Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

unh commencement stage at dusk

 

How do I know if I can participate in Commencement (i.e., I graduated in September or December 2015)?

 

Please view the criteria for eligibility to participate.

 

What if I do not meet these requirements?

If students do not meet these requirements due to internships, etc. They need to file petitions to walk or a petition for a variance with their dean’s office – usually it is directed to the associate deans.  COLA is in Murkland, COLSA is in Rudman, CEPS is in Kingsbury, Paul College is in Paul, HHS is in Hewitt, and Continuing Ed is in Hood. 


How do I know if I'm registered to walk?

 

You must register online to walk at the Commencement ceremony. You will receive an email confirmation upon registration. Registration will open in March.

 

How many guests can I invite? Do they need tickets?

 

There is no limit to the number of guests a graduate can invite. There are no tickets required and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is seating for approximately 12,000 guests on Memorial Field, with standing room to accommodate several hundred more. There is additional seating capacity of approximately 7,500 in the Whittemore Arena for simulcast viewing. 

View map.

 

I have family members who will be traveling from outside the United States. How do I get a letter of invitation for them to use for visa application purposes?

We can provide you with the necessary letter, the information is located on our website. 


Where and when do I get my cap and gown?

 

View information on caps and gowns.

 

 

How many students are graduating?

 

Approximately 2,500 students attend the annual Commencement ceremony.

 

 

What time should candidates (those graduating) arrive?

 

Candidates walking in the ceremony are asked to arrive at their lineup areas by 9 a.m. Please view the maps to identify where each college will line-up.

 

 

What time should guests arrive?

 

Guests should plan on arriving in Durham by 8 a.m. to allow time for parking and shuttle transport to ensure that they are at Memorial Field for the start of the procession at 9:40 a.m. 

Click here for directions to the UNH campus.

It is impossible to determine how early a guest must arrive to ensure seating on Memorial Field. It is very much dependent on weather and the draw of a particular Commencement speaker.

 

How long is the ceremony?

 

The ceremony begins with the procession at 9:40 a.m. and is anticipated to end by 12:10 p.m.. Post-event reservations should be made for no earlier than 2 p.m.

 


Will all graduates’ names be called at Commencement?

No, students will not march across the stage and have their names called individually. Degrees will be conferred by program. Special departmental events hosted by schools and college will feature personal recognition.  These departmental events are listed on the Commencement website. Your name will be listed in the Commencement Program


Why attend this ceremony if students aren’t crossing a stage?

This event celebrates the class of 2016 by offering graduates the first chance they’ve had since their first week on campus at the Cat Pack Kick-Off to come together in one place. Graduates will be recognized by program, and the official conferring of degrees will take place.


Will I get my diploma that day?

As in years past, the actual diploma will be mailed by the Office of the Registrar several weeks after Commencement. Diplomas are processed approximately eight to ten weeks after commencement and will be mailed to students' home addresses.  All students should make sure their address is updated.


How will I get my diploma cover?

Diploma covers will be distributed that day. Students who do not plan to attend commencement must contact the Commencement Office to have your diploma cover shipped to your home address (for a small fee).


How do I order graduation announcements?

For custom graduation announcements and UNH class rings, please click here. Information regarding qualifications for Latin Honors, which is sometimes on graduation announcements, can be obtained from the Registrar's Office.


Can I decorate my mortarboard?

Yes.


 

How do I get my senior picture taken or put in the yearbook?

 

Senior pictures are coordinated through the Granite Yearbook office. Please refer to the Dates and Deadlines page to see when photos are being taken on campus. The official yearbook portrait photographer is Mark Lawrence Photographers. Visit their website to schedule a sitting. Please direct all questions tothegraniteyearbook@hotmail.com.

 

 

How do I order graduation announcements?

 

For custom graduatin announcements and UNH class rings, please click here. Information regarding qualifications for Latin Honors, which is sometimes on graduation announcements, can be obtained from the Registrar's Office.

 

 

Will my local newspaper be notified that I'm graduating?

 

UNH Communications and Public Affairs, in cooperation with the Registrar’s Office, sends the names of students who have graduated (coincides with Commencement) to the student’s hometown newspaper(s) based on the student’s registered address. Individual newspapers control when and if they publish the provided information.

If you have questions about Commencement hometown news, contact Stephanie Weatherbee ats.weatherbee@unh.edu or 603-862-2494.

Click here for additional information on submitting information regarding student achievements.

 

 

Is the ceremony location dependent upon weather?

 

The ceremony takes place outdoors rain or shine. Regardless of weather, there will be a live simulcast in the Whittemore Center Arena for those individuals who would be more comfortable viewing the ceremony from indoors.

