Commencement 2023

Photo of Woman in cap and gown sitting in row at commencement ceremony smiling

Commencement 2023

Congratulations, NJCU Graduates!


NJCU Commencement at the Prudential Center

NJCU celebrates your years of hard work at our 2023 Commencement festivities.

Tuesday, May 30, 2023
11:00 a.m.
Prudential Center, Newark, NJ

At NJCU, Commencement provides our students an opportunity to celebrate their academic achievements with family, friends, faculty, alumni, and the entire University community. The ceremony will recognize School of Business, College of Professional Studies, Deborah Cannon Partridge Wolfe College of Education, and the William J. Maxwell College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) and CAS/Education dual-degree recipients.
Similar to our commencement exercises ceremonies pre-pandemic, we will have ONE ceremony where undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students will come together to celebrate this incredible milestone.

Doors open at 10 a.m., and all guests must be seated by 10:40 a.m.

Commencement Bulletin   


  • The entire Prudential Center is accessible; therefore, if you have guests who need to use the accessible entrance and require access to accessible seating, please arrive as early as possible.
  • If you are a graduating student who requires special accommodations or have guests who need accommodations, please contact Jennifer Aitken in the Office of Specialized Services and Supplemental Instruction (201-200-2091). 


  • The ceremony will last no more than three (3) hours. Commencement is an important and formal occasion for each graduate to be treated with the highest respect and honor.
  • To ensure that each individual can enjoy this day, we ask that all graduates remain seated until the ceremony's conclusion.
  • There will be no procession or recessions for students, faculty, or staff. All participants will be asked to be seated immediately after arriving at the venue.


  • Diploma cases will be given out at the Prudential Center
  • Students, who are cleared for degrees, will be notified with the dates and times when diplomas may be picked up at the Registrar's Office.

Have a Commencement Question? 

Contact Us 

Graduation Attire

All students must have graduation gowns in order to participate in the ceremony.

If you missed the cap and gown ordering deadline, please come to campus on Tuesday April 25 to pick up your regalia.

When: April 25, 11:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Where: Gilligan Student Union Lobby

This will be your last chance to have your regalia prior to the ceremony.


If you are graduating with a bachelor's degree, you will receive a black NJCU bachelor gown, a black NJCU cap and tassel, and the NJCU Custom Stole of GratitudeThese items are yours to KEEP.

  • Undergraduate students with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.65 or higher as of Fall 2022 will receive honors cords. Honors cords will be picked up at the Registrar’s Office at Hepburn Hall 214. Graduate and doctoral students do not receive honors cords.

The Legend of the Stole of Gratitude: Every graduate has had a special person who made a big difference in their life through moral or financial support. The Stole of Gratitude offers an opportunity to say, "Thanks for helping me make it through, thanks for making it possible for me to succeed!" After the ceremony, the new graduate presents the Stole of Gratitude to someone who provided extraordinary support or helped with wisdom, words of encouragement, or financial assistance. Immediately after graduation, the graduate may take the Stole from around their neck and place it around the neck of the recipient. Presenters often write a few words of love and appreciation on the back of the Stole using a permanent, fine-tipped marker. Friends and family of the graduate may autograph the front or back. The Stole of Gratitude is a lasting symbol of love, appreciation, and academic accomplishment.


If you are graduating with a master's degree, you will receive a custom NJCU rental master robe and rental hood which you MUST return by June 16 to avoid charges. Your cap and tassel are yours to KEEP.

A prepaid postage return label will arrive with your rental items. If you lose this label, you will be able to obtain a prepaid label with your order number: Prepaid Return Label


If you are graduating with a doctoral degree, you will receive a Custom NJCU doctoral rental unit with a robe, hood, tam, and tassel. All of these items MUST be returned no later than June 16 to avoid charges. These items are NOT yours to keep.

A prepaid postage return label will arrive with your rental items. If you lose this label, you will be able to print one by logging in with your CPA Order confirmation number: Prepaid Return Label


NJCU pays for your rental attire. If you want to purchase your own attire to keep, you may do so. However, you may not buy your rental attire.

Purchase your own regalia: Professional Academic Attire for Purchase

    NJCU Story Video Competition

    Graduating students will be invited to submit videos of 2 minutes or less to share their NJCU story. The best 3 videos will be announced and shown during the Commencement ceremony, and winners will also receive a high-quality diploma frame. To submit your NJCU Story for possible inclusion, please visit the NJCU Stories webpage.

    Photo Tribute

    Commencement will honor the graduating class of 2023 and include a photo tribute to degree recipients. During the ceremony, pictures of graduates will be displayed on jumbo high-definition monitors mounted on the Commencement stage and suspended from the Prudential Center ceiling. You will receive more information regarding the steps to submit photos in the upcoming weeks.

    Honorary Degree Recipients

    Tania León, a Pulitzer Prize winning composer, and highly-regarded conductor, educator, and advisor to arts organizations, and Ryan P. Haygood, a nationally respected civil rights lawyer, will receive honorary doctorate degrees and speak to the graduates.

    Read their bios.

    Information for Commencement Guests

    Ticketing Information:
    Guests DO NOT need an entry ticket, and all guests are welcome. There is no maximum number of guests per student. 

    • All guests must follow all Prudential Center safety protocols, which can be found here.
    • If you have any additional questions about your experience at Prudential Center, please visit here.

    Accessible Accommodations:
    If you or a family member need to utilize the accessible entrance and require access to accessible seating, please arrive as early as possible through the PNC Tower entrance.

    The Prudential Center is fully accessible and has seating for individuals with special needs.

    Prudential Center ADA Guide