Pre-Graduation Guide

Purdue Northwest hosted an outdoor Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 4, 2024 at the Hammond campus for Spring 2024 graduates.

Important Steps for Graduation

Follow these steps to ensure that you are eligible to graduate, have a diploma ordered for you, and meet the required deadlines to participate in a commencement ceremony.

1. Apply to Graduate

All students must notify the Office of the Registrar of their intent to graduate when registering for their final course(s) of their degree program by completing the online Application to Graduate. Meet with your academic advisor to discuss your readiness to graduate to ensure you will meet all degree requirements. Failure to notify the Office of the Registrar may result in a delayed graduation date.

Apply to Graduate for the semester in which you will be finishing your degree requirements. Completing the online Application to Graduate is required whether or not you plan to participate in a commencement ceremony and officially notifies the Office of the Registrar.  This application allows you to state exactly how you would like your name printed on your diploma.

Summer 2024

Summer 2024 candidates – Application for Graduation is open through Sunday, June 16, 2024.

Fall 2024

Fall 2024 candidates – Application for Graduation is open through Sunday, September 8, 2024.

Step by step instructions on how to submit your Application to Graduate.

Step 1:  Log in to myPNW portal using your career account username and password (Purdue Login).

If you have questions or issues logging in, email or call (219) 989-2888.

Step 2:  Go to the Graduation page and click on the “Apply to Graduate” link.

Step 3:  Use the radio button to select the Curriculum (degree) you are seeking to apply for.  If you do not see your intended degree listed here, contact immediately to confirm your degree and major.  Once you have verified your information, click Continue.  Note: The term shown in this section is your curricula (catalog) term, not your graduation term. That will be selected on the next screen.

Apply to Graduate Select Curriculum screen shot

Step 4:  Select your Graduation Date from the drop down menu.  The date shown here is the last day of the semester and may not represent an actual ceremony date.  Answer the Graduation Attendance questions and then click Continue.

Apply to Graduate Select Graduation Date Screen Shot

Step 5:  Select your Diploma Name from the name on your permanent record or enter a new name and click Continue.  Note:  This will not change your name that we have on file; it will only affect the printing of your diploma.

Apply to Graduate Select Diploma Name Screen Shot

Step 6:  Select your Diploma Mailing Address from the list of addresses we have on file or enter a new one and click Continue.  Note:  This will not change the address that we have on file; it will only be used to mail your diploma.  If you need to update your address for purposes in addition to diploma mailing, please submit an Address Change form.

Step 7:  On the final screen you will be asked to verify the information that you have entered.  You can Go Back to edit your selections if needed or Submit your application to complete the process.  You will receive a confirmation email.

When you Apply to Graduate you will also indicate how you would like your name printed on your diploma. 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.

For more information about diplomas and distribution dates, visit the Diploma web page.

Purdue University Northwest now offers Certified Electronic Diplomas and Certificates (CeDiploma/CeCertficate) to graduates starting Spring 2022 and beyond!

Candidates who have met requirements will receive an e-mail from 8-10 weeks after the end of term when the digital diploma is ready for download.

Learn more about CeDiplomas here.

In the myPNW portal, go to the Registration tab. Click the Student Self-Service box and select Personal Information from the menu options to review the address we have on file. If your address is incorrect, update it by completing the Address Change form.

Diplomas for candidates who are unable to pick them up from the Office of the Registrar will be mailed to the graduate’s current mailing address as noted in our student information system. Please verify that your address is correct!

2. Purchase your Cap and Gown

Graduation regalia – cap, tassel and gown – must be purchased from the PNW Bookstore.

  • The purchase of your regalia serves as your RSVP and indicates to PNW your intention to participate in a Commencement ceremony.  Please note that due to limited space for seating, any late orders 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 hereThe candidate’s name must be included with the order in the Comment section.
  • 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.
  • You will need to know your height and weight at time of purchase to ensure the appropriate-sized regalia.  If a gown you order must be handmade, it will require 30 days. The deadline for special orders is Wednesday, March 27.
  • Please contact the Bookstore for more information regarding sizes and pricing and how to purchase your regalia.
  • You may decorate your cap as long as the decorations are not offensive or would obstruct the view of the candidates behind you.
  • Nursing pins are not sold through the Campus Bookstore.

