VCUarts 2019 May Commencement

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the May VCUarts ceremony?

The ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 11, 2019, 2 pm, at Altria Theater. Doors will open at 1 pm for guests and family. Students and faculty should arrive at 1:30 pm to line up.

What is the location of the May VCUarts ceremony?

The May VCUarts graduation ceremony will be at Altria Theater.

Deans, faculty, and students should use the Altria backstage entrance located on Main Street just past the box office.

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.

Who is the May graduation speaker?

The May graduation speaker is Elizabeth Turk.

Learn more about here at:

Will my name be listed in the program?

All spring graduates will be printed in the May program. If you applied to graduate in spring, your name will be printed in the May 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 pm for line up. Students and faculty will proceed to line up to the Altria Ballroom on the lower level while guests find a seat in the hall.

Deans, faculty, and students should use the Altria backstage entrance located on Main Street just past the box office.

What time should my family, friends and I arrive?

Doors to the ceremony will open at 1 pm for guests and family. Line up for students and faculty starts at 1:30 pm at the Altria Ballroom on the lower level.

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

The VCUarts ceremony requires tickets for admission. Each student may pick up a maximum of six guest tickets.

Tickets will be available in the Dean’s Office (Pollak Building, Room 201). The Dean’s Office hours are from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm from Monday, April 15 through Friday, May 10. Additional details or changes about ticket pickup will be communicated from

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 May 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.

Where do I find information for the May University commencement on Saturday?

You can find out everything that you need to know about the University commencement here. (May graduation information will be updated the start of the spring semester.)

Is the May 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 May VCUarts ceremony?

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

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 pm for line up. Deans, faculty, and students should use the Altria backstage entrance located on Main Street just past the 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 am to 5 pm, 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.