DePaul University Commencement > Graduation Day > What to Expect


To see the full commencement schedule, visit the Ceremonies & Events section. Ceremonies generally last 2-3 hours each.


Graduates and participating faculty and staff should plan to be at the ceremony venue at least one hour before your ceremony start time. Parking is available at the venue, as are public transportation options.  Traffic is always heavy in the area around the venue, please plan accordingly. 

Purse and Bag Policy

The Wintrust Arena has a very strict purse and bag policy for all of its events. This policy will apply during our commencement ceremonies. Please familiarize yourself with this policy by clicking hereAlso see the listing of prohibited items.


Students will line up, process into the venue and take their seats.  Marshalls will direct students when it is time to line up to receive their diploma.  Students will walk across the stage prior to their name being called, when indicated by a marshall (this is to ensure your name is called while receiving the diploma cover).


Given the solemn yet celebratory nature of commencement, all participants are expected to follow some basic rules of etiquette for such occasions.

  • Please demonstrate respect for your fellow graduates and plan to stay for the duration of your ceremony. Commencement is expected to last approximately 2-3 hours.
  • Candidates for bachelor's degrees: please note that your mortarboard should be worn so that it sits parallel with the ground, with the tassel hanging to the right. During the ceremony, your officiant will ask you to move your tassel from the right front side of your mortarboard to the left as a mark of the official awarding of your degree.
  • Master's candidates should wear your caps with the attached tassel hanging to the left.
  • Doctoral candidates should drape the academic hood over the left or right arm before they walk on to the stage.  The hood is then presented to their faculty advisor, who will slip it over the candidate.
  • Celebrate your accomplishment in a way that is in keeping with the solemnity of this occasion. Keep in mind that many people have worked long and hard to enjoy this day — do not allow your personal celebrations to disrupt the ceremony.

Cap and Gown Returns

Regalia* must be returned prior to exiting the commencement venue. Drop-off bins will be located throughout the facility.

It is your sole responsibility to return the regalia before leaving the ceremony. If your regalia are not returned in good condition, the costs for these items will be charged to your account. Academic regalia can cost $300-800 depending on the degree, so be sure to return your regalia promptly and in good condition.

* Undergraduates may keep their cap and tassel
* Graduate students may keep their tassel
* All graduates may keep any honor cords and stoles