Guest FAQ

The following list provides information specifically for degree candidates.  If your question is not answered below, please email

The 537th Convocation will take place on the Main Quadrangle of the University of Chicago's campus on Saturday, June 3, 2023, beginning at 9:15 a.m. All candidates are invited to participate in this ceremony, during which the president will verbally confer degrees by school or division. Individual divisions and schools hold separate ceremonies or receptions at which degree candidates will receive their diplomas individually from their deans.

The Main Quadrangle will open general seating for the University-wide ceremony at 7:00 a.m. The main security entrance is located at Levi Hall, 5801 South Ellis Avenue. Guests are asked to be in their seats no later than 8:45 a.m. so they can watch the procession. Seating is first-come, first-served.

Several thousand attendees are expected at the University-wide ceremony. It is strongly recommended that guests plan to arrive on campus early and allow extra time to park, travel to the Main Quadrangle, pass through the security check point and locate desirable seats.

The University of Chicago’s 2023 Convocation ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 3, 2023. Because several trade shows and conventions are also taking place during Convocation Weekend, hotel availability in the city of Chicago will be limited. With this in mind, we highly recommend that all hotel or alternative lodging arrangements be reserved as soon as possible.

In gathering all degree candidates together for a shared graduation, the University is honoring its earliest traditions and the goals set out for convocations by the University’s first president, William Rainey Harper. 

Tickets are not required for the university-wide morning Convocation ceremony, though they may be required for separate division and school ceremonies. Please check with the divisions and school Dean of Students office with which the graduate you plan to recognize is affiliated. 

Each division and school will hold their own ceremony. Additionally, some units may also provide lunches or receptions for candidates and their guests. 

Chicago weather can vary widely from sunny and hot to rainy and cool in early-June. The University of Chicago’s Convocation ceremony is located outdoors on the Main Quadrangles, so please dress comfortably based on the forecast. Guests may be most comfortable in shoes with low or flat heels due to uneven ground. Please bring hats, sunscreen, raincoats, etc. as necessary. Business casual is appropriate for most of the receptions and other events.

Convocation is held outdoors, rain or shine, on the University's Main Quadrangle. The University recommends all guests come prepared for the weather. The university ceremony may be shortened due to inclement weather. In the event of extreme weather, appropriate security measures are in place to ensure the safety of all students and guests. Details will be provided on the Convocation website and will be announced broadly at the ceremony.

To participate in Convocation, degree candidates must have satisfied all curricular requirements and passed all prescribed examinations before the deadlines published by the Office of the University Registrar or have the approval of their area dean of students office. 

Please visit the University Academic Calendar for future convocation dates.  Select "Future Academic Years" and then indicate the appropriate academic year from the drop down, and then click "go."

Yes, the University Convocation ceremony will be broadcasted for all guests who are unable to attend in person. The viewing link will be shared on the website closer to Convocation.  

Support letters are not required for B1/B2 visa applications, but you can prepare an optional supplemental letter for your family and friends using this template on OIA’s website. You can also print out the official convocation details from the university website or print out a formal confirmation email you have received regarding convocation details.                                                

Yes, we are pleased to once again offer caregivers private, spacious, and sanitized baby stations that will be available throughout campus. These stations feature a conveniently mounted diaper changing table, hand wash sink, trash receptacle, coat hook for diaper bags, and soap/towel dispensers. 

Yes, upon entering through one of the three main entrances to the Main Quadrangles, all guests will pass through a tented security checkpoint area. All bags are subject to inspection. Items that may interfere with guests seeing or hearing the ceremony are not permitted. Guests will be asked to check any items that are deemed not permissible within the Main Quadrangle. Following the University Convocation ceremony, guests may retrieve those items at the same entrance. Please refrain from bringing pets; service animals are permitted. 

Additionally, the University of Chicago Police Department and other security personnel will maintain a robust presence throughout the campus area before, during, and after Convocation celebrations. 

cAlert is the University’s emergency notification system. In a life-threatening situation that requires immediate action, cAlert sends every member of our community a short message.

Convocation attendees can enroll in cAlert by texting "UChicagoConvo2023" to 226787 to receive SMS text message emergency alerts from the University of Chicago Department of Safety and Security. Following Convocation, all who signed up to receive cAlerts can text "stop" to 226787 to be removed from the system.

Information about the University's most up-to-date safety protocols can be found on

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