Office of the Registrar

Spring Graduation

The University of Northern Iowa is pleased to announce plans for limited in-person Spring 2021 Commencement events on May 7 and 8. These in-person events will supplement the previously announced virtual ceremony and graduates are encouraged to participate in both.


The Commencement RSVP Deadline was Thursday, April 1. Students that did not RSVP by the deadline will NOT be able to participate in the in-person Commencement Ceremonies. We invite you to attend the Fall 2021 ceremony.


The Virtual Commencement Celebration will feature videos from many of the individuals that would normally speak at commencement regarding congratulating graduates on their achievement. Speakers include President Nook, Provost Wohlpart, Northern Iowa Student Government, UNI Alumni Association, as well as three student speakers that have been selected by their respective college as Commencement speaker.

Following these speakers, there will be slides about our graduates that viewers are able to scroll through or search for specific students.

Each of our graduates will have a slide containing:

  • Name
  • Degree(s)
  • Major(s)
  • Academic Honors, if applicable
  • Photo (optional)
  • Personal message or quote (optional)
  • Students may also choose to upload a short video that will be included as part of the ceremony

These speeches and slides will be live streamed via our YouTube channel on Saturday, May 8 at 7pm. If you are unable to watch on May 8, you will have a chance to view the ceremony on your own time. The link for the live stream will be sent to your UNI email as well as shared on the UNI homepage once the day gets closer.

Information about when and where to submit these items have been sent to graduates via their UNI email address.

These modified commencement events are being designed to safely celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates and protect the health of our campus community

Three separate ceremonies will be held for bachelor's and master's candidates in the UNI-DOME. The ceremonies will be organized by college. A virtual commencement celebration will also be held that weekend. May 2021 graduates can be part of both the live and virtual events.

Date/Time Ceremony Live Stream Link
5:00 pm Friday, May 7 Doctoral Commencement and Hooding Ceremony in Bengtson Auditorium, Russell Hall
7:00 pm Friday, May 7 College of Business Administration
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
10:00 am Saturday, May 8 College of Education
Continuing Education
2:00 pm Saturday, May 8 College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences

Graduates will be allowed to bring six (6) guests, and the university will live stream the ceremonies for those who cannot attend. Tickets will be required for guests of any age. The requested number of tickets will be sent to the graduate's UNI email address and can be forwarded on by the graduate to their guests. Guests will not be allowed to attend the ceremony without a mobile or printed ticket presented at the gate. Seating for each graduate's group will be randomly assigned and socially distanced from other groups. Guests will need to use the seat provided to them on their ticket. Due to the limited number of individuals we can host in the UNI-DOME, these ceremonies will only be for May 2021 graduates. We will honor May and December 2020 graduates at a later date.

These modified ceremonies for bachelor's and master's degree recipients will include:

  • The announcement of names as individuals cross the stage
  • Professional photography
  • Social distancing and the requirement of masks for all graduates and guests

Information regarding commencement registration has been shared with Spring 2021 graduates through their UNI email.

It's important to note that while we are excited to recognize our graduates and honor their hard work, we will continue to monitor public health information and guidelines to ensure this event can occur safely. If we need to modify these plans as a result of an increase in COVID-19 numbers, we will provide as much advance notice as possible.

The structure of commencement will not impact your ability to graduate or receive your diploma. If you are planning to complete your degree requirements by the conclusion of Spring 2021, be sure to still complete the Application for Graduation by April 1 to initiate degree evaluation.

RSVP for Commencement

The Spring 2021 Commencement RSVP is now available. Please log into your MyUNIverse to submit your response as soon as possible. You have the option to participate in the Virtual Commencement Celebration, the modified In-person Commencement, or both!

The RSVP to the Virtual Commencement Celebration and/or the In-person Commencement must be completed and submitted by Thursday, April 1. No one may participate without a completed RSVP by the deadline. All requested number of guests must be submitted by the deadline. There are no exceptions. 

If you want to be included in the program, you must fill out the Commencement RSVP and the Application for Graduation, which also must be completed by Thursday, April 1.

Students MUST RSVP by April 1 to be included in the in person ceremony. Late RSVP's will NOT be accepted. Summer 2021 graduates should seek to attend the Fall 2021 Commencement ceremonies.

