Guest Protocol

We're thrilled that you can join us to celebrate our Wolfpack graduates during Commencement. Below is some helpful information about what you need to know for the day of the ceremony.

Arrival at PNC Arena

The university Commencement ceremony held at PNC Arena begins promptly at 9:00 a.m. Guests should plan to arrive no later than 8:30 in case of any excess traffic delays, and will enter through the main concourse level on the front (south) end of PNC Arena facing Carter-Finley Stadium. View the Parking & Transportation page for information about parking at PNC Arena; there is no charge for parking at PNC Arena for Commencement.

All guests, students, faculty and participants are subject to search upon entering the arena.

Clear Bag Policy: NEW for 2019

PNC Arena has implemented a Clear Bag Policy that is also in effect for all NC State University Commencement ceremonies held at the arena, including the Poole College of Management ceremonies. All guests will be required to adhere to the Clear Bag Policy as you enter via the South (facing the Carter-Finley Stadium), East and West entrances; the North entrance is reserved for graduates, faculty and staff only.

The following items are approved for entry and meet the Clear Bag Policy standards:

  • Clear bags no larger than 12” x 12” x 6”
  • 1 gallon clear plastic storage bag
  • A small clutch or wallet no larger than 4.5” x 6.5”
  • Diaper bags and medically necessary items will be permitted after proper inspection and screening; these bags will be searched and tagged; diaper bags MUST be accompanied by a child

Click here to view and download a printable PDF with the full policy details and guidelines.

Please visit the PNC Arena website for a full list of items that are prohibited and permitted inside the arena.


The arena will be open for guest seating throughout the lower and upper bowls; the area to the sides of and behind the stage will not be open for seating. There is no guest seating on the floor level.

Accessible seating for guests is located throughout the arena, excluding beneath sections 108 and 130.

Ceremony Exercises

All guests may receive a Commencement program upon entering the arena. At the conclusion of the ceremony, guests should exit through the main concourse level; PNC Staff and Commencement ushers will be available to assist with traffic flow out of the arena.

If you plan to attend a department or college ceremony following the Commencement ceremony at PNC Arena, please plan for ample travel time due to potential traffic impacts exiting the arena. See the Parking and Transportation page for information about where to park on campus.