There's a personal story behind every graduate's journey to commencement day. We look forward to celebrating this significant part of the journey with you soon!
Things to know before you go
Capital One Arena has its own parking garage ($30) located on 6th Street NW underneath the building. Parking apps for your smartphone such as Spot Hero allow advance parking reservations to over a dozen surrounding lots and garages.
Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s graduates: 7th Street – NW Entrance, between McDonalds & Clyde’s
All guests will need to use the venue’s main entrance off of F street NW. Guests of the doctoral graduates (maximum of 3 including children) may enter through the Media Entrance with the doctoral graduate. All additional guests for doctorates will need to use the venue’s main entrance.
Guests can remain on the main concourse level to participate in the New Alumni Celebration prior to the ceremony.
Doctoral graduates will report to the Event Floor at the Etihad Lounge. Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s graduates can go to the main concourse level for the New Alumni Celebration, or if they arrive later, they can report to the Event Floor for line up.
Please bring your name index card the day of the ceremony. The index card shows a bar code with your name and degree. These cards will be mailed out 2-3 weeks prior to the ceremony to each graduate. We can provide a duplicate name card if needed the day of the ceremony.
There is no storage at the commencement venue for personal belongings. Please make arrangements for a guest to hold any personal items or carry them with you at all times. University of Phoenix is not responsible for any damage or loss to personal property.
Regalia items to bring
Please bring your cap and gown, as well as your stole (undergraduate students) and/or hood (graduate students). Staff will assist you in arranging your hood before the ceremony. Use a cool iron if necessary, to ensure a wrinkle-free appearance. For any special regalia needs or for pickup arrangements, Herff Jones will be on site at the commencement venue for prepaid telephone order pick-ups. Payment must be made prior to ceremony date. Please note, there will not be any regalia sales available on the day of the ceremony.
Military graduates: The DC Commencement Team will provide military cords to all active/veteran students on the day of the ceremony during registration.
Please contact Herff Jones for any regalia needs or questions at 703-368-9550.
Honor cord eligibility
- You must be a bachelor’s degree student with a program GPA of 3.85 or higher. The University does not have an honors designation for associate, masters or doctoral students.
- If you have met the University Honors requirements, by the commencement ceremony date, and have met all other eligibility criteria, will be recognized at commencement ceremonies with the University honor cord. Students who attend commencement ceremonies and wear the University honor cord before degree conferral are not guaranteed the “Graduated with Honors” designation. Academic standards must be met in order for a “Graduated with Honors” degree to be awarded. Students may fail to meet the University Honors standards after attending commencement ceremonies.
Honor Cord distribution
- The University identifies graduates registered for the commencement who are eligible for the honor cord. If you are eligible to receive an honor cord one will be provided to you at no cost. Honor cords will be mailed to eligible students approximately 2 weeks prior to the ceremony.
If you or any of your guests will require ADA accommodations at the Washington, D.C. Commencement Ceremony, please contact the Washington, D.C. Commencement team at WashingtonDCCommencement2@phoenix.edu.
- STUDENT ADA Accommodations: Speak with a UOPX staff member on Event Floor during graduate check-in.
- GUEST ADA Accommodations: Speak with Capital One Arena staff at Guest Services counter inside the arena.
No strollers, balloons, confetti, noisemakers, food or drinks are allowed in the commencement venue. Unopened bottled water is acceptable. See venue policies at: https://capitalonearena.viewlift.com/articles/capital-one-arena-security-policy
Please note: Capital One Arena utilizes walk-through metal detectors for all events. Only bags that are smaller than 14 inches long, 14 inches tall and 6 inches wide are permitted at Capital One Arena and all bags will be searched upon entering the arena.
The University has coordinated with Grad Images to photograph graduates before and during the ceremony.
Due to Fire Marshal regulations, strollers are not permitted in the seating area. Please be advised that University of Phoenix is not responsible for any damage or loss to personal property.
Leaving the ceremony
We ask that you stay until the end of the program and participate in the recessional march. After the recessional, you will exit the ceremony and go to the pre-arranged area outside of the venue, you have made with your guests.
Prior to the ceremony, please join us for Commencement Celebrations to celebrate your big day. RSVP is not required, and your guests are welcome to attend.
- Doctoral graduates and guests: Etihad Lounge on the Event Level
- Associate, Bachelor’s and Master’s graduates and guests: Main Concourse Level
Share your accomplishment
Please share ceremony photos and stories about your educational journey on our Facebook page with hashtag #WeRiseInDC.