Preparing for Graduation: Graduates

How will I receive information regarding Graduation Events and Commencement?

You will receive information regarding graduation events Commencement through your DMU email. It is important to make sure you are regularly checking your inbox to make sure you receive this information. Comprehensive information will be available on both the DMU as well as in the emails sent to you from,

Where can I purchase my cap and gown?

Every student who would like to walk in the ceremony will need to purchase regalia   (i.e., your cap and gown) through Oak Hall. This is a requirement to walk, If you do not have regalia you will not participate in Commencement.

The portal to order regalia is currently open.  This will be shipped directly to your home address (we will not allow it to be shipped to the University). This must be purchased no later than April 1, 2024. The Oak Hall website will shut down after this, as they will not have time to make and ship regalia.

What if I miss the deadline to order my regalia?

Regalia can be ordered until April 1, 2024. The company requires sufficient time to make and mail the regalia.  DMU is not able to extend this deadline.  Failure to order regalia by this deadline will result in not being able to walk into the Graduation ceremony.  There are no exceptions to this policy.

What does my graduation fee cover?

Our Academic Catalog states that “the Graduation Fee covers all aspects of the degree completion process and will be applied to all student accounts of degree candidates, regardless of participation in the Commencement ceremony,” (Graduation Requirements Policy). The graduation fee covers the cost of such expenses as diplomas, diploma covers, printing costs, and postage. The graduation fee is a one-time fee of $75. It is applied to every student’s account the last semester the student is enrolled prior to graduation, regardless of whether or not they attend the ceremony.

Participation in the University and/or school exercises is afforded at no additional cost to graduates and their guests.

Do my guests need tickets for the Mass and Commencement Ceremony?

You do not need tickets for your guests. Seating is first come, first serve so make sure your guests arrive early for the best seats! All guests should be seated prior to the beginning of the processional at 11:30 A.M.

Will there be a Mass and Commencement rehearsal?

Yes, there will be a rehearsal at 10:00 A.M on the day of graduation at St Theresa Catholic Church. Please ensure that you arrive by 9:30 and are ready for rehearsal to begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. Further, it is extremely important that you read all emails regarding graduation and Commencement to receive any and all updates.

When will I receive my diploma? 

All diplomas and diploma covers will be mailed out by our third-party vendor. You will receive an email from them the day it is mailed out.

International students: please take note that there is a significant delay in overseas mail. If we are unable to mail your diploma due to current mailing restrictions, we will notify you immediately.

How do I RSVP?

All eligible graduates will be asked to submit an Application to Graduate. There is a section on the application that asks for your RSVP for the ceremony. The deadline to RSVP or change your RSVP is April 1. Please contact the Registrar’s office with any questions regarding your RSVP.

Day before Graduation

Are there other events taking place that I should be aware of?

Yes! On Friday, May 10th, all programs will host their own program event at Divine Mercy University. This will be a great opportunity to meet your cohort and professors to conclude the program experience and to connect with fellow grads as new alumni. More information will be shared in the coming weeks!

Day of Graduation: General

When is Commencement?

Divine Mercy University’s 2024 Commencement will be held at 11:30 am Saturday, May 11th, 2024 at St Theresa Catholic Church in Ashburn, VA. The procession will begin promptly at 11:30 a.m. Guests should plan to arrive by 11:15 a.m.  Graduates should note that they must arrive at 9:30 and be ready for rehearsal by 10:00 a.m.

Who participates in the Commencement Ceremony?

Currently enrolled students who will receive degrees in May 2024, August 2024 or September 2024 are invited to participate in Commencement Exercises. Students not currently enrolled but who received their degrees earlier in the academic year (October 2023, December 2023 or March 2024) are also invited to participate. It is recommended that those who graduated earlier in the year contact the Registrar’s Office about their participation in the May exercises. Graduates from the Psy.D. (Doctorate in Psychology), MSC (Masters in Counseling), MSP (Masters in Psychology), and SDC (Spiritual Direction Program) will all be participating in this ceremony. All eligible graduates will receive an Application to Graduate from the Registrar’s Office informing them of their candidacy and formally inviting them to participate. 

How can I order the professional pictures from graduation?

DMU contracts photographers to capture the whole ceremony, including pictures of the graduates receiving diplomas and hoods. After graduation, the University will make all graduation and Commencement related pictures available for free to all DMU graduates through an external website. Graduates can access and download pictures from this website free of charge. Photography is allowed during the Commencement events. However, guests may not disrupt the Mass or ceremony or block the views of other guests.

How long does the Commencement Ceremony last?

The length of the ceremony is approximately 1.5 hours, with Mass being about 1.5 hours beforehand. Start to finish will be approximately 3 hours.

Day of Graduation: Graduates

Where do I go on the morning of Commencement?

When you arrive at St Theresa Catholic Parish signs and/or volunteers will direct you to the staging area. It is important to arrive by 9:30 am for rehearsal at 10 am and be in place for the processional prior to 11:15 am.

On which side of the cap does the tassel go?

Before graduating, tassels should be on your right. After graduating, tassels should be moved to your left.

Will I be recognized individually?

Students will be recognized individually during their academic school’s diploma ceremony during the Commencement.

Day of Graduation: Friends and Family

Can friends and family attend the Commencement Mass if they are not Roman Catholic?

Absolutely! The ceremony is open to all graduates, and their friends and families. However, please note that only practicing Catholics in a state of grace should receive the Eucharist during the time of Communion at the Mass.

What is the appropriate dress for the weekend’s events?

Family members and guests are encouraged to dress nicely and comfortably for the weekend, taking the weather conditions into account. Most guests tend to dress up more (what might be worn to a religious service, for example) for the Mass and the Commencement Exercises, but there is still a wide range of attire at those events. There are no formal expectations for what guests should wear during the weekend.

Will the Commencement Ceremony and Mass be live-streamed?

Yes. The main Commencement Ceremony will be broadcast via live stream on the DMU website. Students will be sent a link via their DMU email to share with family and friends in the days just prior to the Ceremony.  The link will also be available on DMU’s graduation website.

Travel and Parking

How can I find directions to Campus?

For directions to DMU’s new building in Sterling, click HERE. This link will direct you to DMU’s building’s location on Google Maps. Simply enter your point of departure to receive directions to the school.

What are the parking options at the Parish?

The parish offers ample free parking to visitors. The main parking lot can be accessed via St Theresa Lane to the right and left.

What is the best airport to fly into?

Dulles is the closest airport, however, the Metro now runs between Dulles and Reagan. 

Do you have a list of recommended accommodations?

A courtesy block of rooms has been made at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Sterling, VA (walking distance to the University). Please be sure to check out this option as you consider your housing arrangements for the weekend. Individuals can click the link below to make their reservation.

Click this link to make your reservation

What if I have additional questions?

Please contact us by emailing If your question is time sensitive, please call the University at 703.842.3489.