Class of 2021 Commencement Information
This website outlines the commencement plans for the Class of 2021. Commencement information updates will be occurring regularly.
Saturday, May 15 and Sunday, May 16, 2021
Commencement will be held on the Lawrenceville Campus
Undergraduate degree ceremonies will be held on Saturday, May 15
Graduate degree ceremonies will be held during the morning of Sunday, May 16
All ceremony times will be announced on May 1
Commencement is always a proud day for students and families as we celebrate the achievements of our bachelor, master and doctoral degree graduates. Now more than ever, this symbolic occasion of graduation is important to the entire Rider community.
Commencement will be held in compliance with state and institutional health and safety guidelines regarding capacity, masks, social distancing, and sanitation. The in-person commencement ceremonies are planned with the assumption that we can return to large in-person gatherings by spring 2021. To meet gathering guidelines, the University will offer multiple ceremonies. Graduates will be assigned a ceremony date and time based on their degree and college/school.
The in-person ceremony length is approximately one hour and will include a student processional, national anthem, remarks from the President and the presentation of graduates (names will be read aloud and students will cross the stage, collect a diploma cover and have professional photos taken).
The in-person Commencement ceremony schedule will be announced on May 1. Graduates who pre-registered by the April 2 deadline will receive email notification of their assigned ceremony date and time. View the list of students who responded to attend here.
Commencement is a ticketed event, and only guests with tickets will be permitted on campus. Graduates do not require a ticket and each graduate will receive 2 guest tickets. There are no extra tickets.
If you plan to complete your degree requirements in December 2020, January, May or August 2021, you are invited to participate in the May 2021 Commencement ceremonies. Please review the following important information.
Before you are eligible to participate in a Commencement ceremony, you must have:
- filed a degree application
- completed all academic requirements for your degree
- paid all financial obligations to the University including graduation fee - payable through myRider student account or at the Cashier's Office located in the BLC
- returned all books to the University Library
If you have any questions about your graduation eligibility, contact your dean as soon as possible. Only students who will fulfill graduation requirements before August 2021 can walk in the May 2021 Commencement ceremony. December 2021 graduates should plan to walk in May 2022.
Graduation and Commencement
Please note there are important differences between graduation and commencement with which you should be familiar.
Graduation is a process consisting of submitting an Application for Graduation form, completing all academic requirements for your degree, and settling all financial obligations. The administrative process of degree conferral will indicate your official date of graduation. Submit your degree application online via your myRider before May 15. A graduation application fee of $85.00 is due at the time of degree application. It may be paid online via your Student Account in myRider.
Commencement refers to the ceremony where you share the excitement and importance of your academic accomplishments with peers, family, and friends. It is also a time for the University, Board of Trustees, senior administrators, and faculty to pay special tribute to you for the outstanding efforts you have shown in earning your degree.
Commencement Candidate Lists
Students can verify their degree application has been submitted by checking the Commencement candidates list. The lists will be updated as degree applications are submitted. Students should check that their name is spelled properly; how it appears on the list will be as it appears on your diploma. Any changes should be reported to the Registrar's Office at 609-896-5065.
If you are not listed and feel you should be, please contact your dean’s office directly.
Diplomas and Transcripts
Your diploma will be mailed to you 4-6 weeks after clearance from the Registrar and Dean for your specified degree conferral date (December 2020, January 2021, May 2021, or August 2021). If you would like a copy of your transcript, please request it through the Registrar's Office. Information and the Transcript Request Form can be found on the Registrar's Office website. Diplomas and transcripts shall indicate academic honors based upon the cumulative grade point average achieved at the end of the senior year.
Academic Honors and Academic Attire
Rider University recognizes exceptional academic achievement at Commencement. Qualifications for academic honors at Commencement are based upon the student's academic average at the end of the academic year (fall semester 2020). Honors, as noted in the Commencement program and by tassel color, are awarded as follows
Undergraduate (white tassel)
- Summa Cum Laude: academic average 3.75 - 4.00
- Magna Cum Laude: academic average 3.50 - 3.74
- Cum Laude: academic average 3.25 - 3.49
Graduate (cranberry tassel)
- With Distinction: academic average above 3.85
Cap and Gown Distribution
You have three options to pick up your academic attire:
Attend the Senior SendOff event on Thursday, April 22, noon to 7 p.m. in the University Bookstore.
Distribution will continue from the University Bookstore during their regular operating hours April 23 - May 13.
You also have the option to pay a flat rate fee of $7.50 to have your cap and gown shipped to you. email [email protected] with the following information:
- In the subject line put "Regalia Ship for (insert graduate's name)"
- Include in the email graduate’s name, shipping address and a phone number that the bookstore staff can reach you at.
- If you did not pre-order attire include your height and weight for gown sizing, and your degree and college.
- DO NOT EMAIL CREDIT CARD INFORMATION. A member of the bookstore staff will call you for payment information.
- Once payment has been processed, the bookstore will email you a confirmation with your tracking number. Please save that number for your records.
- Please allow 5-7 business days for delivery.
- Any requests to ship AFTER May 5th cannot be guaranteed for delivery before graduation weekend.
If you did not pre-order your cap and gown before the March 19 deadline, academic attire will still be provided to you via the distribution methods listed. Check this list of pre-ordered attire if you are unsure (PDF).
Guest Seating and Tickets
Each graduate will receive two guest tickets. Guests will be seated individually or in pairs, six feet apart from other guests. Ticket information will be emailed to graduates who RSVP they will participate in the in-person ceremony. No additional tickets will be provided due to state-mandated event capacity limits. No walk-in guests will be permitted.
For those not attending the ceremony, Commencement will be available to view live on the website at www.rider.edu/commencement.
Commencement Announcements and Class Rings
Personalized Commencement Announcements and Class Ring may be ordered online through the Balfour website. Generic Commencement announcements are available for purchase in the University Store. Diploma frames and other Rider merchandise are available at the University Store or may be ordered online in advance. Please contact the University Store directly at 609-896-5121 for more information.
We're bringing the tradition to you.
Bouquets of roses may be pre-ordered or purchased on Commencement Day from Commencement Flowers. Pre-orders will be available for pick up at the ceremony location. It is recommended that you pre-order through Commencement Flowers website.
In support of Rider’s commitment to sustainability, several green initiatives are part of Commencement planning. We aim to limit printed communication materials by utilizing mainly electronic communication. The Commencement program is printed with vegetable-based inks on FSC-certified paper with 10 percent post-consumer waste recycled content. Graduates wear eco-friendly caps and gowns that are made from 100 percent, post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, with an average of 25 bottles used to make each gown. Funding for the GreenWeaverTM graduation gowns has been provided by the Rider University Energy and Sustainability Steering Committee (ESSC). Since 2011, Rider University has helped to divert over 331,475 plastic bottles from landfills
Please contact the Commencement office at 609-896-7700, Option 1, or e-mail [email protected].
Questions on Commencement day should be directed to 609-896-5000.