Class of 2021 Commencement Information
This website outlines the commencement plans for the Class of 2021. Commencement information updates will be occurring regularly.
Saturday, May 15 and Sunday, May 16, 2021
Commencement will be held on the Lawrenceville Campus, time to be determined.
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.
Commencement will be held in compliance with state and institutional health and safety guidelines regarding capacity, masks, social distancing, and sanitation. The in-person commencement ceremonies are planned with the assumption that we can return to large in-person gatherings by spring 2021. To meet gathering guidelines, the University will offer multiple ceremonies. Graduates will be assigned a ceremony date and time based on their degree and college/school.
To participate in Commencement you will be required to RSVP.
In mid-March 2021 you will be sent a registration link to your @rider.edu email account. You must indicate your intention to participate by April 2, 2021. There will also be a virtual element to the celebration, so you will be asked to upload a photo if you choose to do so. No late registrations or walk-in ceremony participants will be permitted.
The start time for each ceremony will be determined by the number of RSVPs received and will be announced by May 1, 2021. You will be sent an email with your assigned ceremony time and link to etickets for your guests.
The following ceremony plans are subject to change:
- Graduate and guest seating will be under an outdoor tent, with up to 150 graduates and 300 guests per ceremony. Each graduate will be seated six feet apart.
- Each graduate will receive two guest tickets. Guests will be seated individually or in pairs, six feet apart from other guests. Ticket information will be emailed to graduates that RSVP they will participate in the in-person ceremony. No additional tickets will be provided due to state-mandated event capacity limits. No walk-in guests will be permitted.
- Each ceremony will last approximately 60 minutes including graduates being individually recognized crossing the stage.
- Face coverings are required for all graduates, guests, faculty, and staff.
- Ceremonies will be held rain or shine. Severe weather conditions may incur ceremony delay or cancellation.
- All ceremonies will be live web-streamed and available to view at rider.edu/commencement.
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
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.
Leave Your Legacy at Rider
Class of 2021 Brick Campaign is now available.
$50 per student, includes a personalized brick to be installed before May commencements. The deadline for making your gift and submitting your inscription request is April 1, 2021.
For questions, please contact Andrea Jarvis, Associate Director of Annual Giving and Young Alumni Engagement: Text: 609-896-5219 or [email protected]
*You will receive a confirmation email upon completing the gift which contains a link to a Google Form. It is on this form that you will add the information you'd like to have inscribed on your brick. Please be sure to indicate your class year.
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
Each graduate will receive two guest tickets. Guests will be seated individually or in pairs, six feet apart from other guests. Ticket information will be emailed to graduates who RSVP they will participate in the in-person ceremony. No additional tickets will be provided due to state-mandated event capacity limits. No walk-in guests will be permitted.
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.
We're bringing the tradition to you.
Virtual Ring Event - Free Gift!
Save up to $200!
Order your Official Rider University Ring and Graduation Announcements.
Thursday, March 4
11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
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.