College of Medicine and Life Sciences - Commencement

Information for Family & Friends

2019 Commencement information 

Parking map for College of Medicine CommencementAll guests should enter Savage Arena through the main lobby. The estimated time for doors to open to the arena for seating is 3:00 p.m. Guests may wait in the Savage Arena lobby until the doors are open. Guests are not permitted in the graduate line-up area.

Areas 5, 6 and 10 are the Recommended Areas for Guest Parking, with additional parking in areas 1S, 1N and 2. See map and directions.

Admission to the ceremony does not require a ticket.  Seating is unlimited, however, in consideration of all guests, saving of seats for family and friends is discouraged. 

Format of Ceremony

Though specific details vary from year to year, the Commencement Ceremony follows a standard general format:

  • Faculty and University Leadership process into Savage Arena.
  • Graduates are seated in rows of assigned seats located on the floor of Savage Arena. There will be a printed program on each graduate's chair.
  • Ceremony includes various welcome addresses by distinguished University administrators, awarding of one or more honorary degrees, Commencement addresses by one or more invited speakers (e.g., the honorary degree recipient), student-led speeches (most often one M.D. and one graduate student speaker), and the recitation of an oath by the M.D. recipients.
  • Each graduate's name is read aloud during the ceremony.
  • At the end of the ceremony, graduates recess out of the arena. Guests can meet their graduates in the after the entire Commencement party has recessed out of the arena.


Graduates receiving a doctoral-level degree (e.g., M.D., Ph.D., or international equivalent) may request to have a "Special Hooder" place their hoods on them during the ceremony. Special Hooders must themselves hold doctoral-level degrees.

All Special Hooders require advance approval from the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) to participate. Students may make these requests on the College of Medicine and Life Sciences Commencement Registration form.

Special Hooders are required to wear academic regalia in order to participate in the commencement ceremony. If Special Hooders do not already have their own regalia, regalia may be rented (see flyer link below). Hooders are responsible for returning rented regalia to the designated location in Savage Arena immediately following the ceremony.

2019 Regalia Informational Flyer (PDF)

Special Hooders should arrive no later than 3:00 p.m. to check in.  Hooders should enter through the main doors of Savage Arena, and will be directed by staff to the hooder/student check in tables and to their appropriate seat. All hooders will be seated with their students during the ceremony. 

Please watch this video for hooding instructions.

If a Special Hooder requires special accommodations due to a disability please contact the Office of Student Affairs at


A professional photograph is taken of each candidate.

To purchase: Navigate to the event page for commencement at
Search for photos under UTCOM GRADUATION.

For more information contact:
Kurt Nielsen Photography
5431 Schultz Drive
Sylvania, OH  43560

Last Updated: 6/30/19