Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the ceremony?
About two hours with a brief reception in the CFA atrium to
Does Social Work have its own ceremony?
Yes - all programs offered in the SSW graduate together,
including the interdisciplinary degree programs. All programs are
recognized separately and every student walks and is hooded
separately. All students have their names announced and are ordered
by degree program, but are not ordered alphabetically.
Where do my guests park?
Baird and Slee Lots on Augspurger Road. There will be signs
directing guests where to park - including disabled parking.
How many tickets am I allowed?
Tickets are not required and seating is on a first-come,
Is the Center for the Arts (CFA) handicapped accessible?
Yes. It is important for people with special needs to arrive
early enough to facilitate seating. Only one companion can sit in
the accessible aisle with the person in a wheelchair.
Do we need to make prior requests for accessible seating?
No. Arrive early and talk to an usher outside the main stage
I have small children attending; can I bring a baby stroller?
Guests with small children may bring a baby stroller into the
Center for the Arts, however strollers are not allowed in the seats
or aisles of the theater due to the hazards they create in the
event of an emergency. Strollers may be left in the entrance of the
theater at your own risk; ushers inside the theater can direct you
to appropriate parking areas for strollers. Please note that guests
with children who are talking, crying or moving around in a manner
that is distracting to other guests or the ceremony may be asked to
step outside of the theater.
May my child or baby walk across stage, or be held, with me?
No. Children and babies are not allowed to process across stage
with you during the ceremony due to safety regulations.
I am a graduating student with a disability that may impact my ability to participate in commencement. Who should I contact?
Please contact Dana Horne, SSW commencement coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-645-1229.
Who should I contact if I have a guest with a disability that may need assistance?
May I take photos or selfies while on stage?
No. There is plenty of opportunity for friends and family to
take pictures of you while on stage, and there are professionals
taking photos of you as well. Taking selfies slows down the
ceremony, and distracts and detracts from the ceremony itself.
Will there be a professional photographer?
Yes. Proofs will be emailed to each student about one week after
commencement. Family members wishing to take photographs are
welcome to do so but may NOT stand in the aisle before their
graduate is on the steps leading to the podium.
GradImages is the contracted photography
studio. Please direct all post-ceremony inquiries to the studio:
Please notify family photographers not to obstruct the aisle and
prevent hooded students from returning to their seats. Ushers will
keep the aisles clear.
Will the ceremony be available for online viewing?
Live-streaming will be available at 9:00 a.m.
After commencement weekend, a video link will be posted online
through which you may watch a recording of the ceremony. Visit the
video page for links and information.
Where do I report and when?
Students must be in the robing area by 8:00
a.m. the morning of commencement. Proceed to the lower
level of the Center for the Arts. You must bring your cap, black
master's gown, tassel and hood. You will be lined up by degree in
the staging area. You cannot leave any personal
belongings in the robing area, so please leave any valuables, bags
and purses in your vehicle or with your guests.
Is there a rehearsal?
No. We have a Commencement - What to Expect [4:27 min]
video available to view.
Is there a graduation party?
The SSW GSA generally plans a graduation party.
Where do I get my cap, tassel, hood and gown?
The University Bookstore has caps, tassels, hoods and gowns.
Please note the University Bookstore often runs out of social work
hoods and tassels as it gets closer to the graduation date;
purchase your regalia well in advance of commencement. See
the Cap & Gown information
page. JD/MSWs may wear the JD robes if they are
graduating from Law School that year and are hooded with the MSW
Please consider donating your gown to the MSW program after
graduation. Many students who could not otherwise attend graduation
have done so because of the generosity of students who donate
May I wear special honors cords or other insignia on my gown?
Yes. You may wear any cord or insignia that you earned during
your graduate level study.
Please note: UB graduate students do not graduate
with honors levels as they do at the undergraduate level.
I will not complete my degree in May; can I still participate in the ceremony?
Any student conferred on or before September 2018 can march in
the ceremony. This includes part-time students completing field
placement over the summer.
When will I receive my diploma?
The Office of the Registrar mails your diploma
to your permanent address approximately six
to eight weeks after the conferral date.