Whether a student, faculty member, family member, or friend,
graduation is an important event that marks a momentous occasion
in the lives of our graduates and the entire GCU community.

Read more about our Commencement speaker and honorary degree recipients.

GCU Fast Facts
GCU Fast Facts
GCU Fast Facts

Student Spotlights

Click the photos below to read about some of GCU’s outstanding graduates who are set to walk across the stage at Commencement.
Caitlin Billow

Caitlin Billow

Alaa Alshrouf

Alaa Al-Schrouf

Adoley Thedison

Adoley Thedison

Rebecca Scharen

Rebecca Scharen

Photos & Videos

Check out photos & videos from the 2018 Commencement ceremonies.

Speeches

Read the 2018 Commencement speeches given by Olivia Zitarosa ’18, and Elisabeth Fontenelli.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Grad Finale

2:00–6:30 p.m.: Casino
Pick up Commencement materials & academic attire.
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Academic Procession

1:30 p.m.: Jeffries Hall
Graduates gather in full academic attire.

Baccalaureate Mass

2:00 p.m.: Wellness Center Arena
Guests and graduates of all faiths are welcome. Tickets not required.

Academic Awards & Certificate Ceremony

3:00 p.m: Wellness Center Arena
Approximate start time. Students and their guests not attending Mass should assemble in the Wellness Center Colonnade and will be ushered in when the Liturgical Procession exits. Tickets not required.

Reception in Honor of Class of 2018

4:00 p.m.: Apollo Fountain/Mansion
Thursday, May 24, 2018

Commencement Ceremony

4:30 p.m.: RWJBarnabas Health Arena at Toms River High School North
Guest admittance into arena by ticket only (other guests may view the ceremony via simulcast in the auditorium at Toms River High School North).

Students

Commencement/Baccalaureate Mass/Awards & Certificate Ceremony Attire

To ensure a dignified academic process, please conform to the following guidelines:

  • Academic attire for graduates consists of a black gown, a colored hood, and a cap with a tassel.
  • Bachelor’s degree candidates: the tassel should be worn to the right; master’s degree candidates: the tassel should be worn to the left.
  • If you are eligible to wear an academic cord, it will be given to you by the appropriate department or honor society.
  • Apparel worn under the academic gown should be of dark colors that harmonize with the academic attire and respect the solemnity of the ceremony. Shoes should be black. Graduates should keep in mind that the steps to/from the stage are steep when choosing their shoes.
  • Nothing should be worn on your academic attire or affixed to it, such as corsages, pins, or taped messages. You will be asked to remove such items during lineup.
  • Purses and other personal items should be left with your guests; there will not be a location to secure them.
  • GCU staff will assist with your academic hood during lineup.

Try on and press academic attire before May 23—gowns will be wrinkled!

Commencement Announcements

Five (5) free generic Commencement announcements will be available for pick-up with your tickets. Personalized Commencement announcements may be ordered through the University Bookstore at 732-987-2633 for an additional charge.

Guest Tickets

Tickets are required to enter the RWJBarnabas Health Arena for the ceremony. Graduates do not need a ticket for themselves. Graduates who RSVP their participation on Self-Service by March 15 will receive five (5) guest tickets. Graduates who RSVP after the March 15 deadline are NOT guaranteed guest tickets.

Graduates who RSVP by the March 15 deadline will also have the opportunity to apply, through your Self-Service RSVP, for one (1) or two (2) additional guest tickets if any become available. Responses will be time/date stamped. Students will be notified by GCU e-mail on May 14 if their request for additional tickets can or cannot be fulfilled.

Students who RSVP March 16 or later may apply for guest tickets, but are not guaranteed to receive any guest tickets. Late RSVP requests can be sent to commencement@georgian.edu, at which time students will be given instructions on how to proceed.

Guests without tickets are welcome to view the ceremony via simulcast in the Auditorium at Toms River High School North. In addition, the ceremony can be viewed live at georgian.edu.

