Commencement FAQs


Additional questions? Contact the Student Affairs Office at or 610-606-4680.

1. Do I need a ticket for Commencement?

  • Yes. Guests are required to have a ticket for seating under the tent for Commencement. Graduates do not need tickets for themselves.
  • Each graduate that has completed the Commencement Attendance Form before the deadline will be given 6 tickets. All graduating students who plan to walk in the Commencement Ceremony must RSVP using the Commencement Attendance Form in MyCedarCrest under the “Student Affairs” tab by April 10, 2016. Graduates who respond after the RSVP deadline will not be guaranteed 6 tickets.
  • Guests without a ticket will be able to view the ceremony on the lawn outside the tent or in Canova Commons Dining Hall in the Tompkins College Center where the ceremony will be streamed live. Please plan accordingly.
  • Tickets will be scanned upon entry into the tent and guests must have their tickets in-hand at that time. Tickets guarantee entry into the tent, however, seating therein is unassigned and on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Children under the age of 3 who will sit in a lap during the entire ceremony do not require a ticket.
  • No ticket is required for the Baccalaureate Ceremony.
  • If you do not need all 6 of your tickets, please donate the unneeded tickets to the pool. Visit the ticketing website for instructions.

2. How do I get my tickets/How do I get extra tickets?

  • To get your tickets (and extras), click here to log into MyCedarCrest. Click the Create Link button to be taken to the ticket website.
    • Tickets are free for the Commencement Ceremony. You have to fill out billing and shipping information on the ticket website anyway to proceed to the next step.
    • Need help with the ticket website? Detailed instructions can be found here.
    • If it says you are not an eligible graduate, you will need to contact the Student Affairs Office at or 610-606-4680.
  • If extra tickets are available, it will say so during the ticket reservation process.
  • If extra tickets are available, they will be free for anyone to grab—total number of extra tickets graduates can claim will be determined after the RSVP deadline. Check the ticketing site often for availability of extra tickets. A notice will not go out.
  • The amount of extra tickets that can be claimed is based on the number of graduates walking in the ceremony and cannot be determined until after the RSVP deadline has passed.
  • If you are unable to get enough extra tickets, all other guests will be able to view the ceremony in other viewing areas where the ceremony will be streamed live. They may also watch the ceremony from outside the tent. You may contact other graduates and ask for their unneeded tickets.

3. Do graduate level students participate in the same ceremony as undergraduates?

  • Yes. There is 1 graduation ceremony in May and all degrees are conferred during that ceremony.

4. How do I order my cap & gown, honor cords, etc.? How much will it all be?

  • The cost of your academic regalia (cap, gown and hood) was covered in the graduation fee that was put on your term bill. Please contact Student Financial Services at 610-606-4602 for more information.
  • Please visit the Bookstore on Level 1 of the Tompkins College Center to reserve your academic regalia (your cap, gown, and hood). The Bookstore will also be hosting a Graduation Fair on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. where you can order your academic regalia and other graduation supplies.
  • Please check with the Bookstore on the cost of Honor Cords. They may also be provided by your department.
  • Feel free to order online by visiting the Herff Jones website.
  • The deadline to order online is 11:59 p.m. on March 29, 2016. Please direct your questions to the Bookstore regarding ordering these supplies at or 610-740-3775.

5. When do I learn how to wear my cap & gown? Can I decorate my cap or wear a corsage?

  • An academic regalia demonstration will be held during the mandatory Graduation Rehearsal on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 on the Quad. You can also view this video online.
  • Caps should not be decorated and no corsages or jewelry should be on your robes.

6. What if I can’t make it to the mandatory graduation rehearsal?

  • Attending graduation rehearsal is strongly encouraged; however, we understand that some circumstances prevent students from attending. You must indicate on the ticketing website if you are unable to attend rehearsal so that our office can provide you with important information covered at rehearsal.