Completing Your Degree Requirements

Completing your degree requirements means that all coursework and all departmental graduation requirements (e.g., comprehensive examinations, internships, student teaching, correspondence work, departmental defense, internship, research paper, project, recital, etc.), that are part of your degree program, are completed.

You can track your progress towards your degree by utilizing your Academic Advisement Report, which provides information on how your coursework applies to your degree requirements.  If you have questions about your academic progress or your Academic Advisement Report, please meet with your academic advisor or with your Record Analyst.

Applying to Graduate

If you are completing your final degree requirements during the Spring semester and plan to have a degree awarded in May, you must submit your Application for Graduation. For inclusion in the program, the Application for Graduation must be completed by April 1 at 11:59pm.

  • Students with multiple majors need to submit only one graduation application and should apply under first declared/major/primary major.
  • To see if your degree has been awarded, please refer to your unofficial grade report. The graduation check-out process takes two to four weeks time to complete after all grades have been received. The Office of the Registrar’s  Record Analysts verify that all degree requirements have been satisfied.  Please be patient through the degree conferral process. 


If you are not planning to meet requirements for your degree during the Spring semester, and you submitted an Application for Graduation, please notify your Record Analyst as soon as possible.

All deficiencies must be satisfied before June 11, 2021.  If deficiencies are not completed by this date, you must then complete the Application for Graduation for the term in which you plan to complete all remaining degree requirements.

Doctoral Candidates:

Doctoral candidates are only eligible to participate in the ceremony of their intended graduation. To be eligible for participation in the Commencement Ceremony, students must have applied by April 1 and have completed all degree requirements, including approval of the dissertation to the Graduate College prior to the last week of classes for the Spring term. Candidates are not eligible to participate in commencement before the dissertation is approved by the Graduate College and all degree requirements are met. Doctoral Hooding practice for students will occur one hour prior to their commencement ceremony.

Graduating with Honors

Three levels of honors are awarded to undergraduate students upon graduation from a bachelor's degree curriculum. To receive an honor rating, the student must earn no less than 55 semester hours of credit at UNI. Only credit earned in residence at this university is considered in earning honor awards, except for students graduating with the Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree, in which case, both residence and non-residence credit is considered.

The names of the students receiving honors are identified in the Commencement Program and on the official academic transcript. Students will be notified by letter from the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs if they have qualified for the Summa Cum Laude award. The Office of the Registrar will notify students if they have qualified for the Magna Cum Laude and Cum Laude honor. Students will be mailed their awards accordingly.

  • Summa Cum Laude: Students whose cumulative UNI grade point average places them in the top 3% of those students graduating from their academic major college/division will be awarded Summa Cum Laude. These students will receive a Summa Cum Laude medallion and will also be noted in the Commencement Program with three asterisks (***) by their name.
  • Magna Cum Laude: Students whose cumulative UNI grade point average places them in the top 4% through top 8% of those students graduating from their academic major college/division will be awarded Magna Cum Laude. These students will receive a purple cord and will also be noted in the Commencement Program with two asterisks (**) by their name.
  • Cum Laude: Students whose cumulative UNI grade point average places them in the top 9% through top 15% of those students graduating from their academic major college/division will be awarded Cum Laude. These students will receive a gold cord and will also be noted in the Commencement Program with one asterisk (*) by their name.

Students’ official honors designation will be listed on their transcript once grades from their final term are posted.

Diplomas and Outstanding Bills

Your diploma will be mailed to your permanent home address approximately 6-8 weeks after grades have been reported by the faculty and eligibility for graduation has been determined. You can check the accuracy of your permanent home address or make changes to it prior to Commencement through your MyUNIverse account. A tutorial is available online here.

If you wish your diploma to be mailed to a different address other than your home address after the Commencement Ceremony, notify and include your student UID. Please do this within one week after the end of the term.

A diploma will not be mailed to any student who, at the time of degree conferral, has account holds with the university. Once the account hold has been removed, notify

International students who wish their diploma be sent to their home country, or to an address outside of the U.S. border, send an e-mail to with your complete international address and international phone number. International diplomas will be sent out by DHL express mail service.