General Information

Commencement at FIU
Commencement vs Graduation
Walking Early and Walking Late
Bachelor’s and Master’s Academic Regalia
Doctoral Academic Regalia
Dress Code
Academic Honor Students
Honor Societies
Class Gift
Stole of Gratitude

Event Day Information

Arrival on Campus
Public Safety
Seating of Undergraduate and Graduate Candidates
Guest Seating
Photography and Videography
Live Webcast and Streaming
Lost and Found

Event Venue Address and Directions
Prohibited Substances

Commencement at FIU

Commencement is a recognition and celebration of student achievement and the lasting contributions that students have made to the university. The ceremony marks a beginning for graduates who will now embark on a new journey.

FIU Commencement exercises take place three times a year at the end of the Fall, Summer and Spring semester on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus

Commencement vs. Graduation
Although we often use these words interchangeably, “commencement” and “graduation” have different meanings:

  • Commencement = A traditional celebration of students’ academic achievements in which graduates walk dressed in academic regalia to be congratulated by the university’s leadership and the faculty.
  • Graduation = Fulfillment of academic requirements within your major and the award of a degree and diploma.

It is important to understand that participating in the commencement ceremony does not mean you have fully qualified for your degree and officially graduated. Only the Office of the Registrar can confirm your graduation status.

Walking Early

No graduate will be allowed to walk early.

Walking Late
Students who have graduated in a previous semester but did not walk are always welcome to participate in a later commencement ceremony. These graduates should follow the same instructions under Steps to Commencement Day.

Bachelor’s, Master’s and Specialists Academic Regalia

The bachelor’s academic gown is blue and the master’s as well as specialists gowns are black. Caps and gowns are available for purchase at the FIU bookstore during Commencement Fairs. The tassel, which is attached to the cap, is to be placed on the right side of your cap.

FIU traditional tassel colors for undergraduate and graduate students are as follows:

(same color for Master’s and Specialist’s degree hood)
Architecture + The Arts
ArchitectureBlue Violet
Communication ArtsCrimson
Fine ArtsWhite
Arts, Sciences & Education
Arts and SciencesWhite
EducationLight Blue
Engineering & Computing
Engineering and Computer ScienceOrange
Honors College
Hospitality & Tourism Management
Hospitality and Tourism ManagementNavy Blue
International & Public Affairs (SIPA)
International and Public Affairs (all majors, unless specified otherwise)White
Criminal JusticePeacock Blue
Public AdministrationPeacock Blue
Journalism & Mass Communication
Journalism and Mass CommunicationCrimson
Nursing & Health Sciences
Health SciencesGreen
Health Service AdministrationGreen
Public Health & Social Work
Public HealthSalmon
Social WorkCitron

Doctoral Academic Regalia
Doctoral candidates can purchase custom academic regalia (including cap, gown, tassel and hood) from the FIU Bookstore. Timely delivery is only guaranteed if ordered no later than 2 weeks before the ceremony. Rush orders can be processed up to one week prior to the ceremony for a rush handling fee. All doctoral candidates wear black gowns. Other colors are as follows:

Doctoral Candidates
All Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) candidates
Navy Blue
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) candidates
Light Blue
Doctoral of Physical Therapy (DPT) candidates
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) candidatesGoldApricot
Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) candidatesGoldGreen

Dress Code
Commencement is a formal ceremony that recognizes the academic achievements of our graduates. Proper attire and behavior are expected. Comfortable, business-casual clothing is recommended for students walking at Commencement:

Please do not wear sneakers, beach sandals, or shorts.
Wear shoes and visible items of clothing under your gown in dark colors that harmonize with the Commencement gown.

We ask that graduates bring their cap and gown in hand and put it on only after they enter the arena and clear security. No one will be allowed to enter the arena wearing regalia.

Academic Honor Students

The FIU Bookstore maintains a list of undergraduate students who, at the time that they applied for graduation, achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and who, when counting current term enrollment, will have earned at least 40 credits hours from FIU. Students who meet these criteria will be allowed to purchase an honor cord to be worn over their regalia during Commencement. If you believe that we inadvertently omitted your name from the list, please contact the Office of the Registrar. Please note that students with “exceptions to walk” will not be eligible for honor cords.

