Information for Candidates


New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Commencement Exercises for Ph.D. and undergraduate and candidates will be held on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. at Newark’s Prudential Center.  Candidates receiving a master’s degree will not participate in this ceremony.  Please make sure you read the General Information section, as well as all the information in this section, to ensure you have all the information you will need.

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  • 7:30 a.m. - Prudential Center opens doors; guests and participants begin to enter. Please allow ample time as everyone must go through security and for morning traffic.
  • 8:40 a.m. - Processional begins.
  • 9:00 a.m. - Ceremony begins. All candidates are required to stay the duration of the ceremony which is estimated to last two and a half hours as all names are read. We ask that you give the same courtesy to the last student whose name is called as was given to you.**  
  • 11:00 a.m. - Approximate end time for the ceremony.

** All candidates must stay for the duration. In rare circumstances, students may request permission to leave early. Once the request has been made it will be reviewed, candidates may be asked for proof of circumstance.  All requests should be made by Tuesday, May 8, 2018, by emailing If you are given permission to leave early you will be given instructions.

There is no pre-Commencement rehearsal. This is why it is very important that everyone arrive no later than the designated time of 7:30 a.m. There will be signage in the Arena as well as volunteers who will direct you to the appropriate location.

Who can participate

  • All graduates who received their degree in either August 2017 or December 2017.
  • Everyone who has been granted approval to participate, and is thus on the Registrar's list (which will be published in mid-March on the Registrar's website for May candidates.)  Please note: there are separate lists for August, December, and May candidates.
  • May doctoral degree candidates must check in with the Office of Graduate Studies to ensure that they meet certain additional requirements.
  • If you are unsure as to whether or not you have completed your degree requirements, contact your academic department or advisor.

If you have applied for Commencement and your name does not appear on the list, please contact

All students must meet all financial obligations 14 days prior to their Commencement ceremony. Failure to meet all financial obligations will result in a restriction for students in receiving their diploma or final transcript and may result in the inability to participate in their Commencement ceremony. All students should view their account summary via Highlander Pipeline. If you should have any questions, please contact the Bursar's Office at 973-596-2877.

Only those who have been notified by the University that they can participate in the Commencement Ceremony will be allowed to do so.  Students may make appeals of this policy for specific and exceptional circumstances.  Undergraduate students can review criteria for participation on the Registrar's website. If you wish to appeal the policy, undergraduate students are to complete the Commencement Appeal Form.  Please log on to Highlander Pipeline --> Student --> Graduation --> Commencement Appeal Form.  

The last day for undergraduates to request permission to participate is Friday, March 23, 2018.  If approved, their names may not appear in the Commencement program.

 Ph.D. students who wish to participate in the ceremony but are not on the approved list are to contact the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies by emailing him at as the criteria differ from undergraduates. 

The last day for Ph.D. students to request permission to participate is Saturday, March 31, 2018.  If approved, their names may not appear in the Commencement program.

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Visas for family members

NJIT does not issue letters for guests that need a visa.  For your convenience. a template is available for download.  If you have further questions, please contact the Office of Global Initiatives by phone: 1-973-596-2451, or by email: global

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Commencement-related mailings

Any Commencement information that needs to be mailed to you will be sent via email or to your address of record. If you have had or anticipate a change in address, please notify the university by updating your address through Highlander Pipeline. It is very important that you keep this address current at all times to ensure you are receiving the necessary correspondence.  Your address on record will be used to send you your Commencement photo proofs. 

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Graduates with special needs or those on medication schedules should contact the Special Events Office by Sunday, April 29, 2018, via email at

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If you wish to purchase Commencement announcements highlighting your accomplishments which you can send to family and friends, you can place your order at NJIT Bookstore.  

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Distribution of academic attire

Commencement attire is distributed at Grad Fair please click here for details. Caps, gowns, and hoods must be worn by all candidates. Ph.D. candidates will wear a black tam and red gown.  They will receive their hoods on stage as part of the ceremony.

Commencement attire will not be distributed at the Prudential Center, so make sure you obtain your attire prior. The cost of your attire is incorporated in your commencement/enrollment fees; no additional payment is required. There is no need to order your attire as we stock an ample supply. You must present identification in order to pick up your attire.

Candidates who must have academic attire shipped to them can make arrangements to do so by calling 973-596-3200; however, you are responsible for the shipping fee and you must make arrangements by Friday, May 4, 2018.

If you cannot pick up your attire and would like someone else to, please provide them with a letter from you authorizing them to pick up your attire on your behalf, as well as a copy of your NJIT ID card.

Attire cannot be picked up after Commencement because it is shipped back to the vendor immediately to make room in the Bookstore for summer session supplies.

