Graduation Information

Graduation Information

Congratulations on Your Accomplishments!

Follow the steps below to prepare for and celebrate your graduation from Kirkwood. 


Graduation Checklist

✔ 1. Apply for graduation.

You must apply for graduation in order to have your diploma awarded when you complete your studies. Be sure to apply by April 1 to have your name included in the commencement book.

It's quick and easy to check if you are ready to apply for graduation:

  • In MyHub, click Program Progress to view your degree audit.
  • Within the Degree Audit screen, select your program and click submit.
  • On the first page of your audit, locate the Program Summary. It should say Pending (Anticipated Complete).

If your audit doesn’t show the pending status, but you’re sure you should be ready to graduate, contact your advisor immediately.

Once you have confirmed that you are ready to graduate:

  • Visit the Graduation Application
  • Click on Apply next to your program of study, complete the form, and click Submit.

Then sit back and give yourself a pat on the back!

Please read all information very carefully.  There is no rehearsal.  This is the only information you will receive.  If the ceremony is to be one which you can be proud of, you must know and do the following.

General Information

  1. Report to the Alliant Energy PowerHouse no later than 9:15 a.m. ready to go in your cap and gown. If, for any reason, you might have trouble going up or down stairs, please email commencement@kirkwood.eduas soon as possible. We will make arrangements to accommodate you. 
  2. Valuables (purses, keys, etc.) may be checked-in before the ceremony. However, it may be more convenient to leave such items at home unless they are essential as check-in facilities are limited. 
  3. A professional photographer will be taking pictures of graduates as each receives their award.  Your photo will be available to view at  Click on the “To Find Your Pics…” button and use GRAD2024 as the password. There is no charge unless you decide to purchase pictures.  Your guests may bring cameras if they wish and photo opportunities will be available following the ceremony. Please respect others and ask guests to refrain from blocking the flow of students to and from the stage.


What to expect Day of Commencement

  1. When you check in, you will be given a card with your name on it. This card is VITAL to the ceremony and will be handed to a reader when you go on stage to receive your award. If you have a name that may be difficult to pronounce, please write the phonetic spelling on the card as you check in. Do not lose this card!
  2. After receiving your card, staff members will assist you in lining up for the processional. Tip: tassels on caps are on the right side throughout the ceremony.
  3. The "Order of Events" will be handed to you by a marshal as you are seated.
  4. Staff members will serve as marshals to lead the processional and recessional. When you are ushered to a row, go to the end of the row or the next available seat in the row. All seats in each row must be filled. When in front of your seat, do not sit. Remain standing for the National Anthem. You will be asked to take a seat after the anthem. 
  5. Before the awarding of degrees, the graduates will be asked to rise as they are recommended for graduation. One of the marshals will lead the first row to the stage to receive their degrees. The other rows should then be seated until their row is asked to rise by one of the marshals.
  6. To accept your diploma cover, exit your row to the RIGHT and go to the stage. Hand your card to the staff member presenting the graduates. As the reader states your name, go to the center of the stage and accept your diploma cover. You may briefly pause for the photographer to get a photo. Proceed across the stage and return to your row and seat to sit down.
  7. After all graduates have received their diploma covers and returned to their seats, the band will perform a final song. The recessional will then begin. Stage dignitaries will recess first, followed by faculty, and then graduates. 
  8. Staff marshals will lead you out in the recessional. You will return to the area where you were staged for the processional. When all graduates have returned there, the ceremony is over.
  9. Be sure to collect your valuables from the Valuables Table if you used this service.
  10. Congrats! You did it!

✔ 2. Attend the Grad Fair.


2024 Grad Fair

April 25, 2024 | 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Kirkwood Bookstore | Cedar Rapids Main Campus


View & download photos from the 2023 Grad Fair


The Grad Fair is your opportunity to:

  • Purchase your cap and gown ($37)
  • Verify that you have met all graduation requirements
  • Speak with representatives from Financial Aid and Career Services


 The Bookstore will offer standard sizes for purchase at the Grad Fair. The first day to purchase at the Bookstore will be the Grad Fair, but regalia will be available for purchase until Commencement Day. For custom sizes or to have your cap and gown shipped to your home, place your order online at Herff Jones (additional $14.90 shipping fee). The deadline for online orders is April 11, 2024. 

 ✔ 3. Participate in Kirkwood's annual commencement ceremony.


