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Frequently Asked Questions for Graduates & Guests

What is the difference between graduation and commencement?

Commencement is often referred to as graduation, but they are different. The commencement ceremony is just that – a ceremony. Confirmation of the degree completion, also known as graduation, will take place once all official grades are posted by the conferral/graduation date outlined on the Academic Calendar.

How can I make sure I do not miss any information regarding commencement?

All members of the MCPHS community are encouraged to check their MCPHS email daily for important announcements. Information regarding the ceremonies will be emailed and posted on the commencement website.

What is commencement week?

Those participating in commencement may also participate in award, pinning, or academic-specific ceremonies. Graduates can contact their Academic Deans or Academic Program Directors regarding academic-specific ceremonies. Commencement Week also covers other notable events like regalia pick up and the graduate exit survey completion.

When will graduates find out information about Academic Ceremonies?

Academic programs will outreach to graduates regarding Academic Ceremony logistics. The Graduates can outreach to their academic dean or program director with questions. Please note commencement information, logistics, tickets, and registration are separate from the Academic Ceremonies.

Is there a rehearsal for commencement?

There is no rehearsal for commencement. Candidates are welcome to visit our YouTube Channel and view our previous ceremonies to have a general idea of what to expect. Please remember to review the DCU bag policy below, before coming to commencement.

I am interested in applying to be the Student Commencement Speaker, what do I have to do?

The Student Commencement Speaker will deliver a 3–5-minute speech at the Commencement ceremony on December 26, 2022 and will be seated on the main stage during the program. Submit your commencement address, resume/CV, and commencement speaker application by October 26, 2022 at 12 p.m.

Applicants must:

  • have a 3.0 minimum cumulative grade point average at the time of application
  • have excellent written and oral communication skills
  • participate in pre-commencement activities
  • not be on academic probation or under student disciplinary sanctions or review

I am interested in applying to be the Student Commencement Singer, what do I have to do?

The Student Commencement Singer will sing the National Anthem at the Commencement ceremony on December 26, 2022. Priority will go to students who are also graduate candidates. Submit a recording and application form by October 26, 2022 at 12 p.m.

When picking up regalia, do I need my student ID?

Graduates must display they completed their graduate exit survey upon arrival. Graduates must display their MCPHS ID. If another student is picking up tickets and regalia on a graduate's behalf, the graduate picking up will need to display an email from the student account to the other student account detailing this information.

Do not CC the commencement email in your communication.  

How do graduates get tickets?

Tickets are required for guests to attend. When graduates pick up cap and gown regalia, they will also receive 6 tickets to distribute to guests.  Please note that tickets must be presented to enter the event and seating at the venue is first-come, first-served. There are no additional tickets available. Children under 3 years of age do not require a ticket to enter. The ticket for the commencement ceremony is also for the Academic Ceremonies. Graduates do not need a ticket to enter.

My family will be traveling internationally, can I request a visitation letter?

Graduates with international guests can request a visitation letter. The Commencement Team will email a copy of the letter to your student email account. Visitation letters requested after October 22nd will not be granted. Visitation letters by no means, guarantees entry in the United States. Request a visitation letter.

What are the arrangements for guests with ADA needs?

Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis with a designated seating area for guests with ADA and/or mobility impairments. Wheelchairs are allowed in the venue; however, wheelchairs are not provided by the venue. Upon arriving, seek direction from guest relations staff to the designated areas.  Guests with ADA needs are asked to enter through Door 13.

What entrance at the DCU Center should attendees enter through?

  • Graduates – please enter through Doors 1 & 2
  • Guests – please enter through Doors 10, 11 & 12
  • Guests with ADA needs – please enter through Door 13

What parking and/or transit options are available for graduates and guests?

There are several city-owned parking garages and lots in the downtown area surrounding the DCU Center. There are several conveniently located garages to the DCU Center, for more information please visit: https://www.dcucenter.com/visitor-information/parking/.

For alternative travel options: https://www.dcucenter.com/visitor-information/transportation/

Does the DCU have a bag policy?

Yes. Small wristlets of a MAXIMUM SIZE of 5x7 inches will be permitted. Medical bags & diaper bags will be allowed and will be checked prior to entry. All other bags such as cross body, larger totes, back packs, duffle bags, etc. will NOT be permitted.

https://www.dcucenter.com/visitor-information/policies/  

How long is the commencement ceremony?

The commencement ceremony will be approximately 90-120 minutes in length. Following the ceremony, there will be a short intermission before the individual academic ceremonies hosted by the academic programs begin after the main ceremony concludes.

Do graduates and faculty must stay for the entire commencement?

