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General Information

The Staten Island Commencement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2016, at 10 a.m. on the Great Lawn, rain or shine. 


  • Students who have been deemed eligible to participate in Commencement by their respective dean’s office may register to attend Commencement. Students who are unsure whether they have fulfilled all academic requirements should contact their dean’s office immediately.
  • Graduates must register and order academic attire in order to attend and participate in the ceremony.
  • All eligible graduates are encouraged to attend the ceremony.
  • Graduates and guests are expected to please show respect for all of their fellow classmates and remain until the student recession has been completed.  

Academic Attire

  • Wearing academic attire (cap, gown and hood) is both a tradition and a requirement to participate in the Commencement Ceremony. The graduate's academic attire will serve to admit him or her to the assembly location and ceremony.
  • All graduates must order academic attire. Academic attire is ordered when you register for Commencement on the University Information System (UIS).  Academic attire is picked up at Academic Attire Distribution.
  • There is no charge for academic attire and students may keep their attire as a souvenir gift from St. John’s University.
  • For attire under your gown, dress with an eye to comfort and the weather. Low heels or flats are appropriate for navigating the Great Lawn and the stage stairs. Sunglasses and hats could also prove useful.  It is strongly recommended that you not bring personal belongings to the ceremony.  Umbrellas will not be permitted on stage.

Ceremony Photography and Video

  • There will be professional photographers from Grad Images taking photographs of the graduates. Click here for details.
  • The ceremony will be captured on video and a DVD will be made available to graduates after the ceremony. Click here for details.
  • Guests will not be able to approach the stage area or graduate seating area prior to the start of the ceremony or for the duration of the ceremony for any reason, including photography and videotaping.

Duration of Ceremony

  • Great care has been taken to ensure the ceremony is completed as quickly and as smoothly as possible. The ceremony is expected to last approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. Graduates and guests are please asked to show respect for all of their fellow classmates and remain until the end of the ceremony.

Inclement Weather Plan

Lost and Found

  • The Office of Public Safety will collect and hold any items that are lost or found at Commencement. If you need to report or find a lost item, please see a Public Safety Officer.

Public Safety

  • Please only bring necessary items with you on the day of Commencement.  Please review the list below for items that are NOT allowed at the ceremony:
    • Backpacks
    • No handbags or tote bags bigger then 10"x10"x10"
    • Sealed packages of any kind
    • Bottles or cans (glass or metal)
    • Aerosol cans or noisemaking devices
    • Alcoholic beverages
    • Animals (unless a service animal)
    • Flags, banners, or signs
    • Any materials constituting unauthorized advertising or promotion
    • Laser pointing devices
    • Balloons
    • Strollers
    • Weapons
    • Umbrellas

Rules of Conduct

  • The Dean for Student Affairs advises graduates that the University will not hesitate to take serious disciplinary actions against students for alcohol abuse, destruction of property or other violations of University policy during graduation activities or the Commencement Ceremony.

Ticket Information

  • All guests are required to present a ticket to attend the Commencement Ceremony. Children under the age of two do not require a ticket; however, they must sit on an adult's lap.
  • Seating for guests is on a first-come, first-serve basis. We recommend that family members arrive early and are seated on the lawn by 8:45 a.m. on Saturday morning.
  • Seats cannot be saved by any means other than someone sitting in the seat.
  • Each graduate participating in the Staten Island Commencement Ceremony will receive five (5) tickets.
  • Tickets are only available for pick up during Academic Attire Distribution.  
  • Lost or stolen tickets must be reported to the Office of Public Safety.  Tickets that have been reported as lost or stolen, will be voided and guests with voided tickets will not be permitted to enter the ceremony.   
  • The selling or buying of Commencement tickets is strictly prohibited. Please be cautious of offers to sell or buy Commencement tickets. Tickets hold no official resale value and may be an unauthorized copy, therefore deemed unusable and denied on Commencement day. Commencement tickets are solely for the purpose of allowing the relatives and friends of graduating students to attend the ceremony. 
  • Tickets are also required for the Baccalaureate Mass and Family Dessert Reception. Click here for more information.
  • To enter a simulcast location (DaSilva Academic Center), guests must show their Commencement tickets. 

Web Viewing

Yearbooks and Senior Portraits

  • For more information regarding Yearbooks and Senior Portraits, please contact the Office of Student Affairs at 718-390-4131.