Frequently Asked Graduation Questions

Commencement Ceremony Location & Times:

The Commencement Ceremonies are being held in Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester NH. There are two ceremonies on May 9th; one ceremony for our undergraduate students (both University College and COCE), and one ceremony for all graduate students (COCE).

More details about the ceremonies will be posted here soon!

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All guests are required to have a ticket for the ceremony. Questions can be directed to

Accessibility Support:

Is there special seating for those with disabilities?

Yes. Please contact the Office of Disability Services, at 603.645.9630 for assistance.

What accommodations are provided for my family with accessibility needs?

Please follow this link for details about accessibility services.

How do I get my cap and gown for Graduation?

Caps and Gowns will be distributed to students who petitioned to graduate and have been approved to participate in the ceremony by the Office of the University Registrar. Information on when and how they will be distributed will be sent to all eligible students participating in the ceremony. This information will be sent to your SNHU email account in February.

Do I need a cap and gown to participate in Graduation?

Yes. To participate in the ceremony all ceremony participants are required to wear a cap and gown.  The cap and gown are made of a polyester material and are yours to keep.

Can I decorate my cap?

Yes. Often students will decorate their caps. This practice is acceptable as long as it is done in a respectful manner.

Commencement Ceremony:

Is there a graduation practice before the ceremony?

There is no practice prior to the ceremony. Once you arrive to line up you will be given details on what you will be asked to do as part of the ceremony.

Where should graduating students go and when should they get there?

Students should enter by the side doors (Cedar/Auburn Street). If they happen to enter by the front doors, they should make their way to the backstage part of the arena to prepare for the ceremony. They should plan on arriving 60 minutes before the start of the commencement ceremony. The ceremony begins promptly at 10:00 a.m. for all undergraduate students and 4:00 p.m. for all graduate students participating in the ceremonies.

How are the students lined up?

Students will be lined up for the procession by their School. However, they may choose to sit with their friends regardless of their last name.

How do I wear my graduation regalia (cap and gown)?

The following video includes a quick demonstration of dressing for graduation and outlines what graduates can expect on the morning of Commencement. To view the video you need to have Flash Player installed on your computer. Graduation Information Video.

Can participants leave the ceremony early?

All participants are expected to be at the ceremony for its duration


When will I get my diploma?

As long as you have completed your entire course work, are in good academic standing, do not have any outstanding financial obligations, and have completed your Financial Aid exit counseling, your diploma will be mailed to you at the address entered on your Petition to Graduate from the Office of the University Registrar 10 business days after the commencement ceremony.

Faculty & Staff:

Where do faculty and staff enter the arena if they are processing with the graduates?

Faculty and staff need to be at the Verizon Wireless Arena by 9 a.m. for the undergraduate ceremony, and 3 p.m. for the graduate student ceremony, entering the facility through the side doors (Cedar/Auburn Street).

Line Up and Procession

Faculty and staff will be lined up on the ground floor of the arena. They will process by School and will be seated in the front rows.

Guest Tickets & General Information:

Are children required to have a ticket to attend the ceremony?

Generally, children under 3 years old are not required to have a ticket, unless they are going to use a seat.

How do I get tickets?

Tickets will be available to reserve online by navigating to the graduation page on my.SNHU after March 1st. Details and the link to the ticket site are on mySNHU under the Graduation tab, which is visible to all graduates, approved by the Registrar, and stated they will participate in the ceremony.

What time do the doors open for general admission/guests?

Undergraduate Student Ceremony (morning)
Doors will open no later than 9 a.m. for the morning ceremony.
Graduate Student Ceremony (afternoon)
3 p.m. for the afternoon ceremony.

Are there any elevators?

Yes. Elevators are located to the right of the front lobby.

How long is the ceremony?

Typically, the ceremony will last approximately 2 to 3 hours. Concession stands are open with refreshments.

What can I not bring into the Verizon Wireless Arena?

Balloons and outside food and beverages are not allowed to be brought into the arena. There will be refreshment stations available in the facility where food and beverage can be purchased. Strollers are also not allowed in the arena.

International Students:

Can SNHU write me a letter to help my family and friends from overseas to get the necessary visa?

Yes. Follow this link to access the form that needs to be filled out to make this request: When completing the request form, if you are a domestic student (US citizen or permanent resident) please let us know this in the other letter/special instruction section. Also, if you wish to have your letter mailed to you, indicate that here as well otherwise all letters are available for pick up at the ISS office.


Where can my family stay while in town for the ceremony?

Follow this link for a listing of accommodations.


Where can I park?

Information regarding parking and directions can be located at the Verizon Wireless Arena website at
The City of Manchester has 3,500 metered parking spaces in the downtown area. Most of the meters are Pay & Display parking kiosks. In general, the center of downtown has a 2 hour parking limit and parking is $.75 per hour Monday-Friday from 8am-8pm. If you will be in town for longer than a couple of hours, you should consider parking off-street or at a 10 hour meter. There is an event parking charge of $1.00 for events, 7 days per week, for Verizon Wireless Arena and Stadium in selected locations.

What if I can't make it to the arena to see the graduation?

Southern New Hampshire University's graduation ceremonies are available to view via a live stream.

Pictures & Graduation Video:

Do I need to pre-register for graduation pictures?

We recommend that you pre-register your permanent email address with our photographer by vising visit and click on Pre-Event Registration. This way you will know who to contact after the ceremony. Our contracted photographer is Chappell Studio who uses the Grad Images service. You may add contact information for up to 6 additional relatives and/or friends.
The photographer will take two photos of each student (as they approach and cross the stage). Each student will be given order information as they return to their seat. A photographer from GradImages will be at your ceremony to take a candid photograph of you at your special moment of recognition. Since photographs will be available, family members and guests are encouraged to remain in their seats, relax and enjoy the ceremony.

May I approach the stage to take a picture?

No. For traffic flow and safety purposes, guests of the graduates are not allowed on the floor during the ceremonies. However, families may wish to sit towards the front of the arena for best picture taking opportunities.

Can I stay in the arena to take pictures after the ceremony?

Yes. However, the Verizon Arena staff will need to clear the arena for the afternoon ceremony, as well as in preparation for another event after the Graduate Student Ceremony later that day, so please do so quickly. There will be ample opportunity to take pictures at the reception.

Can I purchase a DVD of today’s ceremony?

Yes. The SNHU Audio Visual studio is pleased to offer a professional quality DVD of today’s ceremony. Order forms are available at the Follett Bookstore table in the front lobby. The price is $20 plus $2.50 for shipping and handling.

How do I get my pictures that were taken during the ceremony?

You will receive a free passport-sized digital proof of this photo on an order card within 5-7 days following the ceremony. Questions may be emailed to After the ceremony you may order online at or call 800.261.2576.

Post-Commencement Reception:

Is there a reception after the ceremony?

Yes. There will be a reception immediately following each ceremony, and will be on campus at the SNHU Dining Center. SNHU welcomes everyone to stop by for refreshments and conversation. (Directions:

Contact Us

Questions about Commencement tickets should be directed to
the Office of Student Affairs
Phone: 603.645.9608

Graduation information and phone contacts are available by calling
the graduation hotline
Phone: ext. 3040 from on campus or
603.626.9100 ext. 3040 from off campus