2024 Commencement Ceremony

May 11, 2024 | 10 a.m.
Alliant Energy PowerHouse | 370 1st Ave NE, Cedar Rapids


Kirkwood commencement exercises are held once each year in May. Graduates who complete their final program in the Fall 2023, Spring 2024, or Summer 2024 term are invited to attend the May 2024 ceremony. Participation is voluntary.

Order of Events

  • Music by the Kirkwood Concert Band, directed by Dr. Fred Kiser, Associate Professor and Music Program Coordinator
  • Platform Guests Processional
  • Faculty Processional
  • Student Processional
  • Performance of Our National Anthem, Kirkwood Concert Band
  • Welcome, James Mollenhauer, Chair, Kirkwood Board of Trustees
  • Remarks to the Graduates, Dr. Julia Rabe, President, Kirkwood Faculty Association 
  • Remarks to the Graduates, Carson Brincks, Student Leadership Council
  • Remarks to the Graduates, Dr. Kristie Fisher, President, Kirkwood Community College
  • Recommend Graduation Candidates, Dr. Jennifer Bradley, Vice President, Academic Affairs
  • Presentation of Graduates for Conferring of Awards, Dr. Julia Rabe, Associate Professor, Arts and Humanities & Jacki Brucher Moore, Professor, Communication, English, and Media
  • Recessional (Platform Guests, Faculty, Graduates)


 ✔ 4. Join Kirkwood's alumni community.

You're an alum now! Like us on Facebook! 

Commencement FAQs

Yes!  All students must apply for graduation in order to have their diploma processed.  You must apply by Monday, April 1 in order to have your name included in the commencement keepsake book.  If you apply after that date, you are still welcome to participate in the ceremony but your name will not be included in the book.
If you have applied to graduate for Fall 2023, Spring 2024, or Summer 2024, you will receive your commencement invitation in the mail in mid-April. You will also receive an invitation in your Kirkwood email account. All event information is also available on this webpage.
Yes, Kirkwood will livestream the commencement ceremony. The link to access the livestream will be on homepage as well as
You can purchase your cap & gown from the Cedar Rapids Bookstore, located in Benton Hall, starting at the Grad Fair on Thursday, April 25th. The Grad Fair will be from 9 am - 1 pm.
If you are unable to attend the Grad Fair, graduation regalia will be available in the Bookstore from April 25th until Friday, May 10th. 
Until April 11th, you can order your cap & gown online directly from Herff Jones (additional $14.90 shipping fee). 

Commencement attire is required for the college graduation ceremony. All graduates must wear the caps, gowns, and tassels that Kirkwood makes available for purchase each year in the Cedar Rapids Bookstore. Only cords/stoles/hoods from recognized and pre-approved academic associations are allowed.


Students are permitted to celebrate their achievements by decorating the graduation cap. The following guidelines should be observed. Students who do not adhere to these guidelines may be asked to remove their decorated cap and will be given a replacement cap to wear during the ceremony.


Cap Decorating Guidelines

  • No items will be allowed to dangle or protrude from the cap; only flat decorations will be permitted.
  • No lights or devices may be attached.
  • No inappropriate or profane language will be permitted.
  • No negative portrayal of the college or student experience.
No.  The ceremony is open to the public and attendees do not need to purchase tickets or RSVP.
The doors open at 9 a.m., and you must arrive by 9:15 a.m. at the latest. Please be dressed in your cap and gown when you arrive. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. and lasts approximately two hours, depending on the number of graduates.
On the graduation application form, you can indicate whether you or your guests need any special accommodations at the ceremony. You can also email to request accommodations.
Your diploma will be sent to you in the mail 4 – 6 weeks after you complete your final coursework. It will be mailed to the address you provided on your graduation application. If you need to update this address, please edit your graduation application.
Print out your Kirkwood degree audit so your university advisor can help you find courses there that will also complete your Kirkwood degree. If you are planning to attend one of Iowa's three public universities, choose the "Reverse Credit Transfer" option on your university application. Doing this will authorize the university to send us your transcript free of charge.
Yes! Kirkwood's Career Services and Alumni offices have partnered to provide Handshake, a career engagement platform that connects students and alumni to employers who are interested in hiring Kirkwood graduates. You can also contact Career Services for assistance with your job search, resume review, and interview prep.


If you have any questions, contact the Enrollment Services:

Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Phone: 319-398-7600 or 1-877-386-9101
Fax: 319-398-4928
Email: Enrollment -

FAFSA School Code: 004076


Location: 3rd Floor Iowa Hall

Mailing Address:

Kirkwood Community College
Enrollment Services
6301 Kirkwood Blvd. SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404