students waving at commencement ceremony

VCUarts December 2019 commencement will be held Saturday, December 14 at the Altria Theater.

  • Line up — 1:30 p.m.
  • Ceremony — 2:00 p.m.

More information about the university-wide commencement ceremony is available at

Commencement FAQ

When is the December VCUarts ceremony?

The ceremony will be held on Saturday, December 14, 2019, 2 p.m., at the Altria Theater. Doors will open at 1 p.m. for guests and family. Students and faculty should arrive at 1:30 p.m. to line up.

What is the location of the December VCUarts ceremony?

The December VCUarts graduation ceremony will be at the Altria Theater.

I am an August graduate. Which ceremony do I attend, May or December?

It is preferred that you attend the December ceremony as an official graduate of VCUarts. August graduates may attend the previous May ceremony as a “walker” only if they have six or fewer credits to take to complete degree requirements over the summer. You must send an email to Jody Symula at if you fit the credit criteria and wish to walk in the May ceremony.

Being a walker means that you walk across the stage and have your name called like May graduates, but your name will not be printed in the May program. All August grads are welcome to attend the December ceremony as official graduates and their names will be printed in the December program.

Will my name be listed in the program?

All August graduates will be printed in the December program. If you applied to graduate in December, your name will be printed in the December VCUarts program, provided you checked out on eServices on or before the deadline as stated in the academic calendar. Please contact your departmental advisor for questions.

What time should deans, faculty and students arrive?

Those participating in the ceremony should arrive at 1:30 p.m. for line up. Graduates and faculty should enter through the Main Street stairwell door, located between the loading dock and box office.

While students and faculty line up, guests will find a seat in the hall.

What time should my family, friends and I arrive?

Doors to the ceremony will open at 1 p.m. for guests and family.

Line up for students and faculty starts at 1:30 p.m. They should enter through the Main Street stairwell door, located between the loading dock and box office.

Do I need passes for the December VCUarts commencement? Is there a limit to how many people I can invite?

The VCUarts ceremony requires passes for admission.

Ceremony passes will be available for students to pick up in the VCUarts Dean’s Office, Pollak Building, Room 201, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., November 11 – December 13, 2019. Limit 14 per student.

Do I need to do anything to be included in the School of the Arts Ceremony?

No, if you have successfully submitted your graduation application to your department by the deadline stated in the academic calendar, you are automatically included.

What color hood will I receive to wear at commencement?

It depends on your degree and major. This chart outlines the hood and tassel colors that will be present during our commencement ceremony.

Do I need to wear a cap and gown at the December VCUarts ceremony?

Yes, a cap and gown are required for graduating students. Graduating students may not attend without proper regalia. Please visit the University Commencement website for more information on the cost of regalia and pickup time and location.

Will my name be called when I walk across the stage?

Yes. All students who attend the VCUarts ceremony will have their name called when they walk across the stage. Graduates will complete a reader card at line up registration. Keep this card with you and present it to the associate onstage. Photo Specialties will send proof images of you receiving your diploma to the address you provide on the reader card.

Is the December VCUarts ceremony wheelchair accessible?

Yes. For more information on accessibility, please visit the Altria Theater website.

Will there be food available?

There will be light snacks available for students and those participating in the ceremony when you line up. However, it is strongly encouraged that all guests and students have lunch before the ceremony.

Which VCUarts majors participate in the December VCUarts ceremony?

  • Art Education
  • Art History
  • Cinema
  • Communication Arts
  • Craft/Material Studies
  • Dance + Choreography
  • Fashion Design + Merchandising
  • Graphic Design
  • Interdisciplinary Art
  • Interior Design
  • Kinetic Imaging
  • Music
  • Painting + Printmaking
  • Photography + Film
  • Sculpture + Extended Media
  • Theatre

Where should we park?

Complementary parking is available at the West Main Street Parking Deck.

What do I do once I arrive?

Parents, family and guests will take a seat in the venue upon arrival.

Students will meet at 1:30 p.m. for line up. Enter the Altria Theater through the Main Street stairwell door, located between the loading dock and box office.

Students will get a name card when they arrive. This card will be used to call your name when you walk across the stage.

Will there be an opportunity for my family and friends to take pictures?

Photo Specialties will be taking professional photos of graduates as they cross and descend the stage.

If I graduate with Latin honors, will VCUarts provide me with cords?

No, however this distinction will be indicated on your diploma and on your transcript.

I am an August graduate. How do I get my diploma?

The release of diplomas is handled by Records and Registration. For information on diplomas, please visit the commencement ceremony website.

Will I get my diploma at the VCUarts ceremony?

No. All graduates and “walkers” will be handed a prop diploma on the stage. Diplomas selected for pickup will be available in the Harris Hall Student Services Center, 1015 Floyd Ave., Room 1100, during office hours. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. If a third party plans to pick up your diploma, you must provide an authorization notification to the Graduation Office via email ( 24 hours prior to the pickup.

What if I have more questions?

The School of the Arts takes great pride in recognizing its graduates. If you have any questions or need more information, please call the Dean’s Office at (804) 828-2787.

Sophia Li is a New York-based multimedia journalist and video director. Her mission is to humanize a story, product, or character through immersive storytelling and conscious content focusing on issues such as fashion sustainability and global tech trends—redefining how news is communicated in the 21st century.

Li, a graduate of the VCUarts Department of Fashion Design + Merchandising, is
the former Entertainment Media Editor at She worked on creating and
launching VOGUE’s social and digital voice as part of the founding team

Li’s journalistic reporting has appeared in CNN, VOGUE, and the United Nations. She has created and directed conscious campaign videos for brands such as Adidas, Maybelline, and Theory. Dubbed as an innovative storyteller in the fashion industry and beyond, Li has interviewed notables spanning across fashion, tech, and culture from names like Arianna Huffington and Pharrell Williams, Celine Dion
and Nobel Peace Prize recipients.

VCUarts New Alumni Resources


Access the job board and interview research and preparation tools at VCU Career Services. Within your first year after graduation, you may schedule career advising appointments.

Continuing Studies Scholarships

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The VCU National Scholarship Office provides helpful information sessions and essay-writing workshops for applicants.

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