Frequently Asked Questions (2024)

graduating student.

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Does Social Work have its own ceremony?

Yes! All School of Social Work programs offered graduate together, including our interdisciplinary degree programs. All programs are recognized separately and every student walks and is hooded separately. All students will have their names announced by degree program, but not necessarily alphabetically.

How long is the ceremony?

The ceremony will start promptly at 9 a.m. and conclude by 11 a.m.

Where and when do I report?

Graduates should arrive no later than 8 a.m. and proceed to the Center for the Arts' lower-level Black Box Theatre (there will be volunteers providing guidance and signage).

I will not complete my degree in May. Can I still participate in the ceremony?

Any student conferred on or before September 1, 2024, can march in the ceremony, including part-time students completing field placement over the summer.

Where do my guests park?

We recommend the Stadium Lot, Slee A Lot and Baird A Lot for guest parking. During commencement ceremonies, guests are welcome to park in any faculty/staff and student parking lots; a UB parking permit is not required.

For a map with details for parking lots, refer to the UB North Campus Map [PDF]. There will be signs directing guests where to park, including accessible parking spaces.

What items are prohibited for graduates and guests?

  • Bags over 12"x12"x6" (including purses and backpacks)
  • Non-collapsible umbrellas
  • Laser objects
  • Weapons
  • Food/beverages/alcohol
  • Illegal drugs and/or related paraphernalia
  • Signs/sticks
  • Flags/banners
  • Balloons
  • Beach balls
  • Fireworks or explosives
  • Voice amplifiers
  • Noise-making devices
  • Animals (except in the case of service animals trained to perform needed tasks for attendees with disabilities)
  • Any item, that in the judgment of venue management, may pose a safety hazard or diminish the enjoyment of an event by other guests

Do we need to make prior requests for accessible seating?

Please arrive early and talk to an event staff member for any specific seating needs. Only one companion can sit in the accessible aisle with the person in a wheelchair.

I am a graduating student with a disability that may impact my ability to participate in commencement. Who should I contact?

Please contact the School of Social Work commencement coordinators at

You may also describe any necessary accommodations on the commencement registration form.

Who should I contact if I have a guest with a disability who may need assistance?

Please refer guests to the Guest Information page.

I have small children attending. Can I bring a stroller?

Guests with small children may bring a baby stroller into the Commencement Pavillion, however strollers are not allowed in the seats or aisles due to the hazards they create in the event of an emergency. Strollers may be left in the entrance of the Pavillion at your own risk; event staff 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 pavilion.

May a guest (child or baby) cross the stage with me?

No. Guests, including children and babies, are not allowed to process across the stage with you during the ceremony due to safety regulations.

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: 1-800-261-2576.

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.

Please notify family photographers not to obstruct the aisle and prevent hooded graduates from returning to their seats. Event staff will keep the aisles clear.

Will the ceremony be available for online viewing?

Livestreaming information coming soon!

After commencement weekend, visit the University at Buffalo Commencement channel on YouTube to watch the recording.

Is there a rehearsal?

No. We have a Commencement - What to Expect [4:27 min] video available to view.

Where do I get my cap, tassel, hood and gown?

The University Bookstore has caps, tassels, hoods and gowns available for purchase beginning in early Spring. 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 hood.

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.

When will I receive my diploma?

Printed Diploma

The Office of the Registrar will mail a printed diploma, free of charge, to your permanent address approximately six to eight weeks after your conferral date. Students are responsible for making address changes; these should be made by the term conferral date to ensure that you receive your diploma.

Update your permanent address

Certified Electronic Diploma

Students who graduated June 2020 and later also have the option to purchase a certified electronic diploma (CeDiploma) for $15.95. An offer will be sent to your UB email, from, about three to six weeks after your degree conferral date.

Learn more about the CeDiploma

You are responsible for ensuring your address is up to date.