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FAQ for Graduate Students

Nazareth grad with diploma

Graduate FAQ

When is Commencement?

Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 9:45 a.m. Candidates will enter the Blue Cross Arena at Exchange Street or One War Memorial Square (formerly the Broad Street entrance) - both entrances are handicapped accessible - and must immediately report to the bottom level of the Arena by 8:30 a.m. with cap and gown for check-in. You will pick up your name card at the designated registration table. Marshals will direct you to your proper place in the processional lines.

Where is Commencement?

Blue Cross Arena - One War Memorial Square - Rochester, New York

Doors open at 8:30 a.m.

How long does Commencement last?

The ceremony begins at 9:45 a.m. and is expected to last approximately 2 - 2 1/2 hours. Consider that this length of time may be difficult on older adults and young children. Out of respect for fellow classmates and consideration for their families, candidates are expected to remain until the conclusion of the ceremony.

Who is our Commencement speaker?

The Commencement speaker will be Dr. Brad Berk, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences at the University of Rochester and CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center.

What is the Baccalaureate service?

This is an interfaith service of thanksgiving planned by the graduates (graduate and undergraduate students). A special speaker will present a brief address. The ceremony is held on Saturday, May 10th at 2:00 p.m. in the Callahan Theatre. Students and families are invited to attend, as are the faculty and staff of the college.

When is the Baccalaureate service?

Saturday, May 10th, at 2:00 p.m. in the Callahan Theatre.

How do I purchase my cap, gown and hood?

Caps, gowns, and hoods may be purchased at the Nazareth Bookstore starting April 14, 2014, with extended hours 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. The regular hours for the semester are: Monday - Thursday: 9:00 - 5:00 p.m., Friday: 9:00 - 4:00 p.m., and Saturday: 12:00 - 3:00 p.m. ( NOTE: Students must have all three items - cap, black gown and appropriate hood - to participate in the Commencement ceremony.) If you cannot purchase your academic regalia from the bookstore in person, you can contact the Bookstore directly by phone (585-586-2690) or by email ( to prepay and have the regalia shipped to you.

Graduate students who have a black cap and gown from their undergraduate commencement are not required to purchase these items. They do need, however, the appropriate hood for their school and a new tassel.

Regalia Costs:
Complete package (cap, gown, hood, tassel) it is $62.99

If you chose to purchase the items separately:

  • Graduate Cap/Gown $52.99
  • Graduate Hood: $42.99
  • Tassel: $9.99
  • Shipping: (if needed)

Doctor of Physical Therapy Regalia: Complete package (cap, gown, hood, tassel) = $92.99

How do I purchase graduate announcements?

You can order personalized announcements by calling Balfour at 1-866-BALFOUR (225-3687) or visiting Proper etiquette is to send announcements out in a four week period (two weeks before graduation to two weeks after graduation). In order to ensure proper delivery, announcements should be ordered six weeks before the Graduation Date.

Do we need tickets to Commencement?

No - tickets are not required. Guests will be seated on a first come, first serve basis. Only candidates are allowed in the Candidate Seating Section on the floor of the Blue Cross Arena.

How many people can I invite to Commencement?

You may invite as many people as you would like to Commencement. Guests will be seated on a first come, first serve basis. Only candidates are allowed in the Candidate Seating Section on the floor of the Blue Cross Arena.

When is Commencement rehearsal?

Friday, May 9th at 4:00 p.m. Graduates will assemble in the Arts Center.

Do I have to go to Commencement rehearsal?

It is not required, but you are encouraged to attend.

Are there accommodations for special needs?

For the convenience of our guests, a sign language interpreter will be available. Handicapped seating areas are also available for those who are physically challenged. Family members with disabilities should follow the direction signs to the upper level handicapped seating areas at the Blue Cross Arena.

If you are graduating and need special accommodations, please contact the Office for Students with Disabilities at (585) 389-2875.

What happens if I cannot attend the commencement ceremony?

Graduate students who choose not to participate in formal commencement exercises must write or e-mail Alison Teeter, Director of Graduate Student Services, requesting to receive a degree in absentia. Please send this request to Diplomas for degrees granted in absentia will be available for pick-up in the Registrar's Office the Monday following commencement. Please note that any diplomas not picked up by the end of May will be mailed.

Where should I park?

On-street parking is available throughout the downtown area. Parking is also available in a number of municipal garages including:

  • Civic Center Garage, 55 South Fitzhugh Street
  • South Avenue/Stone Street, 39 Stone Street
  • Clinton Square Garage, 75 South Clinton Avenue
  • Washington Square Garage, 111 Woodbury Blvd.
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