Graduates must pick up their tickets in person with their GCU student ID at the Grad Finale or at the Office of Conferences and Special Events in the Casino,Room 205.

Commencement Lineup

Graduates are to report, wearing cap, gown, and hood, to the RWJBarnabas Arena at Toms River High School North (pinebeltarena.com) at 3:30 p.m. SHARP.

Your ceremony will start ON TIME. The academic procession will leave the lineup area at 4:20 p.m. for a 4:30 p.m. ceremony start. Graduates who arrive after the procession has begun will be seated after the national anthem and the Invocation.

Class Ring/Formal Portraits

Representatives from Josten’s will be on campus on several spring dates and at the Grad Finale for students to purchase class rings.

The Office of Student Development has made arrangements with Lifetime Impressions for formal portrait sittings. Book online at lifetimeimpressionsphotography.com and click on the GCU Appointments tab. Read all of the information and follow all of the directions to book a 30-minute session. Select dates will be available on campus and at the studio in Point Pleasant Beach.

Name Pronunciation/Time off from Work Requests

If mispronunciation of your name is a frequent problem for you, you will have the opportunity to provide a phonetic spelling when you pick up your guest tickets.

Working graduates who need documentation of Commencement to request time off should contact the Office of Conferences and Special Events at 732-987-2263 or commencement@georgian.edu for an official letter by May 1.

Student Accounts/Diplomas

Prospective graduates who have an outstanding balance as of 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22, will NOT be permitted to walk in their ceremony and will NOT receive a diploma. Contact the Office of Student Accounts at 732-987-2295 to ensure your account is up to date.

Diplomas will NOT be available until after the ceremony. Students can return to the lineup area to pick up diplomas.

Eligibility to Participate

The university holds a Commencement ceremony in May of each year when May graduates and graduates from the preceding August and December can participate. Students who have completed all requirements for graduation are eligible to participate in the ceremony. Students who have completed all requirements for graduation except for a few credits should consult the university’s Commencement Web page three months prior to Commencement for the current policy regarding their eligibility to participate.

You must apply for graduation (Undergraduate Application | Graduate Application) in order to receive a diploma and to be officially graduated, whether or not you plan to participate in the Commencement ceremony.

Name on Diploma

The name on your diploma will appear exactly as reflected in our official records. If you wish your name to appear differently, submit a Name Change Form by the due date of the graduation application. This includes the addition of a middle name.

Request for Substitution/Waiver of a Required Course

A substituted or waived course will not be adjusted on an official record without the Request for Substitution or Waiver of Program/Major Requirement Form.

It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that all university requirements, as listed in the GCU catalog of the semester/year of matriculated acceptance, are fulfilled.

Undergraduate Minor/Concentration Verification Form

All declared minors and/or concentrations must be certified by the chair of the department in order to be included on a final transcript. A minor is not required to graduate. To submit a Minor/Concentration Verification Form, click here.

Undergraduate Academic Requirements

Undergraduate Program
Please note: You must meet the requirements of both the applicable General Education Program and requirements of your major. Please refer to the catalog of your matriculation for previous requirements.

Every candidate for a B.A., B.F.A., B.S., B.S.W., or B.S.N. degree must complete a minimum of 120 credit hours to qualify for graduation.

A minimum cumulative grade point average of C (2.0 GPA) must be maintained. Unless otherwise indicated for a specific major, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 must be maintained in the major field.

Degree Honors
For undergraduates, degree honors are awarded based on your cumulative grade point average earned at GCU. At least 60 credits must be earned at GCU in order to be eligible for degree honors. Degree honors will appear on your diploma. The required minimum GPAs are as follows:

  • Summa cum laude: 3.9
  • Magna cum laude: 3.75
  • Cum laude: 3.6

Graduate Academic Requirements

Graduate Program
Successful completion of specified credits for each program is required. Please refer to the Graduate Catalog. An overall average of B (3.0 cumulative GPA) must be maintained. There are no degree honors for graduate students.

