The graduation situation

All the information you need for your final quarter on campus.

Illustration by Stevie Esteban | 2022-23 graduation is fast approaching.

Spring quarter is officially underway, and I don’t know about you, but senioritis is hitting hard. There is a strange combination of panic about post-degree life, stress regarding the to-do list the university graciously reminds me I have, and still trying to finish strong with classes. While that may not seem like a lot, it is a broad way of describing the existential dread that is your final quarter at UW Tacoma. My goal is to provide some assistance, no matter how small, to ease the stress looming over us for these next ten weeks. 

The commencement ceremony for the Tacoma campus will take place at the Tacoma Dome on Friday, June 9, at 10 a.m. This gives us ten weeks to get our lives together and complete everything necessary to participate. To apply for graduation, you need to email your academic advisor so you can both double-check your degree progress and ensure you are indeed ready to graduate. This needs to be completed by April 14 to give ample time to all parties involved. 

Let’s say you completed the step mentioned above and you are found to be eligible to graduate. What do you do next? This is where I started to stress because I didn’t know what to do. The commencement website has several helpful links to help you accomplish everything you need to, but also several things I didn’t even consider. For example, if you have a preferred name that you want in the program or if you don’t like to be listed at all, you can request that. If you completed the application to graduate, your name the university has on record will automatically be listed in the program. This may not be ideal for you if you use a preferred name that is not your legal name. If so, you can request a “Commencement Program Name” by emailing before April 14. 

Applying for graduation and registering for graduation are two completely different things. You apply with your advisor but register with the university to further confirm your eligibility. You are not guaranteed to enter the ceremony if you apply but don’t register by the due date. Registration opens on April 24 and is not the only graduation-related thing to begin that day. Registration closes on May 12, and if you register after that date, you will be charged a $30 late fee. 

Apparel orders also begin on April 24 and close on May 12. This is done by registering and ordering tickets for your friends and family. Gowns come in various sizes, regardless of your degree level. If you need to know what size you are, you can go to the Office of the Registrar in MAT 251 to try on a gown before you buy one. There is also the option of ordering more fun things like extra tassels, class rings and more through the Grad Shop on the UW Tacoma Commencement page. Grad Shop items can be ordered at any time. 

You can also request up to ten tickets for friends and family who you want to attend your graduation. These complimentary tickets must be requested in the window of April 24 to May 12. If you request tickets late, you will receive a maximum of two. 

This process seems like a lot to remember, but it is all done simultaneously through the three-step process online at This is where you will find the commencement checklist, which will guide you through every step of the process but is summarized as follows: register to attend, order your free guest tickets and order your apparel. 

Stoles, honor cords, and tassel colors all vary based on the graduate. If you are part of a registered student organization (RSO), check with them to see if they have an approved stole design. If they do, you can order one and you’re guaranteed to be allowed to wear it for graduation. Suppose you’re part of an RSO that does not currently have an approved design. In that case, a student leader from your organization can design a stole and submit it for approval on behalf of the entire organization. 

After reading all that, if you’re still panicked or stressed about everything you need to get done or have questions, information sessions are held in person and online. Each meeting will present the same information, so you do not need to attend all three scheduled meetings. The in-person meeting happens on April 18, and the zoom sessions are on April 28 and May 2. Hopefully, this information helped you somehow, and congratulations on making it to this point in your life.