Rowan University Commencement & Graduation Information Update

Rowan University holds a ceremony for the graduating class of 2020. The ceremony was originally scheduled for May but because of the coronavirus pandemic, it had to be postponed. - Staff Photographer / Miguel Martinez

On Tuesday, Feb. 16, Rowan University hosted a virtual Commencement & Graduation Information Session, which addressed the application process and the prospects of hosting commencement with the current COVID-19 guidelines. 

The next major deadline for students who anticipate completing their major(s) this semester is Friday, Feb. 26, to apply for spring graduation.

“Students should review their transcript and grad report to ensure that all of the university requirements surrounding every aspect of your program have been met,” Graduation Coordinator Christine Lopes said.

Students can apply to graduate online through the self-service banner; the graduation application can be found under the student tab, where it says “Apply to graduate.”

“Once you’ve applied to graduate, you will receive an email to your student email which will confirm we have received your application. It will also include instructions for commencement participation,” Lopes said.

Students can verify all of their information on the application through the self-service banner. Under “View pending graduation application” in the student tab, students can verify their name preference, major and minor specifications, and mailing address. Double majors will have to submit two graduation applications but will only pay the graduation fee once. 

“We will take a month to review all of the applications; then we order the diplomas. It could be a few months before you receive your diploma in the mail,” Lopes said. “If there is a chance you will be moving by the end of the semester, please provide a more permanent address for us so it won’t be lost in the mail.”

Students may end up with an incomplete on their transcription if any grades have yet to be submitted.

“If you have an incomplete grade at the end of the semester for any reason, and you can remedy that and complete the requirements by June 30, you will still be rewarded for May,” Lopes said. “If, however, life happens and things get in the way, then your graduation application will be denied. You will simply have to reapply again for the next term.”

Lopes anticipates additional delays due to the pass/no credit option for this semester. Once your diploma is approved, you will receive a confirmation email. Diplomas will be sent to the mailing address students submit with their graduation application. 

Rowan University’s 2021 commencement week begins on May 8 at 3 p.m. with the virtual university commencement ceremony. In-person commencement ceremonies will start on May 10 and continue until May 14.

According to Operations Coordinator of University Events Tina Doran, the online ceremony on May 8 will consist of the president’s address, the ceremonial conferral of degrees, messages from commencement speakers, celebratory music, and some other surprises. No registration is required for the May 8 virtual ceremony. 

Last year, Rowan was able to successfully hold in-person commencement during the pandemic, something the school hopes to emulate this spring.

“We are confident about our prospects to host small in-person ceremonies, but we will continue to monitor health and safety protocols put forth by the state of New Jersey,” Doran said. “Currently, the state does have a limit, but we are pretty confident that limit will be raised before May.”

According to Doran, if the number of registered participants for in-person ceremonies is larger than anticipated, then the school will extend the commencement ceremonies into the following week (May 17-21). In-person ceremonies will take place on University Green on the Glassboro campus. 

Map of the Rowan University in-person commencement ceremony layout. – Photo via Rowan University

The in-person ceremonies are approximately one hour long and consist of the student processional, national anthem, deans’ remarks, and presentation of graduates. Each graduate will receive two guest tickets; however, additional friends and family members will be able to watch a live stream of the ceremony on YouTube. 

“In-person commencement will be a rain-or-shine event; if it’s raining, we will still have it under a large tent. If there is extreme weather, like high winds, lightning, or hurricanes, we will have to postpone. The postponed dates will be rescheduled for the week of May 17-21,” Doran said.

Registration for commencement is due by March 3. Applicants will receive an email on March 15 telling them which date and time their ceremony is. March 15 is also the day on which graduates will receive the two guest tickets. The RSVP deadline for in-person ceremonies is April 19.

“There will be PDF files of your guest tickets, the deadline for that is April 19. I always like to remind students that if you choose not to bring any guests, we ask for you to complete the RSVP, so we know you are attending,” Doran said. 

Students can purchase their graduation regalia in person at Barnes & Noble starting March 29. According to Doran, students should order their caps and gowns before April 16 to ensure they get the right size. Students can also order regalia online through Barnes & Noble starting March 15. 

The prices of commencement regalia from Barnes & Noble.- Photo via Rowan University

Students can register for the final online info session hosted by The Office of University Events and the Registrar through Eventbrite for additional graduation information. This event will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 24 from 6 to 7:30 pm.

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