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 email@example.com.
How long will my ceremony take?
Our ceremonies typically last 2 - 2.5 hours.
Are there mid-year ceremonies?
Yes. The spring/fall ceremony participation policy for eligible graduates is in the academic catalog for reference.
Are ceremonies livestreamed?
Southern New Hampshire University’s Commencement ceremonies will be livestreamed 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 students and graduates around the country a few years ago. We still share those stories proudly so you'll 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, 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 your request to the Registrar’s Office to begin the audit process as you approach the end of your degree programs.
For questions regarding the petition process, contact the Registrar’s Office at 800.757.5174 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
When is the deadline to petition?
You must submit your Petition to Graduate no later than 2 months before your anticipated conferral date:
- Before March 1 to be considered for eligibility to participate in the Spring Commencement ceremony
- Before October 1st to be considered for Fall Commencement ceremony
The Spring/Fall participation policy for eligible graduates is in the academic catalog for reference.
When do I need to register for Commencement?
Once your Petition to Graduate is approved, invitation emails will be sent to your SNHU email approximately 2 months prior to Commencement.
- Registering yourself for commencement
- Reserving guest tickets
- 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
- 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'll 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?
The university acknowledges outstanding academic performance through Ceremonial Honors and Latin Honors.
Ceremonial and Latin Honors apply only to associate and bachelor's degrees completed through non-direct assessment programs. Graduate programs are not eligible for academic honors.
To be recognized with Ceremonial or Latin Honors, the student you must meet the criteria specified in the academic catalog.
Will I receive honors cords for my Commencement ceremony?
Any eligible cords 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.
Honors cords are only for those earning an undergraduate degree.
How do I apply to be a student speaker at Commencement?
Commencement speaker applications open by invitation-only to eligible graduates. 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. Anticipated degree conferral date must be between Feb. 1 and July 1. Must be considered eligible to participate in Commencement by Jan. 1.
Fall: Email invitations will be sent early August. Anticipated degree conferral date must be between Aug. 1 and Jan. 1. Must be considered eligible to participate in Commencement by Aug. 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 reviews the applications. Based on a scoring rubric, they 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.
Where can I order a class ring or graduation announcements?
You can 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?
Complete the Diploma Information Update form to request an update to your diploma name or diploma address.
Do my guests need tickets to attend the ceremony?
Yes, guest tickets are required. Once your Petition to Graduate is approved and you've received your invitation to attend Commencement, you'll be able to reserve tickets for your guests during the registration process. If a child is 3 years old or younger and won’t use their own seat, you don't need to include them 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.
Guests should check with their graduate regarding the ceremony time. Guest doors open 90 minutes prior to each ceremony. Ceremonies typically last 2 - 2.5 hours.
Bring either a printed or digital copy of the tickets with you to the event. Guests should enter through the front entrance of the SNHU Arena, facing Elm Street. Elevators are to the right in the front lobby of the SNHU Arena.
Eligible graduates will receive all Commencement-related communication in their SNHU email addresses. We ask that they share this information with and reserve tickets for their guests accordingly.
(SNHU Commencement ceremonies are also available to view via a livestream on the SNHU Commencement page during each ceremony.)
Can I request a letter for guests traveling internationally?
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 the deadline specified in your invitation. If you need assistance logging into your SNHU email, contact the Help Desk at 855.877.9919.
If you register to attend Commencement virtually, your name, degree and honors status (if applicable) will be read aloud and appear on screen, along with a photo and/or written message that you provide. After registering, you'll 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?
Yes. You'll have the opportunity to share your slide to various social media channels with a direct link provided after the ceremony.
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 – three weeks prior to the ceremony to ensure arrival prior to the event. There's no additional cost for these items, and they'll 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: Check out the Virtual Commencement Page as a helpful guide.
How long will my virtual ceremony take?
Virtual ceremonies will range between 1-3 hours, depending on the number of graduates in your specific program.
If you choose to view the ceremony after it has been livestreamed, you'll be able to fast forward and rewind the recording to condense the viewing experience.
How do I edit my virtual slide?
Immediately after registering, you'll receive an email confirmation with a link to personalize your slide.
This is a two-step process:
- Upload your photo, confirm your name pronunciation and share a 150-character message of gratitude to display on your slide.
