VCU Commencement 2018

Graduation Info

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Academic regalia

Regalia will be available for purchase during the Grad Fair events. The MCV Campus Grad Fair is scheduled for Oct. 8 at the Barnes & Noble @ VCU Medical Center from 12 to 6 p.m. The Monroe Park Campus Grad Fair is scheduled for Oct. 9-10 at the Monroe Park Barnes & Noble @ VCU from 10 a.m. to 6 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. 11. 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, $56.98; master set, $73.98; Ph.D./Ed.D. set, $108.98; 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, the Office of Continuing and Professional Education, 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 giving campaign

Commemorate your graduation year with a $20.18 class gift and make a difference for those following in your footsteps. This is your chance to give back to VCU as a soon-to-be alumnus. Join your classmates in supporting the university and create a lasting legacy for the Class of 2018. Make your gift online at

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 Barnes & Noble @ VCU Medical Center on the MCV Campus. Current STAT members will save $60 on class rings, or if you update your post-graduation information with VCU Alumni, you could receive $35 off your class ring. Class ring informational brochures are available any time in the bookstores. For additional ordering information, please visit 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.

Standard 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. 8 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.

Commencement speaker

Christy Coleman, CEO of the American Civil War Museum, will deliver the keynote address at Virginia Commonwealth University’s fall commencement ceremony in December.

For more information, please visit

Degree Audit Office

If you or a family member have any questions concerning graduation, please feel free to contact the Degree Audit Office at (804) 827-1673 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 website.

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.

Diploma and degree conferral

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. 21, 2019. 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 Degree Audit Office via email ( on the same day to authorize the pickup. Diplomas not picked up by Feb. 1 will be mailed starting Feb. 4. Diplomas selected for mailing will be mailed beginning Jan. 21. Diplomas for August 2018 graduates are currently being mailed.

The official conferral date for December 2018 degrees is Dec. 22, 2018. Degrees will post to your record on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. 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.

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 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 These resources will help you learn ways to minimize your debt and save for the future.



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. 8 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.

Guidelines for cords, stoles and pins

We hold all of our graduates in high esteem and recognize their achievements at Commencement, a ceremony at which we celebrate the unity of the body of undergraduates and honor their academic achievements. Although there is no set protocol for Commencement regalia, members of organizations, not based on academic merit, may be eligible to wear appropriate graduation stoles, honor cords, and/or pins, badges or insignias with the approval of the Dean of Students Office. If your organization is interested in wearing these accoutrements, please submit your request in writing to the Dean of Students Office at

In addition to the traditional cap and gown regalia worn at this event, students are entitled to wear honor cords and stoles to signify achievement through college organizations or association with international groups or programs. The student/organization/group is responsible for the cost of any such regalia. Graduation stoles and honor cords must be in keeping with the decorum of the event and within the following guidelines:

Graduation Stole: A stole takes the form of a cloth scarf-like garment worn over the shoulders adorned with the organization's colors and/or insignia. A student may wear only one stole at a time.

Honor Cord: An honor cord is a token consisting of twisted cords with tassels on either end. The cord signifies specific academic achievement or membership in a recognized academic honor group or society. More than one cord may be worn at the same time.

Please note: at this time, the university does not distribute or sell cords based on or related to Latin honors designation. Latin honors will be acknowledged in the Commencement booklet. For more information on Latin honors, please visit

Pins/Insignia/Badges: These items are tokens specifying academic achievement or membership in a recognized academic honor group or student organization. These items are traditionally worn on the gown. More than one of these items may be worn at the same time.

All three items may be worn simultaneously as long as they do not conflict in appearance with the official stoles worn by faculty marshals or other designated members participating in the ceremony.


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

Prohibited Items

Siegel Center policy strictly prohibits alcohol, backpacks and duffle bags, balloons, coolers, bottles, cans, outside food and drink, laser pointers, artificial noisemakers, 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 access the application for regalia assistance online at Applications will be accepted online beginning Oct. 1.

RSVP for VCU Commencement

Students who plan to participate in VCU’s universitywide Commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Siegel Center are asked to RSVP.

Visit to RSVP and reserve your seat.

For questions, please email

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 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