Bachelor's Candidate - Frequently Asked Questions



When do I file for Graduation?

Undergraduate students must file their applications with the Registrar's Office by the following deadlines:

Graduation Date Application Deadline
May December 1
August June 1
January September 1

Please note: Undergraduate Students completing their degree requirements in August 2015, January 2016 or in May 2016 participate in the Commencement Ceremony.  The date and time of the ceremony are to be determined.



Although I will be completing my degree requirements in August, can I participate in the May ceremony? 

Only those students who have completed their requirements in August 2015 or January 2016 and those completing their degree requirements in May 2016 are expected to participate in the Commencement Ceremony.  Students who have not completed all their degree requirements, but are within 7 credits of completion by May 2016 may receive written permission to walk from the Associate Dean of the College of their major.  In order to obtain said permission, students must be enrolled in the remaining courses in summer 2016.  All credits must be taken in the summer session so that all degree requirements are completed by the end of August.  Student must bring this written permission to the Pioneer Salute in order to collect their cap, gown and hood or to the Bookstore on dates to be determined in May.  Please note the names of August 2015 graduates will not appear in the Commencement Program but your name will be called as you process to collect your diploma cover.

College Contact Person
College of Arts and Communication Interim Associate Dean Loretta McLaughlin Vignier
College of Education Associate Dean Dorothy Feola
College of Humanities and Social Sciences Associate Dean Wartyna Davis
College of Business Interim Associate Dean Susan Godar
College of Science and Health Associate Dean Jean Fuller-Stanley



What is the Pioneer Salute and must I attend? 

The Pioneer Salute is an opportunity to collect your cap, gown and hood, Commencement day instructions as well as visit with representatives from Registrar's Office, Student Enrollment Services, and Financial Aid to assure that you are ready for graduation. The offices of Career Development, Graduate Admissions and Alumni Relations will also be on hand to provide additional information. For those interested in purchasing personalized announcements, rings and diploma plaques, vendors will be available to take your orders. This event is critical to all graduating students.



How long do I need to be at the Pioneer Salute? 

The dates for this year's Pioneer Salute are Tuesday, April 12 and Wednesday, April 13 (9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.) in Ballroom A & B of the University Commons. You may attend either day at any time convenient to your schedule. The activity is a walk-through event (visit a variety of tables) and most students complete the process within 20 minutes. Please make every effort to attend.



If I am unable to attend the Pioneer Salute, what can I do? 

All students participating in the May Commencement ceremonies are encouraged to adjust their schedules and make every effort to attend one of the Pioneer Salute days. This is the best opportunity to meet all the offices at one time and collect your cap, gown and hood and additional instructions. For your convenience, it has been set up on different class days and includes evening hours. Those unable to attend this walk-through event must contact the Registration Services, Center for Student Services, and Financial Aid and clarify if any items are pending. Late pick-up of cap, gown, and hood will be available in May during dates to be determined.


What's my cap, gown, and hood made from?

The University’s commitment to sustainability, environmental stewardship and energy conservation is now evident in your academic regalia. Recycled PET plastic bottles have created your academic regalia. The plastic bottles have been cleaned, chipped into plastic flakes, melted and forced through spinnerets to create yarn which is weaved to produce the fabric. Each cap and gown sewn from recycled bottle fabric prevents approximately 27 plastic bottles from being dumped into a landfill. Your regalia is labeled Ultra Green and is provided by the University Cap and Gown company. This further demonstrates that sustainability is a focus of what’s happening on our campus with the ultimate goal of making conservation a permanent part of campus life.



Is there a rehearsal for commencement?

No, there is no rehearsal. At the Pioneer Salute you are provided instructions that clarify staging areas and seating arrangements. Each College has a designated staging area where faculty and staff are on hand and review the procedures for the day.



What is the dress code, if any, for the ceremony?

Students are encouraged to dress comfortably, but respectfully as this is an important event for all attendees including your peers and their families. You will be processing with your peers and asked to come forward and walk across the stage and receive your diploma cover as a symbol of completion. Pictures will be taken as you process to and on stage.


 If I am unable to attend Commencement when and how do I receive my diploma and diploma cover?

Diploma covers are given as a symbol of completion at the Ceremony, but if you are unable to attend, please contact us at, and we will mail you the diploma cover. The actual diplomas will be available for pick up upon notification after all requirements are completed and verified by the Registrar's Office. 



If I am physically disabled (or a member of my family is), what shall I do?

Pioneer Salute: The University Commons is completely accessible.

Commencement Ceremony: The Prudential Center is completely accessible.



How do I get my yearbook?

Anyone who had his or her picture taken during the sitting dates will receive a Yearbook. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call 1-800-OUR-YEAR (code 237) or (code 237).



How do I know if I will be receiving academic honors at graduation?

Latin honors are based on a students certified final G.P.A. Prior August and January graduates have certified Latin honors distinction at the time of the ceremony.  Latin honors will be given to May and August 2016 candidates for purposes of recognition at the Commencement Ceremony which is a celebratory ceremony and does not indicate a student has completed all university requirements, based on their G.P.A. as of the end of the fall semester.

Students who have earned at least 45 credits or more at William Paterson University including second degree students who have earned 45 or more credits as part of their second degree, not including credits with pass/fail grades, and have achieved the following cumulative grade point average will receive Latin honors:

Graduation Latin Honors Grade Point Average (GPA)
Cum Laude 3.45-3.649
Magna Cum Laude 3.65-3.849
Summa Cum Laude 3.85-4.00