Commencement and Graduation FAQs

What is the difference between graduation and Commencement?
Graduation refers to the process of applying for completion of your degree/certificate program with the Registrar. Commencement refers to the actual ceremony.


When will my diploma be ready?
Diplomas are ready about three months after your degree has been conferred.

How will I receive my diploma?
Since COVID all degrees are mailed out to students approximately 3-4 months after your degree has been conferred via the company we use for our diplomas.

I graduated in 2014 (or earlier). How do I get my diploma?
Students would have to email the registrar audit team to make an appointment to pick up degrees that were 2014 or earlier or if they come to the jay express counter we will call over to registrar to make sure they have the diploma. registraraudit@jjay.cuny.edu

What name will appear on my diploma?
The name on your diploma will be what appears on your CUNYFirst record. Any name change must be officially changed at Jay Express. For updates, please visit or contact Jay Express at Jayexpress@jjay.cuny.edu or call 646-781-5081. Updates must be done before the end of the semester in which you are expected to finish. Requests made after the diploma is printed will incur a $30.00 fee.

Commencement Ceremony Tickets

How many tickets do I get and how do I get them?

As indicated in commencement communications and on the website, the # of guest tickets per graduate has not yet been determined. Based on venue capacity, the Office of Student Transition Programs is closely monitoring the registration #s to determine the # of guest tickets per graduate. For reference, the College provided three guest tickets per graduate for last year’s ceremony. 

Once a decision is made, all eligible graduates who have registered in the Commencement Dashboard by the deadline will receive an email notification with important details.

Will my child need their own ticket?
Please note an important Barclays Center policy, “Children under 2 years old will not require a ticket but must sit on the lap of an accompanying ticketed adult. Any child that has reached their 2nd birthday will require a ticket to enter the arena and must occupy their ticketed seat only.”



When is Commencement?
The 2024 Commencement ceremony will take place on Tuesday, May 28, 2024 with a start time of 3:30pm.  There will be one ceremony for all graduates.

Can I participate in the Commencement ceremony?
To participate in the ceremony, you must first apply for graduation before the deadline of each term. If you have issues applying for graduation, please visit or contact the Registrar's office at 212-663-7867, or email them at registrar@jjay.cuny.edu to confirm your eligibility. 

I don't meet the requirements to participate in the Commencement ceremony. Can I appeal it?
To be eligible to walk at Commencement and appear in the Commencement program, a student must have applied for graduation on CUNYFirst. Students whose degree requirements will be completed by the end of the summer session may attend Commencement if all of the following conditions are met at the time the Office of the Registrar certifies the graduation list:

  • At the end of the spring semester, the student will have no more than two courses remaining to complete their degree requirements
  • The student has registered for and paid for the required course(s) during the summer session immediately following Commencement
    The student has a minimum overall GPA of 2.00 and a minimum GPA in their major of 2.00
  • Students who are prospective summer graduates will be listed as such in the Commencement program.

Students who have not met all of the requirements above cannot walk at the Commencement or appear in the Commencement program. This policy is not able to be appealed.

I need accessibility services on the day of Commencement. 
If you are a graduating student in need of accommodations, you must contact the Office of Accessibility Services. Please contact Elena Beharry at ebeharry@jjay.cuny.edu

Am I eligible to apply for graduation (program completion)?
To determine eligibility for graduation (program completion), please contact the registrar's office at 212-663-7867, visit or email registrar@jjay.cuny.edu

I have one or two more classes left in the summer term. Can I still participate in the commencement ceremony?
If you have 2 courses or less left to complete your program, you may be eligible to participate in the Spring commencement ceremony. The requirements are to be enrolled  for your final summer course(s) then applied for graduation before May 1, 2024

If you have more than two courses to finish your program, you are not eligible to participate in the spring 2024 ceremony and will be scheduled to participate next year. 

Honors Information

When/how will I receive my honors cords?
Honor cords will be distributed at Grad Salute on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. For more information on Grad Salute and other commencement week events, please visit https://www.jjay.cuny.edu/commencement-events


How will I know that I am graduating with honors?

You should be receiving an email from the Registrar’s Office informing your eligibility. You will also be able to confirm and pick up cords during Grad Salute on May 8, 2024.