2017 SOJC Commencement will take place on June 18, 2017

Each year, the School of Journalism and Communication holds a Student Awards Ceremony to celebrate student achievement as well as a commencement ceremony that’s separate from the main university commencement. At the SOJC commencement ceremony, SOJC students are recognized by walking across the stage to get their diplomas.

Immediately following the SOJC Commencement Ceremony, we will be taking the Centennial Class photo on the east entrance steps of Matt Knight Arena. All students in the 2017 class are encouraged to take part in this historic photo.

Visiting friends and family are encouraged to make travel arrangements early.

Please note: Participation in the SOJC Ceremony is a privilege. We kindly request that graduates limit their consumption of alcohol prior to the ceremony. Graduates who arrive at the ceremony under the influence of alcohol or other drugs may be refused the opportunity to participate in the ceremony. Please be respectful of your fellow graduates, family members, and guests by arriving at the ceremony sober. 

Additionally, all participants and guests must maintain reasonable and appropriate behavior at all times. The staff of Matthew Knight Arena and the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication reserve the right to relocate or remove anyone we believe is creating a disturbance during any part of the ceremony. 

Meeting Guests

Before the ceremony, we recommend that everyone in your party agrees on a place to meet following the event, as graduates and spectators will exit at different locations. Do NOT plan to meet your guests near the arena entrances or exits, as crowd-control staff will require these areas to remain clear.

If you have guests who are uncomfortable in large, congested crowds, you may want to suggest they simply wait 10-15 minutes until the crowds thin out before attempting to leave Matt Knight. Our goal is to keep stress to a minimum and to make this an enjoyable day for all.

International Students’ Families

International students’ families who need verification of their students’ graduation for travel purposes should contact the UO Office of International Affairs.

Graduation Checklist

1. Apply to graduate on DuckWeb. You must apply to graduate on DuckWeb. Be sure to apply for the term when you will actually finish your degree. Indicate spring as your graduation term only if you will complete your entire program in the spring. Be sure to list a mailing address where we can send your diploma 10-12 weeks following commencement.

2. The list of names that will appear in the SOJC commencement program is online. The program has now gone to press. No additional names can be added or adjusted. The names are listed in three sections: Fall 2015 degree recipients, Winter 2016 degree recipients and Spring/Summer 2016 degree applicants. Fall 2016 degree applicants who’ve notified us that they’d like to participate in the ceremony are listed in the third section. If you’ve missed getting your name into the program, you are still welcome to participate in the ceremony on June 12th.

View the program list  

3. Complete your employment survey by June 1. You will receive a link to the survey in an email to your uoregon.edu account during the term in which you apply to graduate. Even if you are still looking for employment, please complete the survey. You will have a chance to update the information later when you have landed that dream job.

Get a new link to the survey  

4. Complete your SOJC Senior Exit Survey (undergraduates only). The School of Journalism and Communication, as part of our accreditation requirements, conducts an annual exit survey of our recent and upcoming graduates. Data from the survey helps us assess the quality of our programs and make improvements where needed. The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete. Participation is optional, not mandatory, and your answers are confidential. You will receive a separate email invitation to take this survey.

5. Send commencement information and updates to your family and guests. The easiest way to give them all the info they need is to send them links to this SOJC Commencement page (http://journalism.uoregon.edu/students/undergrad/sojc-commencement/) and to the UO Commencement ceremony page (http://commencement.uoregon.edu).

6. Encourage guests to make reservations for hotels and accommodations months in advance. Local hotels fill early on commencement weekend. For additional information, see the UO Commencement website.

7. Purchase announcements, caps, gowns, and other graduation must-haves at the UO Duck Store. Announcements and regalia, including honors cords for students graduating with honors, are available at the information center on the main floor of the UO Duck Store. If the cost of regalia is prohibitive, please contact sojcadvising@uoregon.edu by June 3, 2016.

8. Be aware that the University of Oregon no longer offers a summer commencement ceremony. Students are invited to attend the spring commencement ceremony that falls closest to their graduation term. Winter term graduates are invited to attend the spring ceremony that falls immediately following their graduation term.

Additional Information

Name Cards

All students will pick up their name cards at the registration table when then arrive. Students need to hang onto their name cards throughout the ceremony. You will turn it in just before walking across the stage so your name can be announced. If you are concerned that the reader will have trouble reading your name, you will have a chance to write out your name phonetically on the card.


On Sunday, June 12, guests can park in the Columbia Parking Garage for the School of Journalism and Communication Commencement Ceremony.

On Monday, June 13, on-campus parking will be very limited.The university provides parking at Autzen Stadium, and free shuttles will run between Autzen and campus from 7:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Visit the UO Commencement website for details. Be sure to visit the UO Commencement website for traffic advisories as well. Access to east campus by car will be very limited.

Personal Photography

To avoid blocking the narrow processional or restricting views for all audience members, please plan to photograph before or directly after the ceremony. There are also many beautiful sites throughout campus and near Allen Hall to obtain great graduation photos. We encourage you to consider taking your guests around campus to snap some photos.

Please note: Due to fire marshal restrictions, guests are not permitted on the main floor during the ceremony. Please be sure that your guests are aware of this policy.

Professional Photography

Want that perfect picture of your special day? GradImages, UO’s official commencement photographer, will be on hand to photograph each graduate as they receive their diploma. Pictures can be purchased for approximately $9.95 for a 5 x 7-inch photo. You can view your pictures online at www.gradimages.com within 48 hours of the ceremony. Email any questions regarding graduation photos to service@gradimages.com or call the GradImages customer service at 800-261-2576.

