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Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

What is the difference between commencement and graduation?

Commencement is the formal ceremony at which the college recognizes the completion, or anticipated completion, of students’ academic degrees. Graduation is the individual student’s completion of all the college’s degree requirements.

When is Commencement?

The 2024 Commencement Ceremony is scheduled for May 24, 2024 at 9 am in the Barclays Center.

Will there be a rehearsal for the ceremony?

There will not be a rehearsal for the ceremony. However, staff will be providing instructions during the ceremony.

Will honors be recognized at the ceremony?

Honors will not be recognized at the ceremony. However, academic honors may be noted in the commencement program for undergraduate students who have graduated as of February 2024 or earlier.

Where can I get the Commencement Program?

The official commencement program will be available to students at Commencement. A digital version will also be available on the morning of the ceremony online.

What should I do if something comes up and I am not able to attend this year’s Commencement?

A graduate is allowed tickets for only one Commencement for each degree or certification. Once tickets are accepted for that degree, the graduate’s name is removed from any subsequent list for tickets. If you are unable to attend the ceremony, contact us to cancel your request or return your accepted tickets. If you wish to maintain your option to attend a later ceremony, you should not accept tickets for this year’s ceremony. However, if you should accept tickets but are unable to attend, return the tickets to Student Affairs.

When can I pick up my diploma?

The Office of the Registrar notifies graduates by e-mail when diplomas are available. Ensure that your e-mail is updated in CUNYFirst. For more information, visit the Registrar’s webpage on Diploma Distribution.

How can I access the graduation survey?

Please complete this survey no later than 5:00pm EST on January 31st, 2024.

Steps to complete the survey:
1.     Log into CUNYfirst using your CUNY credentials
2.     Click on STUDENT CENTER
3.     Click on TASKS and HOLDS
4.     On the To Do’s list, scroll down to GRADUATION SURVEY
6.     Complete the Graduation Survey
7.     You’ll know it is complete because it will no longer appear on your graduation checklist

Graduation Survey Instructions (PDF)

Will my preferred name be used for my Diploma?

You may already know that your preferred name and gender are honored at CUNY and Brooklyn College.  Your preferred name as listed in CUNYfirst will be used in the program at commencement.

To change your preferred name at Brooklyn College, use this form.  Here are the instructions for changing your preferred name for CUNY.  If you also want your preferred name to appear on your diploma, you would need to do a legal name change.  For more information on how to obtain a legal name change, go to information via NY Courts. The process can take as long as three months, so don’t hesitate to begin now! You can request a fee waiver as well as per the information in the link.


Can I participate if I am finishing my required classes in the summer?

Summer graduates who would like to participate in the 2024 Commencement must have filed for graduation by March 15.

Note: Students who file for graduation after March 15 may not have their name listed in the commencement program and may not be able to participate in the 2024 Commencement.

What do I do if I missed the File for Graduation Deadline?

If you missed the filing deadlines of February 15th and March 15th but are completing your requirements, you may do the following in order to attend Commencement.

1) File for graduation for the next available semester.

2) Email degreeaudit@brooklyn.cuny.edu to let them know that you missed the filing deadline and ask them if they can move your graduation date to the correct semester (Spring 24 or Summer 24). 

3) Once your graduation status is updated in CUNYFirst, email commencement@brooklyn.cuny.edu so we can verify.

There are no extensions to the deadline.

Cap and Gowns

How do I purchase my cap and gown?

Eligible students are required to wear the official Brooklyn College cap and gown to Commencement. Please check the Commencement Checklist for further details.

How much is my cap and gown?

Undergraduate students wear a maroon cap and gown with the college seal on the front and the purchase price is $40. Master’s students wear a black cap and gown with he college seal on the front, in addition to a hood that indicates the academic school. The purchase price for Masters is $60. It is recommended students ship their cap and gown to their home for faster delivery.

How to I find out what Academic School I am in?

Brooklyn College is divided into 5 Academic Schools. Every academic department belongs to one of the schools. Visit https://www.brooklyn.edu/academics/schools/ to find out which Academic School your department belongs to. Master’s students wear a hood at Commencement in the color assigned to their school.

SCHOOL OF EDUCATION (Hood color is light blue)


How do I request commencement tickets?

Please check the Commencement Checklist for further details.

How many tickets can I request?

You may request up to four guest tickets. You will also receive a separate ticket for yourself. Graduates confirm their attendance through the ticket request process.

Can I get extra tickets?

Unfortunately, extra tickets are not available in advance. The availability of extra tickets will be determined only after regular ticket distribution ends. The process for requesting extra tickets is on the Commencement Checklist. There is no guarantee that extra tickets will become available.

Do I need a ticket for myself?

Yes. In addition to your guest tickets, you will also receive one ticket for yourself. You must have your ticket in order to enter Barclays Center. Guest and students use separate entrances.

Are guests required to have a ticket?

All guests are required to have a ticket.

Are children required to have a ticket?

Children, with the exception of infants and toddlers who remain on an adult’s lap, must have a ticket. Children are not permitted to march or sit with the graduates.

Will there be any tickets for sale?

No. Commencement tickets are free. Any student engaging in the selling of tickets may be subject to disciplinary action by the college.

Venue (Barclays Center)

How do I get to Barclays Center?

For instructions on transportation, refer to the Barclays Center transportation guide.

What if I’m late for the ceremony?

All graduates are expected to arrive at least 30 minutes before the ceremony begins. If you are late, you may be seated outside of your academic school and degree section.

What if my guests are late for the ceremony?

Guests may enter the ceremony after the designated start time. We recommend you advise your guests to be early, as the best seating in each section is on a first come, first served basis.

Are any items prohibited from the venue?

Refer to the Barclays Center A–Z guide for items prohibited from the venue.

Will there be refreshments available?

Refreshments may be purchased if there are available vendors within Barclays Center.

Will my family be able to see me, and can they come up front to photograph me during the ceremony?

Guests must remain seated so that all guests may see their graduate. Guests will not be permitted to enter the student seating area.

Where can I meet my guests after the ceremony?

Graduates and guests will be using various exits. Arrange a meeting location prior to the ceremony.

Are there accessible accommodations for graduates and guests with disabilities?

If you are a graduating student who requires accessible seating, contact us by May 13.

Barclays Center provides accessible seating for guests. However, accessible seating is available only within specific sections, slightly separated from the other seating within the sections. To help your family and friends sit in close proximity to those friends and family seated in the accessible sections, it is very important that your guests arrive together and early, as seating is general admission.

All accessible seating for guests will be monitored by Barclays Center Guest Services. Barclays ushers will ensure that accessible seating is reserved for guests with accessible seating needs.

For more information, refer to the Barclays Center website.

What should I do if I feel ill during the ceremony?

EMS will be on standby. Consult with the nearest staff member to obtain assistance.

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