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Commencement Information for Parents and Guests

As commencement approaches, we’re excited to extend a warm welcome to all parents, friends, and family members attending the ceremony. Commencement is a recognition and celebration of academic achievement and the lasting contributions that students have made to NSU.

This pivotal moment is a cause for celebration, and we’re here to equip you with all the information you need to make the experience unforgettable. From ceremony details to safety information, this page will act as your planning guide for parking, tickets, accessibility accommodations, and more.

Our priority is ensuring that every commencement ceremony is accessible and enjoyable for all. We offer a wide range of accessibility accommodations geared towards people with disabilities. Whether you require sign language interpretation, mobility assistance, or accessible seating, we’re here to help.

View Accessibility Information

The NSU Bookstore has partnered with select vendors to provide invitations, announcements, and customized diploma frames. These vendors offer graduation packages specifically tailored for your commencement candidate. Rings, announcements, certificates of thanks, and other graduation needs can be purchased from Herff Jones.

Visit the NSU Bookstore

For other graduation-related merchandise or questions, please reach out to the NSU Bookstore at (954) 262-4799 or

Commencement bouquets and floral arrangements will be available for purchase at the Don Taft University Center but can only be given to candidates after the ceremony. Official NSU merchandise will also be available for purchase at the Don Taft University Center the day of commencement.

All NSU Commencement ceremonies will be livestreamed. Visit the NSU Commencement homepage and click on the "Commencement Ceremony Live" link for access. All NSU Commencement video streams are archived approximately one week after the ceremony.

Commencement is held at the Rick Case Arena at the Don Taft University Center on NSU's campus in Davie. Parking for guests is located near the Alvin Sherman Library and student Main Parking Garage located on Ray Ferrero, Jr. Blvd (directly across from the Carl DeSantis Building).

Directions to the Rick Case Arena

At all commencement ceremonies, professional photographers will photograph each candidate on at least two separate occasions, including the exact moment when they are 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 our photography vendors:

GradImages (Undergraduate, Law, and Graduate ceremonies)

Werner Kahn Studios (May and August HPD ceremonies)

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.

Commencement programs will be available at all entrances for ceremony guests, allowing you to get an at-a-glance view of the timeline, speakers, and candidates. Each program lists the candidate's name and degree, and contains biographical information on distinguished honorees and speakers. Programs will be provided for commencement candidates at their seats.

For the protection of our guests, the following are not permitted inside commencement:

  • Air horns and noisemakers
  • Alcohol
  • Backpacks, backpack-style purses, diaper bags, duffle bags, waist packs, and purses larger than 12" x 6" or 12" in size
  • Balloons
  • Bottles, cans, coolers, and thermoses
  • Chains or spikes
  • Drugs
  • Fireworks
  • Food
  • Laser pointers
  • Strollers
  • Weapons
  • Wrapped gifts
  • Other items deemed dangerous to public safety

Please also observe the following rules and notices when preparing to attend commencement:

  • No animals, except certified service animals, will be admitted.
  • Anyone entering the Rick Case Arena will be subject to a physical search and metal detection.
  • Smoking is not permitted.
  • There are no storage facilities available for storing purposes or personal items.
  • The University Center is not responsible for items left unattended.

The Flight Deck Pub, the Performance Theatre in the Don Taft University Center, and the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center (located in the Alvin Sherman Library) all host a live telecast of the ceremony via closed circuit television; a sign language interpreter will be visible on the live telecast screen, but the simulcast viewing is not closed captioned. Seating at these venues is available on a first-come basis.

Please note that the Flight Deck Pub is a family-friendly environment conducive to elderly guests and those with small children. 

Tickets are not required, but seating in the Rick Case Arena is limited and on a first-come, first-seated basis. Large groups of guests wishing to sit together should arrive one hour prior to the published start time of the ceremony to ensure availability. Due to the size of the arena and as a courtesy to all attendees, the saving of seats is strictly prohibited.

During the opening processional and the Star Spangled Banner, the arena doors will temporarily close to guests. Once these two parts of the ceremony have concluded, the doors will reopen on a space-available basis.

For information about South Florida travel accommodations, visit the NSU Travel Office.

Note: Although often used interchangeably, the words commencement and graduation are not the same thing. Participating in a commencement ceremony does not mean that your student has completed their degree and has actually graduated. Commencement is a formal ceremony for candidates who have been cleared to participate by their school or program.

Have Additional Questions?

Contact NSU's Office of the University Registrar at (954) 262-7255 or 800-541-6682 ext. 27255. 

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