Application for Graduation
The Office of the Registrar recommends that you submit an Application for Graduation (Undergraduate Application | Graduate Application) two semesters prior to the anticipated graduation date in order to ensure all requirements are being properly completed. To view deadlines, click here.

A $55.00 late fee is applied to all applications submitted once a graduating semester has begun. Graduation applications will not be accepted if received after the final deadline. If you do not apply by the priority due date, you must apply and pass a preliminary degree audit by the final deadline date or you will not qualify for graduation.

Audit results will be mailed to students to the address on file. If you have any questions about the audit, contact your advisor. If you believe an error was made in your academic audit, you must submit a written notification to the Office of the Registrar.

If you change your graduation date after applying, contact the Office of the Registrar. You will need to submit a new Application for Graduation.

Academic Procession, Baccalaureate Mass & Academic Awards & Certificate Ceremony

Wednesday, May 23, 2018
A full academic procession (students will wear caps and gowns) will assemble at Jeffries Hall and walk to the Apollo Fountain, up Senior Path, through an Honor Guard, to the Wellness Center Arena for Baccalaureate Mass. We encourage all our graduates, of all faiths, and their families and loved ones to attend. It is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on your academic journey at Georgian Court and to ask God’s blessing as you begin the next chapter of your life.

At the conclusion of Mass (approximately 3:00 p.m.) the Academic Awards and Certificate Ceremony will begin. Students and their guests not attending Mass should assemble in the Wellness Center Colonnade and will be ushered in when the Liturgical Procession exits.

Following the Academic Awards and Certificate Ceremony, a reception with light refreshments will be held on the southern end of campus, near the Apollo Fountain and the Mansion. There will be plenty of photo opportunities!

Check georgian.edu/commencement frequently for additional Senior Week activities sponsored by the Office of Student Development.

Commencement Ceremony

Thursday, May 24, 4:30 p.m.
The Commencement Ceremony will be held at the RWJBarnabas Health Arena at Toms River High School North (pinebeltarena.com).

Calendar of Important Dates

February 20Start date to RSVP for Commencement on your Self-Service account
March 15Deadline to respond on your Self-Service account regarding your decision to participate in Commencement, without incurring a $50 late fee. Graduates responding after the March 15 deadline are NOT guaranteed guest tickets.
May 3Grad Finale

First opportunity to pick up Commencement materials and academic attire

2:00–6:30 p.m. Casino
May 5Deadline for notifying the Office of Conferences & Special Events about graduate or guest special needs accommodations at commencement@georgian.edu or 732-987-2263.
May 14Students who responded by March 15 and applied for additional tickets and students who responded late will be notified by GCU e-mail if their request for tickets can or cannot be fulfilled.
May 22Last chance to pick up Commencement materials and academic attire10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Casino, Room 205/Bookstore

May 23Class of 2018 assembles1:30 p.m. Jeffries Hall
Academic Procession begins1:45 p.m.
Baccalaureate Mass2:00 p.m. Wellness Center Arena
Graduates not attending Mass assemble2:45 p.m. Colonnade
Academic Awards and Certificate Ceremony3:00 p.m. Wellness Center Arena
Reception in Honor of the Class of 20184:00–5:30 p.m. The Mansion/Apollo Fountain
May 24Class of 2018 Lineup3:30 p.m. RWJBarnabas Health Arena at Toms River HSN
Doors open for guests with tickets3:30 p.m. RWJBarnabas Health Arena at Toms River HSN
Doors open for simulcast guests 3:30 p.m. Toms River HSN Auditorium
Doors close for guests with tickets until after national anthem and Invocation4:15 p.m.
Academic procession begins4:20 p.m.
Commencement 2018 Ceremony begins4:30 p.m.
Doors re-open for guests with tickets4:40 p.m.
Diploma PickupConclusion of Ceremony TRHSN Small Gym

Family & Guests

Date/Time/Location

Commencement Ceremony, Thursday, May 24, 4:30 p.m.

