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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Class of 2020

We hope this list of Frequently Asked Questions will provide you with answers and help you plan for your Commencement Ceremony in 2021.  Please note that all information is subject to change as we continue to adhere to COVID-19 local, state, and federal guidelines for large gatherings.

What is the schedule of events?

The College remains committed to celebrating the Class of 2020 and its achievements, but it is clear that it will not be possible until sometime in 2021. Capacity at public places, including the Dunkin’ Donuts Center and the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, will continue to be severely limited for the foreseeable future, as Rhode Island continues to work to manage and contain the coronavirus. Our inability to safely gather as one community makes the beautiful celebration we all want for the Class of 2020 impossible for now, but we can all be certain that it will happen when it is safe – and it will be unforgettable.

Many details are still fluid as we follow evolving federal, state, and municipal guidelines. We will continue to let the health and safety of the Friar family guide our decision-making for all events. Please continue to check the Commencement website  and be looking out – in early 2021 – for information regarding next steps for graduates.

What about the virtual event on May 17? 

The virtual event was held on Sunday, May 17. We look forward to seeing graduates for a formal full in-person ceremony in 2021. The awarding of the degrees was meant to ensure that graduates marked the original commencement day with a special connection to Providence College. President Rev. Brian J. Shanley awarded the degrees in a short virtual ceremony with President-Elect Rev. Kenneth R. Sicard, Provost Dr. Hugh F. Lena and Senior Class President, Julia Gaffney, sharing a special message to the Class of 2020. The event can be found by accessing our web page: Additional messages from faculty can also be found on the page.  The Patriot Battalion R.O.T.C. Commissioning Ceremony took place prior to the virtual degree awarding and can be viewed on the battalion webpage.

What type of undergraduate degree am I receiving: Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science?  

You are receiving a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree if you majored in one of the following programs: American studies, art history, biology, biology/optometry (3/4 combined program), biology/secondary education, chemistry, chemistry/secondary education, classics, creative writing, economics (including business economics and quantitative economics), Elementary/Special Education, English, English/secondary education, French, French/secondary education, global studies, history, history/secondary education, humanities, Italian, Italian/secondary education, mathematics, mathematics/secondary education, music, music education, philosophy, physics/secondary education, political science, psychology, public and community service studies, social science, sociology, social work, Spanish, Spanish/secondary education, studio art, theatre, theology, and women’s and gender studies.   

You are receiving a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree if you majored in one of the following programs: accountancy, applied physics, biochemistry, biology, biology/optometry (3/4 combined program), biology/secondary education, chemistry, computer science, engineering (3/2 combined program), finance, health policy and management, management, marketing, physics.  

When will I receive my diploma? 

Diplomas, certificates, and honor cords (summa, magna, and cum laude honors), will be mailed to graduates in the coming weeks. Please provide updated contact information, by July 31, 2020,  here to receive your diploma.

How will I know about graduation honors, class rank, and any other academic awards (undergraduates only)? 
Recipients were notified of their academic honors and awards by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate & Graduate Studies. The College will recognize graduation honors, highest in academic class rank, and other academic awards as part of the commencement ceremony in 2021.

What will be listed as the date of my graduation and how can I request a transcript?   

The transcripts of all May 2020 graduates will note the degree awarded date as May 17, 2020.  All transcripts must be requested via E-Transcript through the National Student Clearinghouse, authorized by Providence College to provide a 24/7 transcript ordering service.

What about undergraduate senior activities?  

We are looking forward to planning a Senior Celebration prior to Commencement.  Our hope is to have a semi-formal event off campus along with an opportunity for students to return to campus to enjoy a variety of activities including time to visit with friends, faculty, and staff while enjoying Friar Favorites from food vendors. More information to follow in early 2021.

If you have questions, please email

How do students receive academic attire?  

All graduates receive a cap, gown, hood and tassel with their order. Please note, the attire order has already been paid through your graduation fees. 


Seniors were asked to order their cap and gown online between December 1, 2019 and February 28, 2020 from Ordering was extended due to the pandemic and all orders placed were moved to be shipped directly to your home address.

If you already ordered your cap and gown, please use this link to have your cap and gown mailed directly to you at your home:

If you have not yet ordered your cap and gown, you may order it using this link:

Please remember to bring your attire and any applicable honor cords with you to the in-person ceremony in 2021. If you have a question regarding attire- sizing issue, order not received, please contact College Events well in advance of the in-person ceremony.

I am graduating with honors.  How do I obtain my honor cords?  

Students receiving honors were notified in June of their achievement. Honor cords will be sent with diplomas, to your home, in the coming weeks. Please remember to bring your honor cord to the in-person celebration.

Are there invitations or announcements for commencement?  

Personalized announcements for family and friends are available for purchase from the College bookstore at 401.865.2181 or Please note that announcements/invitations to commencement will not serve as commencement tickets.    

Indebtedness to the College: What if there are unpaid bills?   

Students with an unpaid balance will not be able to receive their diploma or transcript until the balance is paid in full. Account balances may be viewed online using your CyberFriar login or by calling the Student Accounts office at 401.865.2284. Any student who has received a Federal Student loan is required to complete exit counseling online.  More information is available at: or

Is there an Academic Awards Ceremony?  

There will be no formal Academic Awards Ceremony. Instead, each “Special Award” and “Highest in Concentration Award” will be listed in the commencement program. Award recipients will receive any Award Certificate (Highest in Concentration, Liberal Arts Honors, Graduation Honors, etc.) with their diplomas.  

Are there tickets for the Commencement Mass and what is the timing of the Commencement ceremony? 

Please continue to monitor the Commencement webpage for information regarding event location, timing, ticketing and other information pertinent to participation in the celebration of the Class of 2020. Many details are still fluid as we follow evolving federal, state, and municipal guidelines.

December 2020 Graduation Candidates  

Candidates for December 2020 graduation can participate in the Class of 2020 celebration in 2021. December candidates will be included in the official commencement program, where they will be recognized as December 2020 graduation candidates. All December 2020 candidates will be eligible to walk on stage with the other graduates.  

What about hotel reservations?  

 As soon as we have a new date for the celebration of the Class of 2020 we will secure hotel blocks for graduates and families. Updated hotel block information will be available at If you have made reservations for October through the courtesy hotel block links on the Commencement webpage, please contact the hotel directly.

How can I get a yearbook?  

All students and/or parents desiring a yearbook need to order and purchase them. Graduating seniors this year will not receive a free copy after graduation. That policy ended with the 2017 Centennial class. This new policy will be followed in subsequent years unless again changed. 

To book your yearbook portrait: 

Class Rings:  

Balfour Class of 2020 ring ordering:
Balfour contact information:
Phone Number: 1-800-966.8636 (Ask for Martha Noriega) 
E-Mail: or  

Will I be reimbursed for my graduation fee?  

Graduation fees cover students’ caps and gowns, diploma and diploma cover, commencement program, honor cords (if applicable), transcripts and several other costs related to commencement.  Since students will still receive these items and an in-person ceremony is being held, graduation fees will not be reimbursed.  

Important contact information you may need for questions related to: 

Commencement Mass and Ceremony 

College Events, Office of Institutional Advancement
401.865.2344 or

Senior Activities 

Student Activities & Cultural Programing
401.865.2211 or

Office of the Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies 

401.865.2495 or

Office of the Registrar

401-865-1033 or

Announcements & Bookstore Items 

Barnes & Noble Bookstore, Providence College
401.865.2181 or

Financial Obligations 

Office of Student Accounts
401.865.2284 or

Veritas Yearbook