A Celebration of Your Success

Commencement is all about you—and taking time to recognize that your hard work at Northern Arizona University has brought you to this moment of personal victory. To make your day go as smoothly as possible, we've created a step-by-step guide on this page for your convenience.

Is commencement the same as graduation?

No, graduation refers to the actual fulfillment of degree requirements toward earning your physical diploma. Commencement is a public ceremony to celebrate graduation.  Participating in commencement does not mean that you have graduated. 

A step-by-step guide to a seamless commencement


Undergraduate students apply for graduation through the Office of the Registrar, graduate students apply for graduation through the                      Graduate College.  


Use the commencement schedules to find when your ceremony will take place— it's based on your degree and college.  

Secure your cap and gown at least one month before commencement by visiting the Northern Arizona University Bookstore or calling 928-523-4041 or 1-800-426-7674.

Whether you’re a student, parent, faculty member, or guest of the University, find parking and directions. View the inside layout of
the Skydome
during commencement, so you are prepared when you
                  enter the facility.

Contact the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity at 928-523-3312 or AAEO@nau.edu for any disability accommodations, preferably one week before commencement.


Read through the ceremony guidelines for students on what to expect before, during, and after the ceremony.

Choose a location to meet after the ceremony and don’t forget that several of the colleges have receptions after
commencement. Also make sure to check the special events
                  happening before or after commencement.


Make your memories last by ordering portraits and DVDs.