Information for Graduating Students

The Department of Communication 2023 Commencement Ceremony will take place on Tuesday, June 6, 2023 at Alaska Airline Arena. Doors open at 12pm and the program will begin at 1pm. There are unlimited seats for guests. 

Graduation is not an automatic process. Please read the details below to ensure a smooth path to graduation, earning your degree, and celebrating the occasion.


Date & Time:

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

1:00pm – 3:00pm


Alaska Airlines Arena

Ticket Information

There are not any caps or limits for students who wish to bring guests to the ceremony. Tickets will not be required for entry. 

Event Comments:

Helpful notes about the Communication Graduation Ceremony:

  • Doors will open at 12pm for guests and the program will begin at 1pm.
  • We will have a DIY photo booth set up after the ceremony near the main entrance of the Arena. We encourage you to take photos with your friends and loved ones to share on social media using the #UWCOMMGRAD23 hashtag. 
  • There will be no concessions available at the ceremony, so please plan to bring your own snacks and beverages if desired. Wearing masks is not required, but is very highly recommended. 
  • No balloons are allowed inside the arena. Should they bring any, guests will need to tie them onto a rack outside of the entrances until the ceremony concludes.

Graduating student information:

  • Registration information will be emailed to you in April. Those who miss the registration deadline may still attend and walk, but will not have their names printed in the program.  
  • Please plan on arriving to the arena between 11:30-12:30. Students will enter through the loading dock on the ground level of the South East side of the arena.
  • Participating students should plan on wearing a cap and gown, otherwise, please come dressed in business attire.
  • GradImages will be onsite taking your cap and gown photos during line up and when you receive your certificate during the ceremony. You will order your photos from them directly.
  • There will not be storage for personal items in the line up area or floor of the arena. Please limit the amount of items you bring or leave them with your loved ones. 
  • There will be a security check as you arrive. 
  • No alcohol will be permitted in the building
  • More information for graduating students can be found here.
  • If any accommodations are needed, please email 

You can visit the UW Commencement website for information regarding both the UW Commencement Ceremony and departmental graduation that occur each June. 

Graduation is not an automatic process. Please read the details below to ensure a smooth path to graduation, earning your degree, and celebrating the occasion. 

You can visit the UW Commencement website for information regarding the Commencement Ceremony that occurs each June. On this site, you will find event information, including guest tickets, eligibility, ordering announcements & photos, purchasing parking permits, etc.

You may complete your degree any quarter of your choice, however, you may “walk” in the June ceremony if you complete your degree in the previous December or March, June or the following August. See this helpful checklist for more information.

Department of Communication students and their families and friends are invited to the Communication Department Graduation Celebration each June. This celebration will include a ceremony, keynote speaker, department awards, presentation of the graduates, and will be followed by a reception. Details about the Department celebration will be shared via email and on the website in March or April.

Registration for both the UW Commencements and the Communication Department Graduation Celebration will begin in April.

A Graduation Application must be verified with an adviser during your Senior Appointment, and is the department’s recommendation to the University for you to earn your degree. Your degree is ultimately granted by the UW Office of Graduation & Academic Records (UW Office of the Registrar). If you will graduate with a double major or a double degree, you must submit a second Graduation Application with your other department(s) as well.

Graduation Applications must be submitted by the 3rd Friday of the quarter you plan to graduate. However, if you want Graduating Senior Priority registration, you must apply earlier (see below).

Once a Graduation Application has been submitted with an COM Adviser during your Senior Appointment, be sure and check your email for a message from the Graduation & Academic Records Office (Office of the University Registrar). Please read this email carefully for important details, and make sure to “Confirm” your Graduation Application.

Not sure if you’ve already applied to graduate? Check DARS to see if there is a “Graduation Date” listed for you (e.g. AUT/2018, WIN/2019, etc.). If the “Graduation Date” says “Not Found”, then you likely have yet to submit a Graduation Application. If you have a graduation date listed, then you have successfully submitted your Graduation Application.

Students who are double majors or pursuing double degrees will need to apply to graduate with BOTH departments they are studying in to graduate with both majors.

Graduating Senior Priority (GSP) allows students to register for classes on the first day of Period I. Students are eligible for a maximum of two quarters of GSP. By submitting your Graduation Application early (2.5 quarters in advance recommended), you can receive up to two quarters of GSP. For instance, if you are planning to graduate in June, you should meet with an adviser in early Autumn Quarter so that you can have GSP for Winter and Spring Quarters.

See the Academic Calendar for dates of registration.

When you have used your GSP for two quarters, and if you are still attending classes, then you will revert to regular senior priority. You can “save” your GSP by simply not using it and registering during regular senior registration. In this regard, GSP does not necessarily need to be used in consecutive quarters.

The UW requires that students complete 45 of their last 60 credits while “in residence” at the UW. Read more about the UW Residence Credit policy.

For additional resources regarding this policy, see here.