Honor Societies
Please contact your specific honor society for information regarding its respective academic stoles and medallions. These items are not for sale at the Barnes and Noble university bookstores.

Non-academic stoles, non-academic cords, non-academic medallions, and other types of non-academic adornments should not be worn at Commencement.

Stole of Gratitude

The Stole of Gratitude is not intended for the graduate, but for individuals in the audience who provided extraordinary support to the graduate during his/her studies.


Students who have officially graduated will receive their diplomas 8 weeks after grades post by mail if no outstanding financial obligations are due to the University. Please confirm the completion of your degree requirements with your advisor. Your degree will not be recorded on your transcript until four weeks after Commencement. If you need to show proof of your degree prior to receiving your diploma, your academic advisor can write a letter of confirmation.

Arrival on Campus
Graduates and guests should arrive one hour and a half prior to the beginning of the ceremony. We anticipate that about 3,500 guests will attend each ceremony so traffic around campus will be very busy.

Parking for graduates and guests will be available in the Panther Garage and in Lot 8 & 9, which are located on the west side of the Modesto A. Maidique Campus just across from the Ocean Bank Convocation Center. Handicapped parking will be reserved on the ground floor of the Panther Garage for holders of authorized license plates and permits. Please follow the signs posted and the directions of campus safety officers.

The doors will open one hour prior to the ceremony. Fire Marshall regulations require every guest, including children of all ages, to have a ticket. No one will be admitted into the arena without a printed electronic guest ticket. Graduates will need their Commencement pass to enter the Ocean Bank Convocation Center. Please follow directional signs posted.

Please note that the doors to the convocation center will be closed briefly for organizational purposes at the beginning of the ceremony. After the ceremony has started, we will reopen the doors and immediately seat graduates and ticketed guests.  

Public Safety
All graduates and their guests are asked to arrive early and kindly cooperate with our staff during the required security checks. Please follow instructions given by police and security personnel in order to make your entry into the Convocation Center as smooth as possible.

We ask that graduates bring their cap and gown in hand and put it on only after they enter the arena and clear security. No one will be allowed to enter the arena wearing regalia.

University Police officers will be posted throughout the arena. In the event of an emergency, or any suspicious activity, please contact an FIU police officer immediately or call 305-348-5911.


Seating of Undergraduate and Graduate Students
There is no rehearsal before the ceremony. Graduates will not march into the arena. Candidates should follow directional signage for their designated entrance, which is gate 4, and report to their appropriate seating sections. Graduates will be seated in the assigned college or school sections on the main floor of the arena. Guests will not be permitted into the graduates seating area. Graduates and guests are requested to remain seated for the duration of the ceremony. We recommend that you agree before the ceremony where you will meet your guests, outside of the arena, at the conclusion of the ceremony.

Guest Seating
Guest seating will be provided for complete parties on a first come, first served basis. Each row must be filled entirely, and no empty seats will be allowed.

There is reserved seating on the ground floor of the arena for individuals who cannot access the second floor. These reserved seats are marked with a blue “RESERVED” cover and will be assigned first come, first served. The individual with special needs accompanied by one other guest will be permitted access to the reserved seating area. Please arrive one hour prior to the ceremony so that we may assist you with seating arrangements.

The University has a limited number of courtesy wheelchairs available for disabled guests free of charge on a first come, first served basis. The guest will be required to leave his/her driver’s license with a university staff member for the duration of the event. Upon receipt of the wheelchair at the conclusion of the ceremony, the driver’s license will be returned.

In the case of an injury or illness, please contact any member of our staff.

If you or your guests will be requesting a specific disability related accommodation you can contact the FIU Disability Resource Center to make the request at 305-348-3532 before the event. The DRC will coordinate with the FIU Protocol and Special Events Office.

