A. There are two graduation events.

Social Work Graduation Celebration
Thursday, June 13, 2019
7:00-9:30 pm
Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion
Reception to follow.
Students arrive by 6:00pm

UW Commencement  
Saturday, June 15, 2019
Husky Stadium 
1:30-4:30 PM  
Graduates will need to arrive at 12:30 PM

We ask that students arrive at 6:00 pm for check-in. Graduating students will be entering from the side where the loading dock is located, adjacent to Husky Stadium. This entrance is located on Snohomish Lane South. We strongly encourage that graduating students do not bring valuables to the ceremony; however, if you choose to do so, please give them to your family and friends. During the ceremony, you will go on the stage to be recognized for your degree and you will likely not return to the same seat.

Please ask your guests to arrive at Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion by 6:30 PM. There will be security checks for both guests (at the front entrance) and graduates (at the loading dock entrance).


Parking for the SSW Graduation Celebration will be available at the E1 and E12 parking lots. Pre-paid commencement permits for Thursday, June 13, 2019 purchased through the UW Commencement website, valid parking permits, or cash only payments at the rate of $15.00 per vehicle will be accepted. Parking attendants will be available to assist guests with payments. The E-1 Parking lot is approximately a 5-minute walk. If this walk will be difficult for you and/or your guest(s), we encourage guests to be dropped off in front of Husky Stadium (designated area in purple on parking map). Disabled parking is limited and should be purchased through the UW Commencement website (ADA parking is designated areas in blue on map: E17, E97, E12)

SSW Graduation Celebration Parking Map

UW Campus Map

It depends. The closest freeway exit to SSW Graduation Celebration is the Montlake Exit off of the 520 bridge. If you are traveling from I-5 and head EAST onto the 520 bridge, you can get off at the Montlake Exit without having to pay the fee. (Montlake is the last exit on the bridge before vehicles headed EAST are required to pay the toll.) However, if you are driving WEST across the 520 bridge you will have to pay the toll.

Visitor information for the University of Washington and Seattle: http://www.washington.edu/visit/

Lodging information: http://www.visitseattle.org/lodging/

Transportation Services to and from the Sea Tac Airport

The UW does not officially coordinate any reduced rates for hotel rooms, transportation services, or restaurants for graduating, current, or prospective students and their families. When booking reservations, you can ask if they offer any discounts for UW students and their families.

When graduating students RSVP for the SSW Graduation Ceremony, they will be prompted to answer whether or not they and/or their guests need disability accommodations or have trouble walking long distances. We will follow up with students and their guests indicating how we will best accommodate their request. If you did not submit this information when you completed the RSVP, please email the Office of Student Services, sswstsrv@uw.edu.

At the UW ceremony, yes. For Social Work, no.  But we strongly encourage students to do so: about 90% usually wear the cap and gown, and families who attend the ceremony let us know that they appreciate that our students and faculty wear formal academic apparel. In addition to the cap and gown, Masters and PhD students wear a hood. The PhD graduates will have the hoods placed on their shoulders during ceremony. MSW students should wear their hoods, already attached, into the ceremony. Apparel must be ordered through the UW Commencement website. The Office of Student Services (room 23, across from the computer lab) also has a limited number of recycled caps and gowns available for graduating students who are facing financial constraints.

A video for graduate students that shows how to wear a hood.   

They definitely can. On the order form, check "no" for ordering a cap and gown. The following page will then ask if they want to buy a mortarboard, tassel, and other various items. They can then check out as normal.

We have a drop box available after the ceremony at the SSW Graduation Celebration for interested and willing students to donate their cap and gown for future use. Graduating students can also recycle their cap and gown by dropping it off at the Office of Student Services (SSW, rm 23) after they have completed taking photos and/or the UW Commencement Ceremony.

The SSW Graduation Celebration does not require tickets, but tickets are required for the UW Commencement Ceremony. We do ask students to RSVP for themselves and their guests for purposes of ordering food, parking, disability accommodations, etc by Wednesday, May 3, 2019 for the SSW Graduation Celebration. At the SSW Graduation Celebration, students are not limited to a fixed number of guests. Please note, that pets are not permitted in the arena except official service animals. These efforts must be coordinated with Student Services beforehand, please email us at sswstsrv@uw.edu.

