Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Commencement 2014
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Participation Policy

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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

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 13 for May 2015 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.

Legacy families are welcome to take advantage of the section of preferred seating on the East Campus Stadium Field during Commencement. A Rensselaer Legacy is a student or alumnus/a who has a relative who is a student or alumnus/a of Rensselaer — mother, father, sister, brother, grandfather, grandmother, etc. A special email invitation will be sent to the student in April requiring registration to obtain these tickets. Legacy information

Rensselaer Alumni wishing to attend the Commencement Ceremony should contact Peter Pedone in Alumni Relations at Alumni can obtain 2 general seating tickets to the ceremony.

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 14 from 9:00 a.m. – 7 p.m. in the Heffner Alumni House Great Room All students must file a Degree Application no later than February 13 to receive tickets.

I graduated in August or December of 2014. Is the process for getting my tickets the same?

If you graduated in August or December of 2014, please fill out the ticket request form located at by April 11, 2014. Tickets will not be mailed out until early May.

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 order my graduation cap & gown?
You order your cap & gown at the Rensselaer Union Bookstore. They can be contacted at 518-276-6555 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 2015 Grad Fair will take place on Wednesday, March 4 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 March 4 and April 15 at the RPI Bookstore.

Regalia must be ordered at the Bookstore before March 27. If you intend to participate in the May commencement, place your Doctoral rental order between March 4 and March 27.

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)

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 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 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 31). For more information on housing, visit Residence Life.

Commencement Questions? Please contact us at

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Last page update: 4/15/15, 1:46 PM