Graduates and Visitors FAQs

Please share your feedback about the 2022 graduation ceremony.

Congratulations, graduates! We look forward to seeing you at the ceremony and sharing this special occasion with you! The following information is designed to answer questions you might have about this special day:

Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 11 a.m. on the Harper College main campus located at 1200 W. Algonquin Road, Palatine. The ceremony will take place outdoors near the Pavilion behind Building D.

All fall 2021 graduates and any student who has applied to graduate for the spring or summer 2022 semester.

This year's commencement speaker is U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth. Read her bio.

You may pick up your cap and gown from the Bookstore (L260) beginning May 9. If you have questions regarding your cap and gown, contact HarperStore at 847.925.6275. You should arrive at the ceremony dressed in your gown. Tassels should be worn on the right side of the mortarboard and then moved to the left once degrees and certificates are conferred.

An Application for Degree or Certificate must be submitted by April 22, 2022 to have your name included in the Graduation Program. 

There will not be a graduation rehearsal. Graduates must arrive at 10 a.m. to line up for the procession.

Graduation is confirmed once all credit is awarded, grades are finalized, and degree/certificate requirements are met. The ceremony is simply a celebration.

Please arrive no later than 10 a.m. Procession will begin promptly at 10:45 a.m. Parking is available in lots 8-14 and parking lot G. There is no charge for parking in lot G (parking garage).

Go directly to Building D. Only graduates are allowed in Building D. Family and friends must go to the guest seating area. Graduates will line up according to degree or certificate – AA, AS, AGS, AES, AFA, AAS, Certificates and Health Career graduates. Signs will be placed throughout the line-up area and volunteers will be there to assist with the line-up.

We will begin seating guests at 10 a.m. Guests should park in lots 8-14. There will be signs and Harper Police directing graduates and guests to designated parking areas. Individuals with disabilities should park in any adjacent accessible parking spaces. Additional seating for guests to view the ceremony indoors will be in Building D near Starbucks. Starbucks will be selling coffee and refreshments from 9am – 1:30 pm.

Due to safety precautions, we ask that you limit your total number of guests to no more than 4-5. Guests do not need tickets to attend the outside event.

You will receive your name card and photo card when you pick up your cap and gown at the Bookstore (L260) beginning May 9. If you have your gown shipped to your home, you may pick up your name card at the Bookstore. Please do not forget to bring your name card with you as this will be used to announce your name at the ceremony. You will hand the name card to a designated faculty name reader as you cross the stage.

Please leave any valuables with family or guests. There will be no designated area at the ceremony where you may leave your valuables. If you choose to carry your cell phone or camera with you, please be advised that Harper College is not responsible for the loss or damage to these or any other valuables.

As a courtesy to your fellow graduates, please have your cell phone or any other electronic devices set to vibrate.

Harper College has made arrangements with a graduation photography company to photograph you as you are shaking hands with the President and as you exit the stage. The company, Graduation Foto, will contact you regarding graduation pictures. If you do not hear from them within a few weeks after the ceremony, you may contact them at 800.482.0321. There is no obligation to purchase pictures.

You will receive a graduation photo card when you pick up your cap and gown from HarperStore. Be sure to fill out the card and bring it with you to the ceremony. The card will be collected as you walk to the stage.

Yes, Harper College has made arrangements with a florist to purchase flowers and they will be available near the guest seating area.

The ceremony will last approximately one and a half to two hours.

Access and Disability Services at 847.925.6266. A sign language interpreter and closed captioning will be available at graduation. Please note that Harper College does not provide wheelchairs. There will be a drop off area for guests with special needs outside Building W, the Wojcik center. Guests will be transported to the Pavilion from this area.

Official certification of graduates will start when all grades are final. Diplomas will be mailed out 6-8 weeks after the end of the term.

The ceremony will be held in an uncovered area outdoors, near the Pavilion behind building D. Along with the standard graduation regalia that you have ordered from HarperStore, we suggest comfortable shoes for walking. Guests should also dress appropriately for weather.

Please make sure to check the Harper web site for the most up-to-date information about weather conditions and the commencement ceremony. If the ceremony cannot be held outside due to inclement weather, the graduation will take place in the gymnasium, Building M. Due to the size of the venue, only graduates and faculty will be able to be seated in the gymnasium. All guests may view the ceremony live on various locations across campus or view live-stream from home.

Remote Viewing Locations on Campus

Room Number





Lecture Hall


Lecture Hall


Lecture Hall




Performing Arts Center



































Contact the Registrar's Office by phone 847.925.6500 or email


Last Updated: 6/21/22