The Commencement Ceremony will be held at the RWJBarnabas Health Arena at Toms River High School North (pinebeltarena.com).

Click here for GPS directions.

Parking

Parking at Toms River High School North (pinebeltarena.com) is limited, so plan accordingly.

Graduates who RSVP their participation on Self-Service by March 15 will receive five (5) guest tickets. Graduates who RSVP after the March 15 deadline are NOT guaranteed guest tickets. Guests with tickets will go through security at the entrance. Tickets will be turned in for a hand stamp. Hand stamps will be checked at the door to the ceremony (small children and infants will be issued a sticker).

Doors will open at 3:30 p.m. Guests must be in possession of a ticket to enter the arena. To comply with occupancy outlined by the Office of the Ocean County Fire Marshal, each adult, child, and infant must have a ticket. Strollers will not be allowed in the arena.

Guest entry into the arena will be suspended at 4:40 p.m. for the academic procession and will reopen after the procession, our national anthem, and the Invocation. We appreciate guest cooperation in respecting the procession, anthem, and prayer.

Guests with tickets will be subject to security checks by GCU Security and Toms River Police officers prior to entering the Wellness Center. The ceremonies are celebratory, yet solemn. Air horns, fireworks, canned string, balloons, food, beverages, skateboards, confetti, hoverboards, drones, and any other items that will diminish the experience for all guests and the graduates will be confiscated.

Weapons of any kind (carry permits are not recognized by the State of New Jersey) are NOT permitted on the premises.

Only trained service dogs with proper owner identification AND a doctor’s certification are permitted on the premises.

Guests without tickets are welcome to view the ceremony via simulcast in the Toms River High School North auditorium. Simulcast guests will be directed to a separate entrance. In addition, the ceremonies can be viewed live at georgian.edu.

Special Needs Accommodations

Special needs accommodations should be requested through the Office of Conferences and Special Events at 732-987-2263 or commencement@georgian.edu by May 5. Guests with special needs will be seated in an open area in the rear of the assembly area, where a health professional will be available to assist if needed. Due to limited space, only the special needs guest will be seated in this area; all other guests will be in the bleachers. You can also view the ceremony, via simulcast, in the air-conditioned Toms River High School North auditorium.

Flowers/Photography

Flowers from the Office of Alumni Relations will be available for purchase outside the venue.

Ceremony photography will be provided by Island Photography. In addition to candid photos taken throughout the day, each graduate will be photographed twice as she or he receives the diploma and will have a portrait taken after exiting the stage. PLEASE DO NOT POSE ON STAGE. Complimentary color proofs will be e-mailed to your GCU address from Island Photography. GCU is NOT responsible for photo orders or delivery. All orders and inquiries should be handled through Island Photography at 800-863-0908 or islandphoto.com.

Hotel Accommodations

Hotel accommodations are available, but you should book early and make sure you ask for the GCU corporate rate. Contact any of these establishments directly.  The corporate is not available for online reservations.

Hilton Garden Inn
1885 Route 70, Lakewood
732-262-5232

Quality Inn at Toms River
815 State Hwy. 37, Toms River
732-341-2400

Ramada Inn Toms River
U.S. Hwy. 9 & State Hwy. 70, Toms River
732-905-2626

Undergraduate Checklist

RSVP FOR COMMENCEMENT
In addition to completing your academic requirements and applying for graduation (see below), you MUST let us know that you will attend your ceremony.

It will only take a few seconds to RSVP. State your intention of participation or non-participation in the Commencement exercises through your Self-Service account by clicking on the link “Respond to Commencement 2018” in the “student links” section, beginning February 20, but NO LATER THAN MARCH 15. Responding also guarantees a cap and gown will be ordered for you if you are participating in the Commencement Ceremony. After you respond, you will get a confirmation receipt. You will need to print out your receipt and bring it with you, or show a screenshot photo, to pick up your tickets in person with your GCU student ID.