7. How long do the ceremonies last?

  • Baccalaureate lasts approximately 1 hour, from 4-5 p.m.
  • Commencement lasts approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes, from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., but can last up to 2 hours and 30 minutes, ending at 1:30 p.m., depending on the class size.

8. When should I arrive?

  • Graduating students:
    • Baccalaureate Line-up: Friday, May 13, 3:15-3:45 p.m. (Lees Hall Lawn)
    • Commencement Line-up: Saturday, May 14, 9:45-10:45 a.m. (Between Hartzel Hall & Allen House)
    • Undergraduate Class Photo: Saturday, May 14 at 10 a.m. (Blaney Hall Steps)
    • Master Programs Class Photo: Saturday, May 14, immediately following Commencement (Blaney Hall Steps)
    • Nursing Pinning Ceremony: Saturday, May 14 at 2 p.m. or immediately following Commencement (Lees Hall)
  • Guests:
    • Baccalaureate: Friday, May 13, 3:15-3:45 p.m. The ceremony begins promptly at 4 p.m.
    • Commencement: Saturday, May 14, entrances open at 9:30 a.m. Please arrive prior to 11 a.m. to allow ample time to find your seat and to avoid disruption of procession.

9. Can I take photos of the ceremony?

  • Guests are free to take photos of the ceremony at their seat under the tent. Please be aware of the families seated behind you. Standing in the aisles is prohibited during the ceremony.
  • Remember: you can take pictures anywhere on our beautiful campus. After the ceremony is completed, there will be ample opportunity for individual and family photos.
  • Photos of your graduate and the ceremony will also be available for purchase from Thomas Duncan Photography.

10. What happens if there is inclement weather?

  • The Commencement Ceremony takes place under a tent and the Baccalaureate Ceremony takes place indoors. In case of light to moderate rain, both ceremonies will go on as scheduled.
  • Heavier rain may cause us to shorten the program. In the event that severe weather is expected:
    • An E2Campus alert will be sent or call the inclement weather hotline at 610-606-4629.
    • Baccalaureate will still be in Samuels Theatre.
    • Commencement Line-up will move to Curtis Hall.
    • Undergraduate Class Photo will move to Samuels Theatre.
    • Commencement Ceremony will still be on the Quad.
    • Master Programs Class Photo will move to Samuels Theatre.

11. If I’m not participating in the graduation ceremonies, how will I get my diploma?

  • All diplomas are mailed to graduating students whether they participate in the graduation ceremonies or not.
  • To ensure there is no delay in receiving your diploma in the mail, we ask that you complete the Commencement Attendance Form in MyCedarCrest under the “Student Affairs”, verify your address and select “Yes” or “No” for your attendance at Commencement and Rehearsal.

12. Is handicapped seating available?

  • Yes. We have seating appropriate for guests needing accessible seating and staff will be available to assist these guests.
  • Graduates will need to reserve the amount of accessible seating tickets they need when they reserve their tickets for Commencement.

13. Is handicapped parking available?

  • Yes. There will be designated handicapped parking areas. Please refer to the Parking information page.
  • Golf carts will be running to and from the various parking lots to the tent for the Commencement Ceremony for those that have trouble walking.

14. Since the Commencement Ceremony is outside, are pets allowed?

  • Please do not bring pets to the Ceremony. Only service animals are permitted under the tent.

15. Can I bring balloons?

  • While we appreciate wanting to celebrate your graduate, we ask that you do not hold balloons thus blocking the view of the other guests while seated under the tent. Instead, please order roses for your graduate here.

16. Where can I pick up the roses I purchased online?

  • Roses can be picked up at the back of the tent on the Quad where Commencement takes place. Rain site is inside the Tompkins College Center.

Additional questions?

  • For questions regarding the ceremonies and events leading up to graduation, contact the Student Affairs Office at or call 610-606-4680.
  • For questions regarding academic standing and honors, please contact the Registrar's Office at or 610-740-3765.
  • For questions regarding ordering your cap and gown or other graduation supplies, please contact the Bookstore at 610-740-3775.