by April 13.

Commencement audience

When do I have to finish my coursework to be eligible for commencement?
The annual CFANS commencement ceremony takes place at the end of spring semester. You are eligible to participate in it if you finish your degree by 1) the fall semester before commencement, 2) the spring semester of commencement, or 3) the May or summer session or fall semester after commencement. To be eligible to participate in 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 Advising Center at or 612-301-2389.

Does CFANS have more than one commencement ceremony?
No. CFANS holds one commencement ceremony each spring.

Are tickets required for the ceremony?
No, you are welcome to bring as many guests as you like. 

Does CFANS provide a letter of invitation to international students who would like to invite guests from their country?
Yes, upon request. Please email and ask for a letter.

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 in March, which provides commencement information, services, and products, including caps, gowns and announcements.

a graduating student in cap and gown

Will I graduate with special distinctions or honors? How will I know that?
Students who meet a specific GPA or Honors Program threshold may receive special recognition. If, at the end of fall semester, you have more than 60 UofM semester credits and have a minimum GPA of 3.75, you'll receive the "distinction" recognition. If your GPA is 3.9 or higher, you'll receive "high distinction" recognition. Both distinctions receive a special cord to wear at commencement, given to students at the 3M Arena at Mariucci before the ceremony. HONORS: If you are in the University Honors Program (UHP) and will graduate with Latin honors, UHP will contact you with details about the medallion you'll wear.

Where should I go to check in for the ceremony? Where do I sit or stand?
You will check-in for the ceremony at the 3M Arena at Mariucci no later than 1:30 p.m. At check-in you will be given instructions on where to line-up for the ceremony. You will receive an email a week before the ceremony with detailed information about this. We'll also have staff at the ceremony to check you in and guide you.

Where should my guests park? Where is the 3M Arena at Mariucci?
All guests are encouraged to park in lots recommended on the 3M Arena at Mariucci page.

    • Maps: This is a printable map (PDF) showing the entire East Bank campus, including parking areas. This is an online map for the 3M Arena at Mariucci and surrounding areas.

What time should my guests arrive?
Your guests are encouraged to arrive by 1:30 p.m. but are welcome to arrive earlier. Seating will be available for CFANS guests by 1 p.m.

Can my guests bring balloons or flowers?
Balloons are NOT allowed in the arena. There are no exceptions, due to fire codes. 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. If you must bring a purse, backpack or other valuables, please leave them with your guest(s) in the audience.

Does 3M Arena at Mariucci have disability access?
Yes. There is a drop-off area near the east (main) entrance, an elevator to the seating level, wheelchair seating areas, seats (top row) that do not require the use of stairs and adapted restrooms. If you have additional questions or if you would like to request an ASL interpreter, please contact Karen Sprengeler at at least six weeks before the commencement ceremony.

Will I get my diploma certificate at commencement?
No. Because the majority of students who attend commencement have not completed their degree requirements by the ceremony date, an empty diploma cover is handed to you as you cross the stage. This is standard practice at university graduation ceremonies. Your diploma will be mailed to you later.

Questions? Who do I contact?
If you have additional questions about the commencement ceremony held by the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS), contact the CFANS Advising Center at or 612-301-2389.