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Student Life

Student Life . Student Services . Registrar . Commencement 


2020 Commencement Ceremony

March 20, 2020: After much discussion about the progress of the coronavirus, and in consideration of students' need to take next steps in planning, CIA has decided to continue online instruction and operations through the end of spring semester. We are also canceling all in-person gatherings through the end of the school year. This includes Spring Show, BFA presentations and Commencement. We are deeply saddened to be unable to be together physically for these important and beloved CIA traditions, but given the multiple governmental mandates now in place, we know that this is necessary.

We are exploring alternatives to celebrating the achievements of our graduating seniors. 

Students celebrating after commencement

Friday, May 15, 2020 canceled

Maltz Performing Arts Center
1855 Ansel Road, Cleveland OH 44106

Reception immediately follows at the Cleveland Institute of Art

Tickets are required for admission
Six complimentary tickets will be made available in April to every student participating in commencement. Additional tickets may become available and will be released on a first-come-first-served basis through the Registrar’s Office. Instructions will be provided to students in the event they need extra tickets.

Video + Photography

Each year, we videotape our commencement ceremony for guests who are unable to attend. The video is posted a few days after the ceremony. Likewise, images of students receiving their diplomas will also be posted within a few days of commencement.


Free parking will be available for commencement at the Maltz Performing Arts Center and at the Cleveland Institute of Art for the commencement reception. To ensure enough parking availability, commencement guests are asked to consolidate, as much as possible, the number of cars they will be using.

Other paid parking options are available throughout University Circle. Click here for more info.  


Please click here for lodging options throughout University Circle and Cleveland.

Social Media

Share your excitement leading up to the ceremony and celebrate with us during the big day by following CIA on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, and tagging your posts with the official commencement hashtag: #ciagrad2020.


Diplomas are not 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 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 College 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. 


For questions about tickets, caps and gowns, graduation applications or diplomas, please contact the Registrar’s Office by phone at 216.421.7321 or by email at

For questions about the location or other details regarding commencement, please contact Colleen in the President’s office at 216.421.7410 or by email at

For more information:

Colleen Sweeney
Executive Assistant
216.421.7410 | Contact

- OR -

Marty Mondello-Hendren
216.421.7320 | Contact

2019 Commencement

CIA's 2019 Commencement was held on Friday, May 17, at the Maltz Performing Arts Center. The ceremony lasted approximately two hours, and a reception in honor of the graduates was hosted immediately afterward at CIA. We invite you to watch the 2019 Commencement ceremony, featuring guest speaker, internationaly renowned painter Dana Schutz.