North Central College graduates at Commencement.

Common Questions About Commencement


Q: Do I have to be registered for all that I need to graduate before I actually apply?
A: No. That's what the official graduation audit is for. It will tell you what you have left to do. To find out what requirements you still need to fill go to Merlin and look at your Program Evaluation.

 Click here for Graduation Requirements.

Q: How do I apply to graduate?
A: Submit your online application through Merlin according to the published deadlines. Select the option for Self Service and then the graduation cap icon. If submitted on time, the $200 application fee is waived.

If you have substitutions in your major or minor, the department chair must sign their approval via a Course Substitution form. The form is available in the HUB, and can be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by email at For graduation application deadlines, click HERE

Other graduation information may be found on the Registrar’s graduation page by clicking HERE.

Q: How do I find out if I have applied for graduation?
A: If you are unsure if you have already filled out the required form for graduation, check in Merlin, select the option for Self Service and then the Graduation Cap icon. You can also check the last page of your Program Evaluation. Both will state if you have submitted a graduation application.

Q: How do I find out if I have enough credits to graduate?
A: To check your total credit hours go to Merlin and look at your Program Evaluation. This is an unofficial Degree Audit that shows all your graduation requirements, the courses that you have already taken, what you are registered for and your credit totals. This is a great tool to keep tabs on your graduation progress.

Q: How do I order my cap and gown, and other graduation items?
A: You MUST order your cap and gown online by Friday, March 10th in order to pick up at Countdown to Commencement on April 18 from 3 to 6 pm in the Wentz Concert Hall. If you order on or after March 12, then you must order through the North Central College Campus Store and late fees may apply. Click HERE to order.

Q: Do I have to attend the MANDATORY rehearsal?
A: Yes!  All graduates MUST attend. You will receive your seating assignment as well as other important details regarding the ceremony.

Q: Are tickets required for my guests?
A: At this time, it has been determined that tickets will not be needed for the Commencement ceremony. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis so we encourage guests to arrive early. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. If the College needs to change that policy due to unforeseen circumstances, students and parents will be notified.

Q: How many Commencement ceremonies are there?
A: There is only one Commencement ceremony held in early May every year.

Q: Other students have told me that I can still walk in May Commencement even if I’m not actually graduating until Summer Semester, is that true?
A: That is true. There are guidelines, however:

  1. You must submit a graduation application by March 15th.
  2. You must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better AND 2.0 or better in your major at the time of Commencement.
  3. You will complete graduation requirements by the end of the Summer Semester.

 If you must take courses in the Fall Semester to complete your graduation requirements, you are not eligible to walk early in Commencement.

Q: What should I wear to the ceremony?
A: There is no specific clothing requirement, but students are asked to please keep in mind that this is a formal academic ceremony.

Q: How long is the ceremony?
A: The Commencement ceremony typically lasts about 2 hours.


Q: Who will be taking commencement photographs and how can we order copies?
A: Arrangements have been made with GradImages for a professional photographer to record the moment when each graduate receives his or her diploma. GradImages has developed a new preregistration system which allows the graduates and/or parents to provide their email and mailing address information to GradImages prior to the ceremony. They are offering a 20% discount when they register their email address prior to graduation. For more information, visit

Q: Are strollers allowed?
A: For safety and space reasons, strollers are not allowed. Guests with children may leave their strollers in the monitored drop-off area.

Q: Will there be reserved seating for those requiring additional accommodations?
A:  For the ceremony, there will be reserved seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Upon arrival, please check in with ushers and they will assist you. Because seating in the reserved area is limited, only one family member will be able to accompany the individual and we recommend arriving early to secure seating.

Q: Where are we able to park?
 As with all major campus events, parking near the Residence Hall/Recreation Center for Commencement will be congested. We encourage Commencement guests to utilize campus parking lots north of Chicago Avenue. Street parking is also available, please follow all city of Naperville signage. Information and directional signs will be posted to assist the guests of our graduates.

Limited handicapped parking is available near the Residence Hall/Recreation Center and is highlighted blue. Drop-off near the entrance is available for those needing assistance.

Click here for parking map.

Q: Do you have any recommendations for hotels/motels to stay at if we are traveling from out of town?
A: North Central College has partnered with some of our Naperville hotels to offer discounted rates to all friends and family of the school. Whether you are visiting, attending a sporting event or seeing a play, one of our hotels can surely accommodate you. Please support those who support us by staying in Naperville! Click HERE for our Hotel Partner website.

Q: Is the Commencement ceremony available in Spanish?
A: Spanish translation of this year’s Commencement ceremony will be available to those who have made reservations in advance. Starting at 10:30 a.m. on Commencement morning, guests who provide a photo ID can obtain their reserved headsets at the table to the left as they enter the Residence Hall/Recreation Center. The ID will be retained until the headset is returned to the same location. Click HERE for info about Spanish Translation.

Q: Where can I buy flowers for my graduate?
A: Flower ordering will be available closer graduation. Click HERE for updates.

Q: How can I order a Commemorative Personalized Brick?

A: Please call the Office of Alumni

Q: Where can I order a yard sign for my graduate?

A: Yard signs can be purchased through the Campus Bookstore by clicking HERE.

Q: What are some of the dining options in Naperville area?

A: We recommend reservations at any of our Restaurant Partners by clicking HERE.

Other resources: and We suggest making reservations as this is a busy weekend in town.

We hope that you find this section helpful. If you have other questions regarding your graduation eligibility, please contact the Registrar's Office at 630-637-5252 or If you have any questions regarding the commencement event itself, contact or call The Office of Alumni and Parent Engagement at 630-637-5200.