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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.

Updates will be available on the Commencement website and 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?

As Ramapo College is operating remotely, the Bookstore Grad Fair scheduled for April 16 has been cancelled.  More information regarding regalia distribution for online pre-orders or requests for refunds will be forthcoming once date(s) and arrangements for the 2020 Ceremony(ies) has been communicated.  Information on regalia purchases that still need to be made by graduates will also be communicated at this time.