High Point stadium

Frequently Asked Questions about Commencement

Here are answers to some of the questions you may have about the 251st Anniversary Commencement and school convocations.

Information for Students | Information for Guests

Information for Students

What is the difference between Rutgers University Commencement and a school convocation?

Graduation is a big moment in your life. The Rutgers community recognizes your accomplishment at two unique events—University Commencement and your school's convocation ceremony.

Rutgers University Commencement is the big celebration for students receiving all Rutgers degrees—bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral—from schools at Rutgers University–New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. All degrees are conferred at this ceremony.

School convocations are ceremonies with their own distinct traditions, including receiving individual recognition. Check with your individual school’s dean’s office for details. For information visit:

Rutgers University–Newark and Rutgers University–Camden: Each hosts commencement festivities at its respective location.

May I participate in the Rutgers University Commencement ceremony?

Rutgers students from the schools affiliated with Rutgers University–New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences who have completed required coursework for their degrees and have been certified by their schools are eligible to process in Rutgers University Commencement on Sunday, May 14, 2017, at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway. You must also have cleared all financial obligations (and, yes, that includes parking tickets and library fines).

More information on requirements and how to prepare for the big day will be posted as Rutgers University Commencement draws near.

All Rutgers faculty are invited to take part in the academic procession. Rutgers staff, alumni, and current students are encouraged to attend as guests.

Students and Faculty of Rutgers University–Newark and Rutgers UniversityCamden: Each hosts commencement festivities to celebrate the accomplishments of our students. For additional information visit:

Rutgers University–Newark Commencement | Rutgers University–Camden Commencement.

Live Stream Viewing Options: If I am unable to attend University Commencement, can I still see the ceremony?

The ceremony can be viewed online on May 14, beginning at 8:30 a.m. The ceremony starts at 10 a.m. To view the live stream, go to https://livestream.com/rutgersitv/commencement2017. The School of Arts and Sciences Convocation will also be viewable online following Commencement at https://youtu.be/oNrrFaigEhM

On campus viewing options: You can also view University Commencement from the Busch Student Center, Livingston Student Center, or College Avenue Student Center.

Can I use my university parking permit on campus on Sunday, May 14?

No. Parking permits issued by Rutgers Department of Transportation Services for use during the year WILL NOT be valid for parking on campuses in Piscataway and New Brunswick on Sunday, May 14.

See Parking Guidelines for more information about hangtags and available parking zones.

How do I order a Commencement parking hangtag?

The registration period for Commencement parking hangtags is closed, except for those requesting parking for special needs, who may do so through our Accessibility Information page

If you have not registered for a parking hangtag, please plan to pay $5 at the cash parking lots on the Livingston Campus. Directions to the Livingston Campus/Orange Zone (view map). Complimentary shuttle buses are available to the stadium.

Parking permits issued by Rutgers Department of Transportation Services for use during the year WILL NOT be valid for parking on campuses in Piscataway and New Brunswick on Sunday, May 14. That day, special Commencement parking hangtags are required to park on all Rutgers' campuses in New Brunswick and Piscataway (except Cook/Douglass Campus).

See our Parking Guidelines for information or to register.

I'm attending ceremonies on days other than Sunday, May 14. Do I still need a special parking hangtag?

No. You may park in any lots marked "Event Parking" for ceremonies on days other than May 14.

A Commencement parking hangtag is only required to park on Rutgers' campuses in New Brunswick and Piscataway (except Cook/Douglass Campus) on Sunday, May 14. If you are attending convocations on other days, a Commencement hangtag is not needed.

Will the University Commencement be canceled if it rains?

No, the ceremony will take place rain or shine. We will provide graduating students with ponchos if it rains. Umbrellas are not permitted in the stadium. Please be sure to check the weather. Guests are encouraged to bring or wear ponchos. The event will be canceled in the event of lightning. 

Weather-related updates will be provided on this website on the Rutgers University Commencement page, as needed.

Do I have to wear a cap and gown to Commencement exercises?

Yes. All graduates are required to arrive at High Point Solutions Stadium in their academic regalia no later than 9 a.m. to the marshaling area at the south end of the stadium. Those in the Armed Forces must also wear academic regalia; however, military uniforms may be worn underneath your academic regalia. See our Steps to Commencement page for more information.

Where do I obtain my regalia?

Your regalia—which is your gown, cap, tassel, and academic hood—is required to participate in Rutgers University Commencement. Student affiliated with schools in Rutgers University-New Brunswick can purchase regalia from the university bookstore, Barnes & Noble at Rutgers, from through May 13. See our Steps to Commencement page  for more information.

