Graduate Ceremony

Saturday, May 20, 2017

COMM 20150516 NL 043 31

eligibility to march

Participation in the graduate commencement ceremony acknowledges the completion of degree requirements and signifies academic accomplishment of the highest order. Graduate candidates eligible to march in the ceremonies include the following:

  • Those who have completed their degree requirements by August 2016, December 2016, or May 2017
  • Those who will have completed their course work and passed their comprehensive examination(s) or master’s examination (if required) during or before the Spring 2017 semester and will have successfully defended their dissertations/theses (if a dissertation or thesis is required) by April 21, 2017
  • Those in programs with required internships who will have completed their course work and passed their comprehensive examination(s) or master’s examination (if required) during or before the Spring 2017 semester, will have successfully defended their dissertations/theses (if a dissertation or thesis is required) by April 21, 2017, and will have completed their internships by September 15, 2017

Please note:  Tickets are not required for The Ryan Center graduate commencement ceremony.

  • If you are planning to participate in the 2017 Graduate Ceremony, please register here. International students can request additional documentation for commencement here.

  • 8:15 a.m.
    Graduate Candidates assemble 
    in academic attire for the ceremony.
    Thomas M. Ryan Center, Kingston Campus

    9 a.m.
    Graduate Exercises begin
     (tickets are not required for the graduate commencement ceremony)
    Thomas M. Ryan Center, Kingston Campus

    Post Ceremony (ceremony generally lasts 2-2.5 hours)
    President’s Reception 
    to honor all graduate students receiving their degrees, and their guests
    Hope Commons, 19 Butterfield Road, Kingston Campus

    12:30 p.m.
    Academic Excellence Awards
    , Edwards Hall, 64 Upper College Road, Kingston Campus

  • 8:15 AM

    • Candidates for graduate degrees should enter the Ryan Center around 8:15 a.m. wearing cap and gown.
      • Gown should be worn closed in front.
      • Cap should be worn flat or cocked slightly forward. The inside of the crown of the cap usually has a mark indicating which point is the front of the cap. That point should face forward when the cap is worn. 
      • Tassel should be worn over the left front edge of the cap.
      • Masters candidates should wear the hood. When putting it on, keep the velvet edge up, parallel to the ground. The cord is buttoned across the back. Turn that part of the hood, which drops down the back “inside-out” to display the lining. 
      • Doctoral candidates should carry the hood over the left arm, velvet edge forward. DPT candidates are hooded in a separate ceremony preceding the graduate ceremony. 
      • Please note while you are in line for procession, ushers will assist with hoods. 
    • Lines for the academic procession will be organized in the corridor between the North and the South Lobbies. 
    • Along the corridor walls, candidates should assemble by degree, alphabetically into two, single-file lines.
      • Signs posted along the walls will mark the front and the various subdivisions of each line, so that candidates can process onto the main floor of the Ryan Center and be seated together in the proper section.
    • Faculty marshals wearing academic dress and carrying batons will help organize the lines by degree and then alphabetically within each degree group and will take roll. 

    Putting the lines into alphabetical order requires some time and effort, but only those in the correct place in line can be properly recognized during the ceremonies. Please arrive early enough and cooperate with the faculty marshals to make sure that you assemble into that part of the line reserved for your degree group and that you are in the correct alphabetical order within your group.  You will receive a card with your name on it from the Marshal heading up your line- you must carry this into the arena with you. Please be sure to print the correct pronunciation of your name in the designated place on the card if there is any chance that your name might otherwise be mispronounced. 

  • 9:00 AM

    • When the procession begins, the marshals will lead the lines onto the Ryan Center floor.
      • Note the person in front of you in line and follow that person during the procession until you are seated. 
    • It is imperative that you remain in line and in order during the procession and upon arriving at the seating section so that your marshal can seat you in the correct order and in the proper place.


    • At the proper time during the ceremonies, a marshal will lead candidates for doctoral degrees to the stage to be hooded by the major professor assisted by the Provost. Candidates will proceed to center stage to receive the official diploma. 
    • After doctoral candidates have been hooded, candidates for masters degrees will be conducted to the stage by a marshal. When the Dean of the Graduate School announces the candidate’s name, the candidate will cross the stage and receive a diploma cover.

    Note: You may not be able to return to your prior seat, so don’t leave anything behind. If you carry a camera, purse, bag, etc. into the arena, you will also be carrying it across the stage. Think about leaving your personal possessions with a family member or friend in the audience prior to lining up to march. 

