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. The commencement site will be updated regularly beginning early 2023.
Westminster Choir College Chapel Service
Friday, May 12, 2023 at 4 p.m.
All WCC students, families and alumni are invited to a Chapel Service at the Princeton University Chapel to celebrate with their graduating students.
Commencement - Undergraduate and Graduate Ceremony
Saturday, May 13, 2023
procession beginning at 2 p.m.
Cure Insurance Arena
Graduates and guests should plan to arrive at ceremony location 1.5 hours prior to procession time.
Easy as 1-2-3!
Preparing to graduate and participate in the 2023 Commencement Ceremony
Step 1. Complete a degree application
Submit a degree application online using the link found in MyRider under “My Academic Tools” before April 1, 2023. If you have questions about graduation eligibility, please contact your dean.
Step 2. Pay graduation application fee
A graduation application fee of $100.00 is due at the time of degree application. Payment should be made through MyRider.
Step 3: Pre-Order Academic Attire
Students eligible to participate in the May 2023 Commencement ceremonies should pre-order academic attire. Pre-orders are now being accepted, pre-order here. Cap and gown distribution will begin at Senior Send Off on April 25, 2023.
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.
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 2022, January 2023, May 2023, and August 2023 are invited to participate in the May 2023 ceremony. The ceremony features remarks from the President, guest speakers, and the calling of your name, upon which you will proceed across the stage. The ceremony typically last no more than 3 hours. Graduates and guests are asked to remain for the entire ceremony.
Cap and Gown Distribution
Academic attire will be distributed prior to the May ceremony beginning April 25, 2023 at Senior Send-Off from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. the the Cavalla Room of the BLC.
Cap and gown distribution will continue in the University Bookstore after April 25. All cap and gown packages must be picked up by the day of Commencement.
The university provides graduates with a souvenir black gown and cap, along with a hood in the appropriate color to designate school, and a tassel, at no cost. Honor society and student organization stoles or cords are distributed by their respective advisers.
Graduates will be able to secure tickets for Commencement at the end of April, beginning with cap and gown pickup on Tuesday, April 25. Each graduate will be allotted 6 tickets and 2 parking passes. Live video streaming of the event will be available on the Rider web site.
Requests for additional guest tickets can be made now using the online request form, with a limit of 4 additional requested tickets and 1 additional requested parking pass. Requests will be taken until April 1. You will be notified via email about the availability of additional ticket(s) and parking passes in mid-April. A request does not guarantee you will receive the number of additional tickets requested.
Commencement Candidate Lists
Students can verify that their degree application has been submitted by checking the Commencement candidates list which will posted on the Commencement Candidates page in early 2023. The lists are updated daily as degree applications are submitted. Students should check that their name is spelled correctly. 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 (609) 896-5065. If you are not listed and feel you should be, please contact your dean’s office directly.
Diplomas and Transcripts
Diplomas are not 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 2022, January 2023, May 2023, or August 2023). 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 indicate academic honors based upon the cumulative grade point average achieved at the end of the senior year.
Undergraduate and Graduate Ceremony
This year’s Commencement ceremony will be held at the CURE Insurance Arena Center, located at 81 Hamilton Ave, Trenton, NJ. The air conditioned arena offers comfortable seating and easily accessible parking. 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 2023. 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.
Campus will be open on Commencement day for photographs. Graduates and their guests are invited to a reception serving lite fare from 10 a.m. - noon in the Cavalla Room.
Since the onset of COVID-19 Rider University has been working diligently to minimize the risk of spreading the disease.
Additional questions regarding Commencement and COVID can be answered here.
Are masks required to participate in or attend Commencement?
Currently, masks are not required for the May 13 ceremony at Cure Arena. Graduates and attendees are certainly welcome to wear masks if they so choose. We will provide an update should circumstances require a change to this requirement prior to the ceremonies.
Does Rider require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to participate in or attend Commencement?
Currently, Rider is not requiring proof of vaccination nor a negative COVID-19 test to participate in or attend Commencement. We will provide an update should circumstances require a change prior to the ceremony.
What if I am symptomatic, have been identified as a close contact of someone who is COVID-19 positive or am myself COVID-19 positive just prior to the ceremonies?
As per the language that you will be required to agree to in order to secure tickets for the ceremonies, you may not participate in or attend a ceremony if you are symptomatic, have been identified as a close contact of someone who is positive or you, yourself, are COVID-19 positive within 14 days of the ceremony. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation in that regard in order to minimize the spread of the virus.
The ceremonies will be presented live via Rider’s website for those who are unable to attend in-person. The link to the live stream will be posted the week of Commencement.
What precautions is Rider taking to help minimize the spread of the virus at the ceremonies?
Graduates and participants are asked not to attend the ceremonies if they are symptomatic or have been identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 positive individual or they, themselves, are COVID-19 positive within 14 days of the ceremony.
Special Needs Accommodations, Parking and Seating
Accommodations are available for graduates and guests who require parking or seating due to a disability or special need. Please contact [email protected] if you require special needs accommodations.
Academic Honors and Academic Attire
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 2022 for May 2023 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
Please note, Rider provides a black gown and cap, along with a hood in the appropriate color to designate school, and a tassel. The university does not distribute cords or stoles; students should check with their honor societies and student groups to see if they provide these items.
Commencement Announcements and Class Rings
Personalized Commencement Announcements and Class Ring may be ordered online through the Balfour website. Generic Commencement announcements are available for purchase in the University Store. Diploma frames and other Rider merchandise are available at the University Store or may be ordered online in advance. Please contact the University Store directly at 609-896-5121 for more information.
Bouquets of roses may be pre-ordered or purchased on Commencement Day from Commencement Flowers. Pre-orders will be available for pick up at the ceremony location. It is recommended that you pre-order through Commencement Flowers website.
In support of Rider’s commitment to sustainability, several green initiatives are part of Commencement planning. We aim to limit printed communication materials by utilizing mainly electronic communication. The Commencement program is printed with vegetable-based inks on FSC-certified paper with 10 percent post-consumer waste recycled content. Graduates wear eco-friendly caps and gowns that are made from 100 percent, post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, with an average of 25 bottles used to make each gown. Funding for the GreenWeaverTM graduation gowns has been provided by the Rider University Energy and Sustainability Steering Committee (ESSC). Since 2011, Rider University has helped to divert over 331,475 plastic bottles from landfills
Please contact the Commencement office at 609-896-5261, or e-mail [email protected].