This information will be updated continually for Finals Weekend 2015. Some 2014 information is provided here as a reference.

Last updated: 10/23/14

Frequently Asked Questions

Final Exercises 2015 will be held on Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17.


Important Phone Numbers

Graduation Information 434-982-2908
Caps & Gowns Information 434-924-3721 or
800-759-4667
Conference Services
(on-Grounds housing)
434-924-4479
Coordinator of Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services 434-243-5180
(v/vp)
Services for Persons with Disabilities 434-924-3095
Office of Major Events 434-982-3099

 

Q: How many guest seating tickets will I be given for the Final Exercises ceremony on the Lawn?
A: Each graduating student will receive three tickets for guest seating on the Lawn. Every guest on the Lawn must have a ticket. Tickets will be distributed to graduates (with photo ID) at the University Bookstore on May 14 through 17. Darden, Law, and Medicine degree candidates will receive tickets at cap and gown pick-up in their respective schools.

The ceremony will be streamed live on the web and shown in nine climate-controlled auditoriums on the grounds with ample seating. See Indoor (Remote) Viewing.


Q: May I obtain additional guest seating tickets for Final Exercises?
A: Due to the size of the graduating class and crowd management regulations, each graduate will be limited to three guest seating tickets for the Final Exercises ceremony on the Lawn. No additional tickets are available.

The ceremony will be streamed live on the web and shown in nine climate-controlled auditoriums on the grounds with ample seating. (See Remote Viewing section.)


Q: Are tickets required for the school/department ceremony?
A: Some school/department ceremonies require tickets and others do not, depending on the site. We recommend that degree candidates check with their school or department (in Arts & Sciences and Engineering) to determine if tickets will be required for their ceremony. Please visit the Ceremony Locations page for a list of sites and the complete school/department ceremony schedule.


Q: Are tickets required for Valedictory Exercises?
A: Tickets are not required for Valedictory Exercises.


Q: Where will I pick up my cap and gown?
A: Students: Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree candidates pick up their cap and gown at the University Bookstore. Visit the General Information web page for more student cap and gown information.
Darden, Law, and Medicine degree candidates will pick up their caps and gowns in their respective schools and return them to those locations.
Faculty: Faculty in Architecture, Arts & Sciences, Continuing & Professional Studies, Education, Leadership and Public Policy, and Nursing may pick up rented caps and gowns (previously ordered) at the University Bookstore. Visit the General Information web page for more faculty cap and gown information.
Faculty in Commerce, Engineering, Graduate Business, Law, and Medicine will pick up their caps and gowns in their respective schools and return them to those locations.


Q: As an August 2014 or December 2014 graduate, what should I do about participating in my school or department ceremony?
A: Please contact your school (or department if you are in Arts & Sciences or Engineering) to let them know of your plans to participate in Final Exercises in May 2015.  By doing so, you will confirm your intent to attend Final Exercises and your school/department will be aware that they should include you in planning and communicating about their ceremony.


Q: Where may I obtain Final Exercises programs?
A: Programs will be available along the colonnades and at information booths located adjacent to the Lawn on Saturday and Sunday, May 16 and 17. Programs will be placed in the seats of all graduating students. Graduating students need not pick up a copy of the program prior to the academic procession.


Q: Will there be a photo taken of each graduate?
A: Contact the school or department (Arts & Sciences and Engineering) to determine if a photographer will be at their ceremony. Individual photos of the more than 6,000 graduates are not taken at Final Exercises on the Lawn.


Q: How long is the Final Exercises ceremony?
A: The Final Exercises ceremony lasts approximately two hours, from 10 a.m. until just after noon. The ceremony begins with the academic procession of the degree candidates and faculty members down the Lawn from the Rotunda. The procession takes approximately an hour, and the actual ceremony takes approximately an hour. If Final Exercises has not concluded by noon, the school/department ceremonies scheduled to begin soon after will be delayed until graduates and guests have ample time to get to their school/department ceremony locations.


Q: How long are the school/department ceremonies?
A: The length of each ceremony varies. Contact the school (or department in Arts & Sciences and Engineering) for information about their ceremony.


Q: How may I obtain information on services available for persons with disabilities during Finals Weekend?
A: Visit the General Information web page for information on services available for persons with disabilities.


Q: Where may I rent a wheelchair in Charlottesville for Finals Weekend?
A: Visit the General Information web page for information on wheelchair rental for Finals weekend.


Q: What are the weather plans for Sunday of Finals Weekend?
A: For Saturday and Sunday, May 16 and 17, the weather plans that may be implemented are:
Fair Weather: Final Exercises on the Lawn and some diploma ceremonies scheduled outside
Inclement Weather: Final Exercises on the Lawn and all diploma ceremonies inside
Severe Weather: Final Exercises in the John Paul Jones Arena and all diploma ceremonies inside
  
The severe-weather plan will be implemented only if thunder, lightning, high winds or other conditions make it unsafe to hold ceremonies outside. Rain alone does not constitute severe weather. Inclement weather may include rain but without the presence of thunder, lightning, high winds, etc. If the severe- or inclement-weather plan is used, announcements will be made no later than 8 a.m. on local radio stations and the University's home web page. If in doubt, call 434-924-7669 or 434-243-7669.

Faculty and students should plan to arrive at rain sites 30 minutes prior to the start of their respective ceremony. Visit the General Information web page for more information on the inclement- and severe-weather plans.


Q: Are on-Grounds rooms available for rent during Finals Weekend?
A: The University offers on-Grounds housing for guests attending Finals Weekend. For the 2015 ceremony, housing is available in the Alderman Road Residence Area, a 15-minute walk from the Lawn or the Corner. For more information, contact Conference Services at 434-924-4479 or visit their web site.


Q: Is there a list of hotels in the Charlottesville area available?
A: A list of local hotels can be viewed at the Charlottesville/Albemarle Convention and Visitors Center web site or the University's Places to Stay web page. Many Charlottesville area hotels are booked months in advance of Finals Weekend. For information on hotels and room availability, contact the Charlottesville/Albemarle County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 434-293-6789 or 877-386-1102.


Q: Is there a list of restaurants in the Charlottesville area available?
A: A list of restaurants can be viewed at the Charlottesville/Albemarle Convention and Visitors Center web site.


Q: On which side do I wear my tassel?
A: Undergraduate degree candidates should wear tassels on the right side of their cap for the academic procession. When their degree is conferred during Final Exercises, tassels are moved to the left side of their cap. Because graduate and professional degree candidates already have received a bachelor's degree, they should wear tassels on the left side of their cap throughout commencement ceremonies. Faculty members and administrators should also wear tassels on the left side of their cap throughout commencement ceremonies.


Q: What size are the U.Va. diplomas?
A: The diploma dimensions are 17" wide by 22" high.


Q: May I participate in Final Exercises in May 2015 even though I will not graduate until August 2015 or December 2015?
A: Only students who have completed their degree requirements during the previous academic year may participate in Final Exercises. August 2015 and December 2015 graduates may not participate in a ceremony conducted prior to the actual awarding of their degrees. They will be invited to participate in the May 2016 Final Exercises ceremony for their school. See the Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record on the University Registrar web site.


Q: Do families of international students coming for Finals Weekend need to do anything special as they plan their travel?
A: International students often ask whether there are ways for them to assist family members or friends as they plan their travel for graduation. See the International Studies Office web site for more information.

 

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