VCU Commencement

Graduation Info

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Commencement Day Information [PDF]

Guidelines for Stoles, Cords, and Pins [PDF]

Academic regalia

Students participating in the Commencement ceremony must wear academic regalia (caps, gowns and hoods). Regalia will be available for purchase during the Grad Fair events scheduled on Oct. 17 at the Jonah L. Larrick Student Center on the MCV Campus from 12 to 6 p.m. and on Oct. 18 and 19 at Barnes & Noble @ VCU on the Monroe Park Campus from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Following the Grad Fair, regalia will be available for purchase at the Barnes & Noble @ VCU on the Monroe Park and MCV campuses. If you are unable to attend the Grad Fair or visit the bookstore, please order your regalia online at beginning Oct. 20. Shipping charges will apply to all online orders. Academic regalia will not be available at the Commencement ceremony.

Regalia prices, including cap, gown, hood and tassel are $38.98 for a bachelor’s set, $41.98 for a master’s set and $51.98 for a doctoral set. Prices do not include sales tax.

In addition to being the place where you will receive your cap and gown, the Grad Fair will feature many other services and activities. Representatives from various departments and offices will be available during the Grad Fair to help you prepare for graduation, including: VCU Alumni, VCU Libraries and VCU Career Services. During the Grad Fair you can also have your first graduation photo taken in full regalia, order graduation announcements, select an official VCU class ring and purchase graduation accessories.

Assembling and robing

All candidates should plan to arrive at the E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center, 1200 W. Broad St., by 9 a.m., using the Harrison Street entrance. Candidates should follow signs to their school assembly areas, where faculty marshals will provide further information.

Class rings

See the many custom-crafted class ring options, get sized by a representative from Balfour and purchase your class ring during the Grad Fair events at the Barnes & Noble @ VCU on the Monroe Park Campus and the Jonah L. Larrick Student Center on the MCV Campus. Class ring informational brochures are available any time in the bookstores. Graduating students who join VCU Alumni will receive a $60 discount on their class ring purchase. For additional ordering information, please visit the website at or call (866) 225-3687 (BALFOUR).

Commencement announcements

Announcements are the traditional way to tell your friends and family about your achievement. Standard etiquette is to send announcements out two weeks before graduation, but announcements may be ordered at any time and can be sent to friends and family after graduation.

Personalized announcements are available online at or by calling (800) 433-0296. These announcements are printed with the graduate’s full formal name, degree and major. Please allow five to seven business days for announcement order delivery.

Generic announcements do not include a printed name or degree information (blank name cards included). These are $8 for a package of five and are available for sale at the Barnes & Noble @ VCU on the Monroe Park Campus and the MCV Campus.

Commencement exercises: departmental and universitywide ceremonies

Graduates have the opportunity to celebrate their achievement at two ceremonies: the universitywide ceremony and their school or department’s ceremony. You will receive information concerning your individual ceremony from your school or department office. Visit for a complete listing of these ceremonies.

Departmental ceremonies are separate from the universitywide ceremony, which will be held on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 10 a.m. in the E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center, 1200 W. Broad St. At the universitywide ceremony, graduates are recognized collectively by school, with the exception of Ph.D. and Ed.D. candidates, who will be recognized individually. At departmental ceremonies, graduates will be recognized individually and, typically, will walk across the stage.

Diploma frames

Diploma frames designed and matted especially for VCU will be available through the bookstores. For additional information, please visit or call the Barnes & Noble @ VCU on the Monroe Park Campus at (804) 828-1678, or the Barnes & Noble @ VCU on the MCV Campus at (804) 828-0336.


Diplomas selected for pickup will be available in the Harris Hall Student Services Center, 1015 Floyd Ave., Room 1100, during office hours beginning on or after Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. If a third party plans to pick up your diploma, you must notify the Graduation Office via email ( on the same day to authorize the pickup. Diplomas not picked up by Feb. 3 will be mailed starting Feb. 6. Diplomas selected for mailing will be mailed beginning Jan. 23. Diplomas for August 2016 graduates are currently being mailed.

