Female student walking away in cap and gown

Frequently Asked Questions

Commencement Day

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 made available for purchase following 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.

Lost and Found

The Office of Public Safety will collect and hold any items that are lost or found. 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 than 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
    • Drones
    • Personal Folding Chairs
    • 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 Exercises.

Exercises

Duration of Ceremony

  • Great care has been taken to ensure the exercises are completed as quickly and smoothly as possible. The exercises are expected to last approximately 2 1/2 hours. Graduates and guests are asked to please show respect for all of their fellow classmates and remain until the end of the ceremony and the student recession has ended.

Calling of Names

  • Graduates' names will be scrolled on the large viewing screens. As the graduate's name is announced, their name will appear on the screen and the graduate will begin to walk across the stage to greet their dean.
  • Graduates are expected to return to their seats for the remainder of the ceremony and to process out together with their fellow classmates. 

Inclement Weather Plan

Program Books

  • Guests will receive a shortened program book at the Commencement Exercises. 
  • Graduates will receive the Commemorative Commencement program with a full list of graduate names when they pick up their diplomas beginning Monday, July 8, 2019 and for physician assistant graduates beginning Monday, August 5, 2019.

Graduate Responsibilities on Commencement Day

  • Arrive at your assembly location no later than 8 a.m.
  • Wear your academic attire (gown, hood, and cap) to the Commencement Exercises. Your tassel should be on the right side.
  • Wear comfortable footwear and clothing, bring sunscreen and sunglasses.
  • It is strongly recommended not to bring personal belongings.
  • Umbrellas will not be permitted on stage.
  • Graduates will be provided water and, if needed, a rain poncho.
  • Follow the line-up, processional and recessional instructions of your academic deans, marshals and event staff.
  • Once directed to your row in the graduate seating area, remain standing until the end of the Invocation.
  • Follow the instructions for the calling of your name as you are asked to walk across the stage.

If you need assistance during Commencement, please locate your dean, event staff or a Public Safety Officer.

Assembly and Line-Up Locations

  • There is no rehearsal for the Commencement Exercises.
  • Every school/college has a designated assembly location.
  • The academic deans will be in the assembly and line up area to line-up graduates in strict alphabetical order for the calling of names and walk across stage.

By 8 a.m. All graduates should assemble as follows: 

St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences ~ Marillac Hall, 2nd Floor

The School of Education ~ St. Albert Hall, 1st Floor

The Peter J. Tobin College of Business ~ D'Angelo Center, 2nd Floor

College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences ~ D'Angelo Center, 1st Floor

College of Professional Studies ~ Marillac Hall, 3rd Floor

**Graduates must check in with their deans during this time in order to participate in the Ceremony.**

Student Procession to the Great Lawn

  • The academic procession will begin on either side of the Great Lawn promptly at 9:15 a.m.
  • Students will enter the seating area through the side aisles of the graduate seating area.
  • The program will officially begin as soon as the graduates and faculty have reached their seats and the members of the Platform Party are at their seats.
  • The schools/colleges will process in the following order, followed by the members of the faculty:
West SideEast Side
The Peter J. Tobin College of BusinessCollege of Professional Studies
The School of EducationSt. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences 

Seating

Download the seating plan.

Duration of Ceremony

  • Great care has been taken to ensure the ceremonies are completed as quickly and as smoothly as possible. The ceremonies are expected to last between 1 and 2 hours, depending upon the school or college. 

Calling of Names and Hooding of Doctoral Students and Pharm.D. Students

  • Graduates' names will be called at the exercises. As the graduate's name is announced, the graduate will walk across the stage to greet their dean.
  • Graduates will be seated for the remainder of the ceremony and will process out together with their fellow classmates.
  • Doctoral level candidates and Pharm.D. candidates will be hooded at their school or college Commencement Exercises. 

Program Books

  • Graduates and guests will receive a Commencement program with a full list of graduate names at the Commencement Exercises.

Graduate Responsibilities on Commencement Day

  • Arrive at your assembly location no later than 4:30 p.m. for all schools except College of Professional Studies
    • College of Professional Studies graduates should arrive in the assembly location no later than 4 p.m.
  • Master degree candidates wear your academic attire (gown, hood, and cap) to the ceremony. Your tassel should be on the right side.
  • Doctoral degree candidates wear your academic attire (gown and cap) to the ceremony and carry the hood over right arm. You will be hooded during the ceremony.
  • Wear comfortable footwear and clothing.
  • It is strongly recommended not to bring personal belongings.
  • Graduates will be provided water
  • Follow the line-up, processional and recessional instructions of your academic deans, marshals and event staff.
  • Once directed to your row in the graduate seating area, remain standing until the end of the Invocation.
  • Follow the instructions for the calling of your name as you are asked to walk across the stage.

If you need assistance during Commencement, please locate your dean, event staff or a Public Safety Officer.

Assembly and Line-Up Locations

  • There is no rehearsal for the Commencement Exercises.
  • The academic deans will be in the assembly area to line-up graduates in strict alphabetical order for the calling of names.

All graduates should assemble as follows: 

College of Professional Studies ~ Friday, May 17, 2019; 4 p.m. in the Auxiliary Gym, Carnesecca Arena

College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences ~ Monday, May 20, 2019; 4:30 p.m. in Taffner Field House

The Peter J. Tobin College of Business ~ Tuesday, May 21, 2019; 4:30 p.m. in Taffner Field House

The School of Education ~ Wednesday, May 22, 2019; 4:30 p.m. in Taffner Field House

St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences ~ Thursday, May 23, 2019; 4:30 p.m. in Taffner Field House

**Graduates must check in with their deans during this time in order to participate in the ceremony.**

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 1/2 hours. Graduates and guests are asked to please show respect for all of their fellow classmates and remain until the end of the ceremony and the student recession has ended.

Calling of Names

  • Graduates' names will be called at the exercise.  As the graduate's name is announced, the graduate will walk across the stage to greet their dean. 
  • Graduates are expected to return to their seats for the remainder of the ceremony and to process out together with their fellow classmates. 

Program Books

  • Graduates and guests will receive a Commencement program with a full list of graduate names at the Commencement Exercises. 

Graduate Responsibilities on Commencement Day

  • Arrive at your assembly location in Taffner Field House, Queens campus, by no later than 8:30 a.m.
  • Wear your academic attire (gown, hood, and cap) to the Commencement Exercises.  Your tassel should be on the right side.
  • Wear comfortable footwear and clothing.
  • It is strongly recommended not to bring personal belongings.
  • Graduates will be provided water.
  • Follow the line-up, processional and recessional instructions of your academic deans, marshals and event staff.
  • Once directed to your row in the graduate seating area, remain standing until the end of the Invocation.
  • Follow the instructions for the calling of your name as you are asked to walk across the stage.

If you need assistance during Commencement, please locate your dean, event staff, or a Public Safety Officer.

Assembly and Line-Up Location

  • There is no rehearsal for the Commencement Exercises.
  • The academic deans will be in the Taffner Field House, to line-up graduates in strict alphabetical order for the calling of names and walk across stage.

By 8:30 a.m.

  • All graduate and undergraduate students check in with your school/college in the assembly and line-up area in Taffner Field House.

**Graduates must check in with their deans during this time in order to participate in the ceremony.**