Commencement – Saturday, May 1, 2021

Details coming soon!

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Rochester University holds commencement at the end of the Spring semester. Attendance is recommended but not required for graduation. Please see the Graduation and Commencement Application Deadlines chart below. The Registrar must receive transcripts from other institutions by the end of the summer semester. If transcripts have not been received by the appropriate date, the student’s degree will not be posted.


Graduation Audit

Upon receiving a student’s graduation application, the Office of the Registrar conducts an official graduation audit. A graduation audit letter will be sent to the student’s RU email account within four weeks of submitting a graduation application to confirm progress toward graduation.

Graduation/Commencement FAQs

  • What is the difference between graduation and commencement?
    • Graduation is the completion of all degree requirements as recorded on the official transcript. Commencement is the ceremony that celebrates the completion of a degree. There are three graduation terms a year (Fall, Spring, and Summer) and one commencement ceremony at the end of the Spring semester.
  • What is the proper commencement attire?
    • Casual clothing such as jeans, t-shirts, and tennis shoes are NOT allowed for commencement.
  • Are there any awards given out during commencement?
    • No, there are not any awards given out during commencement.
  • Who should be contacted for accommodations during commencement?
    • Please contact the Office of the Registrar regarding accommodations at
  • How long does commencement last?
    • The ceremony will last approximately one hour.
  • Where can we park for the commencement ceremony?
    • Parking is available outside the Garth Pleasant Arena. There is additional parking in the lots surrounding the campus. Please see the campus map for additional parking information. Campus Map »
  • Will the commencement ceremony be live-streamed?
    • Currently, the ceremony is not live-streamed.
  • Will there be a professional photographer taking photos of graduates?
    • Yes. We will have professional photographers from GradImages taking photographs during before, during, and after the ceremony. The photographers will take a photo of the graduate as they shake hands with the President of the university, as well as a posed photograph after they receive their diploma cover.
  • Where and when do I purchase my graduation attire?
  • How do I receive my diploma?
    • Your diploma will be mailed to the address you provided on your graduation application 8-12 weeks after graduation.
  • How many tickets is each person allowed?
    • Each graduate can claim up to 5 tickets. Everyone needs a ticket, including infants and children. Graduates do not need a ticket.
  • As a guest, may we take photographs?
    • You are welcome to take photographs during the commencement ceremony. We just ask that there is no flash photography.
  • What items are prohibited from being in the commencement area?
    • We prohibit silly string and noisemakers.
  • May I participate in graduation before I actually graduate?
    • Yes. Please see chart below.
  • Where do parents meet students for pictures after the commencement?
    • Family and friends may meet the graduate on the arena floor after the commencement ceremony has ended. Graduates are welcome to take photos with their family and friends inside or outside of the arena.