Graduates who RSVP by the March 15, 2018, deadline may apply for one (1) or two (2) additional guest tickets. The application for additional tickets link will be on the automatic response confirmation receipt you receive from Self-Service. DO NOT CLICK ON THE APPLICATION LINK UNTIL YOU PRINT OR TAKE A SCREENSHOT OF YOUR CONFIRMATION RECEIPT! Applying for additional tickets does not necessarily mean that you will receive additional tickets; availability of additional tickets will be determined by the number of students participating in the ceremony.

The application for additional tickets link is also the link for you to RSVP if you plan to attend the Baccalaureate Mass, the Academic Awards and Certificate Ceremony, and the reception, all on Wednesday, May 23.

Students who RSVP after March 15, 2018, can e-mail commencement@georgian.edu, at which time they will be given instructions on how to proceed. Late RSVPs may not receive any guest tickets for the Commencement ceremony.

REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION (DEGREE COMPLETION)
In order to participate in the Commencement Ceremony on May 24, you must fulfill all requirements for degree completion by May 22, 2018.*

Complete graduation policy information can be found at https://georgian.edu/academics/registrar/graduation/. It is YOUR responsibility to see that you are fulfilling degree requirements.

*Exceptions: Situation 1. You are lacking no more than 6 credits of those required to complete your degree program. Situation 2. You have two majors (or a major and a minor) and are lacking no more than 6 credits of those required to complete your first major degree program. You have progressed far enough in the second major or the minor that it can be reasonably expected that you will graduate in the August or December term after the Commencement ceremony.

If either Situation 1 or Situation 2 applies to you and you wish to participate in the Commencement Ceremony even though you are not graduating in May, you must complete and submit the Request to Participate in Commencement 2018 Without Having Met Degree Requirements Form by March 15, 2018. Requests to participate after this deadline may not be honored.

OUTSTANDING BILLS
The fee for graduation is $165, which was included in your last tuition bill, regardless of whether or not you participate in the ceremony. This includes the cost of your diploma, degree auditing, hood, cap and gown, five printed announcements, and other administrative costs. Student accounts must be settled with the Office of Student Accounts Office by May 22, 2018, for you to be able to participate. Students with outstanding accounts will NOT be permitted to walk in the ceremony.

Those who RSVP their participation in Commencement after March 15, 2018, will be assessed an additional $50 late charge, payable at the Office of Conferences and Special Events.

COMMENCEMENT ACTIVITIES LOCATIONS/TICKETS

Wednesday, May 23, 2018 (no tickets required)
Class of 2018 assembles1:30 p.m. Jeffries Hall
Academic Procession begins1:45 p.m.
Baccalaureate Mass2:00 p.m. Wellness Center Arena
Graduates not attending Mass assemble2:45 p.m. Colonnade
Academic Awards and Certificate Ceremony3:00 p.m. Wellness Center Arena
Reception in Honor of the Class of 20184:00–5:30 p.m. The Mansion/Apollo Fountain
Thursday, May 24, 2018 (tickets required for guest entry into arena)
Class of 2018 Lineup3:30 p.m. RWJBarnabas Health Arena at Toms River HSN
Doors open for guests with tickets3:30 p.m. RWJBarnabas Health Arena at Toms River HSN
Doors open for simulcast guests3:30 p.m. Toms River HSN Auditorium
Doors close for guests with tickets until after national anthem and Invocation4:15 p.m.
Academic procession begins4:20 p.m.
Commencement 2018 Ceremony begins4:30 p.m.
Doors re-open for guests with tickets4:40 p.m.
Diploma PickupConclusion of Ceremony TRHSN Small Gym

Special Notice:
To comply with fire code, only guests with tickets will be permitted into the arena. Extra tickets will NOT be available. The ticketholders will be seated on the bleachers in the arena. We suggest that guests who need ample seating, or who have difficulty walking, climbing bleacher stairs, or sitting on bleacher seats, view the ceremony in the simulcast location, the Toms River High School North Auditorium.

