51st Annual Commencement

In-Person Celebration – Friday, July 8, 2022

Commencement FAQs

Browse our list of answers to your most common Commencement questions and concerns. Don’t see your question?
contact the Commencement Office at commencement@excelsior.edu or (518) 608-8181 for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

An Excelsior graduating class is made up of graduates whose degrees were conferred in July of the previous year through June of the current year. This group is invited to the annual Commencement in July. In addition, graduates from prior years who have not yet participated in an in-person ceremony may attend one ceremony per earned degree. This year, 2022, the Classes of 2022, 2021 and 2020 are all invited to attend.

If you have a question regarding eligibility or you are having trouble registering to attend, please contact your advisor or email advising@excelsior.edu.

MVP Arena (formerly Times Union Center)
51 South Pearl Street
Albany, NY 12207

Visit the Arena website for detailed directions and parking instructions

The MVP Parking Garage may not be able to accommodate all event attendees. However, other parking options are near the MVP Arena (formerly Times Union Center).

Parking information is included on their site and additional information will be added to Excelsior’s site closer to the event.

Yes, military graduates are allowed to wear uniforms, but must wear an academic regalia/cap and gown during the ceremony.

Excelsior will continue to monitor CDC, NYS and local guidelines and provide requirements just prior to the event.

Yes, online registration is required. The invitation/registration process begins in mid-February and the deadline is June 10, 2022. Registration is free.

Separate from registration, all graduates are required to purchase an academic regalia package (cap and gown) from Oak Hall to wear at the ceremony. The regalia package is $75 plus shipping. Regalia will be shipped directly to graduates and must be brought to Commencement.

Register Online

Purchase Regalia

Yes. If you are an undergraduate student interested in information, contact undergrad@excelsior.edu. If you are a graduate student, contact grad@excelsior.edu.

If you or any of your guests require accommodations, please contact ACS@excelsior.edu or 844-427-4356 by June 22, 2022. There will be sign-language interpreters at the ceremony for those with hearing impairments.

Purchase Regalia

Regalia is required for the in-person ceremont and the deadline to place your order is June 10, 2022. Regalia will be shipped directly to graduates and must be brought to the ceremony to participate. Graduates who are not participating in the in-person ceremony may also purchase regalia.

The ceremony begins at 3 p.m and is typically, approximately two hours long.

Tickets are not limited or required to attend the ceremony. Graduates are encouraged to invite family and friends to enjoy the celebration.

Refer to the access section of the MVP Arena (formerly Times Union Center) website. Also, additional parking information will be added to Excelsior’s site closer to the event.


No. Commencement is held at the MVP Arena (formerly Times Union Center).

To cancel your registrationn, email commencement@excelsior.edu

Here is Oak Hall’s return policy regarding refunds for regalia: “You may return your souvenir regalia unopened within 30 days and we will gladly refund you the purchase price less shipping. All returned items must be unopened and in their original packaging.”

No. You may bring that regalia to wear at Commencement. You only need to purchase new regalia if you had another degree conferred since then. Regalia is specific to degrees.

The associate and bachelor’s degree gowns are black, knee length and have long sleeves; the master’s gown is also black, and made with a long, closed sleeve with an arc of a circle appearing near the bottom, and a slit for the arm. The black Oxford or mortarboard-style cap is worn for all degrees.

The most distinctive feature of academic dress is the hood. It varies in length depending on whether the wearer has an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree. The hoods for all degrees are lined in silk with the academic colors of the institution conferring the degree; for Excelsior, that means purple and gold. The trim on all hoods except the associate degree hood is velvet and the color indicates the degree granted: white for arts and letters; drab for business areas; yellow gold for science; apricot for nursing; and peacock blue for public administration.

In addition, eligible graduates may wear cords that indicate membership in an honor society, military affiliation (red, white, and blue), achievement of academic honors (gold) and/or contributing member of the Excelsior College Alumni Association (purple).

No, the Graduation Fee and Commencement registration are separate. All undergraduate students are required to pay the Graduation Fee for the final review and processing of student records for degree conferral and issuance of diploma. Registration is required to participate in the in-person Commencement ceremony and there is no fee to register. However, participating graduates must purchase an academic regalia package (cap, gown, hood and tassel) from Oak Hall to attend.

Register Online

Purchase regalia

To learn about local hotel options, visit Discover Albany (www.albany.org/hotels/downtown). Downtown area hotels are located near the event venues. Some are within walking distance, but not all.

No, regalia will not be for sale at Commencement. Graduates must bring their regalia to the ceremony to participate. It is required.

Yes, after you register online you will receive a confirmation email immediately. If you do not receive your confirmation, please contact the Commencement Office.


Island Photography will take pictures as you cross the stage and complimentary proofs will be sent to each graduate for purchase consideration. Island Photography will collect your contact information at the event. Purchase is optional. All inquiries should be made directly to Island Photography at 800-869-0908 and more information is available at www.islandphoto.com.

Yes. The ceremony will be live streamed with engagement opportunities to include graduates who are watching and celebrating from a distance. Details to come.

Limited concessions will be open at the MVP Arena (formerly Times Union Center) for our event.