Ceremony Details

Commencement 2024 will be an in-person, outdoor ceremony at the East Campus Athletic Village (ECAV) stadium. 

No backpacks or large bags will be allowed at Commencement. Small bags and purses will be permitted but are subject to a security check.

Rensselaer will provide ponchos for all graduates and guests.  We recommend guests and graduates check the local weather forecast for the day and dress accordingly. View the inclement weather plans for severe weather conditions. 

Professional pictures of each student will be taken during Commencement. Students should stay tuned for more information.

The names of all the graduates who attend Commencement will be read as the graduates walk across the stage and shake hands with President Schmidt ’81.

Yes, the names of August 2023, December 2023, and May 2024 graduates will be listed in the Commencement program.

Students graduating Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Cum Laude will receive honors cords at Commencement. These cords can be picked up at the Registrar's Office in Academy Hall on Thursday, May 16, and Friday, May 17. They will also be available on commencement morning at graduate check-in on Harkness Field. The cords will be distinguished by three colors: Gold (Summa Cum Laude), Silver (Magna Cum Laude), and Bronze (Cum Laude).

For any guests who are not able to attend in person, Commencement will be livestreamed and a link will be available on the Commencement website closer to the event. 

Yes. Photography and videography are permitted. Guests and graduates may take photos from their seats and around the stadium, but no one will be permitted to go up to or near the stage for photography or videography. Multiple photos of each graduate, including them crossing the stage, will be taken by GradImages. Graduates can register with GradImages prior to Commencement to save 20% and receive their proofs in a timely manner.

The procession will start promptly at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

The Bicentennial Commencement ceremony is approximately 2.5 hours long.


All Rensselaer students who are eligible to graduate in May 2024, as well as August 2023 and December 2023 graduates.

Students cleared to attend the ceremony will receive a GradPass via email from MarchingOrder. 

You can track the progress of your degree application, diploma name, and address on SIS. On the Student Menu, there are menu items under Graduation Information. Be sure your diploma information is correct and track your clearance status as the Registrar and your department review your records for graduation.

Students will line up and walk alphabetically by degree within their school and major. Dual degrees will only walk once and will line up with their first named (primary) major. Double degrees will only walk once and will line up with their first named (primary) degree/major, unless they have communicated differently with the Registrar.

Students can order a cap and gown from the Collegiate Store

Rehearsal will be held on Wednesday, May 15, at ECAV arena. Undergraduate and graduate students are asked to attend at 11 a.m. While we do expect graduates to attend the rehearsal, we realize that people have special circumstances that may prohibit them from attending.

No. Any device can be used to show the QR code. Please make sure the device you are using is charged and working.

All students should arrive at the Houston Field House no later than 7 a.m. for check-in. There will be signs and volunteers stationed at the lineup area to direct students to the correct location. Students will line up by school, degree, and major (alphabetical within your major).

Graduates who missed Commencement Rehearsal should watch the rehearsal recording or review the presentation.  This will be posted after May 15.

Your diploma will be mailed to you at the address provided on your degree application in SIS once you are academically cleared by your department. It should arrive within a few weeks of the graduation ceremony. If you have questions regarding your diploma, contact the Registrar at (518) 276-6231, Monday through Friday 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m., or submit a service request ticket online at registrar.rpi.edu.

Guests & Visitors

You can request this from the Office of International Services for Student and Scholars by completing the Invitation Letter Request form.

Visitors to the Rensselaer campus solely for Commencement and related activities can opt in to the "RPI Alert" system to receive emergency messaging. To opt in, guests should text “RPIGRAD” to 888777 to be temporarily enrolled in the system. Once enrolled, guests will receive any RPI Alerts in the form of a text message. Enrolled guests may opt out any time by texting the word “STOP” to 888777. Otherwise, all Commencement guests who have opted in will be automatically disenrolled on May 20, 2024, at 5:30 p.m. Standard messaging rates will apply. 

Only service animals specifically trained to assist a person with a disability are permitted on campus during Commencement. For the safety of your pet and all guests, please leave your pet at home.

Parking & Transportation

Parking for those who are mobility-impaired will be available exclusively in the parking garage on College Avenue. No special permit is required. Accessible shuttles will take guests to the front gates of East Campus Stadium. There are no drop-off areas at ECAV. Accessible seating is located on the stadium floor. There are no special tickets required for this. Please see the ushers for assistance upon arrival.

There is no parking available at ECAV, but parking is available in all main campus parking lots. After you park, please board a campus shuttle to take you to the ceremony. Roads in the vicinity of Commencement will be accessible only via campus shuttles, which will drop guests off at the main entrance of ECAV. It is a short walk to the stadium field from the shuttle stop.

Please park in the North Lot or the parking garage. A shuttle to ECAV will be provided.

Accessible seating is located on the stadium floor. Any usher will be able to guide guests to accessible seating at Commencement. Mobility impaired parking will be available exclusively in the parking garage on College Avenue. Accessible shuttles will take guests to the front gates of East Campus Athletic Village (ECAV). 

Shuttles will operate from the Best Western Plus Franklin Square Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, and Courtyard by Marriott, starting at 6:30 a.m. They will run continuously until the end of the ceremony and picnic.

Tickets & Registration

All graduates need to confirm plans with us by Sunday, April 28, so we can finalize preparations for Commencement. You will receive an email with the registration link by mid-April. If you do not receive it by mid-April, contact Commencement@rpi.edu as soon as possible. All students must fill out the registration information, even if you are not planning to participate.

Yes. The Commencement registration process is separate from the degree application process through the Registrar’s office.

No. In order to attend Commencement, students must register (the registration deadline is Sunday, April 28).

Each graduate will receive four (4) guest tickets. There are no exceptions to this policy. Graduates should watch for an email from MarchingOrder about how to register for their guest tickets in mid-April.

Commencement GradPasses will be sent via email from MarchingOrder. 

Due to the number of graduates this year (including August and December graduates) and venue capacity, the number of tickets allotted for each graduate for Commencement is four (4). If there are extra tickets, they will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis shortly after registration closes, and all graduates will be notified via an email with instructions for accessing any extra tickets.

Ticket allocation was based on the number of graduates this year (including August and December graduates) and venue capacity.

Guests must have a ticket to enter ECAV, which includes both the stadium and arena. 

Indoor viewing locations across campus will only open in the instance of severe inclement weather involving thunder, lightning, or other severe weather conditions.

All children over the age of 2 need a ticket to attend Commencement. 

Commencement Events


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