VCU Commencement

Graduation Info


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Commencement Day Guide for Graduates [PDF]

Guidelines for cords, stoles, and pins [PDF]

Academic regalia

Students participating in the Commencement ceremony must wear academic regalia (caps, gowns and hoods). 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. The MCV Campus Grad Fair is scheduled for Oct. 9 at the Jonah L. Larrick Student Center from 12 to 6 p.m. The Monroe Park Campus Grad Fair is scheduled for Oct. 10-11 at the Monroe Park Barnes & Noble @ VCU from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Following the Grad Fair, regalia will be available for purchase at the Barnes & Noble @ VCU on your respective campus. If you are unable to attend the Grad Fair or visit your bookstore, please order your regalia online at beginning Oct. 12. 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: bachelor set, $55.98; master set, $76.98; Ph.D./Ed.D. set, $91.98; and professional doctorate set, $59.98 (professional doctorate programs include D.P.T., D.D.S., Pharm.D., M.D. and D.N.A.P.). 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 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. 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 and MCV campuses.

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. At departmental ceremonies, graduates will be recognized individually and typically will walk across the stage. 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 held on Saturday, Dec. 9 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. .

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. 22, 2018. 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. 2 will be mailed starting Feb. 5. Diplomas selected for mailing will be mailed beginning Jan. 22. Diplomas for August 2017 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 Siegel Center ceremony may call (804) 828-2253 or refer to the appropriate sections of this brochure.

Graduation portraits

Graduation portraits — featuring a choice of background — will be taken at the Siegel Center, 1200 W. Broad St., prior to Commencement exercises on Dec. 9 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 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 Siegel Center has reached capacity. If guests exit the Siegel Center during the ceremony, they will not be readmitted as long as the seating capacity has been reached.


Parking is available to the public for free at two VCU parking decks - the West Broad Street Parking Deck, located at 1111 W. Broad St., and the Bowe Street Parking Deck, 609 Bowe St. For maps and directions, visit

Persons with reduced mobility may unload at the corner of Broad and Harrison streets on the Broad Street side of the Siegel Center and park on the ground floor of the Bowe Street Parking Deck.

Please note: Guests parking at the West Broad Street Parking Deck should follow signage within the deck for special accommodations.

Posting of Degree

The official conferral date for December 2017 degrees is December 23, 2017. Degrees will post to your record on Wednesday, January 10, 2018. Degrees will only show for those students who have satisfied all degree requirements and receive final approval. Please check your unofficial transcript via eServices to ensure your degree has been posted before requesting official transcripts.

Prohibited Items

Siegel Center policy strictly prohibits alcohol, backpacks and duffle bags, balloons, coolers, bottles, cans, outside food and drink, laser pointers, artificial noise makers, firearms, 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.

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 via email ( Applications will be accepted from October 16 to December 1.

RSVP for VCU Commencement

Students who plan to participate in VCU’s universitywide Commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 9 at the Siegel Center must register to confirm their participation. A link to RSVP will be sent to each graduating student’s VCU email address in October. For more information, please email

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

Persons with reduced mobility may unload at the corner of Broad and Harrison streets on the Broad Street side of the Siegel Center and park on the ground floor of the Bowe Street Parking Deck, located at 609 Bowe St. Persons with hearing-impairment may want to sit in Section 8, where an interpreter can be seen easily. Accessible seating options are available throughout the arena.

If you are a graduate with a disability and need accommodations at the ceremony, please contact Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity at (804) 828-2253. Family and guests seeking additional information about accessibility/ADA at the Siegel Center should email or visit

VCU Alumni

You’ve had a great ride, and the memories of your time at VCU will stay with you forever. But don’t leave VCU in the rear view. Connect now with VCU Alumni to discover all the ways you can remain connected with your alma mater long after the big day. As a graduate, VCU Alumni offers opportunities for you to watch career webinars; join regional, academic or special interest-based chapters; take part in networking opportunities; save on insurance with Nationwide; and learn about VCU Career Services. Most importantly, make sure you stay connected after graduation by providing a non-VCU email and other updated contact information at Becoming official alumni is closer than than you think. If you have any questions, 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