Skip to Commencement site navigationSkip to main content

General Commencement Related FAQs

How is COVID-19 affecting the 2020 Arching and Commencement Ceremonies?

The health and well-being of Ramapo College’s students, faculty and staff continues to be of utmost importance to us as we deal with the significant challenges presented by the coronavirus (COVID-19). Therefore, the College’s 2020 Arching and Commencement Ceremonies, both Undergraduate and Graduate Programs, are postponed.

We understand these events are important milestones for our graduates and their families—a time to celebrate the culmination of your studies at Ramapo. Therefore rest assured, we will honor and celebrate our graduates, even if the timing and format is currently beyond our control.

Visit the Commencement website the week of May 11 and May 18, as we recognize Ramapo College’s Class of 2020. Also follow #CapsOffRCNJ on social media. Additional updates will be communicated to our graduates via their Ramapo e-mail address.

What is the difference between Graduation and Commencement?

Graduation and Commencement are often confused for one another.

At Ramapo College, Graduation is the completion of all degree requirements as certified and recorded on the official transcript.  Students graduate (degrees are conferred) three times per year, at the conclusion of the Spring, Summer and Fall semesters.

Commencement is the ceremony that celebrates the completion (or anticipated completion) of your degree.  Commencement Ceremonies (one for Undergraduates and one for Graduate Students) traditionally take place at the conclusion of the Spring semester only, and all January graduates and June and August graduation candidates from that year are invited to participate.  These ceremonies mark the conclusion of your academic career – a time for the Ramapo College community, along with your family and friends, to celebrate you.

Participation in the Commencement Ceremony does not guarantee graduation.

How and when will I receive my diploma?

Diplomas are mailed directly to Ramapo College graduates.

After your degree is certified, as long as you do not have any outstanding financial obligations, your diploma will be ordered and shipped within six weeks directly to the permanent address on file.  Therefore, it is important to log into Web Self-Service and verify the permanent address on your student record.  Address changes must be received at least one week prior to your official degree conferral date to ensure your diploma is shipped to the correct address.

Conferral dates are as follows.  These dates will not be impacted as the College operates remotely during this time.

RCNJ Graduate Conferral Date Estimated Arrival of Diplomas
Fall January 30 Mid-March
Spring June 20 Late July
Summer August 30 Early September

Will I be refunded my $100 Graduation fee?

The $100.00 Graduation fee is non-refundable. It is assessed to all students who have filed for graduation, and the fee is added directly to your bill/account. This fee only covers the costs associated with degree processing. It is not a fee associated with participation in Commencement. This fee is charged to applicants for each degree level: Baccalaureate and Master’s.

How will I receive my regalia (cap & gown) now that the College is operating remotely?


To help honor your hard work and commitment, the Ramapo College Bookstore will be shipping your regalia directly to your home at no additional cost. You can have your cap and gown to: take photos to share with family and friends, wear at the rescheduled ceremony, and have as a keepsake of this important milestone.

To verify the address you used, please check your confirmation email which came from:

If the mailing address you used to place your order is correct, you are all set and you do not have to do anything at this time.  Your cap and gown will ship out and should be received by May 14.

If you would like your regalia shipped to a different address, or would like to request a refund, please confirm before April 24.  E-mail the Bookstore directly at

In the event that you choose to return your regalia for a refund, there WILL be another opportunity to re-purchase. Information regarding regalia re-purchases will be communicated once details regarding the rescheduled ceremony are shared.


Click here if you would like to place an order for regalia. The deadline to order has been extended to May 31.  However, to receive your regalia by May 14, the deadline to order is April 24.

This will NOT be your only opportunity to order regalia.  Once information regarding the rescheduled ceremony is communicated, graduates will have another opportunity to order regalia.

How do I know if I am graduating with honors? How will I receive my Latin honor cord now that the College is operating remotely?

For Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 degree candidates, Latin Honors are based on Fall 2019 grades.  This will be included in the graduate listing that will be available in May.  However, diplomas will reflect actual honors based on all grades.  For Fall 2019 graduates, Latin Honors are based on all grades.

Cum Laude (between 3.5 and 3.699)
Magna Cum Laude (between 3.7 and 3.849)
Summa Cum Laude (between 3.85 and 4.000)

Gold Latin Honor cords will be distributed at the rescheduled ceremony.  These will NOT be mailed out with your cap and gown.

What are virtual graduation portraits? What does this involve?

You will be receiving an email from Island Photography ( about virtual graduation portraits.

To participate, upload your photo to:

Your photo will be added to several backgrounds, and Ramapo’s campus is featured in a few of these.  Don’t miss this exciting opportunity!  The deadline to submit your photo has been extended to June 7!