Commencement FAQs

When is the Commencement Ceremony?
The 2021-2022 commencement ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 12, 2022, at 6pm in the Regional Sports Center.

Who can participate?
Fall 2021 graduates and students who have applied for Spring Semester 2022 or Summer Session 2022 are eligible to participate in the commencement ceremony.

I missed the application deadline. Can I still apply, and participate in the ceremony?
Yes, as long as the semester hasn’t concluded, you can still submit your application and you may participate in the commencement ceremony. Unfortunately, however, it might not be possible for your name to be added to the program.

If you haven’t submitted your graduation application before the last day of the semester, you will need to apply for the next term.

Am I required to wear a cap and gown?
Caps and gowns are required for all graduates/candidates who are participating in Commencement.

When and where do I get my cap and gown?
Obtain your cap and gown as soon as available. Please pay for and pick up your cap and gown at the RCTC Bookstore during any of their business hours. Caps and gowns will be available starting in April. Please check with the Bookstore to confirm the arrival of the caps and gowns. If you don’t have your cap, gown and tassel when you arrive at check-in, you will be directed to the Bookstore to purchase them.

Will I actually receive my diploma at the ceremony?
No, you will receive a Rochester Community and Technical College diploma case as you cross the stage. When completion of all degree requirements has been verified, your degree will be posted to your transcript and your diploma sent to you.  If you do not attend the commencement ceremony, your diploma will arrive at your home with a diploma case.  If you do attend commencement, you will receive your diploma case at the ceremony and your diploma will come to your home without a diploma case. In either case, you should receive your diploma in approximately 4-6 weeks after the end of the semester.

How do I qualify for academic honors?
For the purpose of noting honors status on the commencement program, candidacy for honors recognition will be determined by your cumulative grade point average at the conclusion of the Fall Semester. Candidates with a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or higher qualify for “high honors,” while candidates with a GPA between 3.5 and 3.74 will qualify for “honors.” Officially, the honors status will be determined when all grades have been submitted and degree requirements have been met.

Why are there different colors of tassels?
Honor graduates may wear a gold tassel instead of a multi-colored tassel.

How long will the ceremony last?
Approximately 2 hours.

One of my guests has a mobility impairment. Will there be accommodations and will my guests be able to sit together?
There will be a section of non-bleacher seating reserved for guests with special needs. A maximum of one additional seat per person needing special needs seating will be allowed. You can ask event staff about this seating when you arrive.

When will my name be published in the newspaper?
RCTC will notify your local newspaper after your graduation status is official – which usually takes about a month after the end of your last semester. Each newspaper then determines if and when the information will be printed. Your name will be published only if you indicated on the application for graduation that you wished to have an announcement of your graduation sent to your local newspaper.