School colors:

Please make sure that the velvet stripe on your hood (for bachelor's and master's candidates) corresponds to the college or school and degree from which you will earn your degree.  You may not opt for a different color. They are as follows:

Color Chart              
(all degrees)
(all degrees)
(all degrees)
Velvet Stripe on Hood Orange Purple White Gold Brown White Gold

Baccalaureate Package

The attire package for baccalaureate degrees will include ONE EACH: black baccalaureate gown, hood, black mortarboard cap, black tassel and reader card (directions on how to wear your hood are included). Students receiving dual degrees will receive a second hood (if applicable) without charge. All attire is yours to keep.

Doctoral Package

The attire package for doctoral degrees will include ONE EACH: red doctoral gown, black tam cap, and gold tassel. Your Ph.D. hood will be given to you during the ceremony. Doctoral candidates must go to the Office of Graduate Studies in Fenster Hall, Suite 140, to pick up your reader card prior to attending Grad Fair.  You must show your reader card in order to pick up your attire.  All attire is yours to keep.

Additional Distinctions

  • University academic honor distinctions, such as medals, cords or stoles will be distributed by the academic departments.
  • Albert Dorman Honors College students will receive honor medals which will be distributed at the Albert Dorman Honors College Senior Banquet on Friday, May 11, 2018. Those who do not attend the banquet must pick-up their medals at the Honors College office located in Room 204 of the Honors College Hall.
  • Students with double degrees (from two different colleges) will need to decide with which degree they will line up, process and sit during the ceremony. Your hood (color of velvet stripe) must also reflect this decision.
  • Other groups may also have special attire; please inquire with the group (examples are the Educational Opportunity Program and honor societies).
  • Commencement is an academic ceremony therefore only academic distinctions can be worn.  Candidates cannot wear regalia, medals, pins, etc. for other groups i.e. clubs, fraternities, sororities, etc.
  • Candidates that have served in the United States Armed Forces can pick up their red, white and blue cord during the Grad Fair (LINK) on April 27th.

Baccalaureate Candidates with a 3.4 GPA or GREATER

Medals for undergraduate academic honors of Cum Laude (GPA of 3.400 - 3.649), Magna Cum Laude (GPA of 3.650 - 3.849) and Summa Cum Laude (GPA of 3.850 - 4.00) must be picked up at the Grad Fair which will be held in the NJIT Wellness and Events Center on Friday, April 27, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for all candidates. No medals will be distributed at the Arena. The honors designation will appear in the Commencement program. For May candidates who earn honors once the degree is conferred, the designation will appear on the official transcript approximately one month after graduation. The honors designation will also appear on your diploma. Medals are distributed based on GPA’s, but do not include Spring 2018 grades as medals are distributed before final grades are due.

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What to bring

You must bring the following items:

Reader card:  Every candidate must have a reader card that identifies you. You must show this card to enter the Prudential Center line-up area.  Bachelor's candidates will receive their reader cards when they pick up their attire. Doctoral candidates must pick up their reader cards from the Office of Graduate Studies prior to going to the Grad Fair to pick up their attire.  

The reader card has your name, address, and line-up information printed on it. When you go on stage, the card is collected, and your name is read. Prior to the start of Commencement, we will display the members of the class of 2018.  This display will include your name, degree and major.  You may also add a photo.  In order to arrange this, you have from Monday, March 26, 2018, until Friday, May 4, 2018, to upload your photo (link from Haresh).  If you have any questions or are having difficulty uploading a photo, please send us an email.

The cards are also used to identify you by the professional photographers who will take pictures of you while on stage. They will contact you regarding the photographs; therefore, it is imperative that you update your preferred current contact information on Highlander Pipeline so they can send you the proofs of your photos.

Academic attire: 

Caps, gowns, hoods, and tassels must be worn by all who march in the Commencement procession, with the exception of doctoral candidates who will receive their hoods on stage. Gowns are worn closed and caps are worn level (not tilted) with the tassel on the right side.

Academic attire may not be adorned except for honor cords, medals, and pins provided by the university. You are not to wear or carry flowers during the processional and ceremony. Items representing social groups and Greek life are not permitted. Academic protocol requires that professional attire be worn underneath the gown, such as dresses, blouses, pants or skirts for women and shirts with collars and slacks for men. White blouses and shirts and dark clothing and shoes add to the solemnity of the occasion.

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Where do I go at Prudential Center?

Doctoral Candidates

Doctoral candidates enter via the Lafayette Street VIP entrance next to the Prudential Center parking deck.  You must show your access pass to enter the building.  You will be given your access pass when you pick up your reader card at the Graduate Studies Office.  Once you have gone through the security checkpoint you must check-in at the Ph.D. table and then you will be escorted to the appropriate area.  

Bachelor Candidates

All bachelor degree candidates must show their reader card to enter the Arena. Reader cards are distributed as part of your attire packet.

Candidates receiving a bachelor’s degree from Newark College of Engineering (NCE) enter through the Prudential Center's Ford Tower entrance on the corner of Mulberry and Lafayette Streets (the tower on the left as viewed from Mulberry Street). We recommend your guests also use this entrance.

