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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between graduation and commencement?

  • Graduation

    To graduate, students must submit an application for graduation via NEST, successfully complete all undergraduate or graduate program requirements by the end of the graduation term/semester, and the degree must be conferred by the Office of the Registrar on the designated conferment date.

  • Commencement

    Commencement is a symbolic ceremony that mark the closing of your academic career where you receive commendation for your graduation. It is an opportunity for you, your family, friends and the Montclair State University community to celebrate your achievement.

    Only August 2022, December 2022/January 2023 graduates and May 2023 candidates who will have completed all undergraduate and graduate degree requirements by the end of the Spring 2023 term will be eligible to participate in Commencement.

    If you have not done so already, make sure you apply for graduation by February 15. Filing for graduation is the only way to ensure that May 2023 candidates are on track to graduate and will receive all ceremony related emails.

Which Commencement Exercise do I attend?

Ceremonies are scheduled based on college or school. Students are only eligible to attend the ceremony in which they have been assigned. You can view your ceremony time on the Commencement website main page. You will also see your ceremony assignment when you register to attend. All students who wish to attend Commencement must register in advance. Registration will open by the end of February. All eligible students will receive email communications when registration opens.

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

Ceremonies are scheduled based on college or school and will include doctoral, master’s and bachelor’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?

Each Commencement will be approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. 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 (coming soon) 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 at the Graduation Fair on May 9, 2023.

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.

Unless requested otherwise, your legal/diploma name (first, middle, last name) will appear as listed on your official records with Montclair State University.

Students wishing to designate a preferred name for Commencement programs and announcements must complete the Preferred/Used Name Designation/Removal App no later than February 10 (for August 2022 or January 2023 graduates), March 10 (for May 2023 graduates) for the May 2023 Commencement exercises.

IMPORTANT: 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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