Students who are eligible to participate in Commencement and have been approved by the Registrar, will receive communications from the Commencement Office confirming which ceremony they will be participating in through their SNHU email account.
Any questions about Commencement can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How long will my ceremony take?
Our ceremonies typically last 2 - 2.5 hours.
Are there mid-year ceremonies?
Yes. Graduates who have a conferral date between January 1 - May 31 who submit their petition to graduate by March 1 will be eligible to participate in the Spring Commencement ceremonies. Graduates who have a conferral date between June 1 - December 31 who submit their petition to graduate by October 1 will be eligible to participate in the Fall Commencement ceremonies.
Are ceremonies live streamed?
Southern New Hampshire University’s Commencement ceremonies will be live streamed on the Commencement page. These videos will be available for viewing during and after the ceremony.
Is there a rehearsal for the ceremony?
There is no practice prior to the ceremony. Once graduates arrive at the SNHU Arena, staff will provide instructions.
Can I arrange for the SNHU bus and diploma delivery for a graduate?
The SNHU bus diploma delivery tour was a fun way we connected with our online learners and graduates around the country a few years ago. We still share those stories proudly so you will see them on TV from time to time. Unfortunately, the SNHU bus is not currently on the road for diploma delivery.
How will I receive information regarding Commencement?
All information regarding Commencement is sent to eligible graduates’ SNHU email once they have submitted their Petition to Graduate. If you need assistance logging into your SNHU email, please contact the Help Desk at 855.877.9919.
What is the Petition to Graduate?
This is a required first step in the conferral process. The Petition to Graduate is the learner’s request to the Registrar’s Office to begin the audit process as the learners approach the end of their degree programs.
You must submit your Petition to Graduate no later than 2 months before your anticipated conferral date: Before March 1st to be considered for eligibility to participate in the Spring Commencement ceremony and before October 1st to be considered for Fall Commencement ceremony.
For questions regarding the petition process, please contact the Registrar’s Office.
When is the deadline to petition?
Students who have an anticipated degree conferral date between Jan. 1 and May 31 and complete the Petition to Graduate by March 1 can participate in a Spring Commencement ceremony. Students who have an anticipated degree conferral date between June 1 and Dec. 31 and Petition to Graduate by October 1 can participate in a Fall Commencement ceremony. The Spring/Fall participation policy for eligible graduates is in the catalog for reference.
When do I need to register for Commencement?
Once your Petition to Graduate is approved, invitation emails will be sent to eligible graduates’ SNHU emails approximately two months prior to Commencement. Registration includes: Registering yourself for commencement, reserving guest tickets, and ordering regalia.
When do I receive my diploma?
Within 10 business days of your conferral date, you'll receive an email from email@example.com, letting you know that the final audit is complete, your conferral (awarded degree) is posted to your record and your secure e-diploma is available to be downloaded. You can also order a transcript at that time that will show your conferred degree.
Within 20 business days of your conferral date, you will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org that your paper diploma has been mailed to you.
Diplomas are not distributed at the Commencement Ceremony, only diploma covers.
What are Southern New Hampshire University’s Latin and Ceremonial Honors policies?
To learn more about our Latin and Ceremonial Honors policy, visit the Honors Policies and Etiquette tab on our Graduates page.
Will I receive honors cords for my Commencement ceremony?
Any eligible cords (undergraduate only) will be mailed to you when you order your regalia package. If you already received regalia and the honors cords were not included, email email@example.com for assistance. For in-person ceremonies, honors cords will also be available when you check in with the Registrar at the Arena on the day of Commencement. You can ask the Registrar team to refresh your academic record to have the most current honors status reflected when your name is read during the ceremony.
How do I apply to be a student speaker at Commencement?
Commencement Speaker applications open by invitation-only to eligible graduates. Please check your SNHU email to see if you are eligible to apply. Applications for Global Campus graduates will be available for in-person ceremonies only.
Spring: Email invitations will be sent early January. Degree conferral date must be between January 1 and May 1. Must be considered eligible to participate in Commencement by January 1.
Fall: Email invitations will be sent early August. Degree conferral date must be between June 1 and December 1. Must be considered eligible to participate in Commencement by August 1.
Eligible undergraduate students must have a 3.5 GPA or higher. Eligible graduate students must have a 3.8 GPA or higher.
A committee made up of SNHU staff and faculty review the applications and based on a scoring rubric, select 10-20 finalists to submit recorded draft Commencement speeches. That same committee views the speeches and selects a speaker for each Commencement ceremony.
How can I audition to sing the National Anthem?
All students, faculty, staff and alumni are welcome to audition to sing the national anthem at our spring and fall Commencement ceremonies. Deadline to audition is mid-February for spring ceremonies and mid-September for fall ceremonies.
What is the graduation fee for?
The fee includes the conferral process and shipment of your diploma, one complimentary copy of your official transcript, your cap and gown, and other Commencement items.
Where can I order a class ring or graduation announcements?
Order a class ring or graduation announcements on the Jostens SNHU page.
