Student wearing a mortar board saying VCU Grad at commencement

Graduation info

Academic regalia

Regalia will be available for purchase during Grad Fair events. Grad Fair will be held at the MCV Campus Barnes & Noble @ VCU on Tuesday, March 12, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at the Monroe Park Campus Barnes & Noble @ VCU Wednesday, March 13 – Friday, March 15, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please remember that you must visit your primary campus’ Barnes & Noble @ VCU to purchase your specific regalia.

Following Grad Fair, regalia will be available for purchase at the Barnes & Noble @ VCU on the Monroe Park and MCV campuses until Graduation day. If you are unable to attend Grad Fair or visit Barnes & Noble @ VCU, please order your regalia online at balfour.com/vcu. Shipping charges will apply to all internet orders. Online ordering will be available through Balfour from February 19 to March 15.

Regalia prices, which include cap, gown, hood and tassel, are as follows: bachelor’s set, $63.94; master’s set, $81.94; Ph.D./Ed.D. set, $120.92; and professional doctorate set, $69.94 (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.

Cords and stoles

Cords and stoles are available for purchase at the Barnes & Noble @ VCU locations or online at balfour.com/vcu.

In addition to receiving your cap and gown, Grad Fair features many other services and activities. Representatives from various departments and offices will be available during Grad Fair to help you prepare for graduation, including VCU Alumni, VCU Career Services, VCU Continuing and Professional Education, and many more. During 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.

Regalia assistance

Business Services offers a fund for students needing financial assistance purchasing regalia. Regalia is sold through the Barnes & Noble @ VCU campus bookstores. Regalia prices, including cap, gown, hood and tassel, are determined yearly. 

Students must complete the online application form, which is available online from March 8- 24. Applying for assistance does not automatically grant it. Regalia requests are considered on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted. Notifications will be sent no more than two weeks after application. 

For more information, visit this website

Note: Reimbursement will not be made to students who have previously purchased regalia, and assistance is not applicable for online purchases.


Assembling and robing

All candidates should plan to arrive at the Greater Richmond Convention Center by 9 a.m. to line up with their fellow graduates. Graduates will line up in the Grand Ballroom and may choose to arrive in their regalia or get dressed on site. Academic regalia will not be available at the Commencement ceremony. VCU faculty and staff will be on hand to answer questions and help graduates line up.


Class rings

The official VCU class ring is a lasting symbol of your academic achievements and a constant reminder of the university’s distinct history. Around the country and the world, fellow alumni wear VCU rings, and they provide instantaneous recognition and serve as a wonderful catalyst for sharing in VCU affiliation and memories. You join alumni in wearing the official class ring as a reminder of the time, experiences and memories you made at VCU.

Representatives from Balfour will be at the MCV Campus Barnes & Noble @ VCU on March 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Monroe Park Campus Barnes & Noble @ VCU on March 13-15 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Purchase your rings by this time to get them by the Ring Ceremony on May 8.

For additional ordering information, please visit balfour.com/vcu 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 VCU announcements can be ordered at Grad Fair and available online at balfour.com/vcu or by calling (800) 433-0296. These announcements are printed with the graduate’s full formal name, degree and major. Please allow seven to 10 business days for announcement order delivery.


Commencement exercise: Departmental and universitywide ceremonies

Graduates have the opportunity to celebrate their achievements at two ceremonies: the universitywide ceremony and their school or departmental ceremony.

At school or departmental ceremonies, graduates will be recognized individually and typically will walk across the stage. Graduates will receive information about these ceremonies from their school or department office. For a listing of these ceremonies, please check back for more information.

School and departmental ceremonies are separate from the universitywide ceremony held on Saturday, May 11, at 10 a.m. at the Greater Richmond Convention Center, 403 N. Third St., Richmond, Va. 23219. 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 and degree conferral

The official conferral date for May 2024 degrees is May 18, 2024. Degrees will post to your record on Tuesday, May 28, 2024. Degrees will not appear on your academic transcript until this date. Degrees will only show for those students who have satisfied all degree requirements and receive final approval. Check your academic transcript via eServices to ensure your degree has been posted before requesting official transcripts.

