Family and friends at Commencement

Family, Friends & Alumni

It takes a lot of hard work to earn a college degree. You—the friends, family, and fellow alumni of Rutgers graduates—have provided care, guidance, and support to the students receiving diplomas. So as much as Rutgers University Commencement marks a day of congratulations, it's also one of pride and gratitude.

Rutgers University Commencement

Join in the celebration of the 253rd Anniversary Commencement on Sunday, May 19, 2019, at 10 a.m. in Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey. Gates open at 8 a.m. and tickets are not required to attend Commencement. During the ceremony, President Barchi will confer degrees on all graduating students from Rutgers University–New Brunswick and Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.

Honorary Degree Recipients

Rutgers is proud to welcome our 253rd Anniversary Commencement speakers Devin and Jason McCourty, Super Bowl champions, philanthropists, and Rutgers alumni, will receive honorary doctorates of humane letters degrees.

The university is also honored to bestow an honorary doctor of laws degree upon New Jersey Governor Philip Murphy.

Watch a message from Devin and Jason McCourty.

Commencement Parking Hangtags Required

To park on campus on Sunday, May 19, Commencement parking hangtags are required. Graduating students must register online here for themselves and their guests. Note that 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 19. Registration for Commencement parking hangtags will open from March 25–April 22. Details are available on our Parking Guidelines page.

Stadium Security and Restricted Bag Policy

All Commencement attendees should bring directions and parking hangtags, wear comfortable walking shoes, and be dressed for the weather. The event is held in an outdoor stadium, rain or shine.

Stadium Bag Policy Strictly Enforced

  • Permitted items include:
    • Only clutches and wallets no larger than 4.5 x 6.5 inches
    • Clear plastic bags no larger than one gallon or 12x12x6 inches
    • Cameras and binoculars (without accompanying bag), seat cushions, hats, sunscreen, ponchos
    • Walkers, wheelchairs, and scooters
  • Prohibited items include:
    • Strollers, umbrellas, balloons, noisemakers, outside food, bottles and beverages, backpacks, camera bags, or any bag larger than the permissible size

Guests must pass through security before entering the stadium. Those with oversized or prohibited items will be directed to return those items to their vehicle. Exceptions will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection. Learn more about the Rutgers Athletics Bag Policy.

Complimentary Commencement Campus Shuttle

Complimentary shuttle bus service will run frequently from 7 a.m.–4 p.m. from the parking lots on the Livingston and College Avenue campuses on May 19 to the stadium. There is no shuttle service from Busch Campus parking lots to the stadium, which is also on the Busch Campus.

School Convocations

Graduating students will also enjoy additional recognition and festivities at individual school convocations and ceremonies held at various times in the days around Rutgers University Commencement. Please check with your student's school for details and information on tickets or limits on guests. To learn more about each school's convocation, visit our School Convocations page.

Alumni Guests

Graduation ceremonies can be a great time for Rutgers alumni to reconnect with old friends and to make new ones. Alumni are invited to join us as guests, and also to participate as volunteer ambassadors or marshals.

Mark the Moment


Family and friends can have professional photos taken outside the stadium before and after the ceremony. You will be able to view the photos online and purchase them from Grad Images. Check the Grad Images website to learn more about obtaining photos from Rutgers' graduation ceremonies.

GIFTS FOR Grads available online and for preorder

Celebrate your graduate with a special gift. Choose from a variety of mementos, from personalized diploma frames to Rutgers gear available at Barnes & Noble at Rutgers bookstore. You can also preorder flowers, class T-shirts, and other gifts. Check out our Gifts for Grads page for details.

Need to Make a Hotel Reservation?

Whatever your budgetary and scheduling requirements, the greater New Brunswick region has lodging options to meet your needs. Be sure to search in the towns closest to Rutgers, including: New Brunswick, Piscataway, Highland Park, East Brunswick, North Brunswick, and Somerset. Find New Brunswick area lodging accommodations on our Campus Travel website.