Students Smiling at Commencement

Staten Island

Congratulations Graduates!

Commencement is a wonderful and exciting time for all of our graduates and for the University. Graduates planning to attend and participate in Commencement in May need to register and purchase academic attire.

Please take some time to review all of the information below. It gives you all of the necessary information you need to enjoy your Commencement. 

The Staten Island Commencement Exercises will take place on Saturday, May 16, 2020, at 10 a.m. in Carnesecca Arena on the Queens campus.

Please take some time to review the student information book and the following web pages. 

Information Book

Download (PDF) the Staten Island Commencement Exercises 2020 Student Information Book. 


Between February 14 - March 9

  • Visit your dean’s office to confirm your eligibility to participate in Commencement 2020
  • Download the Staten Island Commencement Exercises 2020 Student Information Book and read through this Website
  • Visit the University Information System (UIS) to
    ~ Review your transcript for accuracy of grade changes, transfer credits, etc.
    ~ Check your account for holds (parking tickets, library fines, etc.) and clear all holds with the Bursar’s Office 
    ~ Update your home address and contact information
  • Like us on Facebook @StJohnsNow to receive important graduation information
  • Follow us on Twitter @StJohnsU to receive important graduation notices

March 9

  • Online registration and academic attire purchasing opens for Commencement
    ~ Go to University Information System (UIS) to register for Commencement Exercises and for instructions on how to purchase academic attire

April 3

  • Last day to pre-purchase academic attire for Commencement 2020

April 14

  • Last day to order graduation announcements if you want them in time for Commencement.  Click here to order. (Note: Announcements can be ordered up to July 2, 2020)

 April 27


  • Purchase tickets for the Family Graduate Dinner
  • Pick-up Baccalaureate Mass tickets from Campus Ministry Office

May 6

  • Pick-up / purchase academic attire. All students must pick-up / purchase their attire during Academic Attire Distribution.
  • Pre-order Commencement Exercises portraits and diploma photos from Grad Images® Click here.

May 8

May 16

  • Staten Island Commencement Exercises

May 21

July 20  

  • Diplomas will be available for pick-up at your dean's office.  Be sure to call your dean's office beforehand as diploma availability is dependent upon the date the diploma was ordered.

Graduates must register and purchase academic attire in order to attend and participate in the Staten Island Commencement Exercises. Students who have been deemed eligible by their respective dean's office may register to attend the Commencement Exercises. To confirm your eligibility status, contact your dean's office immediately.

  • Online registration starts on Monday, March 9 and ends on Monday, April 27.
  • You may log back in to the form until Monday, April 27 to revise your registration. Please reprint the new confirmation e-mail.
  • If you believe you are eligible to register but cannot register via UIS, please see your dean's office immediately.

If you require special assistance of any kind on graduation day, please notify your dean's office immediately.  

Instructions for Commencement Registration and Attire Purchase:

  1. Log onto University Information System (UIS).
  2. Click on the Student tab.
  3. Click on the Graduation tab.
  4. Click on Commencement Registration Menu.
  5. Your name and degree information will pre-populate if you are eligible to register and order attire. If you receive a message that says you are not eligible, you must see your dean's office to confirm eligibility.
  6. Fill out the form in its entirety with all of the necessary information regarding your attendance.
  7. You will receive a confirmation e-mail with information on how to purchase your academic attire.
  8. To complete your Commencement registration, you must complete the “What’s Next” survey.  
  9. Print your confirmation e-mail for your records and bring with you to Academic Attire Distribution.  

Purchase of Academic Attire

All graduates must register through the University Information System (UIS) and purchase academic attire. Wearing academic attire (cap, gown, and hood) is both a tradition and a requirement to participate in the Commencement Exercises.  The graduate's academic attire will serve to admit the graduate to the assembly location.

If you pre-purchase attire online, please print and bring the Herff Jones confirmation e-mail with you to Academic Attire Distribution.

Cost for Academic Attire
(cost includes student's Cap with black tassel, Gown, and Hood)
 Pre-Purchase Online by Friday, April 3, 2020Price as of Saturday, April 4, 2020
Associate Degree$37.75$48.00
Bachelor Degree$39.75$50.00
Master Degree$43.35$54.00
Doctorate Degree$63.80$74.00

If you have questions or concerns about regalia affordability, or if the cost of the regalia may prevent you from participating in the Commencement ceremony, please contact the Office of University Events at [email protected] All inquiries will be kept confidential.

For apparel under your attire, dress with an eye to comfort. It is strongly recommended that you not bring personal belongings to the ceremony.

Instructions to Purchase Attire Online (Deadline Friday, April 3, 2020):

  1. Log onto Herff Jones website.
  2. Click on the Purchase a Cap and Gown.
  3. Select Staten Island Commencement Ceremony.
  4. Choose your degree type (i.e. Associate, Bachelor, Master); then click Continue.
  5. Click on Cap & Gown link on the top of the page.
  6. Click on Graduation Regalia.
  7. Complete the Package Details section, with your name, area of study, height and weight; then click Add to Cart.
  8. Add additional items to your cart (optional).  
  9. Proceed to checkout and complete your credit card billing information and your X number, then click Continue.
  10. Print the confirmation page and bring with you to Academic Attire Distribution on Wednesday, May 6 to pick-up your attire.   

