Graduation FAQs

Commencement Frequently Asked Questions

Records and Documents

Will I get my diploma when I walk across the stage?

No. The red Norwich tube you receive when you walk across the stage is empty.

If you have completed all the requirements for your degree, you can pick up your diploma in the Abare dining room (upstairs from the main dining hall) after the ceremony. If you are unable to pick up your diploma on Friday, we will mail it to you within 10 days following the Residency Week.

What if I’m still in class?

If you have not completed your coursework (or your comprehensive exam or your portfolio), you will NOT receive your diploma this week. Assuming you successfully complete any remaining degree requirements, your degree will be conferred on September 15. We will mail your diploma and one complimentary transcript within 10 days following conferral.

How do I order a transcript?

We will mail one complimentary copy of your transcript to you at your home address within the week following Residency and Graduation. If you need additional copies, or a copy sent to another recipient, you can order online here, or use the transcript request form we’ve included here in your packet.

Graduation Ceremony

What if I can’t make it to the ceremony?  Do I have to walk across the stage?

You are not required to participate in the commencement ceremony. If you are unable to attend, please alert your Student Services Advisor. We will mail your diploma and transcript (assuming you’ve completed all degree requirements) following the Residency week.

What is the dress code?

Dress for the graduation ceremony is business attire, with a few caveats. If it is a warm day, suit jackets should be work at your discretion, as it can get warm under your gown. Please also wear comfortable footwear; wear high heels with caution. Graduates walk down a number of flights of stairs to reach the ceremony location, and we want you to be safe and steady while crossing the stage. Please be tactful with your attire choices, this is a professional event and numerous photos with family and friends will be captured. 

Military uniforms may be worn in place of the graduation gown if desired. Please note, in the past students have worn their uniform, without jacket, underneath their graduation gown. 

How do I order tickets for my family/guests?

Tickets are not required for the graduation ceremony. We hope that your family and friends will be able to attend to join in your celebration.

How long is the ceremony?

We strive to keep the ceremony under 2 hours.

Can I bring my camera with me?

There’s a funny little flap at the wrist of the Master’s gown. Some students choose to carry their cell phones here (by all means silence them!). Other students choose to wear their name badge under their robe. Please do not bring a bag or pocketbook, as you will not be able to leave it under your seat. After crossing the stage, you may not end up in the same seat from which you started.

When do we move our tassels?

Bachelor’s Degree graduates may move their tassels from right to left after they have crossed the stage.

Master’s Degree graduates do not move their tassels. They start on the left and remain on the left.

Where should my family sit?

The field house is large, and there will be seating for everyone. You will get an idea at rehearsal about which side of the room you will be on, and where there is available seating. There are a number of spots from which photos can be taken. While we will have ushers in place to maintain graduate traffic flow, family members can get closer for a picture as your turn approaches.

What else should I tell my family and guests?

  • The field house will open at 8:45am for seating.
  • There is NO FOOD allowed in the field house. Water is allowed, and baby formula. No soda, colored sports drinks or coffee will be allowed in the field house. Thank you for respecting the requirements of this unique facility.
  • There are restrooms and changing facilities available in the field house.
  • There is some room for children to wander prior to the ceremony, but we ask that running and playing be taken outside, especially once the ceremony begins. Noise does carry in the field house.