Is there a rehearsal for Rutgers University Commencement?

No, there is no rehearsal. Commencement marshals will give you directions during Commencement and guide graduates through the Academic Procession.

What time should I arrive?

Stadium gates will open at 8 a.m. on May 14. Students should arrive in the marshaling area at the south end of the stadium no later than 9 a.m. Please arrive earlier if you plan to take photos with GradImages. The procession onto the field will begin promptly at 10 a.m.

We recommend that you allow at least two hours for parking and getting to the stadium. Shuttle buses will start running at 7 a.m. Visit the Maps and Directions page for more information.

Please remember that bags and purses larger than 4½ by 6½ inches will not be permitted in the stadium. See the information in the next question for the list of prohibited items.

What items may I carry into High Point Solutions Stadium?

There will be a security check at the stadium. Bags or purses larger than 4½ by 6½ inches will not be permitted in the stadium. You may carry items in a clear plastic bag up to one gallon in size. Cameras and binoculars (without their bags) and seat cushions may be carried in on their own. Umbrellas are not permitted. Please bring or wear ponchos in the event of rain. Please see the list below of prohibited items.

An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at the gates designated for this purpose.

Prohibited items include: umbrellas, alcoholic beverages, balloons, balls, bottles, cans, containers, coolers, fireworks, laser pointers, noise making devices, pets, smoking, sticks/poles, weapons, and other items deemed dangerous and/or inappropriate.

I am a student with special mobility needs. How do I get help?

Special-needs parking hangtags can be reserved on the Accessibility Information page.

There is an elevator, located at the south side of the stadium, to assist you to the field level. If you require a wheelchair or other assistive device for mobility, you must bring it with you to the stadium. Walkers, wheelchairs, and scooters are permitted in the stadium, but are not supplied by the university. There are also indoor and off-site viewing options listed on our Accessibility Information page.

If you need assistance at the stadium, please contact the Commencement Office at commencement@rutgers.edu no later than May 9.

Where are the restrooms in High Point Solutions Stadium?

Restrooms are located along the street-level concourse of the stadium. View the stadium map (PDF).

Will food and beverages be available in the stadium?

Yes, at the stadium concession stands will be open on the main concourse. View the stadium map (PDF).

What is the proper attire and etiquette?

We recommend that all attendees wear comfortable shoes. Stadium surfaces are all concrete, and on the field is turf as well as hard plastic decking. Once you have processed to your seat on the field, please remain seated until asked to rise for the National Anthem.

Please turn off your electronic devices in the stadium. Be considerate of others who want to enjoy this special day alongside of you.

Whom do I contact if I have additional questions about the Commencement ceremony?

For graduation requirements, contact your dean’s office. For Rutgers University Commencement information, review this website or send an email to commencement@rutgers.edu.

Where do I look for lost items?

You can find lost items at the student center located on the campus where the item was lost.  For example, if you lost something on the Livingston Campus, the Livingston Student Center will hold on to all items that are turned in. Items will be held until Friday, May 19, 2017. Get information for Busch Student CenterLivingston Student Center, and College Avenue Student Center.

Where can I buy last-minute items?

Last-minute items can be purchased at the convenience stores at the Busch Student Center and Livingston Student Center, and the Spirit Shop at the College Avenue Student Center. View the campus overview map (PDF).

Information for Guests

Do I need a ticket or invitation to attend University Commencement at the stadium?

No, tickets are not needed for the ceremony at the stadium.

Special Commencement parking hangtags are required to park on campus on Sunday, May 14. See our Parking Guidelines for more information.

Please remember that your school's convocation may require tickets and/or have limited seating. Please be sure your student checks with the school for more information.

If I am unable to attend University Commencement, can I still see the ceremony?

Yes, you will be able to watch the ceremony online. A live stream of University Commencement will be available over the internet. A high-speed connection is recommended.

Please return to this site to watch a live video stream of the ceremony on May 14. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Coverage will begin at 8:30 a.m. To view the live stream, go to https://livestream.com/rutgersitv/commencement2017. The School of Arts and Sciences Convocation will also be viewable online following Commencement at https://youtu.be/oNrrFaigEhM.

If you are on campus, you may watch the live stream from the Busch Student CenterLivingston Student Center, and College Avenue Student Center. See the campus overview map (PDF) for locations of the student and athletic centers. Please consider public transportation to arrive at these alternative viewing sites.

What time should I arrive?

