Commencement FAQs

When is this year’s commencement?
Monday, June 3, 2019. Graduates must arrive at rehearsal at 9:30 am; the ceremony starts at 10:30 am sharp. 

Where is this year’s commencement?

Who is eligible to participate?
September 2018 graduates, January 2019 graduates, potential June 2019 graduates and potential September 2019 graduates.

How much does it cost?
$70.00. This covers the cost of your cap, gown, stole, tassel, program book, and other fees. You get to keep the cap, gown, stole and tassel. If you are renting a black cap/gown from your home college, you can use that attire and in that case, the cost is $55.00 (you will receive a CUNY BA tassel and stole). Make sure you register and pay here.

How do I sign up? What is the deadline?
Students eligible to participate (based on their graduation audit) will register here. The deadline is May 12, 2019. Full refunds are possible up 30 days prior to June 4th.

What if I miss the deadline?
Because we order the caps and gowns from a company in Virginia and do not maintain a stock of them, we urge you to register by the May 12th deadline as we cannot accommodate requests to participate after that.

Is there an invitation that I can send my guests?
Yes! Just copy this image and share it over email or social media.


Is there a reception after the ceremony?
Yes! We’ll host a brief reception with light fare and beverages immediately following the ceremony.

How many guests can I bring?  What about tickets?
Seating in the main auditorium for ticketed guests will be first come, first seated beginning at 9:30am; we will also have an overflow viewing area with a live video feed for guests who arrive late or who are not able to sit in the auditorium. This is also an ideal space for guests with small children to watch from.

Can Children attend?
Children are welcome as long as they remain with a responsible adult (other than you) for the entire ceremony and are able to sit quietly. The acoustics in the auditorium are such that even a mildly whimpering child will be disruptive. Childcare arrangements are not available. We will, however, have an overflow room with a live video feed of the ceremony which will be a more child friendly space than the auditorium.

I will have elderly or disabled guest(s)– are there special seating arrangements?
The CUNY Graduate Center is wheelchair accessible; guests who require special seating are advised to arrive at the Great Hall at 9:30am. Special seating will be available to accommodate disabilities; ask attendants when entering the hall.

I have friends/family out of the country; they will need non-immigrant visas to get here. What should I do?
If you need a letter from our office to a foreign embassy or consulate requesting permission for family members or friends to travel to the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa for the ceremony, please put your request in writing to Analie Cruz, CUNY BA Office Assistant with this information: full name(s) of relative/friend, relationship to you, name and the mailing address of the embassy/consulate. If you are unable to find out the name and address of the embassy or consulate to which this information should be sent, refer to We will prepare this letter for you to mail or fax to the embassy. Make your request now as there can be long waits for visas.

How long will the ceremony be?
Usually about 90 minutes long (ending around 12:00pm).

Will my faculty mentor be invited?
We will not send invitations to Faculty Mentors, however, you are welcome to extend an invitation to attend.

When and where will I get my cap and gown?
Caps and gowns will be distributed from the CUNY BA office around late May. In mid-May, students will receive detailed instructions by email about cap and gown pick up. Make sure you place your order here by the May 12th deadline.

What’s the difference between graduating and commencement?
Commencement is a ceremony. For CUNY BA, it takes place once a year, in June, to which the prior September and January and upcoming June and September graduates are invited.  

  • Graduation indicates the completion of all degree requirements and the conferral of your degree as follows:
  • Students who complete their degree requirements in the fall semester become January graduates;
  • Students who complete their degree requirements in the spring semester become June graduates;
  • Students who complete their degree requirements in the summer semester become September graduates.

Will I receive my diploma at the ceremony?
No. Diplomas take several months to produce. Students will be contacted by mail about picking up their diploma (at the program office).  

Will we take graduation photos? Is there a yearbook?
We have arranged for a professional photographer to take photos of each student crossing the stage and students can buy them after the ceremony. There is no yearbook or video.

Do we have class rings?
Yes. Contact the Balfour Company 1- 877-BALFOUR (225-3687). CUNY BA’s account is BK06334-10