THE GRAD FINALE—BRING YOUR GCU ID AND YOUR SELF-SERVICE CONFIRMATION RECEIPT
GCU, in cooperation with our academic attire vendor, Josten’s, will host the Grad Finale for the Class of 2018 on Thursday, May 3, 2018, from 2:00 to 6:30 p.m. in the Casino Auditorium.

Representatives of the Registrar, Student Accounts, Financial Aid, Graduate Admissions, and Career Development will be available to answer any questions you may have regarding your graduation status and preparation for life after college. The Office of Alumni Engagement and many GCU alumni will welcome you. You will be able try on your academic attire before you take it home, may sit for formal graduation portraits (by appointment), purchase class rings and other graduation items, and pick up your Commencement info packets, including tickets required for your guests to enter the arena.

Your academic attire MAY NOT be available at the Grad Finale if you did not RSVP by the March 15, 2018, deadline.

If you can’t attend the Grad Finale, the Office of Conferences and Special Events and the University Bookstore will have some dates with extended hours as follows:

Sunday, May 69:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.Casino, Room 205/Bookstore
May 7, 8, 9, 10, 111:30–7:30 p.m.Casino, Room 205/Bookstore
Saturday, May 128:00–11:00 a.m.Casino, Room 205/Bookstore
May 14, 15, 16, 17, 1810:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.Casino, Room 205/Bookstore
May 21, 2210:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.Casino, Room 205/Bookstore
No pickup May 23 or 24

You must bring your GCU ID and YOUR SELF-SERVICE CONFIRMATION RECEIPT/SCREENSHOT OF YOUR RECEIPT TO PICK UP!

After you’ve picked up your Commencement packet from CSE, Room 205, in the Casino, you will then proceed to the University Bookstore to pick up your academic attire. You MUST have a clearance from CSE to present to Bookstore personnel, so report to the Casino, Room 205, FIRST. Please make sure you have ample time to visit both locations before closing times.

Commencement packets/tickets/academic attire must be picked up in person, by the graduate herself/himself, with a current GCU student ID!

Students at Communiversity: Please pick up your academic attire and Commencement packets at the Lakewood campus. Follow the instructions above.

Students at GCU Diocese of Camden programs: If you do not attend the Grad Finale, your academic attire and Commencement packets will be distributed by a faculty member at your site after the Grad Finale. You will still need your Self-Service RSVP to pick up your Commencement items.

ACADEMIC ATTIRE (CAP AND GOWN)
Academic attire will be automatically ordered for students who respond that they will participate in the Commencement Ceremony by March 15. If you did not RSVP by the March 15 deadline, a $50 late fee will be collected by the Office of Conferences and Special Events to place your order, beginning March 16. Your academic attire may NOT be available on May 3 at the Grad Finale if you did not RSVP by the March 15 deadline.

GRADUATION PORTRAITS
The Office of Student Development has made arrangements with Lifetime Impressions for formal portrait sittings. Book online at www.lifetimeimpressionsphotography.com and click on the GCU Appointments tab. Read all info and follow all directions to book a 30-minute session. Select dates will be available on campus and at the studio in Point Pleasant Beach.

REQUEST FOR TIME OFF FROM YOUR EMPLOYER
If you need to have the university send your employer a letter asking that you have release time from work to attend your Commencement ceremony, please provide the Office of Conferences and Special Events with the name and address of your supervisor, as well as your name and degree, by May 1, 2018. A signed letter will be sent directly to your supervisor and a copy sent to you. Contact CSE at commencement@georgian.edu or 732-987-2263.

SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS
If you or a guest require special accommodations, please notify the Office of Conferences and Special Events by May 5, 2018. Please note that due to fire code regulations, only the special needs guest will be seated in this area; other guests will be seated in the bleachers. The special needs guests will be attended to by GCU health care professionals. Special needs guests MUST have a ticket. Contact CSE at commencement@georgian.edu or 732-987-2263.