Commencement > Commencement Day > Student Information

Student Information

Graduates wave to the audience while processing to their seats at commencement.

Wintrust Aren​a Purse and Bag Policy

The Wintrust Arena​ has a very strict purse and bag policy for all events, including comm​encement. Please familiarize yourself with this policy by clicking here as well as reviewing the list of prohibited items​.


To see the full comme​ncement schedule, visit the Commencement Ceremonies page. Ceremonies generally last 2-3 hours each.


Graduates should plan to be at the Arena at least one hour prior your ceremony start time. Parking is available at the​ Arena, as are public transportation options. We encourage everyone to utilize the CTA​

Traffic is always heavy in the area and the parking garage can have long lines, please plan accordingly.

Graduates will line up at the Marriott Marquis Chicago at 2121 S. Prairie Ave., adjacent to Wintrust Arena. You should report to the Great Lakes Ballroom inside the Marriott an hour before the ceremony. Guests are not permitted in this area. You will not return to the Marriott after the ceremony.

Marriott Marquis entrance:

Entrance to the Marriot Marquis hotel


Students will line up by their degree program, process into the Arena and take their seats. Following the procession, t​he ceremony will begin. 

Commencement marshals will direct students to receive their diploma at the appropriate time.  Students will walk across the stage just prior to their name being called, as indicated by a marshal (to ensure your name is called while receiving the diploma cover).

The program then concludes with the induction to the alumni society and procession out of the Arena.


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

  • Graduates are expected to stay for the duration of the ceremony.
  • Candidates for bachelor's degrees: your cap 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 side to the left.
  • 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.