Shuttle buses will start running at 7 a.m. Gates to High Point Solutions Stadium will open at 8 a.m. The ceremony starts at 10 a.m. Graduating students should arrive no later than 9 a.m. to the marshaling area at the south end of the stadium.

Visit the Maps and Directions page for more information.

Where can I park on campus?

If you are attending events on Sunday, May 14, parking will be limited, and all cars will be required to display a special Commencement parking hangtag.  If you ordered a Commencement parking hangtag, then you have been assigned to a parking zone. Please remember to bring your hangtag, maps, and directions that were mailed to you. Visit our Maps & Directions page for details for the blue, orange, and white parking zones.

Online parking registration for parking hangtags has ended. No hangtag? Please plan to park in our cash lots for $5 on the Livingston Campus. Directions to Livingston Campus.

Visit the Parking Guidelines page for more information.

If you are attending events on days other than Sunday, May 14, don't worry. Just park in any open Rutgers lot near your event site.

How do I order Commencement parking hangtags?

Registration for Commencement parking hangtags is now closed. If you missed the  hangtag registration period, please plan to park in our cash lots for $5 on Livingston Campus. Directions to Livingston Campus.

To park on campus for Rutgers University Commencement on Sunday, May 14, all students and guests must use a special Commencement parking hangtag, which will be mailed in early-May to the address that the student specifies and will be valid only for Sunday, May 14.

Check our Parking Guidelines for more information.

Will Rutgers University Commencement be canceled if it rains?

No, the ceremony will take place rain or shine. If the weather calls for rain, remember to bring your rain gear, such as a poncho and hat. Umbrellas are not permitted in the stadium. The ceremony will be canceled in the event of lightning.

Can I bring an infant or small child?

Yes. Guests of all ages are encouraged to attend and celebrate our graduates.

What items may I carry into High Point Solutions Stadium?

There will be a security check at the stadium. Bags or purses larger than 4½ by 6½ inches will not be permitted in the stadium. You may carry items in a clear plastic bag up to one gallon in size. Cameras and binoculars (without their bags) and seat cushions may be carried in on their own. More details are available online at scarletknights.com/tickets/bagpolicy.html. Strollers, walkers, wheelchairs, and scooters are permitted in the stadium. Umbrellas and balloons are not permitted.

Please see the list below of prohibited items.

An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at the gates designated for this purpose.

Prohibited items include: umbrellas, backpacks, bags/purses, alcoholic beverages, balloons, balls, bottles, cans, containers, coolers, fireworks, laser pointers, noise making devices, pets, smoking, sticks/poles, weapons, and other items deemed dangerous and/or inappropriate.

What if I have special mobility needs and I am attending the ceremony?

Special-needs parking hangtag registration is open through May 9. Please visit the Accessibility Information page for more information or to register.

Depending on your arrival time at the stadium, you may have a distance to travel within the stadium itself to the next available special-needs seat, and we want you to be aware of this traveling distance prior to your arrival. We suggest you bring a wheelchair or other assistive device if traveling a distance is a challenge.

Limited handicapped seating will be available at the stadium. The special needs seating area is on the street-level row of seating, as well as the row just below this level. When you arrive at the stadium, proceed to the next available street-level special needs seat, and an event staff person and our volunteers will provide you and a companion with your tickets. To keep as many street-level seats available as possible, we ask that if you are able to maneuver two stairs, please sit in the row just below the street-level seating, which also requires a special needs ticket from an event staff person or volunteer. General seating is available in front of the special needs area for additional members of your party. See the Accessibility Information page for more details.

Can we sit near or with our graduate?

No, graduates will be seated on the field, while guests will be seated throughout the stadium. Guest seating provides a great view of the entire field. Be sure to know what school your graduate is with. View the Stadium Seating Map to see where your student's school will be seated on the field.

Are there sign language services?

Closed captioning and American Sign Language interpreters will be displayed on the stadium video screens.

Where do I look for lost items?

You can find lost items at the student center located on the campus where the item was lost. For example, if you lost something on the Livingston Campus, the Livingston Student Center will hold on to all items that are turned in. Items will be held until Friday, May 19, 2017. Get information for Busch Student Center, Livingston Student Center, and College Avenue Student Center.

Will food and beverages be available in the stadium?

Yes, concession stands at the stadium will be available on the main concourse. View the stadium map (PDF).

Where can I buy last-minute items?

Last-minute items can be purchased at the convenience stores at the Busch Student Center and Livingston Student Center, and the Spirit Shop at the College Avenue Student Center. View the campus overview map (PDF).

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