Graduation FAQ May 12, 2017

 (Updated as of May 8, 2017)

Frequently Asked Questions


Who is the graduation speaker?

Lindsay Levin, founder and partner of Leaders' Quest, will deliver the commencement address at the 2017 College of Professional Studies graduation on Friday, May 12.

Lindsay is dedicated to cultivating wise, compassionate leaders who are capable of leading amidst competing priorities and rapid change.

She has experienced the highs and lows of leadership firsthand, having spent the first fifteen years of her career building companies from scratch as an entrepreneur. In 2001, she founded Leaders’ Quest, a social enterprise with a clear mission: to contribute to a more sustainable, equitable world by bridging the gaps that keep us apart, whether they’re differences in resources or in perspectives.

What began as a one-room venture now operates across 22 countries. To date, Leaders’ Quest has delivered 250+ transformational programs for more than 7,500 senior leaders. Core to the work are two ideas: some of the most powerful learning in life comes from hands on experience; and if we want to help transform the world around us we must be prepared to transform ourselves.

Much of Lindsay’s time is spent working with CEOs and their teams (from corporates and non-profits) to focus on building purposeful, values-driven organizations. Her latest project, Future Stewards, is a five-year program to help leaders from business, civil society, and governments make breakthroughs on climate change by 2020. 

Lindsay also advises other mission-led organizations. In 2004 she founded the Leaders’ Quest Foundation to nurture talented grassroots leaders in financially poor communities. She serves on the board of Hartford Care, a nursing home group in the UK, and Unitus Capital, an India-based investment firm focused on small businesses that benefit people with limited resources. From 2008 to 2012 she was Chair of the International Steering Committee of OneVoice, which works with Israelis and Palestinians committed to peaceful coexistence.

Lindsay lives in New York with her husband, David, and their youngest son, Louis; their older sons, Zac and Joe, are at university in the UK. Her book,  Invisible Giants: changing the world one step at a time , was published by Vala in 2013.

Guest Information. Where should guests park and sit?

The CPS Graduation ceremony will take place on Friday, May 12, 2017, at Matthews Arena.

Admission to ceremony is by ticket only; general seating applies. Doors open at 8:30 AM. Ceremony begins at 10:00 AM.

Parking and Transportation
Complimentary parking for the ceremony is available in Columbus Parking Garage. The garage is a considerable walk from Matthews Arena.  If your guest has a mobility issue, it is advisable that you provide a wheelchair and/or drop off your guest at the Arena with an escort prior to parking.

Guest Entry and Seating
Guests will be admitted by ticket only; general seating applies. Guests enter at the main entrance of Matthews Arena.

Individuals with mobility issues may use the elevator located inside the main entrance. Northeastern University and/or Arena staff will be available to assist you.Specific seating locations have been designated within Matthews Arena for wheelchair access only. Guests who use wheelchairs are to be accompanied by no more than one escort, and will be directed to these areas by facility personnel. Availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.

American Sign Language interpreters will be available. A specific seating location for visual access to interpreters will be provided in Matthews Arena.  Space is limited, and only one escort will be allowed admittance to this section.  A member of the Northeastern University staff will be in this area for your assistance and direction.

Graduates will be seated according to degree. It is recommended that graduates make arrangements with their guests to meet after the ceremony at a specified location away from the immediate vicinity of Matthews Arena. Your cooperation in doing so will help alleviate the congestion resulting from ceremony attendance and expected pedestrian and vehicle traffic within the immediate area.

Facility Protocol
For safety reasons, the following items are not permitted inside the Matthews Arena for the ceremony:

  • Baby Strollers
  • Outside food/beverages
  • Backpacks or bags larger than 12"x12"x12". Women's handbags of acceptable size may be allowed entry after search
  • Laser pointers or similar items
  • Firearms or other weapons
  • Artificial noisemakers
  • Alcohol

All guests and their belongings will be subject to search, at the discretion of Northeastern University. Patrons with prohibited articles will be turned away at the entrances. There is no storage or check-in area for such items. Enforcement will be without exception.

Out of consideration for others, we ask that mobile devices be turned off during the ceremony and that all guests remain seated until the end of the ceremony and after all the graduates have left the Arena.

I have completed my graduation application. When should I expect to hear from the College about my graduation status?

