University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Commencement 2023
When and Where
UAMS Commencement 2023 will take place Saturday, May 20, 2023 at Barton Coliseum on the Arkansas State Fairgrounds in Little Rock. The ceremony begins promptly at 3pm, and doors open to the public at 1pm. Graduates must arrive no later than 1:30pm. The ceremony lasts approximately two hours (3-5p.m.). Graduates may not exit the ceremony before it concludes.
Barton Coliseum requires security screening for all guests entering the facility. Backpacks, computer bags, briefcases, presents, balloons and flowers, posters or signs, air horns or bullhorns and noisemakers are not allowed inside the arena. Exceptions will be made for those with medical needs, who must enter through the Box Office entrance. Phones, keys, cameras, bags and any metal objects are allowed, but must be placed on the inspection table. Coins, wallets, belts, watches and jewelry may remain on one’s person while proceeding through the screening device. All bags and items brought to the arena are subject to search. Any items not allowed in the arena will be confiscated and cannot be retrieved.
UAMS Commencement will be held at Barton Coliseum, which follows all current city (Little Rock) and county (Pulaski) requirements. Guests will have room to spread out within the arena seating areas, and graduates and faculty will be seated next to each other on the floor. Per UAMS policy, masks are required for unvaccinated faculty and students seated on the floor. Graduates wearing a mask may momentarily remove the mask for the graduation photo when walking across the stage. To help ensure as healthy/safe an environment as possible for our graduates and guests, those with COVID-like symptoms (cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, chills, new onset muscle ache, loss of taste and/or smell, or fever greater than 100.4 in the last 24 hours) or those meeting criteria for quarantine should not attend in person.
Guests and Seating
There is no limit to the number of guests you may invite to the campus-wide ceremony. The arena is open-seating for family and friends through the main entrance of the facility. Guests requiring accessible seating may enter through the student/accessible entrance on the east side of the facility and contact an usher for assistance.
We’ve reserved 500 free parking spaces for students, but we expect nearly 750 students to come, so please carpool if you can. Don’t forget your regalia! You will not be allowed to participate in the event without it, AND your regalia is your ticket into the reserved student parking area. You cannot park in the reserved student area without your regalia. Watch for signage at the coliseum directing you to the student parking area. You can ride and park with your family, as long as at least one person in every vehicle has regalia. General parking is also available for a fee for family and guests.
All graduates are required to wear official UAMS graduation regalia. Graduates are encouraged to wear comfortable, stable shoes suitable for standing, navigating ramps and walking across the stage. No regalia adornments of any kind (e.g., cap decorations) are allowed except for official, University-approved honor cords and stoles. There is no place to securely store personal items, including purses. You may carry your cell phone with you, but please ensure it is silenced throughout the ceremony.
Live Stream & Photography
Commencement will be shared via Live Stream. Additional information, including a link to the stream, will be posted here once available. Families are allowed to bring cameras and other recording devices to both the college and campus-wide ceremonies. GradImages provides official Commencement photography, and if you pre-order photos (before graduation day) you can save 20%. Visit www.gradimages.com/Preregistration for additional information.
Students will enter Barton Coliseum through the East Entrance and follow directional signage to the assembly areas. UAMS faculty and staff will be available to help direct you to the appropriate assembly location in the “tunnels” adjacent to the arena floor. Additional details will be provided to graduates closer to the event.
Name cards are used to allow the announcer to correctly pronounce your name as you walk across the stage. These cards also provide information to our Commencement Photographer, GradImages, so that you can later choose to purchase a portrait of your achievement. During the assembly and line-up process, you’ll be given a name card. Please verify that the information is correct, and if desired, add a phonetic spelling to assist the announcer with correct pronunciation. Pens will be available in the assembly area. Do not lose your card; take it with you and hand to the announcer before you proceed across the stage.
Procession details will be made available closer to the event.
Diplomas will not be distributed at the Saturday afternoon ceremony. You will be handed a scroll which contains information about diploma distribution as well as other important information. Please wait to open the scroll until you are seated and do not open it as you are walking back to your seat from the stage. Diplomas for Spring 2023 graduates will be available beginning Monday, May 22 in the Office of the University Registrar. Please check https://registrar.uams.edu/graduation/ for additional information regarding diploma distribution on the Little Rock and Northwest Campuses.