Class Gift

Class Giving is the united effort of members of the graduating class to leave a legacy by paying it forward and giving a gift to support FIU, the way alumni have done for us. More than just a one-time event, it’s a commitment that begins a lifetime of involvement with FIU – the first step in the transition from students to alumni. 

All those who contribute at least $20.17 will receive a commemorative blue and gold ribbon pin to wear at Commencement. Donors who give over $50 will receive a gold ribbon pin. Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity!

Make your gift today:

Donors are invited to pick up their Class Gift Pin at Commencement Fair at their preferred campus or Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m and 5:00 p.m at MARC 210.


GradImages is the official photographer for FIU Commencement. Proofs will be sent to your home and via email within three to five days after graduation. Pictures can be ordered online, by phone or by mail. GradImages can be contacted at 800-261-2576 or online here.

Registering with GradImages in advance (see image below) ensures the prompt delivery of graduation proofs after the event. You may also share with GradImages the email addresses of up to six friends or family members so that they too will receive the proofs.

Click here to register your email and get $5 off orders of $25 or more!


Live Webcast
Live webcast of the ceremonies can be viewed at

Live Stream – Facebook and Twitter
Watch the commencement ceremonies LIVE on our Facebook Page ( or
Tweet us your favorite FIU memories and include #FIUGrad. Our favorite responses will be posted on

Lost and Found
FIU will deposit items lost and found during Commencements in the arena lobby ticket booth. Please contact a staff member to inquire about any items. To inquire about any personal belongings lost at Commencements after the event, please call 305-348-2151.

Event Venue Address
Ocean Bank Convocation Center, Modesto A. Maidique (formerly University Park) Campus, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33199

Directions to the Modesto A. Maidique (formerly University Park) Campus:

From Miami International Airport:
Take the I-836 WEST exit from the Airport
Follow I-836 to the Florida Turnpike
Take the Florida Turnpike SOUTH exit
Follow the Florida Turnpike to the Tamiami Trail exit (SW 8th Street)
Take the SW 8th Street EAST exit
Follow SW 8th Street, FIU will appear on the right before SW 107th Avenue

From I-95, Downtown Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach:
Take I-95 to I-836 WEST
Follow I-836 to the Florida Turnpike
Take the Florida Turnpike SOUTH exit
Follow the Florida Turnpike to the Tamiami Trail exit (SW 8th Street)
Take the SW 8th Street EAST exit
Follow SW 8th Street, FIU will appear on the right before SW 107th Avenue

From western Palm Beach, Broward County or the Florida Turnpike north:
Take the Florida Turnpike SOUTH exit
Follow the Florida Turnpike to the Tamiami Trail exit (SW 8th Street)
Take the SW 8th Street EAST exit
Follow SW 8th Street, FIU will appear on the right before SW 107th Avenue

From Homestead and the Keys:
Take the Florida Turnpike NORTH exit
Follow the Florida Turnpike to the Tamiami Trail exit (SW 8th Street)
Take SW 8th Street EAST exit
Follow SW 8th Street, FIU will appear on the right before SW 107th Avenue

Campus Map
To view the Modesto A. Maidique (formerly University Park) Campus map, click here.

Prohibited Behavior
Unruly, threatening, or disruptive behavior that may distract from the dignity or disrupt the ceremony are prohibited. Any individual violating this rule will be asked to leave the event.

Prohibited Items
All guests and their bags will be inspected upon entering the Ocean Bank Convocation Center for the safety of those attending. No large bags and no backpacks will be allowed into the Ocean Bank Convocation Center. Baby strollers need to be kept clear of all aisle ways and must be checked upon entering the Ocean Bank Convocation Center

  • Firearms, weapons, or any item deemed hazardous by FIU management personnel
  • Incendiary devices (fireworks, smoke bombs, etc.)
  • Artificial noisemakers and musical instruments
  • Balloons, banners and signs that may block the view of other guests
  • Illegal drugs
  • Open bottles, cans, flasks and thermos
  • Selfie Sticks – Graduates may not walk onto stage with Selfie sticks