VCU now offers digital diplomas! These are certified electronic credentials known as a CeDiploma! You will receive an email with a link to download your credential when it is available from our trusted partner, CeCredentialTrust. This service is available to students at a charge of $17.95.

Physical diplomas will be mailed beginning June 28, 2024, to the address provided during graduation checkout.  Digital (CeDiplomas) diplomas will be available for download beginning June 28, 2024.  To receive your diploma, you must meet all financial obligations to the university. Diplomas will not be released for those students who have not met their financial obligations. Please contact the Office of Records and Registration at (804) 827-1673 or graduation@vcu.edu once those obligations have been met.

Call Me By My Name

If you are requesting changes based on a legal change of name, the first step is to process your legal change of name with the university. Information on doing so may be found at rar.vcu.edu/records.

If you have not changed your legal name and are requesting changes based on the name of use, please visit Call Me By My Name.


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 MCV Campus at (804) 828-0336.


Financial aid guidance

There are free resources to help you navigate life beyond college. Want to figure out how much you need to pay on your student loans and when? Visit https://studentaid.gov/ and use the online Loan Repayment Calculator or access repayment forms. Maybe you need help with making the most of your money. Learn about the “Five Money Principles” you should keep in mind when making day-to-day financial decisions by visiting https://www.mymoney.gov/mymoneyfive. These resources will help you learn ways to minimize your debt and save for the future.


First-generation graduation pins

The You First at VCU First-Generation Student Success and Research Center has a gift for first-generation graduates. They have designed a special “You First at VCU” pin for you to wear on your regalia as you celebrate your big day.

Who qualifies as a first-generation student? Any student whose parents did not complete a four-year degree is considered a first-generation student. Some of you may have siblings who are attending college or who completed a degree; you and your siblings are part of the same generation. You’re all first-gen!

Pins will be available at the Monroe Park Grad Fair on March 13, 14, and 15. If you cannot come to Grad Fair, pins will be available for pick up in the Office of Special Programs beginning March 18 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Questions? Please feel free to contact youfirst@vcu.edu.


Grad Bash

Class of 2024, it's your official alumni welcome! Celebrate with the Office of Alumni Relations on Tuesday, May 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. as you are about to begin your journey into alumni hood.

Students graduating in May 2024 can enjoy food, free swag, and get photos taken by professional photographers. 

Visit here for more information.


Graduate exit survey

Support your fellow Rams by sharing your post-graduation plans — whether working, going on to further education or still seeking — via the VCU First Destination Survey in Handshake. Prize drawings will be held regularly (starting April 19), and those who complete the survey will be eligible to win AirPods, an air fryer, a robot vacuum, a luggage set, and Amazon gift cards. Additionally, ALL grads who fill out the First Destination Survey (FDS) between March 12 and July 1 will receive a discount code from Barnes & Noble @ VCU for 20% off any VCU-branded item purchased in-person at either campus location, including diploma frames. Before the survey closes in November 2024, you’ll also be able to review or change your information as needed. Questions? Contact careers@vcu.edu.


Graduation portraits

Commemorate this momentous occasion, your college graduation, with individual portraits by Balfour/Grad Images. They will be available at the MCV Campus Barnes & Noble @ VCU on Tuesday, March 12, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at the Monroe Park Campus Barnes & Noble @ VCU Wednesday, March 13 – Friday, March 15, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m You must purchase or provide your own regalia for the pictures.

On Saturday, May 11, graduation portraits will be available from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. before the universitywide ceremony at the Stuart C. Siegel Center. Graduates who wish to participate in this final portrait opportunity should plan to arrive early. Registration is not required.


