Steps to Commencement for Graduating Students

All your Commencement needs, all in one place

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

  • 2018 University CommencementStep 1: Academics
  • Step 2: Register for Required Commencement Parking Hangtags
  • Step 3: Clear Any Financial Obligations
  • Step 4: Purchase Your Academic Regalia
  • Step 5: Invite Your Guests—Tickets Are Not Required for University Commencement!
  • Step 6: Record a Thank-You Shout-Out and Register for Senior Days Events
  • Step 7: Stay In-the-Know: Get University Commencement News and Connect on Social Media
  • Step 8: Prepare to Attend Commencement and Enjoy the Day!

Learn more about each step below.

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

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 with your major(s) or minor(s) on Degree Navigator, please contact your school’s academic adviser immediately.
  • Students in Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS)-Affiliated Schools: Contact your dean’s office directly for graduation requirements.

Complete the Online Diploma Application and confirm your graduation date.

  • Rutgers University­–New Brunswick Students: You must complete an 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 2018 or October 2018 are eligible to participate in the May 2018 ceremonies. School of Social Work and School of Management and Labor Relations invite October grads from 2017 to participate in May. Contact your school directly if you have questions.

Step 2: Register for Required Commencement Parking Hangtags

Commencement hangtags are required to park in all New Brunswick and Piscataway campus lots on the day of Commencement. 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 13.

  • Students who registered for free parking hangtags by April 17, should expect to receive them by early May. At this time, remaining hangtags are available for purchase. See the Parking Guidelines page for details.
  • Special-needs parking is available for graduates and guests who are unable to walk ½ mile or more. Please see our Accessibility Information page for important information and to register for special-needs parking. 

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Step 3: Clear any Outstanding Financial Obligations

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

Step 4: Purchase Your Academic Regalia

All students graduating from the schools affiliated with Rutgers University–New Brunswick Students and in Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) who plan to participate on the field at the stadium during University Commencement and in individual school convocation ceremonies must wear academic regalia.

Purchase your caps, gowns, and hoods from Barnes & Noble at Rutgers

  • Purchase in-store April 4–May 12: Visit the bookstore at 100 Somerset Street in New Brunswick, NJ
  • Pre-order online from by March 30 to have your regalia shipped to you or to pick up in store. Order now online.
  • Attend the Annual Grad Fair on April 4 from 10 a.m.–6 p.m at Barnes & Noble in New Brunswick. Visit with representatives and see the selection of class rings, personalized announcements, diploma frames, and much more! 
  • Don't forget to pick up any honor society or other recognition cords and stoles, if applicable.
  • Please note: Academic regalia will not be sold at the stadium. Plan ahead.

Step 5: Invite Your Guests—Tickets are not required for University Commencement!

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

  • Download and share the Commencement Save-the-Date with friends and family.
  • Your school will provide printed commemorative graduation announcements and envelopes. In addition, you can download announcements in PDF Format from 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 starting in April. Download a PDF of the announcements.
  • Some school convocations may have limited seating and may require registration. Check with your school for details. Visit our School Convocations page for details.
  • 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 stadium video board at Commencement on May 13. Join us at these locations to film your thank you shout out:
    • Wednesday, January 31 (7:30-10:30 p.m.): The Middle of the End hosted by RAA in Gathering Lounge at the Livingston Student Center
    • Monday, February 19 (11 a.m.–2 p.m.): Busch Student Center in Room 174
    • Wednesday, April 18 (2:30–5:30 p.m.): Hot Dog Day festivities at the College Avenue Student Center
    • Saturday, April 28 (10 a.m.–4 p.m.): Rutgers Day in Murray Hall on Voorhees Mall on the College Avenue Campus.

Check back for additional dates coming soon.

  • Attend Senior Days 2018, May 9–12: Join in the fun with your fellow graduating classmates and enjoy a variety of activities, such as decorating your graduation cap, the Old Queens senior reception, Club Alex, and more. Seniors will be able to reserve tickets for events through the Senior Days webpage

Step 7: Stay In-the-Know: Get University Commencement News and Connect on Social Media

  • Check our website frequently. More information about parking, convocations, maps, and security will be posted soon.
  • Follow University Commencement @rucommencement on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. #RU2018

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

  • With more than 50,000 coming to University Commencement on Sunday, May 13, stadium guests should be prepared with directions, parking hangtags, comfortable walking shoes, and charged mobile phones. Graduates must wear academic regalia.
  • You can invite as many guests as you'd like, as tickets are not required for Commencement at the stadium.
  • Check the weather, and dress appropriately. Commencement is held rain or shine. Remember umbrellas are not allowed in the stadium. Review the full list of items prohibited in the stadium. Graduates will be given ponchos if it rains. Did we mention wearing comfortable shoes?
  • CLEAR BAG POLICY IN EFFECT: 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. Strollers, walkers, wheelchairs, and scooters are permitted in the stadium. Umbrellas and balloons are not permitted. Learn more about Rutgers Athletics Bag Policy
  • By 9 a.m., graduating students must report to the stadium marshaling area, located in the south end of the stadium (lower level under the video board), to prepare for the procession onto the field. Download the marshaling area map.
    • Stadium gates will open at 8 a.m. on May 13. The ceremony begins promptly at 10 a.m. with the student procession onto the field.
    • Upon arrival at the stadium, leave your guests to find their seats and head to the south end of the stadium, under the large video board. Go to the sub-level marshaling area to gather with fellow graduates. 
    • In the marshaling area (see map), line up with your classmates of the school issuing your degree. If you want to sit with friends, be sure they are standing in front of or behind you.
      • Pick up your school's spiritmaker flag. And, be sure to wave it when your school's name is called during the conferring of degrees.
      • Plan to process in a dignified, single-file line, with some formality.
      • Smile as you process across the field–you’re on camera!
      • Follow the instructions of the marshals as you walk to your school’s designated seating area.
      • Celebrate your achievements and enjoy your day!
  • 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 our Accessibility Information page.
  • Services animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are allowed at the ceremony. All other animals are prohibited from University Commencement. Visit the ADA website for details.
  • 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 who can't attend? WATCH ONLINE.
    • They can watch online from anywhere with a high-speed internet connection. The University Commencement live stream begins around 10 a.m. on May 13. Please check back here for the online viewing information.
    • View the School of Arts and Sciences Convocation online following Commencement. Please check back here for the online viewing information.

We look forward to seeing you at Commencement.

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