View of thousands of graduates and family members during commencement in an arena

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between graduation and commencement?

  • Graduation

    Graduation entails the completion and fulfillment of all requisite degree or program criteria by the culmination of the last academic term; encompassing grades, examinations, and defenses. Graduation is the conferral of degrees and program completion certificates, which takes place three times during the academic year (in January, May, and August) and culminates in the issuance of a diploma or certificate of accomplishment. IMPORTANT: It is imperative for all students to formally notify the Office of the Registrar regarding their intention to fulfill the degree and program requirements by submitting an application for graduation by February 15.

    It is obligatory for all undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking candidates to inform the Office of the Registrar of their intent to graduate by adhering to the stipulated deadline and remitting a one-time non-refundable University fee, regardless of their intention to attend the commencement ceremony.

  • Commencement

    Commencement ceremonies are formal occasions for undergraduate and graduate degree candidates, signifying the culmination of an academic journey and acknowledging the achievements of graduates. These ceremonies provide an opportunity for graduates, along with their family, friends, and the Montclair State University community to celebrate their accomplishments. Montclair State University will host Winter and Spring commencement ceremonies for degree graduates of the university.

  • Commencement Eligibility

    The Office of the Registrar will furnish a list of May 2024 undergraduate and graduate degree candidates who are on track to successfully fulfill degree requirements by the end of the spring 2024 term to the commencement team.

    In order to register for the commencement ceremony and receive pertinent communications, degree candidates must have previously applied for graduation through the Office of the Registrar by the February 15 application deadline. Note: Only May 2024 candidates are eligible to participate in the Spring 2024 Commencement. Please review the University policy about Graduation and Commencement.

Which Commencement Exercise do I attend?

  • Spring 2024 Commencement

    Only May 2024 candidates who will have completed undergraduate or graduate degree requirements by the end of the spring 2024 term will be eligible to participate in the Spring Commencement exercises.

  • Winter 2024 Commencement

    August 2023, December 2023 and January 2024 candidates who have completed all undergraduate or graduate degree requirements will be eligible to participate in the Winter Commencement exercises.

Please review the University policy about Graduation and Commencement.

Will there be a separate Commencement for the Doctoral and Master’s degree candidates?

Doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degree candidates will celebrate their achievements together. There will not be a separate Graduate Commencement.

Will my name be read at Commencement?

Student names will be read and students will walk across the stage at the Commencement. More information about the ceremonies will be posted in the Information for Graduating Students section on this website.

How long is the Commencement ceremony?

The Commencement ceremony will be approximately 3 hours. All students are expected to remain for the duration of the ceremony. More information about the ceremonies will be posted in the Information for Graduating Students section on this website.

Why can’t I access the registration system – MarchingOrder – to register for Commencement?

The Commencement Registration section on this website will provide step by step directions on how to register for the Commencement.

Please make sure you are entering your Montclair email using the format. Entering will not be accepted by the system.

If you receive a message stating you are not in the registration system, the Office of the Registrar recommends you review your graduation status on your degree audit via Degree Works prior to contacting them at

When will I get my diploma?

Diplomas and University Certificates will be mailed directly from the diploma company to those students who have no outstanding financial obligations approximately two-three weeks after your conferment date. Covers for diplomas will be given out at Commencement. You may track your Diploma/University Certificate order at DiploMatic approximately two-three weeks after your conferment date. Students can also order an official eDiploma at DiploMatic for a one-time charge of $3.50 two weeks after your conferment date. Your Montclair State University eDiploma is a signed and certified PDF version of your diploma which can be used for easy diploma verification purposes.

How do I order a yearbook?

Contact The Student Government Association at 973-655-4202.

Where do I order class rings?

Class rings may be purchased through Balfour at the following link:

Why am I charged a graduation fee to attend Commencement?

A one-time non-refundable $95.00 University fee will be assessed to degree candidates for administrative costs related to your diploma. There is no fee assessed to attend Commencement.

When will I receive my diploma cover or honors tassel?

Diploma covers will be distributed at Commencement. Gold honors tassels may be picked up during the Graduation Fair and Commencement Item pickup on Monday, April 29, 2024, 10:00-7:00 p.m. in the Student Center Ballrooms.

How do I schedule my senior portraits?

The SGA coordinates with Lors Photography to send communications out to all eligible seniors regarding senior portraits. If you did not receive an email, you can get in touch with the SGA Yearbook Team at

Will my legal name or preferred name be used for Commencement Exercises and Commencement printed programs?

Montclair State University adopted a Preferred/Used Name Policy. As part of this policy, students are eligible to have their preferred first name printed in Commencement programs and announced during Commencement Exercises as appropriate. This policy pertains only to your first name, and no requests about middle names or last names are considered. You must use the same first name for both the Commencement printed programs and Commencement exercises.

Students wishing to designate a preferred name (already indicated in Nest) displayed at Commencement, in the program and in related announcements must complete the Preferred Name Display form no later than March 25, 2024 for all graduates participating in Spring 2024 Commencement (May 2024 graduates only).

IMPORTANT: If you do not submit the form by the March 25 deadline, your legal/diploma name (first, middle, last, suffix) will be printed in the Commencement program and announced during Commencement Exercises. Preferred name changes cannot be made after the March 25 deadline.

Please note, preferred first names will not be listed on diplomas or transcripts. The Preferred/Used Name Policy only pertains to the way your name is announced and printed in Commencement materials. Legal names will be printed on diplomas and transcripts.

If you have any questions, please email

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