How do I make changes to the name on my diploma or the shipping address?
Please complete this form to request an update to your diploma name or diploma address.
Do my guests need tickets to attend the ceremony?
Yes. Once your Petition to Graduate is approved and you have received your invitation to attend Commencement, you will be able to reserve tickets for your guests during the registration process. Guest tickets are required. Children under the age of 3 will not be included in your guest count. The deadline for guest ticket reservations is approximately 4 weeks prior to Commencement and will be specified in all email communications.
Can I request a letter for guests traveling internationally?
Students can compose their own letters and request an enrollment verification letter from SNHU if that is required by the embassy in question. Neither the Registrar’s Office, International Student Services nor the Commencement Office provide letters of invitation for students.
How do I register for the virtual Commencement?
- All eligible graduates will receive an invitation via SNHU email with a unique button to register for Commencement. To have your name announced in the virtual ceremony, you must register for the virtual event by April 12 at 11:59 pm EST. If you need assistance logging into your SNHU email, please contact the Help Desk at 855.877.9919. All correspondence for Commencement will be via SNHU email.
- If you register to attend Commencement virtually, your name, degree and honors status (if applicable, undergraduates only) will be read aloud and appear on screen along with a photo and/or written message that you provide. After registering, you will receive instructions for uploading your content and information on viewing the event. Virtual Commencement will be presented in immersive, 360 virtual reality format via a YouTube link.
Can I share my virtual slide on social media?
How do I order graduation regalia for the virtual ceremony?
You are encouraged to wear your SNHU regalia as part of the celebration. Order your leather diploma cover or complete regalia package including cap, gown, hood, tassel, diploma cover and any eligible cords by April 28 to ensure arrival by the May 20 ceremony. There is no additional cost for these items and they will be shipped directly to you.
How do I view the virtual ceremony?
- A direct YouTube link will be emailed to all registered graduates' SNHU email a few days prior to the event to share with family and friends.
- Virtual Commencement will be presented in immersive, 360-degree virtual reality format via a YouTube link, similar to this video. You can even experience the event with a virtual reality headset via the YouTube app.
For the best viewing experience please do the following:
- Mobile: Tap 3 dots in the top right corner to maximize quality. Turn your device to landscape mode and move the device to explore.
- Desktop: Click on the gear icon to maximize the viewing resolution. Use W-A-S-D keys to look around using a keyboard.
- Television: Please review the TV Viewing FAQ as a helpful guide.
How long will my virtual ceremony take?
How do I edit my virtual slide?
- Immediately after registering, you will receive an email confirmation with a link to personalize your slide. This is a two-step process. 1. First, upload your photo, confirm your name pronunciation, and share a 150-character message of gratitude to display on your slide. 2. Then, after completing the personalization form, you will receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org to verify your content and finalize your submission. The production deadline to finalize your submission is April 20 at 11:59 pm ET. No exceptions. If your personalized information is not received by the production deadline, your slide will still read your name and conferred degree.
- To make edits to your slide once you have finalized your submission and before the production deadline, email email@example.com with your student ID and the specific items you’d like to change.
Can I arrange for the SNHU bus and diploma delivery for a graduate?
What hashtags are we using for Commencement?
Area and Event FAQs
How do I get to the Arena?
Please visit https://www.snhuarena.com/plan-your-visit/directions-parking for directions to the arena.
Where do I park?
Information regarding parking and directions are located at the City of Manchester website.
The City of Manchester has 3,500 metered parking spaces in the downtown area. Most of the meters are Pay & Display parking kiosks. The center of downtown has a 2-hour parking limit and parking is $.75 per hour on Saturdays - 10am-8pm on Elm St. between Granite and Bridge. After 5pm you can park at any meter for any length of time as long as you pay to park.
Parking in downtown Manchester is at your own discretion. Please note: Parking at local businesses, including Market Basket, is not advised. Your vehicle will likely be towed. Meters are not enforced on Sunday.
Where do I go when I get to the Arena?
Graduates must enter through the lower lot of SNHU Arena, (access from Cedar Street gate area or Auburn Street side) and proceed down into the loading dock area. Please arrive one hour before the start of the Commencement Ceremony. Guests should check with the graduate regarding the ceremony time. Guests should enter the Arena through the front doors of the SNHU Arena, located at 555 Elm Street, Manchester, NH 03101.
What if I need Accessibility Support?
Graduates should use the following form to coordinate with our Accessibility team for their ceremony: http://bit.ly/snhuaccessrequestform. Guests may inquire about accessibility with staff members at the entrance.
Are there elevators at the Arena?
Yes. Elevators are located to the right in the front lobby of the SNHU Arena.
Are bags allowed in the Arena?
Backpacks, large bags, weapons of any type are not allowed in the Arena. Diaper bags will be subject to search by Arena Security. Strollers are not permitted in the seating area of the Arena and will be asked to be stored in designated areas in the concourse/walkway.
Can I bring food or drink into the Arena?
No, but please note that Concession stands will be open during the ceremony.