We will communicate with each candidate via their NEU/Husky email account. If you do not receive an email from us a week prior to each conferral date, please contact your academic advisor. Deadlines and important dates can be found here for undergraduate candidates, or here for graduate candidates

How do I know if I will be graduating with honors?

Graduating with honors is reserved for bachelor’s degree candidates who have completed a minimum of 72 credits of work at the College of Professional Studies and who have demonstrated distinctly superior academic achievement as evidenced by the following cumulative Quality Point Averages:

  • Graduation with Honor (cum laude): 3.500 to 3.699
  • Graduation with High Honor (magna cum laude): 3.700 to 3.849
  • Graduation with Highest Honor (summa cum laude): 3.850 to 4.000

If you are graduating with honors, you will receive an honor cord when you are placed in line for the procession at Matthews Arena.

How long is the graduation ceremony?

It is estimated at 1.5 to 2.0 hours.

Will I be able to purchase graduation photos?

Yes, you will be given opportunities to "capture the graduation moment" in your official NU academic regalia. A professional photographer, GradImages, will be available at the ceremony. Proofs, with information on ordering photos, will be mailed by the photographer to all degree candidates immediately following the ceremony. You may also contact GradImages directly with your questions.   

What do I do if I need an invitation letter from the University so that my family outside of the U.S. may join me at my graduation ceremony?

According to the U.S. Department of State, letters of invitation are neither required nor useful in helping someone apply for a B class visitor visa to come to the United States. In accordance with this guidance, the OGS will no longer be able to issue letters of invitation on behalf of our students or alumni. While the OGS does not issue letters of invitation themselves, they do provide recommendations that may assist your friends or family in obtaining a visitor visa to the U.S.

Please visit the OGS on this matter for more information.

I have completed an exit interview for financial aid but now my date of graduation has changed. Will it still be valid?

No. If you completed an Exit Interview in a prior term, but did not graduate, you will need to complete a new exit interview.

Are there other important obligations I should be aware of before Graduation?

Yes, please note the following:

Financial Obligations
You must fulfill all financial obligations to the University prior to the release of your diploma. Your current balance, including any balance also owed on a payment plan must be paid in full. If this obligation is not fulfilled until after Graduation, you must contact the Commencement Office at 617.373.4098 or, for the release of your diploma.

Loan Obligations
If you have received a Federal Stafford Load (subsidized or unsubsidized) or Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loans, complete the exit interviews below:

For more information, contact Student Financial Services at 617.373.5899.

Will there be American Sign Language Interpreters at the ceremony?

Yes. There will be an interpreter at the ceremony.

Is the ceremony handicap accessible?

Yes. There is handicap seating throughout the arena. Availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.

I am a student with a documented disability and will need accommodations at the Ceremony. What do I do to make these arrangements?

Please email

What’s my tassel color?

College of Professional Studies

  • Doctor Physical Therapy: teal
  • Doctor of Law and Policy: peacock
  • Doctor of Education: light blue
  • Master of Science: gold-yellow
  • Master of Professional Studies: gold-yellow
  • Master of Education: light blue
  • Master of Sports Leadership: gold-yellow
  • Bachelor of Arts: white
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Science: olive green
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: apricot
  • Bachelor of Science: gold-yellow
  • Associate in Science: black

The Lowell Institute School

  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology: orange
  • Associate in Engineering: black

Will invitations be included with the guest tickets?

No. You can purchase graduation announcements through CB Grad.

Do children need tickets to attend the ceremony?

Children under 2 years old, who will be held on an adult’s lap will not need a ticket to attend the ceremony.

Will I receive a transcript with my diploma?

You will not receive a transcript with your diploma. Official transcripts can be requested two weeks after the degree conferral by following directions listed HERE.

Can my regalia and tickets be mailed to me?

Regalia cannot be mailed to you. Tickets are available electronically. Regalia and ticket information can be reviewed on this site

As a doctoral student, will I receive a Tam with my regalia?

No. Doctoral candidates attending the ceremony will receive academic regalia (cap-mortarboard, tassel, gown, and hood) that are provided at no cost and may be kept as a memento of the occasion. However, if you are interested in wearing a Tam, you may purchase the Tam from Oak Hall at 540.387.0000 or

Where can I stay while visiting the Boston area?

Northeastern is located within walking distance or a short drive from more than a dozen hotels in the greater Boston area. Here is a list of hotels ordered by proximity to the Northeastern campus.