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Commencement Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I order regalia?

Students who are eligible to graduate during the academic year submit their regalia order by completing the Intent to Graduate Form. The form is sent by the Office of the Registrar each term to prospective graduates.

When can I pick up my regalia?

Regalia Distribution will be held in AAC 994AB on the following dates:

  • Wednesday, April 10: noon - 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 11: 2 - 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 16: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

How do I receive my regalia if I cannot pick it up on the designated days?

  • Students who are unable to attend a regalia distribution event may do one of the following:
    • Ask a friend or colleague to pick up the regalia in your place by emailing before the designated distribution dates.
    • Pick up regalia at Credit Union 1 Arena immediately prior to the commencement ceremony. Regalia will be available in the arena parking garage for students and the arena vomitory for faculty and staff beginning at noon on April 27. Regalia picked up on the day of commencement will not be steamed or pressed before the ceremony.

What is included in my regalia order?

  • Your regalia order will include: your gown, cap/tam (one size fits all), tassel, stole (for bachelor's degree students) and honor cords for eligible bachelor degree candidates. Master's and doctoral degree students are hooded at the commencement ceremony and will not receive one in the regalia order.

What is the cost of rented regalia?

  • There is no cost associated with ordering regalia for students who order using the Intent to Graduate form. RUSH University contractually rents regalia for each student participating in the ceremony. Rented regalia must be returned.

Where can I order custom regalia?

  • Students who wish to purchase custom regalia, to keep, may do so through the RUSH University’s vendor, Herff Jones. To place your custom regalia order, contact our representative, Mo Olson, directly via email at and copy
  • The deadline for custom orders is February 2, 2024. Students ordering custom gowns must meet this deadline in order to have regalia made, shipped and received in time for the commencement ceremony. Custom orders will be shipped directly to the purchaser’s home.

Do I get to keep my regalia ordered by RUSH University?

  • No. All rented regalia (robes and hoods) must be returned to the designated receptacles in the UIC parking garage immediately following the ceremony (same location where students line up for the procession before the ceremony). Students may only keep their cap, tassel, and honor cord/stoles (bachelor’s degree); all robes and hoods must be returned to the arena garage post commencement.

Where can I go to get additional information regarding regalia distribution?

  • Click here for more information related to regalia for students.


Commencement Photographs and Graduation Memorabilia

Will my portrait be taken at commencement?

  • All students will have a formal portrait taken in the photo booth to the left of the stage. Photographers will also capture candid shots during the presenting of the diploma and hooding of the graduates. Students have the option to purchase their portrait directly from the vendor. Order details will be shared directly with graduates 72 hours post commencement. If you did not receive information about your portrait, please first try here or reach out to or 800-482-0321.

How can I order graduation memorabilia?

  • Students may order graduation memorabilia (graduation announcements, thank you cards, diploma covers, etc.) directly from the Jostens website.


Security and Accommodations 

What accommodations will be available for me/my guests at commencement?

  • Credit Union 1 Arena has a number of accessible seats and areas. Wheelchair seating is available at the top of each section throughout the arena. Please see the commencement website for specific information about seating locations for guests who use wheelchairs, as well as which entrance to use for the easiest experience. Credit Union 1 Arena Guest Accessibility information can be found here.
  • There are ADA-compliant parking spaces at Credit Union 1 Arena. Cars will need to provide their own ADA parking placard. ADA parking is located in lot 1B 1139 W. Harrison and the HSPS Structure, 1100 W. Harrison Street. Guests with ADA parking needs should notify the garage attendants who will direct them to the nearest ADA spots. Additional guest services information and maps can be found here.
  • There will also be shuttle services provided from RUSH University to the arena; some of the shuttles are accessible.
  • For graduates participating in the ceremony that need accessibility accommodations, please contact the office of Student Accessibility Services.

What are the security measures and Policies at Credit Union 1 Arena?

  • Credit Union 1 Arena does not allow outside food, strollers, balloons, noise makers/air horns or paraphernalia of any kind. Book bags and large purses are also not allowed. For additional details please see Credit Union 1 Arena’s policies and guest information here.


Parking and Transportation

What are my parking options?

  • Students and guests can park at either the RUSH University Medical Center garage or at Credit Union 1 Arena.
  • Parking at RUSH University Medical Center: Students, faculty and staff who have paid for monthly parking with their AVIT transponder can park in the RUSH University Medical Center garage at no additional cost. Visitors will pay the published hourly rate. A shuttle will be provided at the RUSH University campus on the corner of Harrison and Paulina.
  • Parking at Credit Union 1 Arena: Students and their family can park at Credit Union 1 Arena in surface lots 1A and 1B within walking distance at a flat rate of $10 per car. There is ample parking available for the event. Please see this map of the parking lot for more information.

