Undergraduate Ceremony

Ceremony Information

Undergraduate Ceremony (bachelor’s degrees)
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 • 9:00 a.m.
Prudential Center25 Lafayette Street, Newark

Follow these steps to Commencement:

Step 1: Academics

Step 2: Purchase Your Academic Regalia

Step 3: Attend Pioneer Salute

Step 4: Invite Your Guests – No Tickets are Needed for the Undergraduate Ceremony

Step 5: Purchase Parking near Prudential Center

Step 6: Stay In-the-Know: Keep Up with Commencement News and Social Media

Step 7: Prepare to Attend Commencement and Enjoy the Day!

Learn more about each step:

Step 1:  Academic

  • Complete the online application for graduation by logging into WPConnect and selecting "Apply for Undergraduate Graduation" under the Graduation section. Confirm the name you would like displayed on your diploma. Include phonetic pronunciation of your name (if needed) for your name card and other requested information for the ceremony/regalia ordering process.
  • Check your Degree Audit to ensure you are on track to complete your degree. Any discrepancies with your major/minor should be addressed immediately with your Academic Advisor.
  • Confirm that you are classified to complete your degree during the correct month and year.

 Mid-Year and Summer candidates can attend Commencement in May

  • William Paterson holds one ceremony in May for those completing in January, May, and August of the calendar year.
  • August candidates will require permission to participate from their Academic Associate Dean. The online process to request permission opens after Summer registration begins. Student must be registered for final courses prior to submitting permission request to be eligible to participate.


Step 2:  Purchase Your Academic Regalia

  • All students who plan to participate in the ceremony at the Prudential Center must wear academic regalia, which include a cap, gown, and hood. The academic regalia will be provided through Balfour/University Cap and Gown.
  • Notification of availability to pre-order is sent via your University email account. Regalia can be pre-ordered at buildagrad.com/wpunj. The cost of the regalia is $57. Pre-ordered regalia can be picked up at the Pioneer Salute. If regalia is not pre-ordered, it can be purchased on site at the Pioneer Salute for $62.   Pre-ordering is now closed - only onsite purchase at Pioneer Salute is available.
  • Please note: Academic regalia will not be sold at the Prudential Center. Plan ahead.


Step 3:  Attend Pioneer Salute

  • Pioneer Salute will be held on Tuesday, April 9 and Wednesday April 10, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the University Commons Ballrooms. This is the final check-through for participation in the ceremony. You may attend either day at any time convenient to your schedule and most students complete the process within 20 minutes.
  • At the Salute, you will pick up your pre-ordered regalia or purchase on site and receive instructions for the ceremony along with your name card for individualized recognition at the ceremony.
  • Other offices such as Graduate Admissions, Career Development, Alumni, and Institutional Advancement will be present. Institutional Advancement will be providing the opportunity for the “GIVE THANKS” class donation. Students can make a monetary donation and write a “Give Thanks” message that will be included in the Commencement ceremony program.
  • Other vendors will have class t-shirts for sale along with invitations, announcements, thank you cards, rings, and diploma plaques.


Step 4:  Invite Your Guests – No Tickets Are Needed for Commencement!


Step 5:  Purchase Parking Near the Prudential Center

  • Reserve your parking through SpotHero, save up to 50 percent, and get everywhere, easier.

Step 6:  Stay In-the-Know: Keep Up with Commencement News and Social Media

  • Check our website frequently. More information will be posted as it becomes available.


Step 7:  Prepare to Attend Commencement and Enjoy the Day


There is no rehearsal for the Commencement ceremony but if you wish to understand the process, please visit the WP Undergraduate Commencement How-To 2019. Undergraduate Virtual Rehearsal 



  • With more than 15,000 people expected to attend the Undergraduate Commencement ceremony on Wednesday, May 15 at the Prudential Center, guests and graduates should be prepared with parking arrangements, directions, comfortable walking shoes, and charged mobile devices. Graduates must wear their academic regalia. Do not forget to bring your name card provided at the Pioneer Salute to the ceremony.

  • Plan your arrival time accordingly:
    • For traffic and walking from the various parking areas to the arena.
    • Security check when entering the Prudential Center for guests and graduates.
    • View the Arena Policy for prohibited items prucenter.com/arena-policy. Outside food and beverages, balloons, beach balls, and noisemakers are not permitted.
    • Food vendors will be available on the arena concourse.

