Commencement

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Tickets

Are tickets required for admittance?

No. All Commencement ceremonies on the Tampa campus are open to the public. There are no limitations on the number of guests a student can have in attendance.

Venue and Ceremony

Where are the USF Tampa Commencement ceremonies held?

All Commencement ceremonies are held in the USF Sun Dome

What is the Sun Dome address?

4202 East Fowler Avenue, Tampa. FL 33620

Do I have to pay to park?

No. Parking permits are not required on Commencement day.

Will concessions be available?

Yes. The Sun Dome concession stands will be open serving a limited menu of snacks, coffee, and other beverages.

Does the Sun Dome offer ADA seating?

Yes. Wheelchair seating for guests is available. No reservations are required, but early arrival is advised in order to obtain the desired seating location. The Sun Dome does not rent or loan wheelchairs.

Can my entire party sit in the wheelchair section?

Each individual is allotted one companion seat per wheelchair.  Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate your entire party in this section.  No advance reservations are needed to access these sections.  

What time can guests/graduates begin to arrive?

Doors open for both guests and graduates ninety minutes prior to the start of each ceremony. Please note that saving seats is not permitted.  All members of your party must be present to occupy seats.

How long does the ceremony usually last?

USF Tampa campus ceremonies last approximately two hours.

Will you stream the ceremony online?

Yes. Tampa Commencement ceremonies are netcast live through USF Information Technology. The link is also available on the Commencement website. The stream will begin approximately five minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.

General Questions

My parents live out of the country and need a visa to attend Commencement. Can USF provide an invitation letter?

You may request an Invitation Letter for Commencement after you have RSVP’d for the ceremony. For more information, please call the International Students Services Office 813-974-5102.

Does USF have a guest Commencement speaker?

USF does not have a traditional graduation speaker. During the Commencement ceremonies, is the university tradition to have the System President address the students.

Will there be a photographer at the Commencement ceremony?

Each graduate who crosses the stage will have his/her photo taken by GradImages Photography. Several proofs will be sent by email to each graduate along with a price guide for ordering additional quantities if desired.

What should I wear to the Commencement ceremony?

  • Female graduates: dresses, skirts, pants. Dressy shoes or sandals. No high collars, bows at neck, corsages or pins on robe.
  • Male graduates: White shirts, dark ties, dark trousers. Dress shoes and socks.
  • Guests: Business casual.

Who do we recommend for Authorized Vendors?

The university cannot control solicitation or the quality of the products produced by outside vendors. In an attempt to help you avoid costly mistakes, we have designated a list of "authorized vendors" and posted this on our official website. We recommend that you choose from these vendors:

  • GradImages Photo, the official photographer of all USF commencement ceremonies. 1-800-628-4509
  • Banzai Audio Visual Productions, the official videographer of the Tampa commencement ceremonies. 813-985-7301
  • Herff Jones, the authorized vendor for graduation announcements. 1-800-837-4235
  • USF Bookstore, providing your cap, gown, hood, tam and tassel needs. 813-974-2067

Student Questions

What do I need to do to attend the USF Commencement ceremony?

RSVP for the Commencement ceremony before the last academic week of the semester. Purchase your Regalia through the USF Bookstore.

Is there a fee for the Commencement ceremony?

There is no fee to participate in a Commencement ceremony. The only cost is the price of regalia.

When do I need to apply for Graduation?

Applications for graduation must be received in your college advising office by the fourth week of the term in which you plan on completing all degree requirements. See your advisor as some colleges have additional graduation deadlines.

I have unpaid parking ticket fees and over-due library books. Will I still be allowed to participate in graduation?

Yes.

Are GPAs announced at the ceremony?

Only the King O’Neal scholars graduating with a 4.0 are recognized on stage and whose GPA is announced. Those graduating with a 3.5 or higher GPA will be recognized as one group. Also, graduating with a 3.5 GPA or higher is notated in the program and on the diploma. Honors designation is ONLY for Bachelor candidates.

Will I receive a program at the Commencement ceremony?

Each graduate will receive 2 programs before entering the arena floor. Extra programs – if available – are handed out FREE at the USF Bookstore beginning the Monday after the ceremony. Programs are not distributed to families.

Will my name be in the program?

Names that appear in the Commencement program are of students who have applied to graduate in that semester before the Registrar’s graduation application deadline. Please note that graduation registration and Commencement RSVP submission are not the same things. You will also need to make sure you have not elected for total privacy on your student account prior to the deadline.

The Doctoral candidate names in the program are provided by the Office of Graduate Studies based on the students who complete the ETD process on time and also successfully defend their dissertation.

*Names appear in the program during the semester that you apply to graduate therefore if you decide to walk in Commencement early or late, your name will not be in that program. It will be in the program of the semester you applied to graduate. Extra programs are always available at the USF Bookstore after Commencement, so you should be able to obtain a program with your name in it at that time. For any questions or clarification about program names please contact the Commencement office 813-974-1816.

Will I be recognized if graduating with honors?

Undergraduate students with an overall grade point average of 3.5 or higher are identified as honor graduates. This honor distinction is noted on the diploma and in the commencement program. In addition, you may purchase an Honors Medallion through the USF Bookstore to be worn with your regalia.

Undergraduate candidates with a cumulative GPA of 4.0 are recognized at the commencement ceremony. The official university policies for recognition of honors at graduation are listed in the university catalog.

Is there a Commencement Rehearsal on the Tampa campus?

There is no rehearsal for any USF Tampa Commencement ceremonies.

How do I know what to do when I arrive at the Ceremony?

All students enter through the Corral located next to Gate A. Instructions will be given to all graduates during the check in process.

I RSVP’d online to participate in the ceremony but now will not be able to attend. How do I cancel my RSVP so my name will not be called?

To cancel your Commencement participation, please contact the Commencement office 813-974-1816. Only students present at the ceremony will have their names read across the stage.

When will I receive my Diploma?

Diplomas are mailed approximately 6 - 8 weeks after the graduation date. For more information, contact the Registrar’s Office at (813) 974-5924.

Diploma covers and frames can be purchased at the USF Bookstore. For more information, please call (813) 974-0595.