Is there a shuttle from the RUSH University campus?

  • A shuttle will be provided at the RUSH University campus.
  • Pick Up and Drop Off Times
    • Before Commencement: 11:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.
    • After Commencement: 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.
  • RUSH Pick Up and Drop Off Location: Pick up and drop off will be on the east side of Paulina Street, adjacent to the Medical Center parking garage on the northbound side of the street.
  • Credit Union 1 Drop Off Location: Drop off will be on the southwest corner of Harrison and Racine; diagonal from the arena near the RUSH Administrative Offices Building sign.


Attending Commencement as a Graduate 

What time should I arrive and where should I go?

  • All students participating in the ceremony will need to arrive at Credit Union 1 Arena parking garage, 525 S. Racine Ave., by 12:30 p.m. on the first level, west side. Signs and greeters will help direct you. Faculty and staff will be there to help line up all students. For a map location of the parking garage, click here.


Attending Commencement as a Guest

What time can guests arrive at the event site?

  • Doors open for guests at 1 p.m. We recommend early arrival in anticipation of additional time at the security checkpoint.

Do I need a ticket?

  • The commencement ceremony is a non-ticketed event and seating is open. There is no limit to the number of guests for students.

Are there reserved seats?

  • Seating is open for guests. Please refer to the Security and Accommodations section for attendees needing additional assistance or click here for Credit Union 1 Arena Guest Services details.

I have more/fewer guests attending commencement than I stated on my Intent to Graduate Form. What do I need to do?

  • Credit Union 1 Arena has ample seating to accommodate all guests. Family and friends attending the ceremony are encouraged to arrive early for seating selection. Family and friends who require special accommodations should review the Guest Services and ADA Accessibility Information, here.

I can’t attend commencement. When will the link for the event live streaming be available? Where do I find it?

  • The commencement livestream link will be located prominently at the top of the commencement webpage. The link will appear by the Friday prior to commencement, and will go live at 1 p.m., before the ceremony starts at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 27. Please note that only students in physical attendance at the ceremony will have their names read.


Other Commencement Items to Consider

What should I do leading up to the commencement ceremony?

  • We recommend all graduating students check out the Graduation Toolkit. This site contains information on GradFest, off-boarding resources, and social media information and more.

How can I participate in the commencement Thank You Video?

  • Each year, as part of RUSH University GradFest, graduates are given the opportunity to record "thank you” messages for their families and loved ones as part of a video montage to be played at commencement. Students who can’t attend GradFest can take and submit their own thank messages for this video compilation. You can find instructions for submitting your video below.
  • You can participate in the "Thank You" video by uploading a video file to this Dropbox folder. The videos can feature you speaking or holding up signs. If you make a sign for the video, please make sure to use bold, capital lettering. When recording your video, hold the sign steady in front of the camera for at least 5 seconds to allow for viewers to read the message. If you’d like to see an example of what the video will look like please watch this "Thank You" video from the 2023 commencement ceremony.


Other FAQs 

How do I see that I completed the Intent to Graduate form?

  • Your Intent to Graduate form is accessible online. Upon submission of your form, you, will receive a confirmation from the email.

Who will be hooding me at the ceremony?

  • Hooders are faculty members that are selected by the students from their specific program.

How do I provide information on how to pronounce my name?

  • Students will receive an email with communication on how to use the software to speak and upload the correct pronunciation of their name.

Can a family member hand me my degree on stage?

  • If you have a parent, sibling or spouse/partner who holds the rank of instructor or above on the RUSH University faculty, or who is a current member of the Board of Trustees or Board of Governors, we invite them to participate in the Commencement ceremony with you. If you indicated that this was applicable to you on your Intent to Graduate Form, then the Office of the Registrar will reach out to you for more information. If you are unsure if you indicated this on your form, please reach out to for assistance.

How can I confirm the address I have on file? What if I need to change my address?

  • You can make updates to your address within Self-Service. If you need to update the address where you would like your diploma to be sent, please select the “Diploma” address type.

As a graduating student, do I get hooded at the commencement ceremony?

  • Yes, all master’s and doctoral level students participating in the RUSH University 52nd Commencement Ceremony on April 27 will be hooded as part of the ceremony.
  • Please note: Separate college events take place within your college outside of the commencement ceremony, please check with your college representatives to find out more information.

I need to change my response to whether or not I am attending the Commencement ceremony. What do I need to do?

  • To change your response to whether or not you will attend the ceremony, please use this form