Spring Commencement — Friday, May 5, 2023

Undergraduate — 9 a.m., Burke-Tarr Stadium
Graduate — 6:30 p.m., Burke-Tarr Stadium

Rain Plan
Undergraduate — 9 a.m., Knoxville Civic Coliseum
Graduate — 6:30 p.m., Knoxville Civic Coliseum


When you think about the square academic cap, you probably think of a symbol of achievement and learning. Your graduation cap represents the goals you have been working towards. You’ve worked incredibly hard for this moment!

While graduation cap decoration may be fun at times, you must avoid anything that is inappropriate. You want to show pride in yourself as well as your accomplishments. Don’t decorate your cap with any inappropriate items or words that may cost you walking in line to receive your diploma

Be tactful, be appropriate, and be respectful of yourself!


Commencement marks a special day in one’s life. While there is no formal dress code, we do ask that all students adhere to these guidelines and suggestions. 

The undergraduate ceremony does take place on a grassy area of campus. Due to the weather, and often due to the morning dew, the grass on campus is wet. We encourage attendees not to wear white shoes. The soft ground may also be a consideration for attendees wearing heels. Your gown will extend to just below your knees, showing your calf and feet. For those wearing pants, it is more than likely that the bottom portion of your pants will become wet.

Dress For Success!

You will take selfies, family, and group photos with friends, so you’ll want to look your best. You also want to wear something that allows you to walk across the stage easily and quickly, keeping you comfortable during the lengthy graduation ceremony.


  • Lightweight, loose-fitting clothes
  • Day or spring dresses
  • Medium-to-light colored tie with dark slacks or khakis
  • Comfortable shoes with low heels (avoid high heels)
  • Avoid shoes with slippery soles
  • Avoid chunky jewelry
  • Avoid suit coats/jackets
  • Jeans and shorts are not recommended


Applications for graduation are now available online through MyCN under Graduation Overview for students graduating in the following terms:

  • Spring (May 5, 2023)
  • May-term (May 26, 2023)
  • Summer (July 21, 2023 or August 11, 2023)
  • Fall (December 8, 2023)