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Commencement Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) and Important Information for Graduates and Guests


  • How do I receive tickets for my guests for Commencement?

    At the Commencement Fair, each graduate will receive their allotted number of tickets for their guests to attend commencement. Each of your guests must present their ticket for entry into the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Numbers printed on the tickets do not correspond to specific seats; seating is General Admission. Graduates do not need a ticket for entrance, but must have their Iona ID card and name card each graduate receives at the Commencement Fair.

    Any tickets not claimed at the Commencement Fair on Thursday, April 16, 2020, by 7 p.m. will be released for use by other graduates who requested additional tickets.

    You are responsible for safeguarding these tickets. Replacements will not be provided for lost tickets.

    If you need additional tickets, you may sign a wait list at the time you pick up your tickets indicating the number of additional tickets requested, but there is no guarantee that additional tickets will be available. Tickets will be forfeited if they are not picked up at the Commencement Fair.

    If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Student Development at (914) 633-2360 or email

    At the 2020 Commencement Fair graduates will receive:
    Undergraduate Ceremony: 5 tickets
    Graduate Ceremony: 10 tickets

    Release of additional tickets (Wait List)
    Approximately one week after the Commencement Fair in the event any tickets become available, the Office of Student Development will contact those students selected from the wait list via their Iona e-mail address. The graduate must then contact and visit the Office of Student Development in the Robert V. LaPenta Student Union by the stated deadline to pick up their additional wait list tickets.

  • Do I need tickets to the Baccalaureate Mass?

    No tickets are necessary -- the Office of Mission and Ministry requests you RSVP for a total number of family and friends who will be attending.

  • What do I wear to the Baccalaureate Mass?

    Graduating students wear their academic robes with no hood. Graduates sit with their guests.
  • How long is the Commencement Ceremony?

    The length of the Commencement Ceremony varies on multiple factors, which include the number of students taking part in a given year and the length of the speeches of the honorees. We typically estimate the Undergraduate Ceremony will take under three hours. The Graduate Ceremony is estimated to run under two hours. Please plan for your group to stay for the entire ceremony out of respect to your fellow graduates and guests.

  • I am a graduating student, what should I bring with me to the Commencement Ceremony?

    1. Your Iona student ID and academic regalia will be your ticket into the Commencement ceremonies.
    2. All graduates MUST bring the name card that they received at the Commencement Fair. You will present your name card to the reader of names during the ceremony. No additional information can be added to the name card at this time.
    3. All graduates must bring their academic regalia ordered by Wednesday, March 11, 2020, online and picked up at the Commencement Fair on Thursday, April 16, 2020. This includes a cap, gown, tassel and hood.
    4. Please note: There is no place to store purses or other belongings; leave items with your guests before entering the area or be prepared to hold your belongings throughout the ceremony.
    5. Tip: There are many stairs in the venue. Graduates will process through the Theater down the stairs to our seats. Each graduate will then use the stairs to cross the stage and another set to come down the stage. Please be mindful of this as you choose your shoes for the day! If you believe you may have difficulty with the stairs and may be in need of assistance, please email Emily Brechtel, disability services coordinator for graduation, prior to May 1.
  • Will Commencement be livestreamed?

    Yes, on the day of the Commencement Ceremonies there will be a link on the homepage to launch the livestream and will include closed captioning.
  • How do I get to the Commencement venue? (Directions, Parking and Transportation)

    We recommend using public transportation, which is plentiful and convenient. For additional information regarding directions and parking, please visit the Madison Square Garden website.

  • Am I eligible and cleared to take part in the Commencement ceremony?

    Eligibility to participate in Commencement is based on completion of degree requirements by January, February, April, June and August 2020. All students should have no more than two courses to complete by the end of the spring semester; any exceptions must be approved by the appropriate dean.

    Your student account must be paid in full and all financial holds addressed and lifted before you pick up your robes and tickets. To check the status of your student account, log on to PeopleSoft. If necessary, please contact the Student Financial Services office at (914) 633-2497.

  • When do I receive my Diploma?

    Diplomas are not distributed at Commencement. June graduates will be notified by the Registrar when diplomas are ready for pick-up (after June 30). August graduates will be notified when their degrees are conferred.

  • What color should my hood be?

    School of Business

    • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) - brown trim on hood with maroon and gold lining
    • Bachelor of Science in General Business (BS) - Gold trim on hood with maroon and gold lining
    • Master of Business Administration (MBA) - brown trim and plaid lining on hoods
    • Master of Science in Finance, Project Management, Public Accounting (MS)- Gold trim on hood with plaid lining

    School of Arts and Science

    • Bachelor of Science (BS) - Gold trim on hood with maroon and gold lining
    • Bachelor of Arts (BA) - white trim on hood with maroon and gold lining
    • Master of Arts (MA) - white trim on hood with plaid lining
    • Master of Science (MS) - gold trim on hood with plaid lining
  • How do I receive more information regarding pictures?

    Class Picture
    Join fellow graduates for an Iona tradition! Immediately following the Baccalaureate Mass graduates gather for a class picture.

    Graduation Studio Pictures
    While the date has passed to have your picture featured in the ICANN (Yearbook), there are still opportunities to have graduation portraits taken with Prestige Portraits for Lifetouch. If interested, please email Michael Durinzi to schedule an appointment. There will be a sitting fee at that time of appointment. Please be certain to inform Mike you that you are from Iona College.

    Professional Photographs at the Ceremony
    Professional photographs will be taken of each graduate; proofs will be mailed a few weeks after the ceremony. For questions related to these pictures, please contact Island Photography at (800) 869-0908.

