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Commencement FAQs

Commencement is a fun time of year for all CCRI graduates, but there are always a lot of questions leading up to the big day. In an effort to keep you up to speed, here is a list of frequently asked questions during commencement season. If you have a question that we didn't answer below, please reach out to [email protected]

Good luck, Knights!

I forgot to order my regalia and the deadline has passed. Now what?

Don't panic! The CCRI Bookstore at the Warwick Campus has limited regalia available in various sizes in case some of our graduates miss the ordering deadline. 

Simply reach out via email or by phone at 401-825-2134 or stop by during normal business hours from 8:30 am–3:30 pm Monday–Friday. 

If I completed my degree in December or still need to take a few courses this summer can I still participate in this year’s commencement? 

Yes. Per our Walk-Through Policy, all students who need no more than two classes, or up to eight credit hours, to complete their degree requirements are eligible to participate in commencement. These applicants must complete the Intent to Graduate for the summer term.

Please note if you fail to complete your requirements by the end of the summer term, you must re-complete the Intent to Graduate process the semester you actually complete your degree requirements.

How do I know if I qualify for honors?

Academic achievement will be recognized at graduation for students who have met the following criteria:

  • Graduation Honors: 3.25 to 3.49 cumulative grade point index
  • Graduation High Honors: 3.50 to 3.74 cumulative grade point index
  • Graduation Highest Honors: 3.75 to 4.0 cumulative grade point index

Honors are based on a student’s cumulative GPA for the semester ending on December 31.

Note: To be eligible for honors, students must earn at least one half of the credits for their program at CCRI.

What is the difference between a commencement ceremony and graduation?

Commencement ceremonies are the celebration of your graduation! Commencement signifies the culmination of the incredible accomplishment of the graduating students eligible to receive their degree. This is the moment where the entire college community gathers with graduates, families, and friends to recognize the hard work put in by students to achieve their degrees.

Graduation is the process of being awarded a degree or certificate after successful completion and assessment of all program requirements. 

Be reminded that attending commencement does not mean you've graduated. To be officially graduated, you must complete all the requirements for your degree and submit an Intent to Graduate.

Do I need tickets for guests?

No tickets are required and there is no guest limit for commencement! Seating is first-come, first-served, so make sure your friends and family arrive early to get the best possible seats.

Is there a dress code?

There is no formal dress code for graduation, however, you should wear appropriate clothing. Think “smart casual” – the essentials such as blazers, sports jackets, dresses, sweaters, khakis, skirts, blouses, button-down shirts, etc.

More importantly, wear comfortable shoes. Upon arrival, all graduates have to stand in line backstage before proceeding onto the arena floor for the ceremony. Don't let blisters ruin your day! 

Can I still pick up my honor cords? 

Yes! If you were unable to attend GradFest to grab your honor cords, stop by the Enrollment Services office at any campus between 9 am–3 pm Monday–Friday from now through Friday, May 10.

Honor cords will not be handed out the day of, so make sure to pick yours up ASAP. 

What is a march card and where do I get one?

Your march card – or name card – is the piece of paper with your name on it that you will hand to the reader at the top of the stage on commencement day to read your name over the loudspeaker when it's time to walk. If necessary, please clearly print on your card the best way to pronounce your name.

Those who ordered their regalia for Bookstore pickup should have also received their march card that same day. Those who scheduled their regalia for home delivery will receive their march card in the mail.

If you don't have a march card on the day of commencement, you must sign in backstage prior to the ceremony to receive your march card. Most importantly, make sure your name is spelled correctly and written exactly how you want it read. 

How do I ensure my name is pronounced properly at commencement?

When you receive your march card, whether the day of commencement or if/when you pick up your regalia from the bookstore, make sure to write your name phonetically on the back; in other words, write your name exactly how you want it pronounced. 

Keep your march card with you at all times the day of commencement and when you get to the top of the stage before you walk, hand your card to the reader, who will then read your phonetic spelling as you cross the stage.

Below are examples of names with their phonetic spellings in parentheses:

  • Samuel Liu (SAM-U-EL LEE-OO)
  • Njiba Mbye (NAH-GEE-BAH MMM-BOO-EEE)
  • Kasey J. Panagopoulos (KAY-SEE  JAY PAH-NAH-GOP-OOH-LOS)

What time should I arrive?

Be early! Graduates who attend the commencement ceremony should plan to arrive at the Amica Mutual Pavilion (AMP) in Providence by 3 pm and definitely no later than 3:15 pm.

Graduates only should enter the AMP through the back-door entrance located on the left-hand side (facing the building) of the AMP between the Hilton Providence and the venue or from the right-hand side (facing the building) between the AMP and the Convention Center Garage.

Doors will open for guests at 3:30 pm.

Where should I park? 

Your best bet is to park in the Convention Center Garage directly next door to the AMP,  which will cost anywhere between $15–20 for the evening, or at the Providence Place Mall for a rate of $2 every five hours. You can also scout your own parking spot depending on any accessibility needs you or your guests might have. 

What do I do once I arrive?

If you already have your march card, you skip the registration process and simply follow the signage – or ask a Commencement Marshal for help! – to begin lining up backstage based on which division applies to you: 

  • Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (AHSS)
  • Business, Science, and Technology (BSAT)
  • Health and Rehabilitative Sciences (HARS)

If you don't have your march card, register at the table backstage based on the first letter of your last name. Once you have your march card, you can begin lining up for the actual procession. We march promptly at 4 pm, so be on time and ready! 

Do I receive my diploma on commencement day?

No. On commencement day, all graduates receive a diploma cover. Diplomas are mailed approximately six to eight weeks following the date of graduation, barring any unforeseen circumstances. The Office of Enrollment Services is responsible for clearing you for graduation. Once you are cleared, your degree will be awarded and your diploma will be ordered. 

Diplomas will be mailed to the address in our records. You will be responsible for reporting any change of address information to the Office of Enrollment Services or updating the information in MyCCRI. Learn how to update your information online. 

If you have not received your diploma eight weeks after your graduation date, check your online transcript to see if your degree was conferred. If the degree has been conferred and you still don’t have your diploma, contact the Office of Enrollment Services that you have not received your diploma. If your degree was not conferred, check with the Office of Enrollment Services. 

If you have questions about your personal graduation information, contact [email protected] and include your CCRI student ID number.

Will commencement be live-streamed? 

Yes! Those who cannot attend in person can watch the entire ceremony live on our commencement website at Please share the link with family and friends!

When my degree will be confirmed?

Students will be confirmed as a graduate of the Community College of Rhode Island if degree requirements for the program of study in which they are enrolled have been satisfied according to the following schedule:

  • Spring graduates will be confirmed in June
  • Fall graduates will be confirmed in January
  • Summer graduates will be confirmed in August

Can I have my degree posted early?

No. CCRI policy is to have all degrees posted at once in fairness to all students.No exceptions.

How do I obtain official proof of graduation?

An official transcript is your official proof of graduation. Visit our Request Official Transcript website to learn more about how to request a copy of your official transcript.

Before requesting a transcript, please make sure to review your degree evaluation to make sure your degree is posted.  You can find the instructions on our Degree Evaluation website.

Can I request a duplicate diploma?

Yes. You must complete the Duplicate Diploma Request form and contact the Bursar’s office to arrange payment. A $10 duplicate diploma payment must be made payable to CCRI at the Bursar’s office. Visit the Bursar's office website for contact information. 

Once you complete the process, you can send the form and proof of payment to [email protected] and we will order the diploma for you. The order of the duplicate diploma may take approximately six to eight weeks for processing. If you need official proof of graduation, please visit our website to learn more about how to request a copy of your official transcript.