The SOJC also has a professional photographer who will be taking photos before and during the ceremony. These photos will be available on the SOJC Flickr page later in June.

Centennial Class Photo

The SOJC will be taking a Centennial Class photo that will be used in our commemorative centennial book. We will take this photo immediately following the SOJC Commencement Ceremony on the east steps of Matthew Knight Arena. Students will be led there from the recessional. Please plan to spend a few extra minutes to be part of this historic photograph.

Commencement 2015

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need tickets?

No. Tickets are not necessary for the School of Journalism and Communication Commencement Ceremony. We will have plenty of seating in Matthew Knight Arena.

Who can walk in the School of Journalism and Communication Commencement Ceremony?

All SOJC majors who graduated fall 2015, winter 2016, or who applied on DuckWeb to graduate spring 2016, summer 2016, or fall 2016 and have registered to attend the ceremony.

Whose name is listed in the School of Journalism and Communication Commencement Program?

All SOJC majors who graduated fall 2015 or winter 2016 or who applied on DuckWeb to graduate spring 2016, summer 2016, or fall 2016 and have registered to attend the ceremony will have their names printed in the program.

Can I sit by my friends during the ceremony?

When you arrive at the ceremony, you will be directed by commencement staff to the staging area, where you can line up next to whomever you choose. You will be sitting by the person in front of you and the person behind you.

Do I have to participate in the ceremony to get my degree?

The ceremony does not have any particular credit or degree requirements. To get your physical diploma, you just need to declare your intent to graduate through the UO Registrar’s office. The Registrar will mail your diploma 4-6 weeks after the term in which you declared your intent to graduate.

Which way does my tassel go?

Bachelor’s students wear their tassels on the right and will move their tassels to the left after shaking the dean’s hand and crossing the stage. Doctoral and master’s candidates wear their tassels on the left. All degree candidates are encouraged to wear regalia: gown, cap, tassel, and hood for doctoral and master’s degree candidates, and gown, cap, and tassel for bachelor’s degree candidates. Regalia, including honor cords for students graduating with honors, are available at the UO Duck Store beginning in April. Online ordering will be available the beginning of April.

How do I know if I’ve received Latin honors?

Graduating seniors who have earned at least 90 credits in residence at the University of Oregon and have successfully completed all other university degree requirements are eligible for graduation with Latin honors. The Office of the Registrar computes Latin honors upon graduation. These distinctions are based on students’ cumulative GPAs at the University of Oregon and the percentile rankings in their respective graduating classes, as follows:

Top 10 percent: cum laude (white cord)
Top 5 percent: magna cum laude (silver cord)
Top 2 percent: summa cum laude (gold cord)

Postbaccalaureate students are not eligible for Latin honors. The School of Journalism and Communication will notify honors recipients by email sometime after May 6. At that point, students will be able to purchase an honors cord at the Duck Store.

What happens during commencement?

  • Please arrive between 11 and 11:30 a.m. and check in at the registration table inside the west entrance to the arena (the doors that are at the plaza behind the Ford Alumni Center on the Agate Street side of the building).
  • Check in at the registration desk and pick up your photo/name card. Then you will be directed to the arena lower level, where there will be a staging area. If you want to sit with someone, your best chance is to make sure you are in front of or behind them.
  • Doctoral and master’s students will line up at the front, followed by undergraduate students. There will be signs and staff to direct you.
  • Once you are at the staging area, walk up the center aisle. The people who line up in LINE 1 will sit in the left section, and those who line up in LINE 2 will sit in the right section. There will be staff members and signs to guide you.
  • Staff members will move the student lines into the arena for seating at 11:45. Once you are at your seat, you may be seated. When you hear the bagpiper start to play at 12 p.m., you need to stand for the faculty processional, which is the start of the ceremony. Remain standing until the dean indicates you should sit.
  • To receive your diploma cover, you will be released by row to go up to the stage. When you cross the stage, hand your name card to the reader, walk across the stage, shake the dean’s hand, have your picture taken, and return to your seat. The dean will indicate when to move your tassel from right to left.

The order of events is as follows:

  • Seating of students at 11:45 a.m.
  • Processional and seating of faculty
  • The dean begins ceremony, introduction of faculty and guests, gives speech
  • Introduction of undergraduate student speaker, student gives speech
  • Introduction of alumni speaker, alumni gives speech
  • Recognition of graduates: Everyone’s name is read, and everyone walks across stage starting with doctoral and master’s students, who will be hooded after their names are read and before they shake hands with the dean
  • The dean gives closing remarks
  • When the ceremony concludes, the recessional will have the following order: bagpiper, dean, faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students. The faculty will form two lines at the exit that the graduates will walk through as they exit the arena. You will exit the arena at the east side of the arena (Villard St.), where we will gather to take the Centennial Class photo.

What do I do if someone in my family needs special seating accommodations or a sign language interpreter?

Seating will be available for guests with special mobility needs. If you or anyone you know will need wheelchair seating, a sign language interpreter, or other accommodations, please contact Emma Oravecz, SOJC events manager, at ejo@uoregon.edu.

How do I know if I’m getting an award at the Honors and Awards Ceremony?

All students who have earned awards will receive an email invitation to this event in late May.

Key Locations