Commencement 2020

Upper Iowa University held four virtual ceremonies on Saturday, May 9, 2020.   Videos of each ceremony may be viewed on UIU's YouTube channel:

Download Ceremony Videos

Note: Download files are large and download times will vary based on your internet connection 


9 a.m. - Military Centers (File size: 3.8GB)

Includes Graduate and Undergraduate candidates from the following centers:  Fort Leavenworth, Fort Polk/DeRidder, Fort Riley, Fort Sill, and New Orleans


11 a.m. - School of Business and Professional Studies (File size: 6.1GB)

Includes Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Sport Administration (MSA) candidates

Includes candidates with the following undergraduate majors:  Accounting, Agricultural Business, All Business, Business Administration, Financial Management, Graphic Design, Health Services Administration, Human Resources Management, Information Systems, Information Technology, Management, Marketing, Nursing, and Software Engineering.  Associate degrees with an emphasis in General Business are also included.


1 p.m. - School of Arts and Sciences (File size: 4.7GB)

Includes Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Science in Counseling (MSC) candidates

Includes candidates with the following undergraduate majors:  All Science, Art, Biology, Chemistry, Clinical Lab Science, Communication Studies, Conservation management, Criminal Justice, Emergency and Disaster Management, English, Environmental Science, Forensic Science, History, Human Services, Liberal Arts, Life Science, Mathematics, Mortuary Science, Psychology, Public Administration, Social Science, and Sociology.  Associate degrees with an emphasis in Liberal Arts, Criminal Justice, or Psychology are also included.


3 p.m. - Andres School of Education (File size: 3.7GB)

Includes Master of Education (Med) candidates

Includes candidates with the following undergraduate majors:  All Social Science, Athletic Training, Birth-Grade 3:Inclusive Settings, Elementary Education, Exercise and Sport Studies, Industrial Technology, Instructional Strategist BD/LD/ID, Mathematics Education, and Physical Education.


Download a copy of the Commencement program (pdf)


Which students will have their names read during the virtual ceremony?

Students who graduated in October 2019, December 2019, and March 2020 (unless they participated in the May 2019 commencement ceremony and were listed in the May 2019 commencement program). 

Students who are candidates for the May 2020, July 2020, and August 2020 graduation dates who submitted the graduation application or request to participate form by April 5. 

Students who requested an exception and received approval from the University Registrar to participate May 2020 rather than May 2021.

Questions may be directed to the email.

2020 graduates are invited to participate in the 2021 commencement ceremony on May 8, 2021. 

How does a virtual Commencement ceremony work?

As Commencement is such an important point in the educational journey, we could not let COVID-19 stand in the way of acknowledging the achievements of our graduates. UIU will record Commencement activities and stream them for people to watch online. As of now, Commencement activities still include the traditional speeches by the President, Board of Trustees Chairman, Alumni President, and Commencement speaker. When it comes time for students to walk across the stage, we will instead read names and show pictures of those who submitted them by the deadline. The ceremony also includes a video celebrating the past year using submitted pictures/video. Ceremonies are currently scheduled to be held at the following times: 9:00 a.m., Military Centers; 11:00 a.m., School of Business and Professional Studies; 1:00 p.m., School of Arts and Sciences; and 3:00 p.m., Andres School of Education. Each ceremony will also be available after May 9 to view in its entirety online.

Does the cap and gown need to be returned?

No, the cap and gown is yours to keep.

We are still finalizing the details regarding what items will be mailed to those students who planned to participate in the May 9, 2020 ceremony at the Fayette Campus and when. At this time we need to check with our vendors to determine if their production/shipping of our commencement items has been delayed due to COVID-19. The Registrar will be sending a follow up email to all students currently on the participation list as soon as these details have been finalized.

Will my $70 graduation fee be refunded?

The $70 graduation fee is a fee for all students whether they participate in a commencement ceremony or not. This fee covers costs of production of the diploma and soft cover, a complimentary transcript that is included with the diploma, and postage costs for these items as well as general commencement expenses.

How do I sign up to participate in the May 2021 commencement ceremony?

There are two options for signing up for the May 2021 commencement ceremony:
      1. Send an email to No resubmission of sizes is needed.
      2. Resubmit the request to participate form AFTER May 9, 2020.

Additional details will be posted as they become available. 

Diplomas are issued six times each year and a formal commencement ceremony is held once each year in Fayette, Iowa in May.  UIU encourages you to participate in its formal commencement ceremony even if your graduation date falls earlier in the academic year.  Names of students in the commencement program will include students who graduated or are candidates for graduation between October of the previous year and August of the current year.


As a candidate for graduation, regardless of whether you plan to participate in the commencement ceremony, you must file an application for graduation.  There is an application fee of $70 (even if you choose not to attend the commencement ceremony). Students planning to participate in the commencement ceremony should complete the request to participate form.  The application for graduation and request to participate forms are located on myUIU (academics tab – student forms section).

Month Degree Conferred* Application Due













The request to participate form should be submitted by February 28, 2020 to accommodate ordering of regalia.

*specific conferral dates are listed in the Academic Catalog.

GRADUATION WITH HONORS (undergraduate baccalaureate students only)

Graduation with honors signifies recognition of a student's achievement of scholastic excellence as the baccalaureate program of study is completed. The diploma will bear one of the following inscriptions to recognize this excellence:

summa cum laude - grade point average at least 3.90
magna cum laude – grade point average at least 3.70 but less than 3.90
cum laude meritum – grade point average at least 3.70
cum laude - grade point average at least 3.50

A total of 60 graded semester hours must be earned at Upper Iowa University before magna cum laude or summa cum laude honors are granted. Transfer students who do not complete 60 semester hours at UIU will receive cum laude meritum honors if a grade point average of 3.70 or higher is earned in at least 30 graded hours at UIU.


May diplomas will be mailed approximately 4-8 weeks following the ceremony. Official transcripts may be ordered at


If you are unable to attend commencement or would like to purchase additional items to commemorate your graduation, UIU offers commencement packages. Visit our Marketplace under the Graduate section for more information about the options.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call:

Office of the Registrar-SEC: 800-553-4150, or 563-425-5200 (
Student Life: 563-425-5215 (
Alumni Office: 563-425-5954 (