Class of 2021 Commencement Information
Saturday, May 15 or Sunday, May 16, 2021
Ceremony location, date and time to be determined
Degree conferral for the:
- Norm Brodsky College of Business
- College of Education and Human Services
- College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- Westminster College of the Arts, School of Fine and Performing Arts
Commencement is always a proud day for students and families as we celebrate the achievements of our bachelor, master and doctoral degree graduates. Now more than ever, this symbolic occasion of graduation is important to the entire Rider community. This website outlines the commencement plans for the Class of 2021. Commencement information updates will be occurring regularly.
The in-person commencement ceremonies are planned with the assumption that we are able to return to large in-person gatherings by that point in time. Should the coronavirus pandemic continue into spring 2021, we will need to re-evaluate our plans.
If you plan to complete your degree requirements in December 2020, January, May or August 2021, you are invited to participate in the May 2021 Commencement ceremonies. Please review the following important information.
Before you are eligible to participate in a Commencement ceremony, you must have:
- filed a degree application
- completed all academic requirements for your degree
- paid all financial obligations to the University including graduation fee - payable through myRider student account or at the Cashier's Office located in the BLC
- 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 2021 can walk in the May 2021 Commencement ceremony. December 2021 graduates should plan to walk in May 2022.
Graduation and Commencement
Please note there are important differences between graduation and commencement with which you should be familiar.
Graduation is a 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.
Getting Ready to Graduate is as Easy as 1-2-3!
Step 1: Complete a Degree Application
Submit your degree application online via your myRider before May 15. If you have questions about graduation eligibility, please contact your dean.
Deadline: May 15, 2021
Step 2: Pay Graduation Application Fee
A graduation application fee of $85.00 is due at the time of degree application. It may be paid online via your Student Account in myRider.
Deadline: May 15, 2021
Step 3: Pre-Order Academic Attire
Students eligible to participate in the May 2021 Commencement ceremonies should pre-order academic attire before March 19, 2021. Cap and gown distribution will begin at Senior SendOff on April 22, 2021.
Deadline: March 19, 2021
Commencement Candidate Lists
Students can verify their degree application has been submitted by checking the Commencement candidates list. The lists will be updated 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 609-896-5065.
If you are not listed and feel you should be, please contact your dean’s office directly.
Diplomas and Transcripts
Your diploma will be mailed to you 4-6 weeks after clearance from the Registrar and Dean for your specified degree conferral date (December 2020, January 2021, May 2021, or August 2021). 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.
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 academic year (fall semester 2020). 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
Cap and Gown Distribution
Academic attire will be distributed prior to the May ceremonies beginning April 22, 2021 at Senior SendOff. More information will be communicated about the distribution process in the spring.
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.
Guest Seating and Tickets
Information about guest tickets will be communicated when ceremony plans are finalized.
For those not attending the ceremony, Commencement will be available to view live on the website at www.rider.edu/commencement.
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.
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 609-896-7700, Option 1, or e-mail [email protected].
Questions on Commencement day should be directed to 609-896-5000.