What should I wear?

All graduates must wear academic regalia, which consists of cap, gown and hood for the Commencement ceremony. 

Business attire is appropriate under the gown. Dress shoes are required. Avoid uncomfortable shoes or extreme high-heeled shoes as navigation of stairs and carpeted areas is required. 

Graduates may also wear any University-approved honor society cords, pins and Notre Dame medals.  There are no cords for Latin Honors; however, students with Latin Honors will have them announced as their names are read during the ceremony.

Stoles are not permitted unless the graduating student is a Morrissy Honors student.

See Academic Regalia for more information.

What if I forget my cap, gown, tassels or hood?

Don't. However, if you do by chance forget regalia items, a representative from the bookstore will be at the ceremony with replacement regalia for CASH ONLY purchases.

How do I check-in?

There is no formal check-in process.

All graduating students should have received a card at the April Commencement Fair. The card will list your name as it appears on your diploma and Latin Honors (if applicable). DO NOT LOSE THIS CARD. 

You will hold onto this card during the processional--and at your seat--and will hand it to the reader before your name is announced. Please do not add or erase any notations on the card. 

If students did not attend the April Commencement Fair, they may come to campus beginning on Monday, April 25, 2022 to pick up their card from the University's Registrar's Office located in Gibbons Hall. Name cards will also be available for pick-up from a Registrar's Office representative in the line-up area for graduation students on Sunday, May 22, 2022. However, this will be a busy day and students are STRONGLY encouraged to obtain this card prior to the Commencement Ceremony.

How do I line up?

Don't forget to bring your name cards with you that you received at the Commencement Fair!

Once you arrive at the venue, please locate your School in the designated line-up area. There will be signs posted with School names. (Please note: If you have a role in the ceremony, you will be lining up with your School as well. Further directions will be provided in advance to you if this is the case.)

  • Women's College and College of Adult Undergraduate Studies graduates will line up together via School and in alpha order by last name.
  • Masters Graduates will line up by School and in alpha order by last name.
  • PharmD students will line up separately (noted by PharmD sign) and in alpha order by last name.
  • PhD students will line up separately (noted by PhD sign) and in alpha order by last name.

Your department chairs along with staff volunteers will be there to assist you.  

You should be in place in line by 10:15 a.m. at the absolute latest. Please be patient and courteous during this important process. The procession will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m. so you must be in line at that time.

Can I leave the line-up area?

We’d prefer that you didn’t leave the line-up area. There are bathrooms inside the line-up area, and there will be bobby pins and safety pins available. The University’s Bookstore will also be in this space should you need any last-minute regalia. No family members or guests are allowed in these areas. You must be in line by 10:15 a.m. at the absolute latest.

Can I leave my stuff in the line-up area?

No. There will not be a secure area to leave your belongings.

Please do not carry purses or large bags with you as they will be cumbersome and you will not be able to leave them at your seat once you are in the arena for the ceremony. Please give these items to family members or guests to hold until after the ceremony. If you need to bring something, we strongly suggest items that may fit into your pockets or small, wallet-sized bags with shoulder straps that can be worn under your academic gown.

What do I do with my name card?

Guard your card! You will need it during the ceremony. Do not add or delete anything on the card. If you feel there is an error, please check with the Registrar as only they are permitted to make any adjustments.

During the ceremony, the Student Marshal and ushers will direct one row of graduates at a time to approach the stage. This is when you will present your card to the reader. 

After you have handed your card to the reader, immediately proceed to the center of the stage where you will meet the President. Do not wait for your name to be called as this will slow the line. Rest assured that giving the timing and flow, your name will be called once you reach center stage—so keep walking!

What's the proper way to wear my cap and gown?

When you process in, drape your hood over your left arm. All graduates will be hooded as part of the ceremony. 

The point of the cap aligns with your nose. Tassels are laid to the left of the cap prior to the ceremony. 

Honor society cords and University-approved medals are permitted.

See Academic Regalia for more information.

When and how are we processing into the venue?

At 10:30 a.m., bells in the arena will toll and the Student Marshal will lead two lines: 

  • one for undergraduates studies on the right side when facing the entrance to the ground Arena floor, and
  • one for graduates studies on the left side when facing the entrance to the ground Arena floor. 

All graduates will be lined up by School and in alpha order by student's last name. Each School will have their own School Marshal that will guide graduates into the Arena.

After the ringing of the bells promptly at 10:30 a.m., the Student Marshal will lead the procession. This part of the ceremony is essentially "follow the leader". You will sit in the center sections in front of the stage. Follow the Student Marshal and Commencement staff as they will indicate when to start a new row. It will be a tight fit! Squeeze in! 

Please follow directions quickly and quietly.

What happens during the ceremony?

When you reach your seat, remain standing for the Invocation and America the Beautiful until both are completed. Your programs will be on your seats. You will sit for the next part. 

When asked for candidates, for example, of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Sciences to rise, stand up! A designated baccalaureate will then go to the front of the stage to be hooded by the University's President. While the hooding occurs, all undergraduate studies graduates will put on their hoods, too. Please help each other out through this hooding process. 

All masters and doctorate graduates will be hooded by faculty, either prior to walking across stage or on stage.

You will be prompted by University staff and faculty to go up to the stage, so please do so quietly and quickly.

What's the procedure for going on stage and getting my degree folder?

Undergraduate students will be the first to receive their degree folders followed by MA/MS graduates, CASE, School of Pharmacy and PhD graduates.  

Graduates will go directly from your seats to the stage. The ushers will direct one row of graduates at a time to process around the far right side of the arena and then approach the right side of the stage. 

You will be directed to go up the stairs and hand your card to the reader, who will be standing next to the podium. As soon as you hand over your card, immediately begin walking toward the center of the stage to the President. The reader will hand your card to the designated reader, who will read your name and any honors.

Make sure to take the NDMU cover with your left hand and shake the President's hand with your right hand. 

You will then proceed across the stage, down the stairs, and you will be directed back to your seat. 

School of Pharmacy and PhD graduates will be hooded on stage by faculty.

Will my Latin honors be announced?

Students with Latin Honors will have them announced as their names are read during the ceremony. The Latin Honor written on your name card is based on the GPA you received as of the end of the Fall 2021 semester.

How can I get pictures?

GradImages will take pictures of graduates as they approach the stage, receive their diplomas from the President, and immediately after they leave the stage.

No one will be permitted near the stage to take photos during the ceremony. Guests may take photographs from their seats. There will be two large screens on each side of the stage that will allow guests to capture larger images of you crossing the stage. 

Photo order information was provided at the April Commencement Fair and information is also available on their website.

How do we recess out of the venue?

Students will follow the faculty out of the venue. The Student Marshal will direct you by row to stand, leave your row and leave the arena in a double line. Undergraduates and graduate students will form two lines and march out side-by-side.

How do we get our diplomas?

All graduating students who have completed all academic requirements and have no outstanding financial University obligations will have diplomas available for pickup during the month of June. If you need to make other arrangements to pick up your diploma or update your contact information, please contact the Registrar’s Office at registrar@ndm.edu or 410-532-5327.