19 May

MSDS Class of 2024 Final Exercises, Diploma Ceremony and Reception

May 19, 2024 In-person
9:00 AM 4:00 PM

The Lawn and Old Cabell Hall

Sunday, May 19, 2024

9:00 a.m. The Lawn: Academic Processional and Final Exercises (tickets required)

2:00 p.m. Old Cabell Hall: Diploma Ceremony and Reception with Commencement speaker Heidi Lanford

Tickets and Seating

The Office of Major Events gives each degree candidate six (6) tickets for the Academic Procession and Final Exercises on the Lawn. Tickets will be distributed digitally no later than May 9, 2024. If students enter and win a lottery, they will receive one additional ticket. Students should distribute the tickets electronically to their graduation guests upon receipt; attempting to download, distribute and re-download tickets just before walking the Lawn may lead to digital delays on Central Grounds. 

Degree candidates must have a registered student account with Virginia Athletics to claim tickets. On the morning of our Final Exercises ceremony, ushers will begin scanning tickets and seating guests starting at 7:00 a.m. All seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Guests are encouraged to be in their seats by 8:15 a.m. as the center aisle of the Lawn will close in preparation for the procession at 9:00 a.m. Once the center aisle closes, foot traffic from one side of the Lawn to the other will be prohibited. If guests need to leave the Lawn temporarily before or during Final Exercises, they must obtain a pass from an usher for re-entry. 

For the School of Data Science Diploma Ceremony at Old Cabell Hall at 2:00 p.m., no tickets are required but we ask students to not bring more than eight (8) guests each. The 2024 Commencement speaker is Heidi Lanford.


To secure your participation, please RSVP here and submit your information. The deadline to register is Friday, April 12, 2024. The Office of Student Affairs will send updates as Final Exercises approach. 

Graduates and guests should monitor the University's Major Events site for additional details about the Sunday, May 19 ceremony, especially in the case of inclement weather. The site also has information regarding the security procedures that will be followed; make sure guests are aware of the restrictions. 


The parking options during Final Exercises weekend include:
    •    John Paul Jones 
    •    Scott Stadium
    •    Emmet/Ivy Garage
    •    Central Grounds Garage 

The earlier you arrive on Grounds the easier it will be to park in the Central Grounds and Culbreth garages which are the closest to the Lawn and Old Cabell Hall. The garages utilize the ParkMobile app for payment. 

The other parking options include John Paul Jones Arena and Scott Stadium. These areas have large amounts of parking and there will be shuttles available for guests and students to take. 

For more parking information, click here.  For text alerts, text GRADUATION to (434) 939-4307.  This service will conclude at the end of the events on Sunday, May 19, 2024. 


Regalia consists of a gown, a cap, a tassel, and a master's hood. Full School of Data Science academic regalia must be worn for Final Exercises and the Diploma Ceremony. If you did not acquire your regalia during the UVA Bookstore's Grad Fair, there are additional dates in May.

Regalia Pick-Up Dates at UVA Bookstore: 

  • Wednesday, May 15 - Friday, May 17, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 
  • Saturday, May 18, 7:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 
  • Sunday, May 19, 7:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

During Grad Week, you will have the opportunity to pick up your graduation regalia. The cap, tassel and gown are complimentary; the School of Data Science master's hood can be purchased at UVA Bookstore for $42.99. Bring a valid photo ID when picking up your regalia.

Where Do Graduates Need To Be and When? 

Graduates participating in Final Exercises on the Lawn should be at the assembly point (TBD) by 8:15 a.m. 

Graduates participating in the School of Data Science Diploma Ceremony should arrive at Old Cabell Hall by 1:15 p.m.

See Maps & Diagrams page on Finals Weekend website for more information and updates.

Inclement Weather

The academic procession on the Lawn will proceed in the rain if there is no thunder, lightning or high winds. In the event of severe weather, including thunder, lightning, high winds or other dangerous conditions, Final Exercises will be moved to the John Paul Jones Arena and school and department ceremonies will be held indoors. 

If Final Exercises are moved to John Paul Jones Arena, graduating students will be limited to 3 guests/tickets.

The School of Data Science Diploma Ceremony is being held inside at Old Cabell Hall, so there will be no changes to that event for inclement weather.

Monitor the Office of Major Events Finals Weekend Weather Plan page for the most current information and updates.


Diplomas will be mailed within six weeks of degree conferral to the student's identified diploma mailing address as reflected in SIS. For students receiving degrees in May, mailing address changes can be made up until May 1 in the SIS Student Center under Personal Information.

Replacement/Duplicate Diplomas:
For information on how to obtain a replacement or duplicate diploma, please refer to the Office of the University Registrar's website.

What Should I Wear? 

You must be wearing your regalia to be allowed into Final Exercises and the Diploma Ceremony events.

There will be a lot of walking all day so make sure to wear comfortable shoes. If you choose to wear heels keep in mind that you will be walking in grass for the academic procession. 

UVA will be adhering to the same clear bag policy that is used for Athletic events: 

  • One clear plastic bag no larger than 12" x 6" x 12" or a one-gallon, clear, resealable plastic storage bag (per person)
  • Small clutch purses no larger than 4.5" x 6.5"

Remember the clear bag policy prohibits things like camera bags and diaper bags. There will be complimentary bag checks until 2 p.m. in Monroe Hall and near Randall Hall.

ADA Information

Requests regarding accessible parking, accessible seating, transportation, or any other services during Final Exercises should be forwarded to Dr. Dahlia Hylton, Associate Dean for Student Affairs at kvh3us@virginia.edu. Please submit requests by Monday, April 29, 2024. 

Additional Information

For general questions and updates about Final Exercises, visit the University's Major Events page. General tips for the Final Exercises Weekend can be found here.

For additional questions, please contact Dr. Dahlia Hylton, Associate Dean of Student Affairs at kvh3us@virginia.edu. 

                                            RSVP for Graduation