Yes. Once graduates process across the stage, please go back to your seat. Out of respect to the remainder of the graduates, attendees will be directed back to their seats. Diplomas will not be given out until the conclusion of the Academic Ceremonies.

What do graduates need to do once they arrive?

All graduates must proceed to the graduate check-in area when the doors open to receive their stage card and seat number. Once check-in is complete, graduates must proceed directly to the arena and sit. Guests are not permitted in the graduate check-in area.

Where will graduates be seated?

Graduates will be seated on the arena floor in alphabetical order based on Academic School and Academic Program.

When will graduates receive their diploma?

Graduates will receive their diploma at the end of the Academic Ceremonies. Graduates must display a valid ID at diploma pick up. Diplomas will be picked up in alphabetical order. Graduates with a “hold” either with Student Financial Services or the Registrar will be unable to pick up their diplomas until their hold is resolved. If you do not attend the ceremony, the Commencement Team will ship the diploma via USPS to the HOME address on file. If you have questions about your name of record, please consult the Registrar student information update website. All change of name information must be submitted by 10/31/22.

Can candidates decorate the regalia cap and wear cords/stoles? Are there commencement accessories to purchase?

Yes. Graduates are welcome to purchase graduate cords and stoles and decorate their regalia cap. Jostens offers various commencement accessories that graduates can purchase by visiting the Jostens website: https://www.jostens.com/apps/store/customer/1066305/MCPHS-University/.

Honor cords will be distributed to eligible candidates at graduate check-in on the day of the commencement ceremony. Please refer to the Student Handbook to determine eligibility.

Can attendees take a video and/or photos at the event?

There is a university photographer who will capture a photo of each graduate on stage. The complimentary photo will be mailed to the graduate shortly after the event. We strongly encourage all graduates to update their address and be sure to list this information correctly in the graduate registration form. For safety reasons, guests are not permitted near the stage. You may use your own camera and/or video recorder in the venue.

If graduates do not attend commencement, how do graduates get their diplomas?

Candidates who graduate and do not attend the ceremony will receive their diploma via mail to the home address on file. Candidates can view and change their home/local addresses on the Student Information Update page.

If graduates do not attend commencement, how do graduates get their regalia?

Candidates can pick up their regalia on regalia pick-up days during commencement week. Regalia will not be shipped to graduates. Graduates who are unable to pick up on regalia pick up days will be able to pick up the day of commencement or ask an MCPHS peer to pick up for them.

Will the commencement ceremony be livestreamed and/or recorded?

The university-wide main commencement ceremony will be livestreamed from the DCU Center. The commencement ceremony will also be recorded and shared on our YouTube channel in the coming weeks after commencement. Please visit our website or subscribe to our YouTube channel for when this is posted. The Academic Ceremonies will not be live-streamed.

Will the ceremony be postponed due to the weather?

Despite potential inclement weather, the event will continue as planned. We encourage graduates and guests to prepare accordingly. Any updates regarding the commencement ceremony will be communicated to graduates via email and available on our website.

Are there hotel amenities available?

Graduates and guests can visit the DCU Center for more information: https://www.dcucenter.com/about-dcu-center/backstage-blog/6-hotels-within-walking-distance-to-the-dcu-center/

I picked up regalia and there is an item missing, what do I do?

Don’t panic. Our regalia vendor will be at the DCU Center prior to the ceremony to assist with adjusting regalia items. If you’re not attending the ceremony and are missing an item, please contact the Commencement Team within 48 hours for further assistance.

What does the graduation/commencement fee cover?

It is a one-time fee that is assessed to all candidates regardless of whether they intend to physically attend commencement or which commencement they attend. All candidates are responsible to pay the fee in order to complete their degree requirements, have their degree awarded/conferred, receive their diploma and regalia (cap/gown). The fee is a one-time, non-refundable fee that is added to the student account.

Are masks/face covering required for commencement?

This event is mask friendly. Graduates will be asked to remove their masks when posing for their graduate photo on stage, if they are wearing a mask.

I am experiencing COVID-19 symptoms prior to the ceremonies, what should I do?

We respectfully request that no one attend the ceremonies if they have been symptomatic within the days leading up to or the morning of. This is also expected of the rest of the MCPHS community and guests.

What are the COVID-19 safety measures?

Any attendee who is symptomatic or has been exposed to someone who is COVID-19 positive cannot attend the ceremony. Despite the protocols and requirements that we have put in place, no precautions can eliminate the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Traveling to and from, visiting, and/or providing services in and around the arena may lead to a risk of exposure to COVID-19. Please do your part by complying with our health and safety protocols.