Commencement Information

Commencement Booklet

The Commencement Booklet contains detailed information on Commencement. It is highly recommended that all graduating students review the booklet. 

Commencement Checklist for Graduates

Please review the Commencement Checklist for information regarding academic attire, fees and other information detailing out other commencement requirements.

Lost or Stolen Items

Graduates: Please leave your cell phone, purse and other personal items with family or friends. NSU does not have a location to store these or other items. NSU is not responsible for lost or stolen items.


Commencement Tickets

A Ceremony Ticket for commencement is required for all guests of the graduates who plan to view the Commencement Ceremony in the designated seating area in The Norfolk Scope Arena. Each graduate will receive 10 tickets to distribute to family and friends. Graduates do not require a ticket. All guests over the age of two will be required to have a ticket in order to gain access to the Arena.

Ticket Pick up

Graduates may pick up their tickets at Harrison B. Wilson Hall Suite 410 from March 24 through April 28. Please bring a printed copy showing that you have completed the Graduating Student Exit Survey and your Student ID.

Unclaimed Tickets

Any unclaimed tickets will be distributed to the general public on a first-come, first-serve basis on commencement morning in front of the Norfolk Scope Box Office starting at 2:00 p.m.  One ticket will be distributed per person.

*Additional tickets will not be distributed prior to commencement day. No exceptions. Please do not call the Office of University Events to inquire about additional tickets.


Commencement Rehearsal

Commencement Rehearsal will be on Friday, May 5 at 9:00 a.m. at the Joseph G. Echols Memorial Hall.

Commencement Arrival Time

Graduates should arrive between 1:00- 2:30 p.m. when name cards will be distributed at the Norfolk Scope Exhibition Hall. 


Please bring your Student Identification card and wear the appropriate academic attire.

Dress Requirements for Graduates

From page 17 of the Commencement Booklet: "All students are required to wear academic attire (cap, gown, hood, and tassel) with the exception of ROTC students. Men will wear dark suits, white shirts, dark ties, and black shoes. Women will wear black dresses or pants under their robes, black shoes, skin tone or dark hose, and no jewelry (exception: watches, rings, and small stud earrings). No signs, symbols, corsages, decorative or other extraneous items are to be attached to the mortar board or robe." click here to read more


Participating Faculty

Faculty members should arrive at the The Norfolk Scope Arena no later than 3:30 p.m. Full academic regalia (robe, hood and cap) is required for those participating in the academic processional. Appropriate business attire should be worn under the robes. Athletic gear and/or casual wear are prohibited. Please allow extra time as all individuals participating in commencement will use the same entry and security check points.

Commencement Information

Commencement Length

The ceremony is approximately 2-2.5 hours.

Commencement Arrival Time

Guests are permitted to arrive at 2:00 p.m. however, the doors to the Scope will open at 3:00 p.m.  The ceremony will begin at 4:00 p.m.  Norfolk Scope Arena 201 E Brambleton Ave, Norfolk, VA 23510 Click for directions.


There is a parking garage located beneath the Scope Arena.  The fee for parking can be found here

Commencement Attendees

General Public

Plan to be at the ceremony at least 30 minutes before the posted ceremony start time. Doors to the Scope will open at 3:00 p.m. All guests must have a ceremony ticket in order to enter into the Norfolk Scope Arena. Please contact your graduate regarding a ceremony ticket.

Lost or Stolen Items

NSU is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

Photographs & Videos


You may take photos from the bleacher/balcony sections only. Please do not block the aisles or passageways by attempting to greet or take photos with graduates. Please remain in your seats for the duration of the ceremony.

No one other than those who have been issued a “Press Pass” will be allowed to take pictures on the arena floor area of Scope Arena.

Professional Photography

Professional photographs will be taken of each graduate as they walk the stage to shake the officiant's hand and receive their diploma cover. Proofs and purchase information will be mailed or emailed directly to each graduate at the address that is provided on the back of the name card. Name cards will be distributed at 1:00 p.m. on Commencement Day. Gradimages.com

Commencement Photos & Videos

Share your achievements with family and friends. Here are links to view or order graduation day photos or videos.


The following is a listing of hotels/motels in the vicinity of Norfolk State University. We suggest that you make reservations as early as possible to ensure that lodging will be available. This listing does not imply a recommendation.

Many establishments provide a discounted rate for visitors attending NSU Commencement, be sure to inquire with your reservation agent. Information on rates and directions should be secured by calling the numbers listed.

  • Aloft Chesapeake: 145 Crossways Blvd, Chesapeake, VA. Phone: (757)410-9562
  • Norfolk Waterside Marriott: 235 E Main Street, Norfolk, VA. Phone: (757) 627-4200
  • Wyndham Garden Downtown: 700 Monticello Avenue, Norfolk, VA. Phone: (757) 627-5555
  • Courtyard Norfolk Downtown: 520 Plume Street, Norfolk, VA. Phone: (757) 963-6000
  • Sheraton Norfolk Waterside: 777 Waterside Drive, Norfolk, VA. Phone: (757) 622-6664
  • Hilton Airport Norfolk: 1500 North Military Highway, Norfolk, VA. Phone: (757) 466-8000
  • Norfolk Marriott Chesapeake: 725 Woodlake Drive, Chesapeake, VA. Phone: (757) 523-1500
  • Crowne Plaza Virginia Beach Town Center: 4453 Bonney Road, Virginia Beach, VA. Phone: (877) 270-1393
  • Holiday Inn Virginia Beach-Norfolk Hotel and Conference Center: 5655 Greenwich Road, Virginia
  • CandleWood Suites Norfolk Airport: 5600 Lowery Road Norfolk, VA. Phone: (757) 605-4001 or (888) 226-3539