Steps to Commencement for Graduating Students

Follow these steps to Commencement and you’ll be sitting on the field in High Point Solutions Stadium in no time:

  • 2017 Rutgers University CommencementStep 1: Check to Make Sure All Academic Requirements Are On Track
  • Step 2: Register for Required Commencement Parking Hangtags
  • Step 3: Clear All Outstanding Financial Obligations
  • Step 4: Purchase Your Academic Regalia
  • Step 5: Invite Your Guests 
  • Step 6: Record a Thank You Shout-Out and Register for Senior Days Events
  • Step 7: Stay In-the-Know: Get University Commencement News
  • Step 8: Prepare to Attend Commencement and Enjoy the Day

Learn more about each step below.

Let’s Get Ready To Celebrate

Step 1: Check to Make Sure All Academic Requirements Are On Track

Stay in communication with your school to ensure you have met the requirements to graduate in May.

  • Log in to Degree Navigator, or other degree auditing tools, to ensure you are on track to complete your degree. If you notice any discrepancies with your major(s) or minor(s) on Degree Navigator, please contact your school’s academic adviser immediately.
  • Students in the schools affiliated with Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) should contact their dean’s office directly for graduation requirements.

Complete your diploma application online and confirm your graduation date.

  • Rutgers University­–New Brunswick students: You must complete your online diploma application with the Office of the Registrar. At that time, you can confirm the name you would like displayed on your diploma and that the correct permanent mailing address is on file so that you receive your diploma after graduation.
  • Confirm that you are classified to complete your degree during the correct month and year.

Mid-year degree recipients can attend Commencement in May.

  • Rutgers hosts graduation ceremonies in May only. Most students who expect to receive degrees in January 2017 or October 2017 are eligible to participate in the May 2017 ceremonies. School of Social Work and School of Management and Labor Relations invite October grads from 2016 to participate in May. Contact your school directly if you have questions.

Step 2: Register for Parking Hangtags

Special Commencement hangtags are required to park in all New Brunswick and Piscataway campus lots on Sunday, May 14.

  • The period for students to register for free Commencement parking hangtags ended on Monday, April 17 at 10 a.m. Additional hangtags may be purchased online on our Parking Guidelines page for $5 through Monday, May 1 at 10 a.m. If you registered for parking hangtags, please be sure to watch for them to arrive by mail to the address provided when you registered by early May. For information, see our Parking Guidelines.
  • If you missed the registration period for parking hangtags, you still have parking options. Please see our Parking Guidelines page for details.

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Step 3: Clear All Outstanding Financial Obligations

All financial obligations to the university must be cleared before you can receive your degree.

Step 4: Purchase Your Academic Regalia

Don't forget to purchase your cap and gown. All students who plan to participate on the field at the stadium during University Commencement and in individual school convocation ceremonies must wear academic regalia.

*Please note: Academic regalia will not be sold at the stadium on May 14. Plan ahead and make sure to purchase your regalia before Sunday, May 14.

Step 5: Invite Your Guests

Announcements for Commencement and school convocations will be available in the spring.

  • All schools provide printed commemorative announcements and envelopes. Announcements are available for download on this site. Students who are affiliated with the School of Arts and Sciences can pick up printed announcements at the bookstore when they purchase their cap and gown.
  • Some school convocations may have limited seating and may require registration. Check with your school for details. Visit the School Convocations page to learn more.
  • Don’t forget: Commencement is on Mother’s Day this year, so you may want to make lunch or dinner reservations early!

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Step 6: Record a Thank you shout-out and Register for Senior Days Events

You’ve worked hard, now it’s time to have a lot of fun.

  • Record a Thank You Shout Out:  Here's your opportunity to thank the special people who have supported you throughout your academic journey—and it might appear on the big stadium video board at Rutgers University Commencement on May 14. Join us for these upcoming Senior Shout-Out Filming Days:
    • April 20,  2:30–6 p.m.: Hot Dog Day, Multipurpose Room A, College Ave Student Center
    • April 29, 10–3 p.m.: Rutgers Day, Murray Hall, Room 115, College Avenue Campus

Additional dates, including one in Newark may be added.

  • Attend Senior Days 2017, May 10–13: Join in the fun with your fellow graduating classmates and enjoy a variety of activities, such as decorating your graduation cap, the senior reception sponsored by the alumni association, the luau, and more. Undergraduate seniors can reserve tickets for events through the Senior Days Webpage

Step 7: Stay In-the-Know: Get University Commencement News

  • Check our website frequently. More information about parking, convocations, maps, and security will be posted soon.
  • Follow University Commencement on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Step 8: Prepare to Attend Commencement and Enjoy the Day!

  • With thousands coming to the stadium, be sure that you and your guests are prepared with directions, parking hangtags, comfortable walking shoes, charged mobile phones, and your academic regalia!
  • You can invite as many guests as you'd like, as tickets are not required for Commencement at the stadium.
  • 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.
  • Download the stadium seating/marshaling map.
  • Food vendors will be available on the stadium concourse.
  • All guests should follow the guidelines provided in their parking mailing. Information for those with special needs or mobility challenges is available on the Accessibility Information page.
  • Be prepared to follow security guidelines. There will be a security check when entering 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 Strollers, walkers, wheelchairs, and scooters are permitted in the stadium. Umbrellas and balloons are not permitted.
  • Alternate viewing sites will be available in the Busch, Livingston, and College Avenue student centers for guests who need to be indoors, in air conditioning. 
  • Have guests that can't attend? They can watch online from anywhere with a high-speed internet connection. The University Commencement live stream begins at 8:30 a.m. on May 14. at The School of Arts and Sciences Convocation will also be viewable online following Commencement at
  • Check the weather and dress appropriately. Commencement is held rain or shine. Remember umbrellas are not allowed in the stadium and graduates will be given ponchos in the event of rain. Did we mention wearing comfortable shoes?

We look forward to seeing you at Commencement.

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