Guest seating

GRCC doors will open for guests at 8:30 a.m. Guests should use the entrances at Third and Marhsall or Fifth and Marshall streets to access the Exhibit Hall Pavillion of GRCC. Guest should allow additional time to travel and park as heavy traffic in the area is anticipated. Tickets are no required, and there is no reserved seating. Seating is limited and available on first-come, first-served basis.


Guidelines for cords, stoles and pins

We hold all of our graduates in high esteem at Commencement. In addition to the traditional cap and gown regalia worn at this event, students are entitled to wear stoles, honor cords and pins to signify their participation in organizations or achievement with groups or programs. The student/organization/group is responsible for the cost of any such regalia.

Barnes & Noble @ VCU on the Monroe Park and MCV campuses will carry stoles, honor cords and pins for students and student organizations for pickup or purchase. A list of individuals who are eligible for these items is provided to the bookstore by the sponsoring group or organization. Graduation stoles, pins, and honor cords must be kept with the decorum of the event. 

Latin honors cords

In addition to being listed in the Commencement program, Latin honors cords will be available for Commencement. Baccalaureate degrees with honors are conferred per the following cumulative grade-point averages: cum laude, 3.30-3.59; magna cum laude, 3.60-3.89; and summa cum laude, 3.90-4.00.

These designations apply only to candidates who have completed 45 or more credit hours of coursework at VCU and have a cumulative VCU GPA of 3.30 or higher. Once the initial criterion is met, calculation of the GPA for honors determination is based on grades received for all courses taken for credit at VCU, as well as for credits accepted for transfer at VCU. If the calculated GPA falls below 3.30, the student is no longer eligible for Latin honors designation. Latin honors cords can be purchased at Barnes & Noble @ VCU once a student’s GPA status is confirmed during the semester in which they plan to graduate.

For more information on Latin honors, please visit rar.vcu.edu/graduation.


Parking

Parking is available to the public for a nominal fee at the GRCC Third and Marshall streets parking deck, and the Fifth and Marshall streets garage.

GRCC parking deck

The GRCC parking deck is located at the corner of Third and Marshall streets and is conveniently connected to GRCC via an enclosed skywalk. For GPS directions to this parking deck, use the following address: 351 N. Third St., Richmond, Va. 23219. For maps and directions, visit richmondcenter.com/directions. Parking in this deck is limited, so guests are encouraged to come early.

Fifth and Marshall streets garage and other parking options

The Fifth and Marshall streets garage is located at 500 E. Marshall St., Richmond, Va. 23219.

For a detailed map of downtown parking locations, please visit https://www.rva.gov/public-works/parking-enterprise.


Records and registration

If you or a family member have any questions concerning graduation, please feel free to contact the Office of Records and Registration at graduation@vcu.edu or (804) 827-1673 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.


RSVP for VCU Commencement

Students who plan to participate in VCU’s universitywide Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 11, at GRCC are asked to RSVP.

Visit go.vcu.edu/commencementrsvp to RSVP and reserve your seat. For questions, please email UNIVevents@vcu.edu.


Special accommodations

Accessible seating options are available throughout the exhibit halls of GRCC. In addition, closed captioning will be provided on screens throughout the exhibit halls for persons with hearing impairment. An accessible drop-off area will be designated on Third Street, adjacent to GRCC.

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 GRCC should visit the richmondcenter.com/visitor-amenities.


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 rearview. Connect now with VCU Alumni to discover all the ways you can remain engaged with your alma mater long after the big day. VCU Alumni offers opportunities for you as a graduate to join regional, academic or special interest-based chapters or take part in virtual and in-person networking and career development opportunities. Most importantly, make sure you stay connected after graduation by providing a non-VCU email so we can stay in touch and send you events based on your location!

Looking for UNforgettable VCU gifts for grads? M.LaHart & Co's VCU Collection is expertly crafted, personally engraved and beautifully presented.

We're excited for you to join the alum family. If you have any questions, email alumni@vcu.edu.


Visitor information

If you need information about lodging and dining accommodations, download a copy of The Official Richmond Region Visitors Guide or visit visitrichmondva.com.