Frequently Asked Questions

Explore our frequently asked questions about Commencement!

PNW holds in-person ceremonies, with appropriate health and safety protocols, to celebrate the achievements of our Undergraduate, Masters and Doctoral candidates for graduation.

Please note that Certificate only (non-degree) students must Apply to Graduate but do not participate in commencement ceremonies.

Future Commencement Ceremony dates have not yet been announced.

For more information about what to expect on Commencement day, visit the Commencement Ceremony: Day-Of Guide where details are posted regarding parking, arrival and check-in, and the order of commencement exercises.

Graduation regalia – cap, tassel and gown – must be purchased from the PNW Bookstore.  Cap and gown orders for the next Commencement ceremony will be processed online through [date: TBA]. Any late orders (after [date: TBA]) are not guaranteed ceremony participation or guest tickets.

Regalia can be purchased in person Monday to Friday through Follett at the Hammond Campus Bookstore during their published hours or ordered online here.  The candidate’s name must be included with the order in the Comment section.

You will need to know your height and weight at time of purchase, to ensure the appropriate-sized regalia.

You can choose to have the regalia shipped to you, or select on-campus pickup in Hammond at the Campus Bookstore. If you would like to pick up your regalia at the Westville campus, please state in capital letters in the comment section “PICK UP AT WESTVILLE CAMPUS” when you place your order. The Westville pick-up location is Office of the Registrar, Schwarz Hall, room 120, during regular business hours – Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

When you purchase your commencement regalia, please be sure that you have received all required items before you leave the bookstore.

  • Baccalaureate candidates should receive a cap, gown and tassel (color based on your major). You may decorate your cap as long as the decorations are not offensive or would obstruct the view of the candidates behind you.
  • Master’s candidates should receive a cap, gown, black tassel and hood (color based on your major).

For more information about ordering your cap and gown, visit the Pre-Graduation Guide web page.

Tickets are only given to candidates who purchase their regalia and plan on participating in a ceremony. Each participating candidate will receive 4 electronic, general admission guest tickets sent to their PNW email close to the date of the ceremony.  This message will be delivered from MyPNW Life.  If you do not receive your tickets, please check the junk and spam folders associated with your PNW email.

All guests wishing to view the Commencement ceremony in person must have an electronic ticket supplied by the candidate for graduation. In order to comply with fire codes, every person, including children (age 2 or older), must have a ticket.  Infants and toddlers under the age of 2 who can sit on an adult’s lap for the duration of the ceremony will be allowed to enter into the venue without a ticket.  A child without a ticket must remain in arms for the entirety of the ceremony.

Guest tickets may not be sold.  Electronic tickets are generated with a unique identifier that is traceable back to the graduation candidate.  Any attempt to sell or produce electronic tickets will be considered a misuse of Purdue University Northwest property.

A candidate for the baccalaureate degree with distinction must have a minimum of 65 hours of credit earned at Purdue University included in the computation of the overall GPA.  The minimum cumulative GPA for graduation with distinction in each college is determined by the top 10% of it’s graduating class each fall.

Diplomas will be distributed several weeks following the Commencement ceremony. When available, diplomas may be picked up at the Registrar’s Office of your home campus – Hammond in Lawshe Hall, Room 130, or Westville in Schwarz Hall, Room 120.  Diplomas not picked up during the distribution period will be shipped via USPS to the home address we have on file (unless you have given us an alternate mailing address).

Other diploma details:

  • Double majors (students completing majors within the same degree type) are reminded that they receive only one degree – and thus only one diploma.  Dual degrees (students completing majors in different degree types – i.e., Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science) will receive a separate diploma for each degree earned.
  • Very few majors are included as part of the official degree name. Only the degree name is printed on the diploma. Majors, areas of concentration, and minors will appear on your transcript.

Refer to the Diploma web page for distribution dates and additional information.

Absolutely! We encourage our graduates and your families to visit either the Westville or Hammond campus to take photos with the outdoor lion statues – which will be sporting their mortarboards! – as well as with campus signage, artwork and other spots that may be a highlight of your PNW experience.

Yes! We are pleased to provide a livestream of each Commencement ceremony so that family and friends who are not attending in person can view the proceedings. The ceremony will be available for viewing here on the day of the event.

The livestream is broadcast directly from the ceremony as it happens, so only students who are participating on site in the in-person ceremony will have their names called as they walk across the stage.

PNW publishes a commemorative booklet that is distributed at the Commencement ceremonies. This booklet lists the name of every graduate for the semester. You can request a booklet when you pick up your diploma.

Yes, please share your photos on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #PNWGrad, and tag PurdueNorthwest. We want to celebrate with you!

Please contact the Office of the Registrar at