 

 

I have a relative or friend who has mobility impairments. What special accommodations are there?

 

View information on accomodations for guests with disabilities.

 

 


 
 

How do I nominate a recipient for Honorary Degrees or other Commencement awards?

 

Click here

If you have any questions, please contact commencement.awards@unh.edu.

 

 

Can I bring my dog?

 

For the health and safety of our guests, and the cleanliness of our event grounds, dogs of any type/size, with the exception of service dogs, are not permitted at the UNH Commencement ceremony. Please do not bring your dogs to campus. Event staff and University Police will enforce this policy.

 


Can I bring my own chair?

 

Bringing your own chair is strongly discouraged. We rent as many chairs as we can put safely on the field as the layout of the ceremony is designed to allow for a safe exit for all guests. Additional chairs could block the egress areas and become a hazardous obstacle in case of an emergency.

 

Will I get my picture taken?

 

During the Honors Convocation and Commencement ceremonies, all graduates will be photographed as they receive their diploma cover. There is no fee for this service, and there is no obligation to purchase photos. Graduates will be sent proofs and information on ordering photos at their permanent address, as held by the Registrar, following the ceremony. For information, call GradTrak® at 800-424-3686. Guests will not have access to the front of the stage to take photos.

Communications and Public Affairs will be capturing candid moments at Commencement from beginning to end. These images will be available online at SmugMug. Images will be continually added over several days following the ceremony.

 

What happens if I can't/don't attend?

Attendance is completely voluntary; diplomas will be mailed several weeks after the ceremony, and choosing to bypass the ceremony will not affect your graduation status. However, given the event’s special significance for graduates and their families and friends, we encourage you to participate.  


What cord colors can we get for our student organization or academic group?

UNH is currently evaluating the Commencement cord policy and a committee of faculty and staff representatives will soon make a final decision.  We will communicate any changes or updates to you as soon as we hear back from that group. 


Honors Convocation FAQ


14. When is Honors Convocation? How long does it last?

 

 



Honors Convocation is on Friday, May 20, in the Whittemore Center Arena from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Students need to arrive at 3 p.m. to line-up. There are no tickets required and no limit to the number of guests a student may invite.


Who should attend the Honors Convocation?

The Honors Convocation Ceremony is for students graduating in May, September or December 2016 or who graduated in September and December 2015. Only graduating students should plan to attend the ceremony. Criteria for academic honors is listed here.


What if I am very close to the criteria?  Can I get an exception?

No, we do not make exceptions to the criteria. The criteria for Honors Convocation is decided by the Faculty Senate and printed in the Student Rights, Rules and Responsibilities. 


What if I received an invitation for Honors Convocation but I'm not graduating this year?

Invitations to participate in the Honors Convocation are based on a student’s credit hours and their GPA. Non-graduating students who have not met their degree requirements for graduation but do have the required credits and GPA for academic honors will receive invitations. However, only graduating students should plan to attend the ceremony. If a non-graduating student maintains their GPA, they will be invited to the Honors Convocation again the following year.


Is enrollment in the Honors Program required for participation in the Honors Convocation?

No. Enrollment in the Honors Program is not required for participation in the Honors Convocation.


How many guests can I invite? Do they need tickets?

There is no limit to the number of guests a graduate can invite. There are no tickets required and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.


Do I need to wear my cap and gown?

Yes, all participating students must wear a cap and gown. Information on caps and gowns can be found here.


Do I need to purchase my own cord/stole?

No. Cords and stoles, to be worn at Commencement, will be presented at the Honors Convocation.


What students get what cord/stole?

University Scholars will receive a white cord, Presidential Scholars will receive a gold cord, University Honors Program Scholars will receive a white cord and a University stole, and University Honors Program Presidential Scholars will receive a gold cord and a University stole. Criteria for academic honors is listed here.


What time should I arrive?

Candidates are asked to arrive at the Whittemore Center Arena by 3:00 p.m.


What time should guests arrive?

Guests should plan on arriving in Durham by 3:00 p.m. to allow time for parking to ensure that they are at the Whittemore Center Arena for the 4:00 p.m. start of the ceremony.


How long is the ceremony?

The ceremony begins at 4:00 p.m. and is anticipated to end at 6:00 p.m. Post-event reservations should be made for no earlier than 7:00 p.m.


Does every student receive an honor certificate and walk across the stage?

Yes, each student name is called and they will receive a certificate and cover that evening.


 

I have another question. Who can I contact?

 

If you have additional questions that were not answered above, please contact commencement@unh.edu.