For Graduates Banner

For Graduates


Graduates are required to apply for graduation prior to their Commencement. Students who have applied for graduation and have completed all degree requirements during the summer or fall semesters are eligible to participate in the fall Commencement ceremonies. Students who have applied for graduation and have completed all degree requirements during the spring semester are eligible to participate in the spring Commencement ceremonies. Undergraduate students who expect to meet the graduation requirements with the completion of one course of up to four hours during the summer term immediately following the spring Commencement may participate in the ceremony. Contact the Office of the Registrar at 910.962.3125 if you have questions about your eligibility.

Cap & Gown Pick-up

Seahawk Salute Celebration

Everything that a student needs to get ready for Commencement will be available at the Seahawk Salute Celebration!

Thursday, April 16, 2020
9 a.m. - 8 p.m. 

Burney Center

Seahawk Salute for Spring 2020 has been canceled. Graduates will receive an email the week of March 23rd with information on how to obtain their regalia. 

Students need to bring their UNCW One Card to the event, and they will be able to:

  • Pick up a free cap and gown***
  • Pick up your official Name Card
  • Personnel from the Registrar's Office will issue distinction cords
  • Get special deals on class rings and graduation announcements from Balfour
  • View and purchase official UNCW diploma frames
  • Support UNCW by participating in the Senior Class Giving Campaign
  • Get involved with the UNCW Alumni Association
  • Learn how to support UNCW through the Annual Giving program
  • Sit for a cap and gown photo

If you are not able to pick-up your regalia at Seahawk Salute, caps & gowns can be picked up from the Bookstore any time (during normal bookstore business hours) following Seahawk Salute until 2 days before the ceremony. You will also be able to pick-up your cap and gown in Hanover Gym one hour prior to the start of your ceremony if you are unable to go to the UNCW Bookstore.

Your UNCW One Card will be required to pick up regalia for main campus students. If you do not have a One Card, or need a replacement, contact the UNCW One Card office.

There is no cost for regalia, unless you need a replacement or are a distance education/extension student. 

*** Distance Education and Extension Students, review your regalia purchasing information.

Doctoral Students must contact the Bookstore to make arrangements for rental regalia. Email Craig Hewett at

What To Wear

You will be required to wear the appropriate regalia during the ceremony. The appropriate attire under your regalia is business casual or Sunday's best.

Jeans, t-shirts, flip flops, etc are not appropriate attire for commencement.

How to Wear Your Regalia - Bachelor's

How to Wear Your Regalia - Master's

What To Bring

Bring your cap, gown, hood (Master's students only), and your name card. If you have not picked up your regalia or name card prior to the day of your ceremony, all items will be available for pick up in Hanover Gym one hour before your ceremony. Any items you bring with you to Hanover Gym will remain with you during the entire ceremony. If you are not able to place it under a chair or it is not a necessity, leave it in your car or with your family and friends. Do not bring air horns, loud noise makers, beach balls, confetti, etc. to the ceremony. Do not deface your cap or gown with printed signs or messages.

What Time To Arrive

Graduates should arrive to Hanover Gym one hour prior to the start of their Commencement ceremony. Doors will open for family members and guests to enter Trask Coliseum one hour prior to the start of the Commencement ceremony.


Undergraduate and graduate diplomas are ordered by the Office of the Registrar within eight weeks of Commencement. Diplomas are mailed to the address the graduate provided on their graduation application. If the address needs to be updated, the graduate must notify to have their address updated. Updating the address in SeaNet will not change the diploma mailing address.

Starting with Summer 2018 graduates, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington is partnering with our vendor Parchment to provide a new service for graduates, digital diplomas. A Digital Diploma is an official signed and certified PDF of your diploma, secured with a Blue Ribbon Security Certificate. The digital diploma is issued to the graduates personal email address. Digital diplomas will not be issued to UNCW email addresses. Digital diplomas are only issued to graduates personal email address so that the diploma is available to them in perpetuity. UNCW email addresses expire after graduating from the University.

No Diplomas or Transcripts

Graduates will not receive their transcripts or diploma if there is a balance on their student account. Students should review their E-bill account before graduation to ensure you will receive your diploma or transcripts. Contact Student Accounts at 910.962.4281 with questions. A balance on your student account will not affect your participation in graduation. Perkins Loan students please contact Constance Evans at 910.962.7419 to complete your exit interview. Once the account is settled, student’s should send an email notifying the graduation specialist at so that their diploma can be ordered.

Degree with Distinction

Undergraduate students who earn a minimum of a 3.50 GPA on all course work attempted, including transfer courses, may qualify to receive a degree with distinction. Graduate students are not eligible for distinctions. Distinction information for the program is based on your average at the end of semester previous to your graduation. Final distinction will be determined once all grades are submitted for the term and will be printed on the official diploma.

Three degrees with distinction are granted to graduating students based on all work attempted in meeting requirements for the degree as follows:

Cum Laude for an overall average of 3.50
Magna Cum Laude for an overall average of 3.70
Summa Cum Laude for an overall average of 3.90

 For additional information on Latin Honors, please visit the Office of the Registrar’s website,

Distinction Cords

Distinction Cords are distributed by the Office of the Registrar at Seahawk Salute. After Seahawk Salute, distinction cords are available for pick up at the Office of the Registrar (James Hall) or in Hanover Gym prior to your ceremony. The Office of the Registrar notifies students via email before Seahawk Salute if they qualify for a distinction cord. Distinction cords are only available for undergraduate students. Graduate students are not eligible for a distinction. For information concerning distinction qualifications, please contact the Office of the Registrar at 910.962.3125.

With Honors In

Students who successfully completed the Honors Program in their major will graduate "With Honors In" the discipline in which their special work was undertaken.

For information concerning distinction qualifications, please contact the Office of the Registrar at 910.962.3125.


Personalized announcements can be purchased at Seahawk Salute or online by visiting Balfour's UNCW store. For more information about personalized announcements, contact Balfour at 877.225.3687.

Official Commencement Photographs

Professional photographers from GradImages will take individual photographs of each of the graduates during their Commencement ceremony. During the presentation of candidates, each graduate will pose for two pictures, one as a portrait and the other receiving their scroll. Participants will receive a free photo proof and can order copies of their photograph directly from GradImages.

Your proofs will be available after the ceremony. To view your proofs online, please visit Pictures may be ordered online, by phone, or by mail. If you have any questions please contact Customer Service at 800-261-2576 or via email at

Pre-register Email Addresses

Pre-register with GradImages by visiting, and clicking on the Pre-Event Registration at the bottom of the page. This provides them with the most correct and up-to-date contact information and ensures the delivery of your graduation proofs in a timely manner. You may register your email and up to 6 emails of loved ones who would like to share in your accomplishment by viewing and ordering photos.

Individuals who do not receive a photo proof within two weeks of the ceremony should contact GradImages at 800.261.2576 or via e-mail at To learn more, visit