Commencement Information


Where will commencement be held? 

Commencement will be held at VSU Multi-Purpose Center (MPC) 20809 2nd Avenue, Petersburg, VA 23803

View Campus Maps and Directions   

Will there be a commencement rehearsal? 

Yes. Commencement rehearsal will be 1:00PM – 3:00PM, Friday, December 15, 2023 at MPC for all participants. Reception immediately following rehearsal.

How will Name cards, cords, and tickets be distributed? 

Name cards, cords, and tickets must be picked up, in person, by the graduation candidate with a photo ID. on Friday, December 15th immediately following rehearsal in the MPC practice gymnasium until 5:00PM For students unable to pick during the above time, distribution will resume the morning of Commencement at 7:00AM.

Will tickets be required for guests to attend? 

Yes. Each graduate will be provided with seven (7) general admission tickets. No additional tickets will be provided.

How will tickets be distributed? 

Tickets must be picked up, in person, by the graduation candidate with a photo ID.  Tickets will be distributed on the day of rehearsal. 

How long will the ceremony last? 

The actual ceremony will last approximately two hours.

Do I need to participate in commencement to graduate? 

No.  All students who meet their academic requirements, regardless of whether they will attend the ceremonies, will still receive their diploma in the mail.

If I don’t want to participate in the ceremony, do I need to apply to graduate? 

Yes.  You must apply to graduate regardless of ceremony participation. View graduation guidelines and requirements

Will the commencement ceremony be recorded and live-streamed? 

Yes.  The ceremony will be recorded and can be viewed live on the VSU webpage.  More information will be forthcoming.

How do I obtain a cap and gown?

Cap and Gowns can be purchased at the bookstore or you can order online through November 18th at Please note there is a shipping fee when ordering online.

Will senior pictures be available?

Senior pictures were scheduled for Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 graduates on October 25th, 26th and 27th. There will be a makeup day for Fall 2023 Graduates ONLY on Wednesday, November 15th.

Special Needs Accommodations 

Commencement ceremonies at Virginia State University are accessible to all graduates and guests.  Accessible parking is available in designated areas at MPC.

If you require any assistance beyond what is listed here, please email and provide your contact information and particular need and we will make every effort to accommodate you. 

Hearing Impaired 

Sign language interpreters will be stationed on the stage. Please advise the ushers if you need to make use of the interpreters and they will seat you in a section with a clear view of the interpreters.