The remaining candidates (all bachelor candidates from College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, Martin Tuchman School of Management, and Ying Wu College of Computing) enter through the Investors Bank Tower entrance to Prudential Center on the corner of Mulberry and Edison Streets. (The tower on the right as viewed from Mulberry Street). We recommend your guests use this entrance also.

After checking in, every candidate will be directed to report to their designated assembly area. Everyone will line up according to their college or school and major (except for the Albert Dorman Honors College candidates who will march at the front of the college from which they will earn their degree).  Staff will be on hand to assist you if necessary.  There will also be color-coded signage to assist you.

College Color Signage


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The ceremony begins with a formal processional which you will be a part of. There will be a program booklet waiting for you on your chair. We begin with welcoming remarks followed by the awarding of honorary degrees. Candidates will then be called to the stage in groups by level and college or school (e.g., all bachelor's candidates from the College of Science and Liberal Arts). Please do NOT bring anything, other than your reader card, with you up on stage (leave program booklets, etc. at your seat). As you approach the stage, you will find an automatic hand-sanitizer. All candidates must sanitize their hands.

You will then be handed a diploma cover and asked to proceed up the ramp to the stage.  When you get to the top of the ramp, you will see NJIT volunteers who will assist you.  One volunteer will take your reader card and hand it at the appropriate time. 

Volunteers instruct you when to cross the stage to shake the hand of the Dean of your college. As you cross the stage, your name will be announced.  After shaking your Dean's hand, you are to exit the stage via the steps located from center stage.  Doctoral candidates will go on stage first.  At the end of the ceremony, there will be a formal recessional.  You must remain in your seat while the stage party and faculty exit.

  • Please turn off all cell phones and other similar devices during the ceremony.
  • Candidates cannot leave the seating area until the end of the ceremony. 

It is an NJIT tradition to read the names of all of the candidates.  Please remain in your seat until all the names have been read and demonstrate the same respect you were given to your fellow classmates and their families.  A member of the Class of 2009 put it best when she said "I view it as if I were sitting through my last lecture class".

No handshake policy

When crossing the stage, candidates may choose not to shake the hand of their Dean.  If so, we ask that when you approach the Dean of your College, you place your right hand over your heart (similar to when you recite the pledge of allegiance) and stop in front of your Dean to bow your head.  The Dean will do the same.

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Where do I store my personal belongings?

There is no place to store personal belongings for candidates, and you are not allowed to bring any on stage (i.e. purses, jackets, umbrellas, gift, duffel bags, cameras, etc.). You must leave all personal items with one of your guests.  NJIT and the Prudential Center will not assume responsibility for any items lost or stolen.

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Diplomas, keepsakes, photos, and videos


For May 2018 candidates who have applied for graduation by the cut-off date, completed all of their degree requirements, and have no holds on their records, diplomas will be made available on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, Diploma Day from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom.  Due to the short time between final exams and the ceremony, diplomas cannot be distributed at the ceremony. If you are currently taking coursework at another institution as part of your degree requirements, you must arrange to have the transfer credit processed in sufficient time to be posted to your record before the department reviews your file for certification. Those who cannot be certified in a timely fashion and those with holds will receive their diplomas once all the requirements have been met. August 2017 and December 2017 graduates should have already received their diplomas.  If you have not received your diploma, please contact the Registrar's Office. (See Commencement-related mailings section above.)

Photos and Videos:

GradImages will contact you with specific information about your photographs at the home and e-mail addresses you provided as your preferred address on Highlander Pipeline. Should you need to contact them, please call 1-800-261-2576. Guests are permitted to photograph and/or videotape the ceremony from their seats only.  Guests are not permitted in the aisles to take photographs of any kind.

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The next portrait session will be March 19 - 23.  Students must sign up here using code 216.  Your last opportunity to have your picture taken on campus for the yearbook will be at the Grad Fair on April 27th. 

If you wish to order a yearbook you may do so online or, for your convenience, a representative of the Nucleus will be at Commencement taking yearbook orders. They will be located at the top of the escalators at each entrance.  Please note: Only orders can be taken as Commencement is included in the yearbook.  Please visit the Nucleus website for all information regarding this year’s yearbook.

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Newspaper articles

If you wish to inform a hometown newspaper of your graduation, please print the press release form and send it to your local paper.

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Alumni Association

As a graduate, you join the ranks of a proud alumni community over 67,000 strong which has the power to influence legislation, recruit deserving students, attract critical resources to the University, and open doors for other alumni.  Please visit the Alumni Relations Office website for the most current information. Keep an eye out for all the activities associated with the Young Alumni Club which consists of all alumni who have graduated in the past 10 years.

As a member of the newest class of alumni, you are cordially invited to attend Alumni Weekend on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at no charge

Please visit for your personal invitation. We look forward to your presence!

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