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Commencement is a proud day for students, families and the entire Rider University community as we celebrate the achievements of our graduates. Please use this website to help plan for the day. Commencement information updates will be occurring regularly.

Friday, May 12, 2017
Sun National Bank Center, Trenton, NJ

Undergraduate Ceremony
Procession start 11:30 a.m.
Graduates arrive and doors open for guests 10:30 a.m.
Ceremony expected to last approximately 2 hours

Graduate and College of Continuing Studies Ceremony
Procession start 4 p.m.
Graduates arrive and doors open for guests 3 p.m.
Ceremony expected to last approximately 90 minutes

To best accommodate our graduates and guests, a registration page to request tickets and parking passes will open on February 1, 2017. All graduates will be asked to register in advance for ceremony participation.  

Questions? Please contact the Commencement office at 609-896-7700, Option 1, or e-mail [email protected].


If you plan to complete your degree requirements in December 2016, January, May or August 2017, you are invited to participate in the May 12, 2017 Commencement ceremonies. Please review the following important information.

Before you are eligible to participate in a Commencement ceremony, you must have:

  1. filed a degree application online or with your academic dean’s office

  2. completed all academic requirements for your degree

  3. paid all financial obligations to the University

  4. returned all books to the University Library

If you have any questions about your graduation eligibility, contact your dean as soon as possible. Only students who will fulfill graduation requirements before August 2017 can walk in the May 2017 Commencement ceremony. December 2017 graduates should plan to walk in May 2018.


Graduation and Commencement

Please note there are important differences between graduation and commencement with which you should be familiar.

Graduation is a three-step process consisting of submitting an Application for Graduation form, completing all academic requirements for your degree, and settling all financial obligations. The administrative process of degree conferral will indicate your official date of graduation. 

Commencement refers to the ceremony where you share the excitement and importance of your academic accomplishments with peers, family, and friends. It is also a time for the University, Board of Trustees, senior administrators, and faculty to pay special tribute to you for the outstanding efforts you have shown in earning your degree. 

Rider students graduating in December 2016, January 2017, May 2017, and August 2017 are invited to participate in the May 2017 ceremony. The ceremony features remarks from the President, guest speakers, and the calling of your name, upon which you will proceed across the stage.  Graduates and guests are asked to stay for the entire ceremony.

Academic Attire

Pre-ordering of academic attire is required and should be done online when you submit your degree application. Graduates will receive a black gown and cap, along with a hood in the appropriate color to designate school, and a tassel. Rider does not provide cords; check with your honor societies and student groups to see if they provide them. Academic attire distribution will begin at Senior Send Off on April 27, 2017.  

Diplomas and Transcripts

Diplomas will not be distributed during the Commencement ceremony. Your actual diploma will be mailed to you 4-6 weeks after clearance from the Registrar and Dean for your specified degree conferral date (December 2016, January 2017, May 2017, or August 2017).  If you would like a copy of your transcript, please request it through the Registrar's Office.  Information and the Transcript Request Form can be found on the Registrar's Office website.  Diplomas and transcripts shall indicate academic honors based upon the cumulative grade point average achieved at the end of the senior year.

Commencement Ceremony Tickets

Graduates will receive ceremony tickets when they pick up their cap and gown in April. The number of tickets issued per graduate is determined by the number of approved degree applications and arena seat capacity and will be announced in early 2017.  Live video streaming of the event can also be viewed on the Rider web site.

Sun National Bank Center

The Commencement ceremonies will be held at the Sun National Bank Center, located at 81 Hamilton Ave, Trenton, NJ.  The air conditioned arena offers comfortable seating and easily accessible parking areas. The arena is fully compliant with all ADA accessibility guidelines. Arena maps indicating graduate gathering and seating areas will be posted to this website in early 2017.  Tickets will be required for entrance to the ceremony and will be provided in advance to graduates.  Seating is general admission, all seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Special Needs Accommodations, Parking and Seating

Accommodations are available at Sun National Bank Center for graduates and guests who require parking or seating due to a disability or special need. A sign language interpreter will be present at the Commencement ceremony. Please email [email protected] if you require special needs accommodations.

Academic Honors

Rider University recognizes exceptional academic achievement at Commencement. Qualifications for academic honors at Commencement are based upon the student's academic average at the end of the first term of the senior year (December 2016 for May 2017 Commencement). Honors, as noted in the Commencement program and by tassel color, are awarded as follows:

Undergraduate (white tassel)

Summa Cum Laude: academic average 3.75 - 4.00
Magna Cum Laude: academic average 3.50 - 3.74
Cum Laude: academic average 3.25 - 3.49

Graduate (cranberry tassel)

With Distinction: academic average above 3.85

Commencement Candidate Lists

Students can verify their degree application has been submitted by checking the Commencement candidates list which will posted on the Commencement Candidates page in early 2017.  The lists are updated daily as degree applications are submitted. Students should check that their name is spelled properly; how it appears on the list will be as it appears on your diploma. Any changes should be reported to the Registrar's Office at 896-5065. If you are not listed and feel you should be, please contact your dean’s office directly.


Please contact the Commencement office at 609-896-7700, Option 1, or e-mail [email protected].