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.

  • Online registration for free Commencement parking hangtags will open on Monday, March 20, 2017, at 10 a.m. and will end on Monday, April 17 at 10 a.m. Graduating students who register online will receive two free parking hangtags. Additional hangtags may be purchased online for $5 from Monday, April 17 at 10 a.m. to Monday, May at 10 a.m. Early registration is recommended. For information, see our Parking Guidelines.
  • Information for graduates and guests with mobility needs will be available soon, so we can make your day as comfortable as possible.

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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

Purchase your academic regalia. 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.

  • Regalia will be available beginning April 3 to May 13*.
  • Students in the schools affiliated with Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences may only purchase regalia online. Check back for dates and details.
  • Pick up any honor society or other recognition cords and stoles, if applicable.
  • Attend the Grad Fair on April 12 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.: Stop by Barnes & Noble at Rutgers, located at 100 Somerset Street in New Brunswick, to purchase your cap and gown, learn about and see the selection of class rings, personalized announcements, diploma frames, and much more during this exciting time.

*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:
    • February 20, 2–5 p.m.: Busch Student Center, Room 122 AB
    • April 19,  2–6 p.m.: Hot Dog Day, Graduate Student Lounge, College Ave Student Center (Rain date: April 20, same location, 3–6 p.m.)
    • April 29, 10–3 p.m.: Rutgers Day, Murray Hall, Room 115, College Avenue Campus

Additional dates, including one in Newark may be added, please check back for more information.

  • 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!
  • All guests should follow the guidelines provided in their parking mailing. Information for those with special needs or mobility issues will be available soon. Please check back.
  • Be prepared to follow security guidelines. Please check back for the stadium policy.
  • 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. Please check back for complete details. 
  • Check the weather and dress appropriately. Did we mention wearing comfortable shoes?

We look forward to seeing you at Commencement.

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