UNC Public Policy Commencement regrettably postponed

Please follow university updates regarding commencement–this page will be updated when new information is available.


You may also want to visit the spring commencement page  and the doctoral hooding ceremony page.

Due to the growing number of Public Policy graduates and limited UNC facilities available during commencement weekend, graduates will be limited to 5 ticketed guests at the departmental ceremony. We realize this can make things challenging for you and your family, and we will do our best to accommodate requests for additional tickets (instructions on making requests below). 

In order to maximize the number of tickets each graduate may receive, there will be two departmental ceremony sessions—Commencement 1 from 1:30-3:00 PM and Commencement 2 from 4:00-5:30 PM with a reception in between from 3:00-4:00 PM.  While this is not an ideal scenario, it does allow students to have 5 guests rather than 2 or 3, which was a top priority during the planning process.  Since this is a challenging format, we would be very grateful for your patience and kindness!


How does it work?

First, once it is available, students should complete the RSVP form sent from Jessica Lama. Only students who have completed this form will be issued tickets. Students are guaranteed 5 tickets and will be able to request their preferred session time-1:30pm or 4:00pm on a first come, first serve basis. Jessica will send an email to students who filled out the RSVP form with directions on how to receive tickets, request additional tickets, and pick your preferred session time.


It is essential that you attend your assigned commencement session. The order of graduates will be set by your ticket’s assigned session and your name and bio will only be read at your assigned session.  If you attend the wrong session, you will not have a place in the processional line or a seat in the ceremony room!


What time and where is the ceremony? Saturday, May 9th, at the Friday Center Trillium Room.  Commencement 1 is at 1:30PM and Commencement 2 is at 4:00PM. You may request your preferred time—given on a first come, first served basis.


What time should graduates arrive? Graduates need to arrive 30 minutes prior to the start time to check in and line up for the processional.


How do I RSVP? Graduating Public Policy majors must RSVP by completing the form sent by the UNC Public Policy Student Services Officer (once it is available). Please include a brief bio and up to three photos to share at graduation. An RSVP is necessary to claim tickets and to be allowed to participate in the ceremony.


How many guests can I bring? Will they need tickets? Yes, tickets are required to enter the ceremony. (Small children who can sit on a ticket holder’s lap for the entire ceremony do not need a separate ticket.)  Each student is guaranteed 5 tickets. We realize that many of you have more than 5 loved ones who are coming to Chapel Hill for commencement weekend and will do our best to accommodate requests for additional tickets. Please remember that there is no guest limit for the main commencement ceremony at Kenan Stadium on Saturday, May 10th, at 9:00am.


How do I get my tickets? Jessica Lama will send an email to students who filled out the RSVP form with directions on how to get tickets.


What time should guests arrive? Please have your guests arrive at least 20 minutes early. There will be reserved wheelchair seating and seating with limited mobility for ticketed guests–please let us know your needs in advance on the RSVP form.


Do I need to wear my cap and gown? Yes! Please wear your full graduation regalia to the ceremony.


Will there be a reception? Yes! There will be a reception in the lobby area outside of the Trillium Room and in Dogwood from 3:00-4:00pm. Capstone posters will be on display for family and friends to admire and cookies and lemonade will be served.


Will my favorite professor be at my session?  Public Policy faculty may not be at both commencement sessions, but the 3:00-4:00pm reception is an opportunity for both Commencement 1 and Commencement 2 participants to mix and mingle.


Will there be parking? Yes! The Park and Ride lot at the Friday Center will be open on Saturday, May 9th. No parking permit is required.


I have additional questions. Who should I ask? Please contact Jessica Lama, Student Services Officer for UNC Public Policy, with any additional student-related questions. Terry Tamari is happy to answer any logistics-related questions. Please note we may not have specific details until early 2020.