Know Before You Go

Know Before You Go

Graduate Arrival Information

Student Check In

Upon arrival, graduating students should report to the parking garage just east of Credit Union 1 Arena for check-in. All graduating students must arrive, dressed in their regalia, one hour prior to their ceremony start time for check-in and processional line-up. Please see a ceremony breakdown below:

College Ceremony One (Design, Architecture, Computing)

  • Student check-in will begin promptly at 7 a.m. (all students must arrive no later than 8 a.m.)

College Ceremony Two (Armour, Lewis, Stuart)

  • Student check-in will begin promptly at noon (all students must arrive no later than 1 p.m.)

Note: At check-in, please bring your HawkCard to receive your name card lanyard. Be sure to hold on to your name card lanyard at all times, as you will give that card to the name reader as you cross the stage.

Dress Code

All graduating students are required to wear a cap, gown, and tassel in order to participate in Commencement. All regalia orders must be placed by 5 p.m. on April 15 (no exceptions). Also, you must bring your regalia with you to the ceremony; there will not be any regalia available the day of. Lastly, please take note of the following:

  • The academic cap should be worn as near level on the head as possible. All tassels should be worn on the right side of the cap. After you receive your diploma cover and letter at your College Ceremony, tassels should be moved to the left side.
  • Gowns should be closed in front as much as possible. Graduating students should wear business attire under their gowns and dark dress shoes. We highly recommend wearing comfortable shoes as graduates will be standing in the parking garage before their ceremony. If you bring a jacket or a purse, please leave it with one of your guests. NOTE: Illinois Tech will not assume responsibility for lost or misplaced belongings.
  • Graduating students are encouraged to decorate their academic caps. However, all other adornments and ornamentation including pins, flowers, necklaces, flags, brooches, etc. will not be allowed. Graduates will be asked to remove any adornments that have not been approved prior to entering the arena floor. Commencement is a formal and traditional ceremony, and we ask that any attire or cap decoration worn by graduates be appropriate for the occasion.
  • Historically, people who identify as men remove their caps during the singing of “The Star Spangled Banner,” while those who identify as women keep their caps on. Attendees should feel free to observe the custom that they prefer. Candidates will remain standing during “The Star Spangled Banner.” Please be seated after the singing of “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Behavior Policy 

Commencement is a time to celebrate our graduating class. Illinois Tech has set the following behavior expectations for graduates participating in our Commencement ceremonies:

  • Give your attention and respect to all of the speakers during the ceremony. Pay attention to, and follow the instructions of, student marshals and onsite staff. 
  • Refrain from disruptive or unapproved activity. This includes, but is not limited to having unapproved guests or props with you during any part of the ceremony.
  • Remain in your seat until the end of the ceremony and fully participate in the recessional.

Any violations of this, or any other university policy, during Commencement will be handled appropriately. Graduates exhibiting egregiously disruptive behavior may be removed from their ceremony.

Social Media Stickers

We invite you to celebrate this accomplishment with us virtually by taking a video or photo and using supplied Commencement stickers or photo frames. Use #IllinoisTechGrad or tag @Illinoistech on your social media posts!


GradImages® is the official photographer for the May 11 Commencement ceremony. Photos will be available to view and order by visiting their website at (enter last name, university name, and select event year from the dropdown menu). For additional help, call the Customer Service Department at 800.261.2576 or email


Guest Arrival Information

Recommended Hotels

For families, friends, and other guests who would like to stay in a hotel during Commencement weekend, Illinois Tech recommends visiting our hotels page for a list of the university’s preferred vendors.


For more information about parking, click here.

Doors Open

Doors to the Credit Union 1 Arena will open to guests one hour prior to the beginning of the ceremony for the convenience of relatives and guests. Guests should enter through the main entrance of the Credit Union 1 Arena at the southwest corner of the building (located at the intersection between Harrison Street and Racine Avenue). Please see a ceremony breakdown below, or for a full schedule of the day, check our Event Details and Schedules page.

College Ceremony 1 (Design, Architecture, Computing)

  • Doors will open to family/guests at 8 a.m. (all guests must arrive prior to 8:45 a.m.)

College Ceremony 2 (Armour, Lewis, Stuart)

Doors will open to family/guests at 1 p.m. (all guests must arrive prior to 1:45 p.m.)

Please note: all bags will be subject to search and all guests will enter through a metal detector. For more information, please refer to the Credit Union 1 Arena Bag Policy and Metal Detection Policy.


All guests (two years of age or older—excluding graduating students) will need a ticket to enter the arena. Tickets can be digitally shared or printed for guests by their graduating student, but please note that tickets can only be scanned once for admission.


Seating is general admission on a first come, first serve basis. For ADA-related items, please note the following:

  • Graduating students or guests with special needs should contact the Center for Disability Resources at or 312.567.5744 prior to the day of Commencement to arrange for a seat location and assistance to enable them to participate in the ceremony. Special needs/hearing-impaired guests can also obtain seating assistance by going to Guest Services.
  • Credit Union 1 Arena will have wheelchairs available for rent, free of charge. The guest will need to exchange a photo ID to use a wheelchair around the building. At the end of the event, the guest will need to bring back the wheelchair to claim their ID. For more information, please refer to There will also be a reserved seating section for wheelchair users, and each will be allowed one companion seat.
  • All ceremonies will be live captioned and include sign language interpreters on screen and on the web for the benefit of students and guests who are hearing impaired.

Graduates Arena Seating for Each Ceremony

Please refer to the arena seating diagram below which represents the location of graduates for each degree program per ceremony:

Graduates Seating Diagram
Ceremony One

Section A: Ph.D., Institute of Design, College of Architecture

Section B: Applied Mathematics, Information Technology and Management, Computer Science Bachelor’s

Section C: Computer Science Master’s

Section D: Computer Science Master’s, Chicago-Kent College of Law

Ceremony Two

Section A: Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil and Architectural Engineering, Industrial Technology and Management

Section B: Electrical and Computer Engineering; Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering

Section C: Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Food Science and Nutrition, Humanities, Physics, Psychology

Section D: Business Administration, Marketing, Finance, Management Science and Analytics, Public Administration, Sustainability Analytics and Management, Technological Entrepreneurship

Download Our Printable Diagram


Photos may be taken on campus before or after the ceremony. Please be informed that no photographers will be permitted on the floor of the Credit Union 1 Arena during the ceremony. Guests will not be allowed to go onto the floor to present flowers or otherwise interrupt the proceedings.

Prohibited Items

Credit Union 1 Arena does not allow outside food, alcohol, strollers, balloons, noisemakers/air horns, or paraphernalia of any kind.

Ceremony Etiquette

We ask that everyone respect the speakers and the dignity of the ceremony by refraining from cell phone use during the event. Individuals in violation of these policies or whose conduct is disruptive or harmful to others may be removed from the ceremony.

Ceremony Feedback

Please feel free to share all feedback to Our leadership team will learn from your feedback and suggestions as they begin planning for next year.

Livestream Link

Illinois Tech will share a livestream link for anyone to watch the ceremony where all degrees will be conferred by college. This link can be found under the Event Details and Schedules page.