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HPD Candidates

Overview of 2019 HPD Commencement

The NSU August HPD Commencement for candidates from the Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences (except Physical Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology) and the Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing is Friday, August 16 at 2:30 p.m., in the Rick Case Arena at the Don Taft University Center (UC) on the NSU main campus in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

PLEASE NOTE: As stated in your student handbook, attendance at commencement is mandatory for most HPD programs. Graduates enrolled in a program that does not require commencement attendance (click here for a listing of those programs), who state their intention to attend commencement and/or the senior awards dinner and dance by submitting an RSVP through the online Commencement Participation Form (CPF), will be assessed a non-refundable $175.00 HPD graduation fee (in addition to the $100.00 degree application fee).

Graduates will be required to be on site and meet in the second floor RecPlex one hour prior to their ceremony in order to line up for the processional. Guests will also be allowed to enter the arena one hour prior to the ceremony start time. Heightened security measures, including metal detectors and bag searches, will be in place at the Rick Case Arena in the Don Taft University Center for all candidates and guests. Please plan your arrival accordingly. Leave purses and other personal items with guests to ensure timely arrival and preparation for the ceremony. 

Frequently asked questions regarding NSU commencement can be found at

Application for Degree/Diploma

The deadline date to submit your degree/diploma application is one month prior to completion of your coursework. Visit the online application for degree/diploma page for more information on completing your application and the fee schedule. Have your NSU SharkLink email name and password ready before you begin this process.

Do not confuse the online degree/diploma application with your online commencement RSVP and regalia order form. They are two separate processes.

Graduation Fees

Make sure that your degree/diploma and library fees have been paid, all library books returned, and any academic and financial responsibilities fulfilled. These must all be taken care of prior to the receipt of your diploma and final transcript.

Commencement Invitation/Caps and Gowns

Eligible candidates will be sent a SharkLink email in mid-June with instructions for commencement. All candidates must submit the 1) Commencement Participation Form (CPF) and 2) order regalia (cap, gown, and hood). This communication will also contain information about family hooding (for doctoral candidates only) and the awards dinner.

Completing a CPF reserves your space at the commencement ceremony and ordering proper academic regalia is the responsibility of all candidates who attend. All students are required to wear the NSU-customized regalia available exclusively through the NSU Bookstore; thus, you may not wear borrowed regalia or regalia purchased from alternative vendors. Any questions regarding academic regalia should be addressed to the NSU Shark Store, by telephone at (954) 262-4799 or via email.


At HPD commencement ceremonies, professional photographers will photograph each candidate a minimum of two different times including the exact moment of doctoral hooding and when shaking hands with the dean or president. Each candidate will be mailed and/or emailed proof images within five days of commencement, along with the opportunity to select from a variety of photo packages, with no obligation to purchase.

For more information, contact your photography vendor:

Werner Kahn Studios

Personal photographs may be taken only before and after the ceremony. Spectators and guests are not permitted in the aisles or on the main floor during the ceremony.

Senior Awards Dinner & Dance

The Senior Awards Dinner and Dance for candidates from the Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences (Physical Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology) and Ron and Kathy Assaf College of Nursing is scheduled for Thursday, August 15, 2019 at the Diplomat Resort, 3555 South Ocean Drive, Hollywood, FL 33319.

This event features a wine and cheese reception at 7:00 p.m., dinner at 8:00 p.m., music, and dancing. Business attire is suggested and bringing children is strongly discouraged. You must reserve your seat online in order to attend. Each candidate may reserve up to two free places for you and one guest (tickets are non-transferable). Additional guest reservations are welcome at $85.00 per person.

PLEASE BE AWARE: There is a $15 per vehicle valet parking charge or a $10 per vehicle self-parking charge at the Diplomat Resort.

Reservations for the awards dinner closed on Friday, August 9, 2019.

Family Hooding

Hooding is a tradition practiced by HPD where a new doctoral graduate is welcomed into the profession by another member of the profession, usually, a faculty member. There are several exceptions:

  • You have an immediate family member who is a graduate of a program that has the same degree you are about to receive (e.g., you are receiving your doctoral degree in audiology and your immediate family member is a doctor of audiology).


  • If you have an immediate family member who is on the faculty at Nova Southeastern University's Health Professions Division.

Please Note: An immediate family member is defined as a spouse, mother, father, aunt, uncle, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister, brother, grandparent, son, or daughter.

Requests for family hooding closed on Friday, August 2, 2019.

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