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Frequently Asked Questions


Approximately two months prior to commencement, all eligible candidates will receive an email invitation via their NSU student account with information on how to complete Commencement Participation Form (CPF) and order a cap and gown (regalia) directly from the NSU Bookstore vendor Oak Hall Cap & Gown. Completing a CPF reserves a space in the appropriate commencement ceremony.

Candidates should refer often to NSU's Commencement Web site for complete, updated, and additional information and can follow us on Twitter for special announcements and updates.

NSU commencement ceremonies take place on the NSU main campus in the Don Taft University Center. Click here for driving directions.

Families, friends, and the general public are cordially invited to attend commencement. Tickets are not required but seating is limited and large groups of guests wishing to sit together should arrive early.


The Arena at the Don Taft University Center doors open one hour prior to the published start time of the ceremony for both candidates and their guests. Because seating is limited, please plan accordingly.

Due to the size of the arena and as a courtesy to all candidates and their guests, the saving of seats is strictly prohibited.

Be aware that the arena doors will temporary close to guests during the opening processional and the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner, and reopen afterwards on a space-available basis.

Simulcast Locations

Commencement guests will also have the opportunity to view a live telecast of the ceremony via closed circuit television at three on-campus locations: the Flight Deck Pub and the Performance Theater in the Don Taft University Center and the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center, which is part of the Alvin Sherman Library. Seating is available on a first-come basis. The sign language interpreter is visible on the live telecast screen. The simulcast viewing is not closed captioned.

Please Note: The Flight Deck Pub offers a family-friendly environment conducive to guests with small children who may become fidgety due to the length of the ceremony.

All NSU Commencement ceremonies will also be video streamed in real time. Visit the NSU Commencement home page and click on the "Commencement Ceremony Live" link for access. All NSU Commencement video streams are archived at approximately one week after the ceremony.

Guest tickets are not necessary to attend NSU Commencement. It is important to remember; however, that commencement seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis and large groups of guests wishing to sit together should arrive one hour prior to the start of the ceremony because saving seats is not permitted.

Be aware that the arena doors will temporary close to guests during the opening processional and the playing of The Star Spangled Banner, and reopen afterwards on a space-available basis.

Once the fire marshal has determined that the arena has reached capacity, overflow area have been created to accommodate commencement guests. These overflow areas, with live viewing screens, are in The Flight Deck Pub and Performing and Visual Arts Theater, in the Don Taft University Center, and the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center, in the Alvin Sherman Library building. In addition, the ceremony will be "live streamed" on the web for those that may not be able to attend.

Candidates who have achieved degree conferral status since the date of last year's commencement exercises, and prior to this year's ceremony dates, are automatically invited to participate this year (as long as they were not invited to participate in a prior year).

Otherwise, each program/school determines its "participation requirements." When in doubt, check with your academic program office or visit its commencement Web site for clarification on the requirements that must be met in order to be invited.

Rehearsals are not conducted as many candidates travel long distances to attend NSU commencement. Candidates and guests are asked to arrive one hour prior to the start of the ceremony for instructions and appropriate placement for the processional. The entrance processional will begin its march into the Rick Case Arena 10 minutes prior to the published ceremony start time.

Your name and city of residence for the commencement program are printed as they appear in SharkLink. If you have noticed an address error in previous communications, correct the error via your SharkLink account. For a name change, complete and forward a Data Change Form and include with approved documentation.

The University has made arrangements with a professional photographer to capture the exact moment each candidate shakes hands with the Dean or President. Unfortunately, due to the large number of people assigned to work and/or assist the candidates on the arena floor and for security purposes, family members must remain in their seats at all times.

Ceremonies are usually less than two to two-and-a-half hours in length.

The University has made every attempt to consolidate the length of ceremonies by shortening the speeches and providing a constant flow of candidates as they walk across the stage, without sacrificing each candidate's special moment. It is important that each and every candidate be given an opportunity in the spotlight. Therefore, as a courtesy to your fellow classmates and their guests, please return to your seat and remain there until all candidates have walked across the stage.

Commencement bouquets and floral arrangements are available for purchase in the lobby but can only be given to candidates after the ceremony. Official NSU merchandise is also be available for purchase at the Shark Store located on the main concourse of the Don Taft University Center.

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