Each May, Johnson & Wales University holds formal ceremonies to recognize and honor candidates for graduation. This is the most significant academic event for students and the entire university community — and the culmination of years of hard work and personal and financial investment for students and families alike.
We encourage College of Online Education students to take part in this memorable capstone event to celebrate their achievements. Students enrolled in online programs are invited to participate in Commencement ceremonies at the Providence Campus. However, students may choose to attend Commencement at an alternate campus. Students are encouraged to refer to the Commencement website for information on Commencement ceremonies. Doctoral candidates may only participate in the Providence Campus ceremony.
Below is a list of each campus's 2020 commencement dates. Click on the campus name for detailed information about the ceremony.
Friday, May 1, 2020
Saturday, May 23, 2020
Friday, May 22, 2020
Saturday, May 23, 2020
A Note on Conduct
The university expects to conduct a meaningful, dignified ceremony. The significance of this day for all graduates, families & guests should be observed with respect. Disorderly conduct, rowdiness or the presence of alcohol or drugs will be grounds for immediate ejection and may result in your diploma being retained by the university.
What is the difference between graduation and commencement?
Graduation refers to actually receiving a degree or certificate of completion once Johnson & Wales University has verified you as having met all degree or certificate requirements. Commencement is a ceremony. It is an opportunity for students, families, friends, and the JWU community to celebrate their academic accomplishments. Participation in commencement does not mean that students have graduated. Students must satisfy all graduation requirements before officially graduating and receiving a diploma.
Who is eligible to participate in the May 2020 Commencement Ceremony?
Degree-seeking students must fall into one of the following categories: (1)The student is awarded a degree in the fall 2019 term/semester or winter 2019–20 term; (2) The student is enrolled in the spring 2020 term/semester and, as of March 13, 2020, has an expected degree completion term/semester of spring 2020, summer 2020 or fall 2020.
What do I have to do to participate in commencement?
To participate in the May commencement, students must: (1) Submit an online graduation application via jwuLink for the term in which they expect to complete their requirements; (2) complete required student loan exit counseling: www.nslds.ed.gov; (3) obtain your cap and gown. Information regarding cap and gown ordering for online students will be emailed in early 2020. (Note: Students who have borrowed student loans and have not completed student loan exit counseling will not receive a cap and gown. Students will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony without a cap and gown.)
Is there a deadline to order my cap and gown?
Yes. The deadline for 2020 is TBA. Online students can place their orders after that date but they will be responsible for the shipping costs.
How do I obtain my cap and gown?
Online students will receive communication to their Wildcat email with a form to order their cap & gown. Your cap & gown will be shipped to your home. The Providence Campus Bookstore will be processing all online cap & gown orders, regardless of the campus where you plan on attending commencement. Contact Molly Peabody (401-598-1445 or Molly.Peabody@jwu.edu) with any questions.
As an online student, how do I obtain my ticket(s) for the Providence undergraduate commencement ceremony?
Tickets are required for the undergraduate commencement ceremonies in Providence. (Graduates themselves do not need tickets; tickets are for guests.) To obtain tickets, email email@example.com from Wildcat email address with the following information: (1) J number; (2) which ceremony, based on major, you plan to attend; (3) the number of tickets you are requesting (six is the maximum number of tickets).
Do I have to attend commencement at the Providence Campus?
Students enrolled in online programs are invited to participate in Commencement ceremonies at the Providence Campus. However, students may choose to attend Commencement at an alternate campus. Students are encouraged to refer to the Commencement website for information on Commencement ceremonies. Doctoral candidates may only participate in the Providence Campus ceremony.
When will I receive my diploma?
Diplomas are not distributed at commencement — graduates are given a diploma cover containing a letter from the Alumni Association. Participation in commencement does not confirm graduation. Graduation is not recorded until up to 30 days after the term has ended, grades have been received, and the degree audit of each expected graduate reviewed to confirm requirements have been satisfied. Awarded diplomas are mailed about 6 weeks after a term ends; see full policies.
I cannot or do not want to attend commencement. Do I need to tell anyone? Will my name be printed in the commencement program?
No notice is required if you are not attending. If you do not attend, your name will not be printed in the program and it will not be announced since you will not be in attendance to cross the stage.
If I am not attending commencement, do I still need to complete exit counseling?
If you have student loans, yes — this is a requirement.