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Student Life

Student Life . Student Services . Registrar . Commencement 


Commencement at Cleveland Institute of Art occurs once a year at the end of each spring semester. Commencement Ceremonies for Spring 2017 will be held on Saturday, May 20, at noon, at the Cleveland Museum of Art (11150 East Boulevard in University Circle). The ceremony will last approximately 2 - 2 ½ hours. A reception in honor of the graduates immediately following the ceremonies will be held at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

Commencement Tickets

Tickets are required for guests. Each graduate receives four tickets for guest seating in the Cleveland Museum of Art's Gartner Auditorium where the ceremnoy will take place. Seating for additional guests will be available in the Museum's two recital halls, where the ceremony will be simulcast.  Tickets are also required for the simulcast seating. Simulcast tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis. To request simulcast seating tickets, contact the Registrar's Office by phone at 216.421.7321 or by email at

Graduates also will receive 10 announcements. Commencement tickets and announcements are issued from the Registrar's Office in early April. Students will be notified via their CIA student email when tickets and announcements are available for pickup.

Commencement Rehearsal 

Commencement rehearsal for all graduates will take place on Friday, May 19, at 10:30am at the Institute's Peter B. Lewis Theater. Rehearsal takes approximately one hour followed immediately by brunch.

Caps and gowns will be distributed to graduates at rehearsal.  Caps and gowns are purchased as part of a student’s graduation fee and are the students' to keep.


Diplomas will not be distributed to students during the ceremony. Diplomas are mailed in June. Students who have been granted permission to participate in commencement with credit deficiencies will have their diplomas printed and mailed once all degree requirements have been fulfilled. 

Students who have not yet submissted to the Registrar's Office the online graduation application are asked to do so immediately. Students can find the graduation apllication on their Student page on myCIA ( Students must provide the Registrar’s Office with an accurate mailing address. Students who do not supply a diploma mailing address will have their diplomas sent to their permanent home address on file. Students should be sure to provide the Registrar's Office with an accurate mailing address as reprints for lost diplomas carry a reprint fee of $50.

In order to receive a diploma, all obligations to the Institute must be fulfilled prior to commencement. Students who owe tuition, library materials or other departmental obligations will not be permitted to participate in commencement ceremonies and their diplomas will be withheld.

All students who took out federal loans any time during their program of study are required to participate in an online Financial Aid Exit Interview. Students will receive instructions from the Office of Financial Aid during the spring semester. Diplomas will be withheld for loan recipients who have not fulfilled the exit interview requirement. 

Share Your Story on Social Media

Celebrate with us and share your excitement all week by following CIA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and tagging your posts with the official commencement hashtag: #ciagrad2017.


Several parking areas will be available free-of-charge for commencement on May 20:

  • Parking at the Institute (11610 Euclid Ave.) is recommended. Trolley service to and from the Cleveland Museum of Art will be provided. Trolley service will begin at 10:30am and continue until 5pm.
  • Parking will also be available directly at the museum for a nominal fee.


Please contact the Registrar’s Office staff (216.421.7321; toll-free 1-800-223-4700; email: with any questions regarding commencement.

Commencement Recap

Click here to watch the 2015 Commencement Ceremony in it's entirety, and to view and download graduate portraits.

Registrar’s Office

Cleveland Institute of Art, Room 120
11610 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106

216.421.7321 (phone) 

216.754.3385 (fax) 


M - F

For more information:

Anne Adams
Assistant Registrar
216.421.7321 | Contact

- OR -

Karen Hudy
216.421.7320 | Contact

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