  • Please notify the Accessibility Resource Center at arc@wpunj.edu if specific accommodations are need to fully participate in the event.

  • Tickets are not required to attend the ceremony, so you can invite as many guests as you would like.

  • Doors to Prudential will open at 7:30 a.m. Graduates must enter through the Lafayette Street entrance. Guests must enter through the Investors Bank Tower on the corner of Edison Place and Mulberry Street.

  • By 8:30 a.m. graduating students must report to their respective marshaling areas (see instructions for marshaling areas in the sub-level of the arena by College).

  • In the marshaling area, look for the volunteer holding the paddle sign with your major name on it and lineup with your classmates.

  • Plan to process in a dignified, single-file line. There will be four separate lines processing. Each line will meet up with their College Banner Carrier just inside the arena entrances and process to their respective sections on the arena floor.

  • Smile as you walk in—you’re on camera!

  • Follow the instructions of the marshals and keep the line moving as you walk to your College’s designated seating area.

  • Celebrate your achievements and enjoy your day!

  • Have guests who can’t attend? WATCH ONLINE.
    • The ceremony will be live-streamed from the University’s homepage at wpunj.edu.

We look forward to seeing you at Commencement!

Latin honors are based on a student’s certified final grade point average (GPA). January graduates have certified Latin honors distinction at the time of the ceremony. Latin honors will be given to May and August candidates for purposes of recognition at the Commencement ceremony (which is a celebratory ceremony and does not indicate a student has completed all university requirements) based on their GPA as of the end of the fall semester.

Students who have earned at least 45 credits or more at William Paterson University including second degree students who have earned 45 or more credits as part of their second degree, not including credits with pass/fail grades, and have achieved the following cumulative GPA will receive Latin honors:

Graduation Latin Honors

Grade Point Average (GPA)

Cum Laude


Magna Cum Laude


Summa Cum Laude


 Latin honor cords will be provided to qualifying students at the Pioneer Salute.


Monday to Friday, April 1 to 5, 2019
University Commons • Room 168B

Schedule your appointment at ouryear.com, entering school code 237, or by calling 1.800.OUR.YEAR™ (687.9327), during normal business hours. When you schedule your appointment, you will receive complete information on how to prepare for your portrait sitting. Don’t forget that you can use these portraits for your professional networking and job search sites. Anyone who had his or her picture taken during the sitting dates will receive a yearbook. Don’t miss out on capturing this once-in-a-lifetime achievement.


You are invited to celebrate the night before Commencement (Tuesday, May 14, 2019 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.) with your friends from the class of 2019. The celebration is hosted by the William Paterson University Alumni Association for all WP bachelor’s candidates graduating in the calendar year. The event includes music, dancing, cash bar, refreshments and desserts, photo booths, pinning ceremony, and special surprises. Dress to impress! The Outstanding Senior Award will be announced. Each graduating senior is admitted free of charge, and is allowed to bring one guest. Guest tickets are $35 payable by credit card through the ticketing site that will open at the time of Pioneer Salute. To attend, register online at: wpunj.edu/tickets by Friday, May 10, 2019.


Grad Images is the official Commencement ceremony photographers. Enjoy an exclusive discount of $5 off any picture order of $25 or more if you register with Grad Images prior to the ceremony. Visit their website at gradimages.com to sign up under the Pre-Event Registration tab and review the FAQs on line. Your proofs will be online at their website within 5 to 7 days following the ceremony. You may place orders or obtain answers to your questions at gradimages.com or 1.800.424.3686.


The University will notify you via your William Paterson e-mail account regarding pick up of your diploma once it’s determined that you have met all degree requirements and obligations. If you need to make alternate arrangements for receipt of your diploma, once you receive the email, please contact the Registrar’s Office at registrar@wpunj.edu to make those arrangements.

 All financial obligations to the University must be cleared before you can receive your diploma.

Items borrowed from William Paterson’s David and Lorraine Cheng Library must be returned or accounted for and any outstanding obligations, such as parking tickets must be cleared. To learn more about financial holds log into the Bill+Payment Student Account Center at wpunj.edu/ebill.