Student Handbook

Arcadia University's Graduate Commencement

Our 2018 Graduate Commencement will take place on Thursday, May 17. The ceremony will be available for on-demand viewing.

View Commencement Live Stream

Academic Attire

Commencement attire includes a cap, gown, hood and tassel. Academic hoods reflect Arcadia University colors of scarlet and gray and are trimmed in velvet with the color of the degree discipline. Caps are one size fits all and are mortarboards for masters' degrees and tams for doctoral degrees. Tassels are black for master's and gold for doctoral.

There is no charge for renting Commencement attire. Simply order online by Friday, March 30.  Students who order academic attire after the deadline will be put on the "extra" list.

Arcadia has a tradition of recognizing the international academic experiences of graduating students by allowing them to wear a colorful sash over their graduation robe. Complete the Sash Order Form to order an international sash. Contact Cheryl Lewis, Office of International Affairs, with questions at  We STRONGLY urge you to request a copy of your responses after filling out this form.  This will avoid any confusion or lost orders.  DEADLINE:  No orders will be accepted after March 23, 2018

You may keep your academic attire after Commencement or recycle it in the boxes in the Commons Great Room following the ceremony.

Instructions for Pick-up
  • All MMS and Dual Degree MMS/MPH students (Glenside and Christiana campuses): Academic Attire will be available for pickup beginning Wednesday, May 2nd at the PA department in Glenside at Brubaker Hall 101.
  • Graduate students in all other programs: Academic Attire can be picked up Wednesday, May 2, in the Commons Great Room, from 2 to 6 p.m.  Someone else may pick up attire for you.  To make other arrangements contact Mary Kate McNulty at

Please Note:

  • If you are unable to attend Commencement after you have ordered your academic attire, you must notify Mary Kate McNulty at 215-572-2877 or by e-mail at immediately in order to receive your degree in absentia. Please provide the address where your diploma should be mailed. Any questions about Commencement may also be directed to Mary Kate.

Graduate Commencement Day Schedule

Thursday, May 17, 2018
  • 3 p.m. Student Check-In, Commons; graduate students only, no family members. Refreshments will be available.
  • 5-6:30 p.m. Graduate Commencement, Haber Green. In case of severe weather, Alumni Gymnasium, Kuch Center.

Commencement begins promptly at 5 p.m. Graduates are to check-in beginning at 3 p.m. in the Commons, First Floor. ONLY graduates should be in The Commons before Commencement. Please direct family and friends to seating areas.


Diplomas for students whose degree will be conferred on May 17, 2018 can be picked up after the Commencement Ceremony in the Great Room of the Commons.


One-way traffic patterns will be enforced to accommodate the large number of cars on campus. Traffic will enter from Easton Road and Church Road (Rte. 73) and will move counterclockwise until reaching the parking areas. When you arrive on campus, you will be directed to a parking area immediately. Once parked, you will not be permitted to drive on campus or exit until the ceremony is under way.

Guests with disability parking passes will be directed to special parking areas after entering campus. Golf carts will be available to take guests to seating area if needed.


Family members and guests can arrive on campus beginning at 3:30 p.m. Weather permitting, the ceremony will be held on Haber Green. In case of severe weather, the ceremony will be held in the Kuch Center Alumni Gymnasium. The decision regarding location may be made as late as the day of the ceremony.  Please check for updates. 

The University is using an online ticketing agency for Commencement. Graduates will receive email notification and instructions when the site becomes available in May.

All graduates are allotted four tickets for indoor seating. Tickets are not needed for outdoor seating. In case of severe weather, the ceremony will be held indoors in Kuch Gymnasium. Only those guests with tickets will be granted entrance to the gym. Those without tickets can watch a simulcast of the ceremony in various locations on campus.  The final decision regarding location will be made mid-day of the ceremony and posted on Arcadia's homepage.

Tickets for Guests with Special Needs

Guests with special needs require special seating. Students should order special seating tickets instead of regular seating tickets to allow guests to sit together. Special seating for indoors will be on the upper level of the Kuch Center and is limited to four tickets.  Special seating for outdoors is not required.  

Guests with special needs can be dropped off at the Walk of Pride where they can await transport by golf cart to the ceremony site.  Disability parking passes are available for your guests with special needs – please email Mary Kate McNulty at


No alcoholic beverages are permitted at the Commencement ceremony. All students will have a water bottle placed under their chair for the ceremony. Water stations for guests will be placed around the perimeter of the seating areas.


Professional photographers from Island Photography will photograph graduates on the stage. The studio will mail proofs directly to the address on the photo request card that will be available when you pick up academic attire. You are under no obligation to order prints. Videotapes also are made available for purchase.

Flowers & Gifts

To pre-order flowers or gifts for the big day please visit:

Additional Participation


Thursday, May 17 at 1:00pm in Stiteler Auditorium.  This ceremony is an annual tradition held in many campuses across the country and coming to Arcadia for the first time.  The event creates time to acknowledge the LGBTQIA+ and gender non-conforming students graduating with Arcadia's class of 2018.  It is a celebration of the unique and supportive community we have on campus.  For more information and to RSVP, please go here.



Returning Academic Attire/Receiving Diploma

Graduates are encouarged to keep their academic attire after the ceremony.  If interested in recycling your regalia, there will be collection boxes in the Great Room following the ceremony.

Diplomas for students who graduate on May 17 will be distributed after the ceremony in the Commons Great Room.

Please make sure all required paperwork for the degree is completed. Degree Completion form is required to order your diploma and have your degree conferred. August/December 2017 graduates have already met these requirements.



Honorary Degree Recipient

Suneet P. Chauhan ’79, M.D.
Honorary Doctor of Science

Dr. Chauhan is a professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Texas Health McGovern Medical School, with a clinical sub-specialty in Maternal-Fetal medicine. At McGovern Medical School, he is the Principal Investigator for Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network, which is comprised of 14 university-based clinical centers and a data-coordinating center. He is also an adjunct professor in the Bioengineering Department at Rice University.

Dr. Chauhan leads research aimed to improve the health care and quality of life for pregnant women and their children. He prepares leaders in women’s health to provide patient-centered, evidence-based care and trains fellows of the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship, a program that facilitates clinical training in areas such as high-risk and critical care obstetrics, fetal diagnosis and therapy, sonography, and genetic counseling. He has published on estimating fetal weight, abnormalities of fetal growth, and complications during labor.

After earning his bachelor’s degree at Arcadia, Dr. Chauhan graduated from Thomas Jefferson University Medical College, served his residency at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, and completed a fellowship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Dr. Chauhan and his wife, Ms. Laurie A. Pitchford, have two daughters, Tara and Kiren.

Previous Honorary Degree Recipients