- After completing the personalization form, you'll receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org to verify your content and finalize your submission.
The production deadline to finalize your submission will be communicated via email. 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've 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.
What hashtags should we use for Commencement?
Area and Event FAQs
Where is Commencement held?
Ceremonies for graduates are held at the SNHU Arena at 555 Elm St., Manchester, NH.
What should we know about Manchester, NH?
Visit our webpage for area information.
How do I get to the arena?
Visit the SNHU Arena's website for directions to the arena.
Where do I park?
Parking is available throughout the city. Information regarding parking and directions can be found on the City of Manchester website.
The City of Manchester has over 3,000 metered parking spaces in the downtown area. Most of the meters are Pay & Display parking kiosks. Meter hours are:
- Monday through Friday: Paid parking between 8 am - 8 pm. There are 2- or 10-hour zone, and it's 75 cents per hour. Check meter for details.
- Saturday: Paid parking between 10 am - 8 pm, but only on Elm Street between Granite and Bridge streets. These are 2-hour zones at 75 cents per hour.
- After 5 pm in 2-hour zones, 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. Note: Parking at local businesses, including Market Basket, is not advised. Your vehicle will likely be towed.
Accessible parking close to the SNHU Arena is on a first-come, first-served basis off Cedar Street and on either side of Chestnut Street. Visible accessible parking tags are required.
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. Arrive one hour before the start of the Commencement ceremony.
Guests should check with the graduate regarding the ceremony time. You'll enter through the front doors through the front doors of the SNHU Arena, at 555 Elm Street, Manchester, NH 03101.
What if I need accessibility support at the arena?
Graduates should use the following form to coordinate with our accessibility team for their ceremony by filling out our accommodations request form.
Guests may inquire about accessibility with staff members at the entrance. Accessible seating is available in every section on a first-come, first-served basis.
Read the Commencement Accessibility Information document for more information on parking, seating, and visual and hearing access.
Are there elevators at the arena?
Yes. Elevators are to the right in the front lobby of the SNHU Arena.
Are bags allowed in the arena?
Backpacks and large bags 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.
Are weapons allowed in the arena?
No. Weapons of any type are not allowed in the arena.
Does the arena have policies that guests need to follow?
Yes. For an enjoyable experience for all SNHU Arena guests, read the policies and consider basic etiquette:
- In accordance with policy, beach balls, fog horns, balloons and other items that might disrupt the ceremony – or others’ ability to view or hear the ceremony – are not allowed. Security reserves the right to confiscate these items.
- Large bags, alcohol and weapons of any kind are strictly prohibited. Diaper bags will be subject to search by security. Strollers are not permitted in the seating area and will be asked to be stored in designated areas in the concourse/walkway.
- Outside food and beverages are not allowed. Concession stands will be open to purchase food and drink. No alcohol will be served during the event.
- Cell phones should be placed on vibrate or silent mode during the ceremony.
- If possible, remain seated throughout the ceremony. If it's not feasible to remain seated throughout the ceremony, consider moving to the lobby areas outside of your seating area.
- Arrive early with your entire party to get a good seat. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open 90 minutes prior to the ceremony.
- Do not stand in the aisles. We care about the safety of our guests, and it's also a fire hazard.
- Professional photographers from GradImages will capture the awarding of your graduate's diploma cover from different angles. Due to safety concerns, do not approach the stage. Guests of the graduates are not allowed on the floor during the ceremony.
- Graduates and guests may not stay in the arena after the ceremony to take pictures. Pictures can be taken outside the main entrance of the arena with no restrictions or on the main campus following each ceremony.
- Make plans to meet graduates at the front of the SNHU Arena after the ceremony.
- Allow an additional 15 minutes for the recessional before making your way out of the event space. This allows for a safe and orderly exit for all participants.
- Leave extra time to exit the building and to make your way through the post-event traffic.
Can I bring food or drink into the arena?
No. Concession stands will be open during the ceremony.
Can I buy SNHU gifts at the ceremony?
Visit the Freese Student Center bookstore on our campus, or check out the SNHU Bookstore online. The bookstore will have limited SNHU items for sale during Commencement ceremonies.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.