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Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

FAQs for Guests

Travel and Local Amenities

Special Needs Accommodations

FAQs for Graduates

FAQs for Faculty/Staff


General FAQs

Q. What activities will occur during the commencement exercises?

A. Commencement exercises at TCNJ provide two opportunities for graduates to celebrate their achievements. On Thursday, all graduates—undergraduate and graduate—are welcome to participate in the main ceremony in Lions Stadium beginning at 3 p.m. The main ceremony consists of the official conferral of degrees and lasts approximately one hour. The main ceremony will take place rain or shine. Graduates are also invited to participate in their school or department’s ceremony on either Thursday or Friday. Visit the Departmental/School Ceremony page to see which day your graduate’s department/school is having its ceremony. Departmental/school ceremonies provide an intimate gathering where individual academic departments celebrate each student’s personal success, including the announcement of individual names.

Graduates, their families, and guests can visit Quimby’s Prairie throughout the day on both days to enjoy complimentary light refreshments. Immediately following the main ceremony, all graduates and their guests are invited to attend the President’s Reception, hosted by President Gitenstein, on Quimby’s Prairie and Green Lawn to celebrate the newly minted grads.

Q. Is the main ceremony streamed on the Web and/or simulcast?

A. The main ceremony can be viewed live on the web beginning at 2:30 p.m. A link to the webcast will be posted on the commencement website. Guests can also be a part of the action on social media by using #TCNJ17. Guests may view a live simulcast of the main ceremony in various indoor locations on campus.


FAQs for Guests

Q. Do guests need tickets to attend the main ceremony?

A. Tickets are not required for any commencement activities, unless you are reserving space in the special needs seating area at the main ceremony or if the college proceeds with the severe weather scenario and the main ceremony is moved indoors.

Q. How many people can attend the main ceremony? What about the departmental/school ceremonies?

A. The number of guests is not limited for all ceremonies, though the college plans for five (5) guests per graduate at the departmental/school ceremony locations. In the event of severe weather, two tickets per graduate will be issued for the main ceremony. Tickets must be picked up with regalia at the Graduation Fair in March. Tickets are not replaceable and must be present to enter the main ceremony in the Recreation Center if the severe weather scenario is in effect.

Q. Am I allowed to take photos/videos during the commencement ceremonies?

A. Yes, guests are permitted to take photos/videos during the main ceremony. The college asks that guests be respectful of others and not obstruct their view of the event. Please check with your graduate’s department regarding departmental/school ceremony procedures.

Q. Where do (specific) graduates sit at the main ceremony?

A. Graduates will be seated by school on the ground level of the stadium. The main ceremony stadium diagram will be posted on this website, as will the locations and times of the departmental/school ceremonies.

Q. Will food be available on campus?

A. Yes, complimentary light refreshments will be provided both days at TCNJ Commencement Reception on Quimby’s Prairie.

Travel and Local Amenities

Q. What hotels/motels are located near TCNJ?

A. Listing of local accommodations.

Q. What restaurants are located near TCNJ?

A. Listing of local restaurants.

Special Needs Accommodations

Q. Will there be seating areas at the main ceremony for individuals with special needs?

A. Yes, reserved ground-level seating will be provided at the main ceremony for individuals with special needs. One guest from the same party may accompany the person requiring special needs seating.

For reservations for special needs seating at the main ceremony, please visit the Accessibility portion of this website.

Please contact your graduate’s department for any special seating provisions you may require at departmental/school ceremonies. Contact numbers are listed under the Important Phone Numbers section of this website.

Q. Where can I rent a wheelchair for commencement?

A. Wheelchairs can be rented at Ambest Surgical Supply Company or Delcrest Medical Supplies. For further information regarding pick up and return, please call the vendors.

Ambest Surgical Supply Company

Delcrest Medical Supplies

Monroe Medical Supplies

Q. Will there be a sign language interpreter at the main ceremony?

A. Yes, the main ceremony will have a sign language interpreter. Also, the live simulcast of the main ceremony will have closed-captioning.

