Frequently Asked Questions

Virtual Commencement and Degree Conferral Ceremonies

Yes. The University will be hosting Virtual Commencement and Degree Conferral Ceremonies, for all undergraduate-level students and graduate-level students. These Virtual Commencement and Degree Conferral Ceremonies will be held from Monday, May 17, to Sunday, May 23, 2021.

A Virtual Commencement and Degree Conferral Ceremony allows the University to officially confer degrees upon graduates and to recognize the graduating Class of 2021. The Virtual Ceremonies will be online events, broadcast from Monday, May 17 to Sunday, May 23, 2021 and according to the schedule of events. A link to view the ceremonies will be posted on the Commencement website. The Class of 2021 will be invited to return for an in-person ceremony when public health guidelines permit us to do so.

Each year, the University President confers degrees at the Commencement ceremonies. The conferral, or awarding, of degrees is when the degree is technically completed, and graduation occurs.

All degrees for September 2020, January 2021, and May 2021, will be conferred during the various Virtual Commencement and Degree Conferral Ceremonies. This includes all Associates, Bachelors, Masters, Professional Certificates, and Doctorate degrees.

In the coming weeks, graduates will receive an e-mail (from a third-party vendor, MarchingOrder) and have the opportunity to submit a photo, message, and name pronunciation for their individual graduate slide.

Graduates, along with family and friends, will have the opportunity to view the slideshow, search for personal slides or the slides of friends, and download slides to share across social media.

The graduate slides will recognize each individual graduate with the student's name and degree (in addition to a photo and quote, if submitted), and the reading of their name. Information appearing on the graduate's slide is based on how much information was provided to the vendor by the graduate. MarchingOrder will contact all graduates via their St. John's e-mail accounts with a link to submit information.

Note: The names listed in the graduate slides are not an official listing of degree recipients. Also, only those students who will have completed all degree requirements by May 17, 2021 will appear in the graduate slides.

*Messages and photos that are in any way considered defamatory, libelous, obscene, immoral or fraudulent to St. John's University will be removed from the slideshow. All photo and message submissions will be reviewed for appropriateness, content and copyright will be edited or removed as deemed necessary.

All eligible graduates will be included in the Virtual Commencement and Degree Conferral Ceremonies.

In the coming weeks, graduates will receive an e-mail from University Events to complete a complete a Commencement Form on UIS.

If you have questions regarding your eligibility, please contact your dean's office.

Graduation status can be confirmed by logging onto UIS via to review transcripts for accuracy of grade changes, transfer credits, etc.

If students have questions regarding the completion of academic requirements, please contact the school of college dean's offices by visiting important contacts.

We are working to create a seamless viewing experience for all viewers. Viewers will be able to watch the video from a link on the individual ceremony webpages and the St. John's homepage.

Yes. Graduates will have a various opportunities to virtually participate in the ceremonies. For more information, visit Celebrating St. John's University Graduates

Please visit the digital swag page. Be sure to use #SJUGrad21 on social media.

Yes. The Virtual Commencement and Degree Conferral Ceremonies will be archived and available following the broadcast for those graduates and families who are unable to watch the ceremony at the advertised times.

The University is will hold a Virtual Baccalaureate Mass on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 4 p.m. For more information, please visit the Baccalaureate Mass.

Yes. Closed captioning will be available on all Virtual Commencement and Degree Conferral Ceremonies.

Academic Attire

If you want to participate in the virtual celebration while wearing your attire, it is suggested that you order your cap and gown from Herff Jones.

If you want to receive your attire in time for the start of the Virtual Commencement and Degree Conferral Ceremonies, the deadline to order online with regular shipping ($7.95) is Thursday, April 22 @ 11:59 p.m.

To place your attire order, please visit Herff Jones.

Attire orders placed between Friday, April 23 and Monday, May 3 will incur additional shipping fees from Herff Jones in order to ensure you receive your attire in time for the start of the Virtual Ceremonies.

Ordering academic attire is optional for the virtual ceremonies in May and will be required to participate in the in-person celebrations.

*It is recommended that students who are interested in purchasing academic attire (cap, gown and hood) confirm graduation eligibility with the dean's office PRIOR to purchasing academic attire.

Yes. Students who do not order attire now will be able to purchase attire once details are finalized for an in-person ceremony.

If you are planning to participate in the in-person ceremonies in the future, you can purchase academic attire now.

International stoles can be purchased through the Herff Jones academic attire ordering website.

For more information regarding honor cords and stoles and how to receive them, students should contact the honor society's administrator or dean's office.


Eligible students can order diplomas by visiting UIS. Pending graduates must submit an online diploma application in order to receive their diploma. Instructions for the Online Application for Diploma:

  1. Log in to University Information System (UIS) via
  2. Click on the Student tab.
  3. Select Graduation > Application for Diploma

Your diploma will not be ordered until you have submitted your application. The last day to submit a diploma application online is Thursday, May 20, 2021.

Once your degree is conferred, your printed diplomas will be mailed to the permanent mailing address by visiting UIS on or before June 30, 2021 to ensure we have your most up-to-date contact information for this mailing.

Since the University confers degrees at various times throughout the year, students should consult with the dean's offices for dates when diplomas will be available.

Commemorative Books

Yes. Commemorative Books of graduate names will be available from the Commencement website starting Friday, June 25, 2021.

Yes. Printed Commemorative Books with graduate names will be available for students together with the diplomas in the dean's offices after Monday, July 12, 2021.

It is recommended that students consult with the dean's office to confirm when printed Commemorative Books are available.

Yearbooks and Senior Portraits

Queens Campus Students:

For additional questions pertaining to the yearbook, please contact Jack Flynn at [email protected].

Staten Island

For more information regarding senior portraits, please contact the Office of Student Affairs at 718-390-4131.  

Keepsake Items

Yes, to purchase keepsake items visit the Commencement website keepsake page.


Updates will be communicated to graduates via St. John's e-mail accounts, personal e-mail accounts (if updated on UIS, and the Commencement website as soon as new information is available and finalized.

Please continue to check your St. John's e-mail account and the Commencement website regularly for updates information.

Be sure to log onto UIS to update contact information including home address, e-mail address and cell phone number.

If you have questions regarding Commencement planning, please contact the Office of University Events at [email protected].

If you have questions regarding academic requirements, please contact your dean's offices by visiting important contacts.

In-Person Commencements

Due to the COVID-19 public health crisis and New York State public health guidelines, the University has will hold Virtual Commencement and Degree Conferral Ceremonies for the spring 2021 graduates. 

The University hopes to hold modified, in-person commencement celebrations in the future - hopefully later this summer - when public health and safety guidelines permit us to gather in larger groups.

More information will be made available via your St. John's e-mail accounts and on the Commencement website once details are finalized.

Once final plans have been determined, eligible students will receive registration information via student's St. John's University e-mail address, student's personal e-mails (if updated on UIS) and on the Commencement website. In the meantime, May 2021 graduates are asked to complete the UIS Commencement Form.

Fortunately, for most students and programs, changes to the Commencement ceremony will not affect visa status because the awarding of degrees will not be affected.

For any specific questions, please contact the International Student and Scholar Services Office at [email protected].