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Steps to Commencement graphic

Steps to Commencement

Congratulations Class of 2024

Rutgers University–New Brunswick and Rutgers Health Commencement will be held Sunday, May 12, 2024 at SHI Stadium.

Ceremony starts at 10 a.m. 

Accordion Content

  • Stay in communication with your school. 

    • Rutgers University­–New Brunswick Students: 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, please contact your academic adviser immediately.
    • Rutgers Health Schools Students: Contact your dean’s office directly for graduation requirements.

    Complete the Online Diploma Application and confirm your graduation date. 

    • Rutgers–New Brunswick Students: You must complete an Online Diploma Application with the Office of the Registrar. Confirm the name you would like displayed on your diploma and the correct permanent mailing address is on file so that you receive your diploma after graduation. Diploma's are mailed from the Office of the Registrar two to three months after Commencement.
    • Confirm that you are classified to complete your degree during the correct month and year.

    Mid-year degree recipients can attend the RU–NB & Rutgers Health Commencement ceremony in May.

    Most students who expect to receive degrees in October 2023, January 2024, May 2024, or August 2024 are eligible to participate in the May 2024 school-based convocations and Commencement events. This may vary by school. Contact your school directly with questions.

  • Commencement parking hangtags are required for all New Brunswick and Piscataway campus lots on the day of Commencement. Permits issued by Rutgers DoT are not valid on Commencement Day. 

    • Registration will open in March 2024. Registered graduating students will receive two free parking hangtags —and remaining hangtags will be sold at a later date. Early registration is recommended.
    • Special Needs Parking will open in February 2024 and is available for guests and graduates with disabilities and those who are unable to walk ½ mile or more. Early registration is recommended.
  • All financial obligations to the university must be cleared before you can receive your diploma.

  • All students who plan to participate on the field at the stadium during the 258th Anniversary Commencement and in school-based Convocation ceremonies must wear academic regalia, consisting of cap, gown, and hood. Academic regalia is provided through Barnes & Noble at Rutgers. Order Regalia here.

    Honor society cords are distributed through the Dean's office of the school from which you are graduating. Information will be sent to students who are eligible for honor cords. Other recognition cords and stoles are available through specific departments or groups. 

    Please note: Academic regalia will NOT be sold at the stadium. Please plan ahead. 

  • No tickets are needed for Commencement! Everyone can come!

    • Download and share the Commencement Save the Date with family and friends. 
    • Your school may provide digital or printed convocation announcements. Please visit the School Convocation page to link to your school's website.
    • Personalized announcements may be ordered through Herff Jones, Inc.
  • You've worked hard and it’s time to celebrate your accomplishment! 

    Film Your Shout Out! Say Thank You: Record a shout-out to the people that have supported you throughout your college career—it will appear on the stadium video board at Commencement! 

    • 04/04 Shout Out at Career Exploration & Success. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
    • 04/24 Shout Out at Hot Dog Day, Graduate Student Lounge. 2-5 p.m.
    • 04/27 Shout Out at Rutgers Day, Scott Hall (Voorhees Mall.) 

    Mother's Day Notes
    Shout out your mom or mother figure in their life by making a Mother's Day Note that will be shown on the big video board on Sunday, May 12. 

    What is a Mother's Day Note? 
    It's starts with a photo of you, the graduate! Submit of photo of yourself, waist or shoulders up, shot vertically, ideally in cap and gown and a special Mother’s Day Note, a maximum of 40 words. Submission information will be shared in early 2024.

    Senior Portraits: Lors Photography is offering Senior Portrait Sessions at the College Avenue Student Center. Seniors were sent an email from Lors with details and links to book portrait sessions. If you did not receive an email, please email or call 908-964-3040. *Please note: Graduates receive a free sitting only.

    Share Your Next Steps: Complete the survey from the Career Exploration and Success office about your post-graduation plans for your chance to be entered into a raffle to win your choice of Apple Air Pods or a $100 Amazon gift card!

    • Learn more about SHI Stadium, where Commencement will be held
    • Visit the Accessibility page where graduates and guests with disabilities or those requiring other accommodations for Commencement will find information on special-needs parking, seating, alternative viewing options and more
    • Post your Commencement photos on social media with AR stickers from our Show Your Scarlet Pride page and use our official hashtag #RU2024

Rutgers Commencement Traditions

Commencement vs. Convocation | What's the Difference?

Commencement VS Convocation

Commencement vs Convocation | What's the difference?

Academic Procession and Conferring of Degrees

Academic Procession

  • When you arrive in the area go to your school corral. Download the assembly and field seating map.
  • In your school’s assembly area you will be given your spiritmaker, which will designate your school on the field of graduates. Be sure to wave it when your school is asked to rise. 
  • Water and restrooms are available, just look for signs.
  • A slide show in the assembly area will provide a countdown for the start of the procession. Please follow the instructions to walk in an orderly, single file line, with decorum. All graduates should walk in a line so that they can follow their school to the specific seating area assigned for your school. 
  • Commencement Marshals will direct you to your seat on the field where you will be grouped in your academic units. Once at your seat on the field, please be seated until you are asked to rise for The National Anthem. 
  • For your safety, do not stand on your seat and stay out of the aisles so that others can process to their seats. 

The Conferring of Degrees

  • After the student speaker delivers the class address, the chancellors will read out the names of each school and the degrees offered at each school.
  • At this time, we ask that all graduates stand as your school is called and remain standing throughout the conferral of the degrees.
  • When the president confers all of the degrees, and tells you to move your tassel, the cannon will fire to signal this special moment at Rutgers.

Graduate Day of Instructions

happy graduates at commencement

8 a.m. - Stadium gates open
9 a.m. - Graduates arrive in assembly area
10 a.m. - Ceremony begins with processional
11:30 a.m. - Ceremony concludes

  • Allow at least two hours to park and get to SHI Stadium
  • Shuttle buses start running at 7 a.m.
  • All graduates should plan to be inside the stadium by 9 a.m.
  • Download the assembly area/stadium map PDF
  • Upon arrival at the stadium, leave your guests to find their seats and head to the south end of the stadium, toward the large video board. As you head to the assembly area, there will photo op locations available to celebrate the day. You can also ring the Red Lion Bell to signify your departure from Rutgers. 
  • Go to the field level area to gather with fellow graduates. An elevator is available for students with mobility challenges. 
  • Grab your school’s spirit maker flag and line up with your classmates from the school issuing your degree. If you want to sit with friends, be sure they are standing in front of or behind you during the procession 
  • During the procession, walk onto the field in a dignified, single file line, with some formality.
  • Follow the instructions of the marshals as you walk process to your school's designated seating area.
  • Smile! You are on camera.

Commencement Parking Information

Curbside drop-off is strictly prohibited at SHI Stadium. Please plan accordingly. 

Commencement hangtags are not needed for academic convocations and receptions held on other days.

cars next to a parking sign