Chicago Graduation Ceremony Details and Schedule

Summer Graduation 2018 TBD


Graduates wishing to attend the graduation ceremony must register by the posted registration deadline, and must complete their degree prior to the ceremony date. Registration will open approximately 4 months prior to the ceremony date.

Graduate Check-In

Graduates are required to check in on-site at the venue to pick up their ceremony reader card. Graduate Check-In will be open on Friday evening and on Saturday one hour prior to the start of their scheduled ceremony. All graduates walking in the ceremony are required to have a reader card to cross the stage.

Graduation Ceremony Guide 

Graduates will be mailed a Graduation Ceremony Guide approximately 2-3 weeks before the ceremony. The Graduation Ceremony guide will include important ceremony details.

Guests at Graduation

The guest limit varies with each ceremony as it is determined by the number of seats in the theatre as well as the number of graduates expected to attend. The guest limit will be posted here when registration opens.

Attire–Caps and Gowns

Graduates are responsible for ordering their caps and gowns, and the ordering link will be available here when registration opens. Tassels are included with your cap and gown and are color coded to match your degree. Hoods are included with the master's and doctorate-level cap and gown packages. All caps and gowns are black.

All graduates and faculty will dress in traditional cap, gown, and tassel in accordance with their fields of study. For a full list of degrees and corresponding colors, please see the Cap and Gown page on the Graduation Center. When choosing attire to wear under your gown, remember that the gown falls mid-calf. Business or business casual clothing and comfortable shoes are recommended.

Eligibility to Walk in the Ceremony

Candidates may walk in the graduation ceremony provided they have completed their degree prior to the ceremony date. All eligible candidates who walk in the graduation ceremony will have their name announced as they cross the stage. Please note, emphasis areas are not announced or included in the graduation program. All candidates attending the graduation ceremony who registered by the deadline will be listed in the program booklet.

Participation in the ceremony is not a confirmation of graduation. To officially graduate, students must complete all program requirements as defined in the University Catalog. All requirements must be met and verified by the Office of the Registrar.

Academic Honors

Associate's- and bachelor's-level graduates who complete their degrees with cumulative grade point averages (GPAs) of 3.70 or higher will achieve academic honors status. Certificate- and master's-level graduates are not eligible for academic honors. Academic honors statuses will be noted on diplomas and transcripts.

The academic honors statuses are as follows:

  • Cumulative GPA of 3. 70–3.79 Cum Laude
  • Cumulative GPA of 3. 80–3.99 Magna Cum Laude
  • Cumulative GPA of 4.0 Summa Cum Laude

Associate's- and bachelor's-level graduates attending the ceremony with final GPAs that qualify for academic honors will receive a cord at Graduate Check-In to wear at the ceremony. Because the honor cords are part of the academic regalia, only those in attendance who qualify for honors will receive these items at the ceremony.

Eligibility for academic honors is verified by the Office of the Registrar. For questions regarding your GPA and academic honor eligibility, please contact the Office of the Registrar at or call 866.522.7747 (Toll Free).

Honor Society Honors* 

Graduates who are members of an honor society may wear their honor society regalia (cords, stoles, pins, etc.) at the ceremony. For information on Honor Societies contact the Office of Student Life at

*Graduates must be existing honor society members prior to their final term.

Floral Sales 

Flowers for Dreams will be on-site, to sell bouquets of roses in various colors as well as leis made of orchids. Other floral arrangements will be available for pre-order in the Spring. Ten percent of the proceeds will help fill back packs with school supplies for local area children in need. Pre-order sales information will be posted in the Spring.

Cancellation Policy

Ceremony cancellations must be received in writing at no later than 5 weeks prior to the ceremony. An email will be sent by the Graduation Department within 5 business days of submission to confirm the cancellation has been processed. Cancellations received after the deadline will result in a nonrefundable fee of $125 charged to the graduating student's account. Please note: The cancellation fee also applies to graduates who are confirmed for the event but do not attend. All student accounts must have a zero balance before diplomas are released.

Graduation Ceremony Expenses

Kaplan University does not charge a fee to attend the Chicago graduation ceremony for students or their guests. However, students are responsible for all expenses incurred for travel to and from the ceremony, including finding and securing their own hotel rooms. Visit the Travel to Graduation page for a list of discounted hotels, airport and driving information, and local attractions.


Request More Information

To receive the Kaplan University Program Guide, including areas of study and associated career paths, please complete this information form.