The first indication of your earned degree will appear on your transcript. Degrees are posted to your transcript by the UW Office of Graduation & Academic Records, approximately 2-3 weeks after the end of the quarter, upon verification that you have completed all requirements for the UW, College of Arts & Sciences, and Department of Communication.

It takes 3-4 months for diplomas to arrive in the mail. Diplomas are sent by the Office of the University Registrar. Please be sure to check your MyUW address settings to ensure that your diploma will arrive to the correct address.

Prospective employers, graduate programs, and others who require verification that you’ve earned your degree can access this information through a UW Degree Validation website.

Baccalaureate Honors are: Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude. These honors are awarded upon graduation to undergraduates who are earning their first bachelor’s degree with at least 90 credits taken at UW. Of these 90 credits, 60 must be numerically graded (extension credits do not count toward these 60 credits). These honors awards are not directly related to the Departmental or College Honors Programs. They also represent the top 10% of students in each of the UW’s schools and colleges.

Students graduating with Baccalaureate Honors are given a gold honor cord to wear for the UW Commencement Ceremony. For students graduating in the spring, the honors listed in the Commencement Program (and honor cord distribution), are based on the student’s cumulative GPA through the preceding Winter Quarter. Spring Quarter grades are ultimately included in the credit totals and GPA calculations, determining whether the honors are posted to the student’s final record. You can find more information about baccalaureate honors, the Dean’s list, and other honors societies on the UW Baccalaureate Honors site.

Take advantage of the Career & Internship Center! While you are a current student, most of their services are free to students. The Career & Internship Center offers help in job-hunting skills, career planning, and more!

Students may also consider the COM 395: Internships (1-2 credits, 4 max) course, which is facilitated by a Department of Communication Adviser. Also, sign up for Handshake, which will allow you to post your resume online as well as search for jobs and internships.

Completing an internship is a good idea for students with limited work experience. The Carlson Center maintains postings of internships and volunteer opportunities.

The Career Center is also a great place to start your exploration for graduate schools and programs.
Regarding Letters of Recommendation and any future references that you may need down the road for jobs and graduate schools:

The UW Department of Communication Alumni Professional Development Board is a vibrant and engaged group of alumni who are dedicated to mentoring students, providing lifelong learning experiences for alumni and friends, and contributing to the community. It is the key to creating enduring relationships between the Department and its alumni. Join us in celebrating the incredible impact of our community!

The UW Alumni Association is a network of over 50,000 alumni Huskies, with chapters and regional groups all over the country and the world! The UWAA offers a complimentary one-year membership to its most-recent alumni, numerous opportunities to network with fellow Huskies, and alumni services such as library access and a UW alumni email account.

International students are highly encouraged to attend a Final Year Workshop at International Student Services, which will provide helpful information and important things to think about for your final year at the UW.

Sheila Brooks, Ph.D.

Dr. Sheila Brooks is an accomplished entrepreneur, author, Emmy-award winning journalist and expert in multicultural marketing, energy and utilities, public health communications and entrepreneurial education. She is founder, president and CEO of SRB Communications, a full-service advertising, marketing and public relations agency that specializes in multicultural markets and video production. Her more than four decades of trailblazing leadership in media and communications reflects the long track record of success in and commitment to Washington, D.C.’s creative and entrepreneurial economy. The boutique agency has headquarters in Washington, D.C. with a satellite office in Baltimore, Md.

A former TV anchor, reporter, executive producer and news director, she has received more than 250 journalism and entrepreneurial awards and honors. Among them are a Minority Business Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the Hall of Fame from the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council (CRMSDC), two Emmy-Awards, induction into the Mid-Atlantic region’s Emmy Award Hall of FameNABJ’s 2019 Ida B. Wells Award and a 2019 NAACP Image Award Nomination for her first book, Lucile H. Bluford and the Kansas City Call: Activist Voice for Social Justice. She wrote a chapter in the 2020 book, Meeting at the Table: Race, African-American Women Write on Race, Culture and Community.

Brooks is a dedicated advocate for minority and women entrepreneurs and small business. She is a thought leader who strongly supports meaningful change in diversity, equity and inclusion. Throughout her career, she has served on numerous national and local nonprofit and university boards. Most notably are the Federal City Council as a board trustee, Jim Vance Media Institute at Archbishop Carroll High School and Morgan State University’s School of Journalism and Communications, where she serves as Chair of the Board of Visitors. In her role as Chair of the President’s Club of DC, an organization of legacy African American entrepreneurs, she serves as a member of the advisory council on the Pepco Supplier Diversity Roundtable.

Brooks teaches multicultural marketing in The George Washington University’s graduate school’s Strategic Public Relations Program. She has a Ph.D. and Master of Arts degrees from Howard University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she was inducted in the department’s 2018 Hall of Fame.  

Bio and Photo of Sheila Brooks are courtesy of SRB Communications