Degree Candidate Protocol

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation from NC State University! For graduates who plan to attend the main university Commencement ceremony at PNC Arena, see the following important information below.

Arrival and Assembly at PNC Arena

When to Arrive

The Commencement ceremony begins promptly at 9:00 a.m. Bachelor’s and Master’s degree candidates should arrive no later than 8:30 a.m. Candidates for Doctoral degrees (including Doctor of Veterinary Medicine candidates in the Spring) should arrive no later than 8:15 a.m.

Where to Assemble

All degree candidates must enter through the delivery entrance on the north (back) side of the arena. There is no candidate access from the concourse level to the floor level.

For the easiest access to the graduate assembly area, parking is available in the North Lots. There is no charge for parking at PNC Arena for Commencement. Be advised that there may be a heavy flow of traffic into and out of PNC Arena on Commencement day, and you and your guests should plan accordingly.

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

Bachelor’s degree candidates will assemble behind their college signs in the north side, lower-level delivery entrance of the arena. Bachelor’s candidates do not assemble alphabetically or by department, but by college only.

Master’s degree candidates will assemble behind their designated area in the north side, lower-level delivery entrance of the arena. Signs will designate where Master’s candidates are to assemble. Master’s candidates do not assemble alphabetically or by department.

Doctoral degree candidates will report to the assigned area at the front of the processional line-up on the north side, lower-level delivery entrance of the arena. Signs will designate where Doctoral candidates are to assemble. Candidates must report on time in order to assemble alphabetically with your sponsors, who will sit directly behind you. Please see the Doctoral Candidates page for additional information about pre-ceremony procedures.

Processional

The processional begins promptly at 9:00 a.m. Commencement marshals will lead candidates to the floor.

Commencement Exercise

Please see the Ceremony Program page for more information about the Commencement exercises.

Recessional

At the conclusion of the ceremony, there will be a recessional for the Platform Party, faculty, and Doctoral candidates only. Bachelor’s and Master’s candidates will exit up the stairs.

Regalia, Caps and Tassels

For information on how and when to purchase your commencement regalia, see the Regalia page.

Bachelor’s candidates will enter the arena with the tassel draped over the right side of the mortarboard (cap), and will ‘turn’ it at the conclusion of the Commencement ceremony. Master’s and Doctoral candidates will enter the arena with the tassel draped over the left side of the mortarboard, and will not turn them during the ceremony.

Hooding Instructions

Only Master’s and Doctoral candidates wear hoods. The video below walks you through how to properly secure your hood to your gown.

Additional Reminders

  • Tickets are not required for the main University Commencement ceremony at PNC Arena
  • Candidates are not limited in the number of guests who may attend the Commencement ceremony at PNC Arena
  • The Commencement ceremony should end no later than 11:30 a.m.
  • The possession of or use of alcoholic beverages in the arena is prohibited.
  • Smoking is strictly prohibited inside the arena. Outdoor smoking areas are designated

Still have questions? View the FAQs