  • Is there other important information I need to be aware of?

    • Graduates should arrive to MSG one hour prior to the time of the start of their ceremony
      • Undergraduate students arrive at 10 a.m.
      • Graduate students arrive at 2:30 p.m.
    • Upon entry at the box office of Madison Square Garden all graduates must assemble in the area designated for their degree. Graduates will march and be seated according to their degrees. Iona College employees will be available at the entrance and throughout the venue to answer any questions you may have.
    • All graduates will be asked to line up single file in the corridors of MSG.
    • Commencement is an honored academic ceremony. All graduates and guests are asked to be courteous and respectful to Iona College employees, graduates and one another at all times.
    • The use of cell phones during the ceremony is strictly prohibited.
    • Alcoholic beverages, noise makers and inflatables are not permitted at the ceremony. Appropriate and respectful decorum is expected at all times. Students must adhere to the Iona College Code of Conduct.
    • All those participating in Commencement are expected to remain until the end of the ceremony.
    • Please return to your seat after you cross the stage for the conferral of degrees, the singing of the Iona Alma Mater and the closing of the Commencement ceremony.
  • Is there information for my guests?

    Important Information and Additional Information for Graduates:

    • Guests will enter the main Theater at Madison Square Garden entrance. No guests will be permitted to enter the box office entrance of the theater.
    • Each guest must present their ticket for entry.
    • Numbers (if any) printed on the tickets do not reserve specific seats; seating is general admission.
    • No strollers are permitted; children under 2-years-old are permitted without a ticket, sitting on someone's lap.
    • Guests must not block the procession. The procession will begin promptly at 11 a.m. for the undergraduate ceremony and 3:30 p.m. for the graduate ceremony.
    • All guests should be in their seats prior to the procession. Once the procession begins there will be no entry into the space until all graduates, members of the academic procession and president's party are in their seats. Guests may be required to wait outside of the building at this time.
    • Please refrain from the use of cell phones.
    • Alcoholic beverages, noise makers and inflatables are not permitted at the ceremony.
    • Please try to remain seated throughout the ceremony.
    • Commencement is an honored academic ceremony. All guests are asked to be courteous and respectful to Iona College employees, graduates, and one another at all times.
    • Guests with Disabilities: Guests in need of assistance should email or call Daneshea Palmer at (914) 633-2226 prior to May 1.
  • What is the Commencement Fair, and do I need to attend?

    It is mandatory for all graduates planning on participating in the Honors Convocation and graduation ceremonies to attend the Commencement Fair. Graduates must visit at some point during the allotted time frame and complete all stations and the Commencement Fair passport.

    Location: Mulcahy Gymnasium, Hynes Athletics Center
    Thursday, April 16, 2020
    11 a.m. - 7 p.m.

    Iona ID is required

    This event is the only time a graduate can take care of all of his/her graduation details and be able to pick up robes, announcements and tickets. Representatives of all necessary offices and areas will be in attendance, including SFS, Registrar, Student Development, Alumni Relations and Jostens.

    You MUST have your Iona ID card with you to enter the Fair and pick up your tickets. If you cannot locate your ID card, please stop by the Office of Campus Safety in the LaPenta Student Union to obtain a new card prior to attending the Fair. Student participants in the commencement ceremonies will need their ID card as entry into The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

    If there is an extenuating circumstance and you are unable to attend the Commencement Fair, please contact or the Office of Student Development at (914) 633-2360 in advance.

  • Do I Receive Announcements?

    If you wish to purchase personalized announcements you may do so by contacting Jostens.
  • How Do I Order My Cap and Gown (Academic Regalia)?


    Iona College assumes the cost of the graduation regalia for both faculty and students. Regalia includes robe, hood, cap and tassel. Any additional products you add on will require payment by you at the time of your order. You have not completed placing your order unless you have received an order confirmation. You will receive an email which will be sent to the email address you enter at the time of your order. Contact Maria Lopez at if you have any questions about your order.

    All graduating students must order their robes (cap, tassel, gown and hood) online to be picked up at the Commencement Fair.

    All graduating students, graduate and undergraduate, may keep their robes. Robes are non-returnable.

  • How do I purchase a school ring?

    Revisit the unforgettable experience as a Gael over and over again with an official Iona College school ring available from Jostens. They will be on campus in the Robert V. LaPenta Student Union on scheduled dates throughout the year, as well as the Commencement Fair. For the Spring semester, Jostens is scheduled to be on campus for a few dates -- please refer to bulletin board advertisements, the online events calendar, and This Week at Iona emails for information. Jostens will also be on campus at the Commencement Fair on April 16.

  • Do I receive a Yearbook?

    The Iona College Annual (ICANN) yearbook will be ready for distribution to full-time undergraduates on April 16, 2020, at the Commencement Fair in Mulcahy Gymnasium. Other graduates may purchase a copy of the ICANN for $45, if available. There are no guarantees of availability.

  • I will be losing access to my Iona e-mail account, how will I receive Commencement information?

    If you have completed your course work and your e-mail account has been inactivated, it is your responsibility to update your Peoplesoft account information to provide a current non-Iona email address. It is also the responsibility of all graduates to visit the Commencement website periodically to keep updated on Commencement related announcements.

  • Important Notes

    Please be certain to visit the Iona College Web site often for the latest updates on Commencement.

    The Theater at Madison Square Garden and Iona College reserve the right to alter the plan in order to accommodate its many users.

Important notes:

Please be certain to visit the Iona College Web site often for the latest updates on Commencement.

The Theater at Madison Square Garden and Iona College reserve the right to alter the plan in order to accommodate its many users.