Northern Commencement

Join Us for the Northern Commencement Ceremony

As we prepare for the big day, we wanted to share some important details with you. Be sure to review the following information and reach out to the graduation department should you have any questions. We are looking forward to recognizing your achievements and cheering you on with friends and family as you cross the stage.

Sunday, April 22, 2018
1-3 p.m.
San Jose Convention Center

You must first submit an application for your degree online through the Student Portal to be eligible for participation in the commencement ceremony. There is a section of the application that allows you to indicate your interest in attending the ceremony.

March 9, 2018, is the deadline to:

The Northern Commencement Ceremony is not a ticketed event. However, graduates are required to confirm their attendance here, indicating how many guests will be in attendance. Guest seats for the ceremony are first-come, first–served, and will fill up quickly at the San Jose Convention Center. While general seating is not reserved, we will provide designated areas for guests with disabilities.

The doors to the San Jose Convention Center open at 11 a.m. You can check-in outside Hall 3 between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. We ask that you arrive to the check-in area by 12:30 p.m.

Agenda
11:00 a.m. – Doors open
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. – Graduate arrival and check-in
12:30 p.m. – All graduates must be checked in
1:00 p.m. – Ceremony begins
3:00 p.m. – Ceremony ends

Retrieve Your Stage Card (by 12:30 p.m.)
Upon check-in, you will receive your stage card. This will include your full official name that National University has on record, as well as your school. You can also hand-write your name on the card, if you would like it to be read differently than what is printed. When you cross the stage, a faculty member will read the name that is printed or hand-written on your card.

To change your name for the ceremony, you are required to submit a name change request form with a copy of your social security card, or court order showing the new name, to the NU records department. The name change form can be found on the registrar page. You must submit your requested name change at least three weeks before the ceremony.

Honors Tassel
If you are an undergraduate student with a GPA of 3.5 or higher, or a graduate student with a 3.85 GPA or higher at the time of commencement, you are eligible to wear a silver honors tassel. There will be a tassel table near check-in, where you can exchange your blue tassel for a silver tassel. (If you receive the silver tassel for honors, it does not officially mean that honors are awarded. Official honors will be determined by your GPA once all coursework for the degree has been completed.)

Processional Line Up
You will then line up for the processional under your school’s banner and your level of degree. You will cross the stage and receive a certificate of participation. Your actual diploma will be mailed to you approximately six weeks after your conferral date (degree posting date).

The commencement ceremony begins at 1 p.m. and ends at approximately 3 p.m.

Please bring with you to the ceremony:

  • Maps and parking information (also, provide copies for your guests)
  • Graduate students: cap, ironed gown, tassel, and hood
  • Undergraduate students: cap, ironed gown, tassel, and stole

Meeting up with your Guests
For the best Commencement experience, we recommend that you meet up with your guests after the ceremony at a pre-designated location. The best meeting places will be towards, or outside of, the exits.

You can help make Commencement green by recycling items such as water bottles and programs.

The doors to the San Jose Convention Center open at 11 a.m. Graduates can check in outside Hall 3 between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

We ask that you be seated in Hall 3 by 12:45 p.m. The commencement ceremony begins at 1 p.m. and ends at approximately 3 p.m.

Guest seats for the ceremony are first-come, first–served, and will fill up quickly at the San Jose Convention Center. While general seating is not reserved, we will provide designated areas for guests with disabilities.

Graduate seating is by school, which is determined as grads enter the ceremony. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict the best guest viewing of your graduate. However, when graduates cross the stage, their picture will be shown on the big screens on both sides of the stage, which will be a great picture-taking opportunity.

For the best Commencement experience, we recommend that you meet up with your graduate after the ceremony at a pre-designated location. The best meeting places will be towards, or outside of, the exits.

You can help make Commencement green by recycling items such as water bottles and programs.

2018 Cap and Gown, Diploma Frames, & Announcements
Order cap and gown

2018 Graduation Flowers
Order flowers

2018 Ceremony Pictures – Cap & Gown/Family Portraits
Order ceremony pictures

Alumni Merchandise
Order alumni merchandise

The San Jose Convention Center is located at:
150 West San Carlos St.
San Jose, CA 95113

You may enter on San Carlos St. or on Almaden Blvd.

Parking is available in the parking structure, or there is near-by street parking:
Parking Options for the San Jose Convention Center
Parking Map for the San Jose Convention Center

If students or guests require access accommodations at commencement, please contact Student Accessibility Services at sas@nu.edu at least six weeks in advance. Requests made after this date may impact the university's ability to effectively provide reasonable accommodation.

Students are required to wear a cap and gown to participate in the ceremony. Military students may wear their dress uniform instead if they prefer. Students are not required to purchase the cap and gown from Jostens; however, Jostens has the correct colors for our school. Our graduates wear a black cap and gown. Undergraduate students wear a stole, which is silver with the blue National University emblem. Graduate students wear a hood that is silver and blue for National University, and the velvet color is dependent on which degree they are earning. Students can purchase just the stole or hood from Jostens if they already have a black cap and gown. Graduate gowns are cut differently than undergraduate gowns, but the student can choose to wear either gown.