Reserved seating with a sight line to the sign language interpreter can be arranged for the main ceremony. One guest from the same party may accompany the person requiring assistance. For reservations, please visit the Accessibility portion of this website.

If you have the need for a sign language interpreter at an individual departmental ceremony, please make this request through the Office of Disability Support Services.

Office of Disability Support Services
telephone: 609.771.3199
fax: 609.637.5107
attention: Meghan Sooy, Director of Disability Support Services


FAQs for Students

Q. I have finished all the requirements for graduation. How do I make sure I am on the list for graduation?

A. Graduates must have applied for graduation via PAWS by February 6. If you have questions or would like to register, please call the Office of Records and Registration at 609.771.2141.

Q. How do I order my cap and gown and can I keep my regalia?

A. All registered graduates on the list can pick up their caps and gowns at TCNJ’s Bookstore during Graduation Fair in March. You will need to show your active student ID. Your academic regalia is yours to keep.

Q. I am unable to pick up my cap and gown during the designated hours that the bookstore is open. Can I send someone to pick it up for me?

A. Yes, but the person picking up the cap and gown must have the graduate’s ID card and pick up during Graduation Fair in March.

Q. Where can I order personalized commencement announcements, diploma frames, and commencement commemorative items?

A. All commencement related memorabilia will be available at TCNJ’s Bookstore.

Q. When will Departmental Ceremony locations be posted to this website?

A. Departmental/school ceremony locations will be posted in the Departmental/School Ceremonies section of this site by March.

Q. Will there be an opportunity to take photos with faculty and/or the dean of my school?

A. Yes, there will opportunities for photos at the departmental Ceremonies.

Q. When will I get my diploma?

A. You will not receive your diploma on commencement day. You will receive a diploma cover at your departmental/school ceremony, you will receive a diploma cover. Diplomas will be mailed to the graduate’s permanent address on file with the Office of Records and Registration approximately six to eight weeks after commencement. If you have recently moved or will be moving, please be sure to notify the Office of Records and Registration of your correct address.

NOTE: You will not receive your diploma or transcript if you have $100 or more of outstanding financial obligations (e.g., parking tickets, library fines, student loan exit interviews, etc.).

Q. How do I join The College of New Jersey Alumni Association?

A. Visit the TCNJ Alumni Website to learn more about programs and offerings to TCNJ alumni, or call 609.771.2393 for information.

Q. Can I participate in commencement if I have outstanding financial obligations?

A. Yes. However, you will not receive your diploma or transcripts until you have satisfied any outstanding financial obligations (this includes complying with the necessary student loan exit interviews).

Q. I graduated last December. How can I get a tassel with my graduation year on it?

A. Tassels from the previous year’s graduation will be available to purchase at the bookstore.

Q. Will honors cords, ribbons, or pins be provided with my academic regalia?

A. No. Please contact your honor society regarding any special honors regalia.

Q. Where and when do I line up for the procession into the stadium for the main ceremony?

A. Students are to report to C-Street by 2:30 p.m. to line up by school for the procession into Lions Stadium for the main ceremony. 

Q. What should I wear?

A. Please dress according to the forecasted weather. When selecting shoes, keep in mind that the stadium turf is not a solid surface and consequently, it is difficult to walk in heels.

FAQs for Faculty/Staff

Q. I’m a faculty/staff member at the college and would like to volunteer to help on Commencement day. How do I sign up?

A. We love having volunteers! Contact Mary Sanders for details. Email:

Q. When and where does the faculty procession begin?

A. Faculty participating in the processional are asked to assemble along the sidewalk between the Rec Center and the Packer Hall parking lot by 3 p.m.


Q. I have other questions. Who do I call?

A. Please refer to the Important Phone Numbers page to determine who to contact.