Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Commencement 2014
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Commencement Guide for Graduates and Guests

Frequently Asked Questions

When is Commencement?
Saturday, May 24th at 8:30 a.m. in the stadium at the East Campus Athletic Village, Rensselaer Campus, in Troy, New York.

How many tickets to the ceremony will I receive?
Each student who fills out a Degree Application will be eligible for seven guest tickets to Commencement. Degree Applications must be filed no later than February 7, 2014 for May 2014 graduation.

Tickets are required to attend the Commencement ceremony. All areas including the East Campus Arena require a ticket. Video sites will only be open in the event of severe inclement weather. If the ceremony is held outside the campus video sites will not be open.

The ceremony will be streamed live on the internet, as well as though campus cable television.

Where and when do I get my tickets for Commencement?
Tickets will be distributed at Status Check on May 8, 2014, from 9:00 a.m. – 7 p.m. in the Mueller Center 2nd floor classroom. All students must file a Degree Application no later than February 7, 2014 to receive tickets.

I graduated in August or December of 2013. Is the process for getting my tickets the same?
If you graduated in August or December of 2013, you will need to contact Peggy Conroy-Martin in the Registrar’s office to get your tickets. She can be contacted at August/December graduates will not be able to pick tickets up at Status Check! You must contact Peggy no later than April 1.

Is there anything happening after Commencement?
Yes, the President’s Picnic for the Graduates and their guests will take place immediately following the Commencement ceremony on the Science Quad and the Hassan Quad. There is no charge for this event.

How do I get tickets for the President’s Picnic for the Graduates?
Your Commencement ceremony ticket will also serve as a ticket for the President’s Picnic for the Graduates. Graduating students will not require a ticket for themselves.

What happens in the event of inclement weather?
The Commencement ceremony will take place outdoors in light rain and cold/hot weather. Please make sure you dress appropriately for the weather conditions.

In the event of severe inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved inside the Houston Field House. Three of the seven tickets (RED tickets) will admit entry into the Field House. The four (GRAY tickets) remaining tickets may be used throughout campus at various video sites.

Video sites will only be open in the event severe inclement weather. If the ceremony is outside the video sites will not be open.

How do I get my picture taken for the yearbook?
The Transit Yearbook staff work directly with Herff Jones Photography who take professional senior portraits for RPI. To schedule your appointment, go to and enter school code 257. If you have specific questions, call the Transit at 518-276-6505.

How do I order yearbook?
The Transit Student Staff are hard at work collecting photos and memories of your senior year. Order your yearbook online today at

How do I order my graduation cap & gown?
You order your cap & gown at the Rensselaer Union Bookstore. They can be contacted at 518-276-6552 or online at The hours for placing orders are:

  • Monday through Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday: Noon - 3:30 p.m.

The RPI Bookstore’s 2014 Grad Fair will take place on Wednesday, February 26 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Bachelors and Masters:
To insure an adequate supply of correct sizes, Bachelor & Master graduates are requested to purchase their academic regalia between February 26 and April 12 at the RPI Bookstore.

Regalia must be ordered at the Bookstore before March 2. If you intend to participate in the May commencement, place your Doctoral rental order between February 26 and March 1.

Where do I park?
Parking for Commencement will be available at the following locations:

  • North Lot
  • AS&RC & Visitor Lots (north on Griswold Road)
  • All residence hall lots

Mobility Impaired Parking for vehicles with government-issued parking permits or tags will be available exclusively in the Parking Garage on College Avenue.

Shuttles will run continuously from all parking lots to the ceremony.

Additional shuttle stops will be located at the following locations:

  • North Lot
  • Parking Garage on College Avenue
  • 15th Street bus stop (to pick up AS&RC and Visitor Lots)
  • Houston Field House (Southwest Corner)

How long will the ceremony take?
The ceremony will run for approximately three hours.

When will my son/daughter get their diploma?
Graduates will receive their diplomas as they cross the stage. In inclement weather, diplomas will be distributed at a location to be determined later.

Where is handicapped accessible seating?
Handicap-accessible seating is located on the stadium floor. Please see the ushers for assistance.

Where can I get a wheelchair?
Please use the order form on this website before April 16, 2014 to reserve a wheelchair. Guests who have reserved wheelchairs will receive more information on where and when to pick them up. There are a limited number of wheelchairs available for those guests who have not reserved in advance.

Where do ticket holders sit?
You will have the option of seating on the Field (at the same level of the stage), or in elevated seating in the Stadium. There will be 5,700 guest seats available on the Field and 3,800 seats available in the Stadium. As you enter the East Campus Athletic Village, you will need to decide which seating option is preferable for you so the ushers can direct you. Both seating areas will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Also, guests with tickets will be allowed to sit in the Arena of the East Campus Village, which is air conditioned, if they need to get out of the weather. This indoor seating is ticketed. There will be a large screen for viewing of the ceremony.

Does my son/daughter have to wear academic regalia at the ceremony?
Yes. Rensselaer adheres to the standards of the Intercollegiate Bureau of Academic Costume. The Bureau serves to administer and uphold the principles of the Intercollegiate Code established in 1895.

Where do I get regalia at the last minute?
For your convenience, the Rensselaer Union Bookstore will be open beginning at 7:00 a.m. on Commencement day. If you have misplaced your cap or tassel, please see the bookstore representative at a table located at the student lineup area.

Where will the graduates line-up?
Lineup will take place on Edgehill Terrace, which is located at the north end of the East Campus Athletic Village directly below Stacwyck Apartments.

Will I be able to take pictures during the ceremony?
Professional photos will be taken as each graduate crosses the stage.

Will my son/daughter be individually recognized?
Yes, each graduate will be recognized as he or she crosses the stage.

When do the residence halls close?
All residence halls and apartments close at 11 a.m. the day after commencement (May 25, 2014). For more information on housing, visit Residence Life.

Commencement Questions? Please contact us at

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Last page update: 4/15/14, 11:42 AM