Frequently Asked Questions

UNH Commencement


How do I know if I can participate in Commencement (i.e., I graduated in September or December 2019)?


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.

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 in Wildcat Stadium, with standing room to accommodate several hundred more. There is additional seating capacity in the Lundholm Gymnasium for simulcast viewing. 

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 under the "International Travel Invitation Letter" tab. 

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.


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 Wildcat Stadium 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 in Wildcat Stadium. 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 12:20 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 may 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 2020 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 at the Commencement ceremony. Please contact with questions. 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).

Can I decorate my mortarboard?



How do I get my picture taken?


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


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.

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 Lundholm Gymnasium 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 accommodations 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



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 strictly prohibited. Wildcat Stadium provides seating for approximately 12,000 guests. Additional chairs in the stadium 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 all graduates will be photographed as they receive their certificate. 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. 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 FlickrImages 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

When is Honors Convocation? How long does it last?


Honors Convocation is on Friday, May 15, in the Hamel Recreation Center. Please visit the Honors Convocation website for the appropriate ceremony time based on your college. Students need to arrive 1 hour prior to their ceremony to line-up. Tickets are required for this event.

Who should attend the Honors Convocation?

The Honors Convocation Ceremony is for students graduating in May, September or December 2020 or who graduated in September and December 2019. 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?

Tickets are required for all guests. The number of tickets per student is still being determine and will be updated in early 2020.

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 Hamel Recreation Center 1 hour prior to their assigned ceremony time.

What time should guests arrive?

Guests should plan on arriving in Durham 1 hour prior to the ceremony start to allow time for parking to ensure that they are at the Hamel Recreation Center in time for the ceremony.

How long is the ceremony?

Each ceremony is slated to last approximately 1.5 hours.

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