For students

We want to extend our congratulations to you, once again! To prepare you for the ceremony, we've prepared this list below to be your one-stop destination for all the commencement ceremony information you need. There are no restrictions of the number of guests.  Guest seating is open (no reserved seats). No tickets are required.

Northern Arizona University holds commencement exercises in December and May of each year, and degrees are awarded at the end of Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer terms.


Baccalaureate students graduating in the summer term are included in the spring ceremony, and their names are published in the May commencement program. Baccalaureate students graduating in the winter term are included in the fall ceremony, and their names are published in the December commencement program. Master's students graduating in the summer and winter terms are included in the fall ceremony, and their names are published in the December commencement program.


Spring 2014 ceremony


All candidates completing degree requirements at the close of the spring 2014 semester, baccalaureate candidates completing degree requirements at the end of the summer 2014 semester, and candidates with an approved graduation application on file with the Registrar are invited to participate in the Spring Commencement exercises on Friday, May 9, or on Saturday, May 10, 2014.


The Commencement Program will include the names of candidates earning degrees for the spring 2014 semester and baccalaureate candidates earning degrees for the summer 2014 semester.

Attendance at commencement is not mandatory for a candidate; however, we do encourage your attendance. Enjoy the excitement of your milestone moment! Diplomas will not be available at commencement and will be mailed later to all those who qualify.

Ceremony logistics

When to arrive

All candidates will assemble in the designated staging areas one hour prior to the ceremony start time; (see Commencement Schedules) so that the procession can be organized and be ready to march.  Students will begin moving to the floor 20 minutes prior to the ceremony start time.

How to assemble

Candidates will assemble in the staging areas designated in the Skydome. Only graduating students and faculty in cap and gown will be permitted to participate in commencement. Backpacks and large purses will not be permitted in the graduate staging area. 

What to wear


Candidates for the bachelor degree will wear a cap and gown.  Watch this quick video on "How to" wear your cap and gown.


Candidates for the master degree will wear a cap, gown, and hood.  Watch this quick video on "How to" wear your cap, gown and hood.


Candidates for the doctoral degree will wear a cap, gown, and carry their hood over their left arm. Doctoral students will be hooded before they cross the stage.  

Caps and gowns

Herff Jones and the NAU Bookstore offer a convenient source for you to purchase all your commencement items.  Order your cap, gown, tassel, honor cords, stoles of gratitude, and announcements as soon as possible. Rush fees will be applied if you order on or after Monday, April 14, 2014.  Shipping fees will be added when ordering online; online sales will cut off Thursday, April 17, 2014 at midnight. Regalia can also be purchased at the NAU Bookstore prior to graduation and on the day of the event.

Students who qualify for Latin Honors can purchase honor cords through the NAU Bookstore and Herff Jones. Undergraduates are eligible for Latin Honors if they have completed 45 units at NAU, have an exemplary grade point average, and have no more than 6 units of failing grades. Master students with a GPA of 3.9 may also purchase honor cords. To order, call 1-800-426-7674 or you can order all items on-line.


During the Ceremony

After you have reached your seat, remain standing until the university administrators, deans, and commencement guests are in place on the platform. If you leave your seat during the ceremony, upon your return you will be asked to remain at the floor entrance until the next break in the proceedings, at which time you will be allowed to return to your seat. Please set your cell phones to "vibrate" or "off" to avoid disturbing others.

The Provost will ask candidates to rise and proceed to the stage to be recognized. Do not leave personal items in the stands or on the field-level chairs. When all students have been individually recognized and presented to the President, the President will confer upon the entire group of candidates their respective degree, as listed in the commencement program.

Closing of ceremony

A recessional for the platform party, faculty, and students will be conducted at the close of the ceremony.

Following commencement we will have designated areas outside for families to meet their graduate. Signs will be posted to indicate these areas. There is no access to the stage area following the ceremonies.