    • At the end of the ceremonies, the officials from the main platform will recess down the center aisle into the lobby areas of the Ryan Center, followed by graduates. 
    • A reception for all graduates and their families will be held immediately after the commencement ceremony in the Hope Commons dining area.
      • Signs will be posted to direct you along the short walk from the Ryan Center to Hope Commons.
  • The main campus of the University of Rhode Island is located in Kingston, Rhode Island—30 miles south of Providence and 80 miles from Boston.

    • Directions by Car to the Ryan Center Ceremonies:
      • From the north: Follow directions above to Route 4 South to Exit 5B, Route 102, towards Exeter. Turn left onto South County Trail (Route 2), and follow for approximately seven miles, then turn left onto Route 138. Follow Route 138 approximately 1.5 miles to the Route 110 intersection (Plains Road). Then turn left and follow parking signs to the Ryan Center.
      • From the south: Follow directions above to Route 138 East and follow Route 138 to traffic light at the Route 110 intersection (Plains Road). Turn left and follow parking signs to the Ryan Center.
      • Our maps and directions page will provide you with detailed directions.

    Additional Travel Options:

    • Amtrak 800.872.7245. The Kingston railroad station is less than a mile from URI.
    • F. Green International Airport, about 20 miles from URI, bus transportation and rental cars available.
    • R.I. Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) 401.781.9400, 800.244.0444.
    • Peter Pan Bus Lines (800.556.3815) connect Providence and Newport to diverse locations nationwide.

    Commencement Map

  • Students and guests are asked to park in the Plains Road lot for the Graduate Ceremony. 

    Commencement Map

    Spaces for vehicles displaying state-issued disability placards or license plates are available in all lots. If you have a physical or medical condition, you may reserve a priority parking permit by registering here no later than May 8th. Priority parking permits are available to be picked up in advance and allow parking in disability parking spaces on campus during the weekend. If you have further questions please call the Visitors Center at 401.874.2133.

  • For your convenience, refreshments and snacks will be available at these locations (payment with cash only):

    • Ryan Center Concessions will be open during all hosted ceremonies.

    For other dining options the URI Emporium, located adjacent to the Quadrangle, has a variety of restaurants and convenience stores that will be open during commencement weekend.

  • There are no fees for the use of the following services or for the use of materials such as FM listening devices or wheelchairs. A driver’s license is required as a deposit and will be returned when the items are brought back to the Disability Station.

    Guests who have a disability or who have difficulty walking long distances are invited to make their requests known by completing this request form by May 13thAfter that date, we will make every effort to fulfill but cannot guarantee requests.

    Disability Assistance will be available on Saturday for the Graduate Ceremony at the north entrance of the Ryan Center.

    Sign language interpreters. ASL Interpreters will be at the Graduate Ceremony in the reserved seating area.

    Assisted listening devices are available at the Disability Station located at the north entrance of the Ryan Center. Reservation required by May 13th through this request form.

    Wheelchairs. For those requesting additional mobility assistance, a limited number of wheelchairs will be available at the Disability Station at the Ryan Center on Saturday. Please reserve through this request form by May 13th. Reservations will be held until 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. After those times, wheelchairs will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you own a wheelchair, we recommend bringing it with you.

    Disability seating  is located at various levels of the Ryan Center ceremonies; please visit the Ryan Center guest services page for information. Seating is limited to the person with a disability and one guest; seating for other members of the party is close-by.

    Commencement Map

  • GradImages® is the official commencement photographer for our school.

    Your proofs will be ready to view online as soon as 48 hours after the ceremony. If you pre-register, GradImages will send an email and mail paper proofs. An optional text message may be sent. Your information is never shared and privacy is guaranteed. Pre-registration will ensure that GradImages can provide your complimentary proofs as quickly as possible. Although there’s never any obligation to order, you’ll save $5 off any order of $25 or more for your participation. Pre-register at

    You can view and order your photos by visiting our website at If you need additional help to locate your photos, call GradImages’ customer service department at 800-261-2576 or email them at

  • We ask that our graduates and guests respect the ceremony and all of the people involved by behaving in a dignified manner. In keeping with decorum and tradition, we ask that guests adhere to the following guidelines:

    • Please remain in your seats until the recessional begins
    • When names of students are read, please be considerate with applause so that all names are clearly heard
    • Confetti, balloons and noisemakers are not permitted at any ceremonies
    • The possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages is strictly prohibited during the Commencement Ceremonies and related activities. We appreciate your cooperation.
Think Big We Do

Copyright © 2017 University of Rhode Island.