Distribution of Academic Attire

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
1 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Campus Center, Lower Level


  • All students must pick-up / purchase their attire during the scheduled distribution day listed above. Attire WILL NOT be distributed between Thursday, May 7, and Friday, May 15.
  • Graduates must bring their StormCard in order to check in and pick-up attire.
  • If you did not pre-purchase attire, you will need to bring cash, credit card or a money order made payable to Herff Jones to purchase attire.
  • Graduates will check in with their dean's office and Office of the Vice Provost in order to confirm their participation and the pronunciation of their names.
  • Before leaving attire distribution, graduates are strongly advised to try on their cap, gown and hood. Reference this chart to ensure you have the correct hood.
  • A Grad Images® photographer will be present at Academic Attire Distribution to take a formal photograph in your attire, please come prepared!


  • If you are unable to make it to Academic Attire Distribution, you may designate a third party to pick-up / purchase your attire.
  • Your designee must bring your registration confirmation e-mail, your StormCard, and a signed note granting them permission.
  • If academic attire is pre-purchased, your designee must bring a copy of the Herff Jones email confirmation.
  • If academic attire was not pre-purchased, your designee must bring cash or a money order made payable to Herff Jones in order to purchase your attire. Your height and weight will need to be provided in order to ensure you receive the correct size attire.
  • If you are using this option, please be sure to visit the Office of the Vice Provost to confirm the pronunciation of your name.


  • Graduates must submit an online application for diploma in order to receive their diploma.
  • The last day to order your diploma is Friday, May 8.

Instructions for the Online Application for Diploma:

  1. Log onto University Information System (UIS).
  2. Click on the Student tab.
  3. Click on the Graduation tab.
  4. Click on the Application for Diploma menu.

Pick-Up Dates
Your diploma will be available for pick-up at your dean's office starting on Monday, July 20, 2020 (dependent upon the date the diploma was ordered).

Diplomas are ordered throughout the spring term, if a student applied late for their diploma it will not be available to pick-up at the beginning of diploma distribution in the dean’s office.  Be sure to call your dean’s office beforehand to confirm your diploma is available.  Please contact the Registrar’s Office for more information regarding the ordering process.  

For more information regarding honor cords and how to receive them, please contact your honor society's administrator or dean's office.

Do you have family or guests coming from outside the United States that need travel documentation? If yes, please visit the Registrar’s Office to complete a request form.

Thursday, May 14, 2020
6 p.m.
Campus Center, Upper Level

The Office of Student Affairs will host a dinner for undergraduate students and guests on Thursday, May 14, 2020. Registration and tickets are required to attend the event.  Please contact David Gachigo at 718-390-4345 for more information.

Open to all graduating students

Friday, May 15, 2020
7 p.m. (Doors Open at 6 p.m.)
Campus Center, Upper Level
Immediately following Mass, there will be a Family Dessert Reception

The Baccalaureate Mass is an opportunity for the University Community to gather with you and your families to give thanks for all of the gifts and blessings you have received from God. It is also our chance to pray for you and to ask God’s blessing upon you as you move into the next phase of your life.

Mass Tickets and Seating

  • Mass tickets can be picked up beginning in May in the Office of Campus Ministry, Notre Dame House, during regular business hours OR during Academic Attire Distribution.
  • Admission is by ticket only.  
  • Seating is on a first-come, first serve basis and will be based on the order of arrival.
  • Seats may not be saved.
  • Graduates are asked to wear their academic attire to Mass. The hood may be worn but we ask that graduates not wear their cap to Mass.
  • Graduates should be seated with their families during Mass.

For more information regarding Mass tickets, please contact the Office of Campus Ministry at 718-390-4473 or 718-390-4475.

Participate in Mass

If you would like to participate in the Mass in a ministerial role, such as a lector, extraordinary minister of communion, candle bearer or gift bearer, or if a graduate or member of a graduate’s family is a Catholic Priest and would like to concelebrate the Mass, please contact Stephen DeBlasio at 718-390-4473 or email [email protected] 

Family Dessert Reception

You and your family are invited to join us for a dessert reception following the Baccalaureate Mass. The reception will be held in the Campus Center, Upper Level.

Graduate Responsibilities on Commencement Day

  • Arrive at your assembly location in Taffner Field House, Queens campus, 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 Taffner Field House, to line-up graduates in strict alphabetical order for the calling of names and walking across stage.

By 8:30 a.m.

  • All graduate and undergraduate level 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.**

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. 

Calling of Names

  • Graduates' names will be called at the Commencement 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 recess out together with their fellow classmates. 

Transportation will be offered to those graduates and guests who are unable to travel to and from the Queens campus for the Staten Island Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 16, 2020. If you are interested in taking transportation, please complete this registration form. Space is limited, be sure to sign up by Wednesday, May 6, 2020.

  • Guests are permitted to park on campus. Please enter through Gate 3 on Utopia Parkway or through Gate 4 on Union Turnpike.
  • Additional parking is available in the campus garages. Entrance is off of Union Turnpike.
  • Please allow ample time to find parking.
  • If parking on our neighborhood streets, please be sure to follow local NYC parking regulations where applicable.

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