Graduate Ceremony

Ceremony Information

Graduate Ceremony (master’s and doctoral degrees)
Thursday, May 16, 2019  • 7:00 p.m.

William Paterson University Sports and Recreation Center
Tickets ARE Required

Follow these steps to Commencement:

Step 1: Academics

Step 2: Purchase Your Academic Regalia

Step 3: Attend Pioneer Salute

Step 4: Invite Your Guests –Tickets Are Required for the Graduate Ceremony

Step 5: Parking on Campus

Step 6: Stay In-the-Know: Keep Up with Commencement News and Social Media

Step 7: Prepare to Attend Commencement and Enjoy the Day!

Learn more about each step:

Step 1:  Academics

  • Complete the online application for graduation by logging into WPConnect and selecting "Apply for Graduate Graduation" under the Graduation section. Confirm the name you would like displayed on your diploma. Include phonetic pronunciation of your name (if needed) for your name card and other requested information for the ceremony/regalia ordering process.
  • Check your Degree Audit to ensure you are on track to complete your degree. Any discrepancies with your major should be addressed immediately with your Graduate Coordinator.
  • Confirm that you are classified to complete your degree during the correct semester and year.


Mid-Year and Summer candidates can attend Commencement in May

  • William Paterson holds one ceremony in May for those completing in January, May, and August of the calendar year.
  • August candidates will require permission to participate from their Academic Associate Dean. The online process to request permission opens after Summer registration begins. The candidate must be registered for final courses prior to submitting permission request to be eligible to participate.


Step 2:  Purchase Your Academic Regalia

  • All students who plan to participate in the ceremony at the Sports and Recreation Center must wear academic regalia, which include a cap, gown, and hood. The academic regalia will be provided through Balfour/University Cap and Gown.
  • The regalia ordering site opens the first week of November and closes the first weekend of March. Regalia can be pre-ordered at The cost of the regalia is $64.50. Pre-ordered regalia can be picked up at the Pioneer Salute. If regalia is not pre-ordered, it can be purchased on site at the Pioneer Salute for $69.50.  Pre-ordering is now closed - only onsite purchase at Pioneer Salute is available.
  • Please note: Academic regalia will not be sold at the Sports and Recreation Center. Plan ahead.


Step 3:  Attend Pioneer Salute

  • Pioneer Salute will be held on Tuesday, April 9 and Wednesday April 10, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the University Commons Ballrooms. This is the final check-through for participation in the ceremony. You may attend either day at any time convenient to your schedule and most students complete the process within 20 minutes.
  • At the Salute, you will pick up your pre-ordered regalia or purchase on site and receive instructions for the ceremony along with your name card for individualized recognition at the ceremony.
  • Vendors will have class t-shirts for sale along with invitations, announcements, thank you cards, rings, and diploma plaques.


Step 4:  Invite Your Guests –Tickets Are Required for Commencement!

  • E-tickets are required for entrance into the Sports and Recreation Center. Tickets are required for children. Fire code prohibits children sitting on the laps of adults.
  • An email will be sent when the ticketing site opens to request up to 6 e-tickets to those who pre-ordered regalia or access will be given upon purchase of regalia at Pioneer Salute.
  • All e-tickets are barcoded and will be scanned for entry into the Sports and Recreation Center.


Step 5:  Parking on Campus

  • Use Entry No. 5 from Hamburg Turnpike, Entry No. 1 from Pompton Road, or Entry No. 6 from Belmont Avenue to University Drive. Follow University Drive to Parking Lot No. 6.
  • The Sports and Recreation Center is at the base of Parking Lot No. 6.
  • Visit the website for the campus map and directions.
  • If any of your guests are disabled, they may be dropped off and picked up at the side of the Sports and Recreation Center in Lot No. 6. University Police personnel will be stationed in several areas within the parking lot to facilitate this process and provide parking directions for all vehicles.


Step 6:  Stay In-the-Know: Keep Up with Commencement News and Social Media

  • Check our website frequently. More information will be posted as it becomes available.


Step 7:  Prepare to Attend Commencement and Enjoy the Day

  • Guests and graduates should be prepared with parking information, directions, comfortable walking shoes, and charged mobile devices. Graduates must wear their academic regalia. Do not forget to bring your name card provided at the Pioneer Salute to the ceremony.
    • Plan your arrival time accordingly.
    • Please notify the Accessibility Resource Center at if specific accommodations are need to fully participate in the event.
    • Graduates are to proceed directly to the marshaling areas located in the large tent on the Soccer Field behind the Sports and Recreation Center.
    • By 6:30 p.m. graduating students must report to their respective marshaling areas by College.
    • In the marshaling area, look for the volunteer holding the paddle sign with your major name on it and lineup with your classmates.
    • Plan to process in a dignified, single-file line. There will be two separate lines processing.
    • Smile as you walk in—you’re on camera!
    • Follow the instructions of the marshals and keep the line moving as you walk to your College’s designated seating area.
    • Celebrate your achievements and enjoy your day!


    • Have guests who can’t attend? WATCH ONLINE.
      • The ceremony will be live-streamed from the University’s homepage at

    We look forward to seeing you at Commencement!


  • Each graduate candidate who has purchased their regalia for the ceremony can receive up to six (6) e-tickets. For those who pre-order academic regalia, an email will be sent the week following the close of pre-ordering to indicate the e-ticketing site has been opened. For those who purchase on site at Pioneer Salute, the link will be opened at the time of purchase. The link to request tickets is:


Grad Images is the official Commencement ceremony photographers. Enjoy an exclusive discount of $5 off any picture order of $25 or more if you register with Grad Images prior to the ceremony. Visit their website at to sign up under the Pre-Event Registration tab and review the FAQs on line. Your proofs will be online at their website within 5 to 7 days following the ceremony. You may place orders or obtain answers to your questions at or 1.800.424.3686.


The University will notify you via your William Paterson e-mail account regarding pick up of your diploma once it’s determined that you have met all degree requirements and obligations. If you need to make alternate arrangements for receipt of your diploma, once you receive the email, please contact the Registrar’s Office at to make those arrangements.

All financial obligations to the University must be cleared before you can receive your diploma.

Items borrowed from William Paterson’s David and Lorraine Cheng Library must be returned or accounted for and any outstanding obligations, such as parking tickets must be cleared. To learn more about financial holds log into the Bill+Payment Student Account Center at