Graduation Office

If you or a family member have any questions concerning graduation, please feel free to contact the Graduation Office at (804) 828-1917 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Graduation candidates needing special accommodations for the E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center ceremony may call (804) 828-1139.

Graduation portraits

Graduation portraits — featuring a choice of background — will be taken at the E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center, 1200 W. Broad St., prior to Commencement exercises on Dec. 10 from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Graduates who wish to avail themselves of this final portrait opportunity should plan to arrive early. There is no obligation to purchase the portrait; you will receive proofs via email showing each available background. Graduation photography is coordinated through VCU Alumni. Visit

Guest seating

The E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center doors will be opened for guests at 9 a.m. Tickets are not required and there is no reserved seating. In accordance with fire marshal regulations, no one will be allowed admission once the E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center has reached capacity. If guests exit the E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Centerr during the ceremony, they will not be readmitted as long as the seating capacity has been reached.


Complimentary parking is available at the VCU parking decks located at 1111 W. Broad St. and 609 Bowe St. For maps and directions, visit

Guests planning to attend any of the departmental ceremonies in close proximity to or at the Student Commons on Friday or Saturday are encouraged to utilize the West Cary St. Parking Deck (1201 W. Cary St.), which will be open and free for both dates. Also, visitors should avoid driving on Main St., between N. Belvidere St. and N. Cherry St., on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon and evening, if possible.

Regalia assistance

A fund has been established to provide those with financial need assistance in purchasing regalia. Students may request an application for Regalia Assistance from Dr. Reuban B. Rodriguez, Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, in person (Sitterding House, 901 Floyd Ave.) or via email Applications will be accepted October 24, 2016 through December 1, 2016. For more information, visit

RSVP for VCU Commencement

Students who plan to participate in VCU’s universitywide Commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 10 at the E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center must register to confirm their participation. Please click here for more information.

Please RSVP no later than December 6, 2016.

Sign up for SALT

SALT® is a free, nonprofit-backed educational program that provides students and alumni with financial literacy and money management tools. SALT® provides neutral advice, practical information and interactive lessons that will help you as you navigate life beyond college, keeping you on the path to success. SALT® can help you plan your career path, understand how to repay student debt and successfully manage your money throughout your life. As a VCU graduate, you are eligible to create your own SALT® account and start your journey to financial success! Sign up today at


Special accommodations

Mobility-impaired guests may unload at the E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center UU lot located at the corner of Broad and Ryland streets and park on the ground floor of the Bowe Street Parking Deck, located at 609 Bowe St. Hearing-impaired guests may want to sit in Section 8, where an interpreter can be seen easily. Graduation candidates needing special accommodations should contact Disability Support Services at (804) 828-1139. Guests seeking information regarding special accommodations should contact the E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center at or visit

Special note

E.J. Wade Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center policy strictly prohibits alcohol, backpacks and duffle bags, balloons, coolers, bottles, cans, outside food and drink, laser pointers, artificial noise makers, weapons or tools, wrapped packages, and banners and signs. In addition, graduates are asked not to bring their purses or other valuable items, beach balls, Silly String or flammables of any form. Be advised that the police will confiscate these items.

VCU Alumni

Join VCU Alumni today! Stay connected with your alma mater no matter where life leads you. Enjoy exclusive member discounts and perks, receive career assistance and much more. Click the link below to access your special Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) rate. 

VCU’s Graduate Outcomes Survey

As a soon-to-be graduate of VCU you will be emailed a series of requests to tell us where you’re headed after your time at VCU. Starting a new job? Continuing your education? Maybe you’re not sure just yet. VCU would like to know. The Outcomes Survey is a national survey of graduates’ first-destination outcomes, and as you approach graduation at VCU you’ll be asked to share your plans. Your name will not be associated with your responses in any public way, as responses will be reported in aggregate. Be sure to fill out the survey when you receive the email!

Visitor information

If you need information about lodging and dining accommodations, “The Complete Visitor’s Guide” is available from the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, 401 N. 3rd St., Richmond, VA 23219. Call (804) 783-7450 or (888) 742-4666, or visit