What to Expect

Know What to Expect

Commencement is a day for celebration; this is your moment! To help ensure your day goes smoothly, we've removed the guesswork from the itinerary. Here are all the details of the day so that you can plan ahead and walk into Commencement with all the confidence a new college graduate should have!

You are invited to participate in the 2025 Spring Commencement if you complete degree requirements between fall term 2024 and summer term 2025.

There is one ceremony for all graduate and undergraduate degree recipients.

There is no winter or summer Commencement ceremony.

Commencement Day Details

Location: TBA
Time: TBA
Tentative Location: Michael A. Carroll Stadium
1001 W. New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202


TBAGraduates should be arriving for lineup at the IU Natatorium.
TBAGates open for guest seating at Michael A. Carroll Stadium.
TBAGraduates should be in line at the Natatorium.
TBAProcessional begins.
TBACeremony begins.
TBAThe recession concludes the ceremony.

Graduates should park at the Sports Complex and Riverwalk Garage. All graduates MUST enter the IU Natatorium through the Sports Complex Garage.

Graduate dropoff is on New York Street, just east of University Blvd., beneath the pedestrian skywalk connecting the Natatorium and Education/Social Work Building building.

Graduate accessible drop-off is available on the ground level of the Sports Complex Garage.

Text “IUIgrad” to 67283 to opt-in to traffic, parking, and safety messages during commencement.


-There are several road construction projects in and around downtown Indianapolis, so please plan your driving route in advance to avoid possible delays.

Find information for guest parking here.

Graduates will meet in the IU Natatorium Gym no later than 6:15 p.m. After being photographed, graduates will be directed to their specific school locations, designated by signage inside the pool seating area. Graduates line up by school shortly before the procession begins.

At 7:00 p.m., graduates will be led by faculty marshals from the IU Natatorium to Carroll Stadium, then seated for the ceremony.  After all graduates are seated, the platform party (those sitting on stage) will enter and be seated before the ceremony begins.

Graduates should wear comfortable dress shoes as there will be periods of standing and walking extended distances.

Details for faculty can be viewed here.

Tickets are not issued for Commencement, and graduates can bring as many guests as they wish. Guest seating is offered on a first-come, first-served basis in sections not reserved for graduates. Ushers will be stationed throughout the stadium to direct guests to the best possible seats.

Accessible seating is available for guests in wheelchairs and with limited mobility. See the accessibility accommodations page for more information.

Graduate seating is arranged by school and occupies the field in Carroll Stadium. Faculty marshals will lead you in the procession, then direct you to designated seating by school. Upon entering your row, please sit in the next available chair. At the beginning of the ceremony, all graduates and faculty will rise and remain standing through the singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

At the end of Commencement, please remain in your seat. Faculty marshals will direct all graduates to exit by row.

Full of pageantry and traditions, Commencement is the grand culmination of your college journey—and it is an experience you’ll remember and cherish! The ceremony includes a Commencement speaker, remarks from President Whitten and Chancellor Ramchand, a student speaker, induction into the Indiana Alumni Association, and the conferral of degrees.

During the conferral of degrees, associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degree candidates are recognized together by their school deans. Because of the large number of graduates, individual names (other than Ph.D. and doctorate candidates) are not announced. Consider also attending your school recognition event for a more focused program.

Candidates for Ph.D. and other doctorate will be introduced individually and hooded on the floor in front of the stage.

Remember, all graduates participating in Commencement will receive a lovely Indiana diploma cover at the ceremony. Your diploma will be mailed to your home address at a later date.

Students who complete all requirements and apply to graduate by their programs’ stated deadlines will have their names printed in the Commencement program. Programs will be provided at the ceremony or you can download one.

If you are not sure if you met your program’s deadline, please contact the recorder’s office in your school.

If you have concerns about how your name is listed in the program, please contact the Commencement team at commence@iu.edu.

Graduates will be part of a recession back to the IU Natatorium and should coordinate a meeting place with family and friends nearby.

Graduates must return their apparel in the mailer provided by Herff Jones. Failure to return apparel may result in a fine, so do not skip this important step. Caps, tassels, cords, and stoles of gratitude (for undergraduate degrees) do not need to be returned; keep them as mementos of this exciting day!

For questions or to replace missing labels, please contact Patrick Cavazos with Herff Jones at pcavazos@herffjones.com.


  • Graduating students are screened upon arrival at the graduate robing and lineup location.
  • Do not bring umbrellas, briefcases, or other personal items, as they cannot be stored during Commencement. Ponchos will be provided in case of rain.
  • To ensure that all attendees have an unobscured viewing of the ceremony and graduates, signs, flags, placards, and banners are not permitted. Additionally, packages, wrapped gifts, noise makers, weapons, balloons, and outside food and beverage are prohibited.
  • Wear business or business casual attire with comfortable—though formal—footwear.
  • Arrive at lineup with your cap and gown on.
  • All degree candidates are expected to stay for the entire ceremony. This is a years-long academic journey, you don’t want to skip out now!
  • No alcoholic beverages are permitted at Commencement.
  • Don’t forget to return your apparel after the ceremony.


  • Upon arrival at the venue, guests walk through metal detectors.
  • Guests are permitted to bring a clear bag that is approximately the size of a one-gallon freezer bag or a small clutch approximately the size of a hand. Diaper bags and those containing medical necessities are permitted. Bags are inspected by trained security staff.
  • Guest seating is offered on a first-come, first-served basis, so come early for the best seat.
  • Given the size of the Commencement audience, large parties are not allowed to save seats. Instead, we ask groups to gather outside and come in together. An usher can help you find group seating.
  • Because of the large number of graduates, we are unable to introduce each graduate by name.
  • To ensure that all attendees have an unobscured viewing of the ceremony and graduates, signs, flags, placards, and banners are not permitted. Additionallypackages, wrapped gifts, noise makers, weapons, balloons, and outside food and beverage are prohibited.
  • Strollers are not permitted inside the venue.
  • No alcoholic beverages are permitted at Commencement.
  • Check out special offers and pre-order a photo package of your graduate. After graduation, view the graduation portraits taken by GradImages.
  • Event organizers and venues will not be responsible for lost items.


You can order formal announcements through Herff Jones to share with all of your family and friends.

Have loved ones who won’t be able to make the trip in person? Let them know that they can visit this site on Commencement Day and celebrate with you virtually.


Professional photographs will be taken of each degree candidate at IU Indianapolis Commencement.

You’ll receive detailed instructions and an identification card in the robing area.