The SSW Celebration will consist of a welcome, award recognitions, followed by the address of the keynote speaker, PhD speaker and recognition of PhD graduates. The second half of the ceremony features performances from students, recognition of the graduates, where each graduate will proceed across the stage for congratulations from the dean and faculty presenters. 

The reception will follow the ceremony. This will be a chance to greet families, faculty, and other students. Refreshments and desserts will be provided. All students and their families and guests are encouraged to attend!

No.  At the SSW Graduation Celebration, graduates sit together, grouped by cohort (e.g., BASW and EDP/Day/Advanced Standing) near the front of the arena.  Within your cohort, you may sit with anyone you choose.

UW Commencement Program:

The UW Commencement program lists the names of graduates from Summer 2018 through Spring 2019.

Note: Spring 2019 bachelor’s degree candidates must have their Application to Graduate submitted and received by the Office of Graduation and Academic Records by the April 19th deadline in order to have their names listed. Master’s and doctoral degree candidates must have their Master’s Degree Request submitted, or Doctoral Final Exam scheduled, by April 19th in order to have their names listed. Summer 2019 graduates’ names will be listed in the following year’s program.

Important note: Students who do not wish to have their names listed in the program must contact the Office of the Registrar (206-543-5378) by April 19, 2019.

SSW Graduation Celebration:

The program will include all the names of graduating students between Fall 2018 – Summer 2019. 

We give all graduating students up to five complimentary announcements with envelopes. These announcements are generic to the School of Social Work and do not list your name. Be watching for an email announcement in the April.   

Three companies (Excition, Jostens, and Signature Announcements) have been licensed to provide announcements for University of Washington graduates. For more information, please visit the UW Commencement website.

Each year we have a contract with Graduation Images, who take the following pictures at the ceremony. We provide the photographers with your email address, and you will receive digital proofs within a week after the ceremony.

Academic honors are recognized only for recipients of bachelor’s degrees. For information about GPA and other requirements, refer to the Baccalaureate Website.

Official graduation documents are not presented at the SSW Ceremony or UW Commencement because the graduation eligibility of Spring and Summer quarter graduates will not be verified until final grades are posted. When ready (approx. 3 - 4 months later), diplomas will be mailed to the permanent address on file in the Registrar’s Office.

Should there be any changes in your address please update this information on your MyUW, notify the Registrar’s office, or call the address change telephone service at (206) 543-3868.  If you want your name on your diploma to appear different, please submit a Diploma Name Request Form to the Office of Registrar.

If proof of graduation is needed before you receive your diploma in late September, a statement of degree will be issued, on request, by the Transcript Office, approximately three weeks after the end of the quarter. The University does provide an online UW Degree Validation, if needed. Please contact (206) 543-1803 if you need to inquire about your official degree.

Degrees are posted on official transcripts usually within 3 weeks of the end of the quarter in which the student finishes degree requirements. Transcripts verify a degree was earned, not a diploma.

See the UW Commencement Website for more information: http://www.washington.edu/graduation/
If you have more questions, feel free to check with staff in Student Services,sswstsrv@uw.edu

Graduating Social Work students can participate in a few different ways:

  • Students will be asked in late winter/early spring quarters to contribute photos/slides for the slideshows that will occur before and after the celebration. These photos/slides may include pictures of cohort groups, candid shots of graduating students, meaningful quotes and single powerpoint slides expressing thanks to family, friends, faculty and staff, etc.   
  • We will also be asking if there are graduating students interested in singing a song, completing a performance (i.e. spoken word, reading, etc.) or similar live assemble. We hope to have 2-3 of these performances as part of the celebration. Graduating students will indicate in the graduation survey if they are interested in performing. This announcement and additional details regarding the submission process will be sent out over email. The piece should be between 2-4 minutes and should entail the full piece, as if you are presenting it at the graduation celebration. Dean Eddie Uehara will select 2-3 performances.
  • PhD students will vote in spring quarter on who among them will give the PhD student address during the celebration.

Yes, your guests can bring in gifts. We recommend that graduates do not bring any items with them (to the loading dock), but collect gifts (flowers, balloons, etc) from their guests after the ceremony has ended. Guests who bring in balloons will be required to leave them inside Hec Edmundson Pavillion on the main concourse so it does not interfer with views of the main floor where the graduates are sitting.