3. Commencement Tickets

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.

Tickets are only given to candidates who purchase their regalia and plan on participating in 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.

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.

4. Graduation Resources

Candidates and graduates are invited to use the following services and products provided by Purdue University Northwest and trusted vendors.

Before Graduation

Your diploma reflects your academic success. On the Apply to Graduate that you previously submitted you indicated how you would like your name to appear on your diploma.

If you have any changes, please email the Graduation Coordinator at

Graduation regalia must be purchased through the PNW Bookstore and they also offer a variety of diploma frames, souvenir tassels, and other Alumni items. Don’t forget to grab some PNW Pride gear like T-shirts, hats or hoodies, too!


Alumni products available from PNW Bookstore

As a gesture of gratitude and appreciation for their supporters, all graduation candidates have the opportunity to record and submit an audio testimonial that will be played ahead of the ceremony. Guidelines for submitting an audio testimonial are as follows:

  • The message should be no longer than 30-45 seconds in length.
  • Plan your message in advance and write it down for reference.
  • Using a voice recorder, speak slowly and clearly in the English language.
  • Send your voice recording message to The subject line should include “Audio Message”.

Sample Message:

  • My name is _______________________.  I am graduating with a _______________ degree in ______________________.  I would like to thank my (family, friends, professors and classmates) for their love and support while I pursued my goal of becoming a graduate of Purdue University Northwest.

Commemorating Graduation

Grad Images is the official photographer of PNW Commencement ceremonies.

For graduates who have participated in a Commencement ceremony: You will receive your proofs either by email or US mail.  You can also visit the Grad Images website and type in your last name, school and graduation year to find your photos and see your proofs. There is no obligation to purchase.

Contact their Customer Service Department at (800) 261-2576 or email for more information.

PNW is excited to continue our partnership with Balfour – a trusted provider of class rings for over 100 years – to offer our graduates a lasting symbol of their academic achievement.

Click here to see Balfour’s selection and pricing of class rings and other commemorative jewelry.

Need help with your ring order?  Click here to schedule a virtual ring consultation with your Balfour representative.

Commencement Flowers strongly encourages customers to take advantage of their online pre-order services for rose bouquets and commemorative PNW commencement T-shirts. They offer a contact-free experience for guests who are picking up their pre-purchased and reserved products.

Click here to see Commencement Flowers products and to pre-order.

White Rose Bouquet

Let others know about your accomplishment!  Purdue University Northwest graduation announcements let you share the good news with family and friends.

Click here to see Herff Jones products and pricing.  Enter “Purdue University Northwest” in the search box and then click on the university’s name on the next screen to access the selections for campus, college, and degree type.

Powering Onward After Graduation

The PNW Career Center offers valuable services from creating a winning resume and interview prep to job postings as well as guidance on graduate and professional schools that match your career goals.

Click here to see how the Career Center can help you Power Onward.

Regardless of when you graduated, what you studied or what campus you graduated from, your diploma makes you a member of the PNW alumni community!

Click here to find out how to join the PNW Alumni Community and access member benefits.

Special Requests

International Students

The Office of the Registrar will provide a letter of invitation to assist graduates whose parents/guests need to apply for a visa to attend the commencement ceremony. You must have completed the online Application to Graduate prior to requesting this letter.

International Student Families Letter Request

A letter in a sealed envelope will be provided for each person that you list in your request. Please allow two weeks to receive the letter. You may pick up your letters in the Enrollment Services Center (Lawshe Room 130) at the Hammond campus or in Schwarz Room 120 at the Westville campus. Be sure to bring your Purdue ID card or other photo ID with you. You can then forward the letter of invitation to parents/guests for use in documenting their visa request.

Receipt of an invitation letter does not guarantee candidate status or your participation in the ceremony.

Have questions? Contact the Graduation Coordinator at (219) 989-2334 or email

Have Questions?

Contact the Office of the Registrar.

Phone: (219) 989-2334

To ensure proper assistance please provide your name, telephone number and email address when submitting an email or leaving a voicemail message.