General Commencement

Commencement Ceremony Details


Below are at-a-glance details for the Commencement Ceremony. Please use this webpage as the most up-to-date resource for details to prepare for and attend the Commencement Ceremony. 

Commencement Ceremony Details

Ceremony Details & Timeline


Friday, December 15, 2023


NRG Arena (1 NRG Pkwy, Houston, TX 77054)


There will be a morning and afternoon ceremony option. Graduates will only be able to attend the ceremony time they register to attend.

  • Morning Ceremony: 9 am
    • 7 am: Arrival time for graduates.
    • 8 am: To manage traffic, guests will be admitted into the building no earlier than one hour before the ceremony.
    • 9 am: Ceremony begins
    • The ceremony can last up to 2.5 hours. Please plan to stay until the end of the ceremony.

  • Afternoon Ceremony: 2 pm
    • 12 pm: Required arrival time for graduates.
    • 1 pm: To manage traffic, guests will be admitted into the building no earlier than one hour before the ceremony. 
    • 2 pm: Ceremony begins
    • The ceremony can last up to 2.5 hours. Please plan to stay until the end of the ceremony.

Guest Details

  • Guests will not be required to register or have a ticket
  • Guests will be admitted to the venue one hour before the ceremony. 
    • For graduates being dropped off at the required arrival time of two hours before the ceremony, please note that your guests will not be admitted into the building venue until one hour before the ceremony

Parking and Venue Policies

Parking will be available in the Blue Lot (utilize Gate 9) on the corner of Kirby and Westridge. Type in the address: 8825 Kirby Drive, Houston, TX 77054 for specific driving directions. The parking fee is $20 per vehicle. Please note that the venue, NRG Park, will transition to credit cards only for parking payment and will no longer be accepting cash.

Bag Policy
NRG Arena Center enforces a bag policy to ensure the safety of their guests. Backpacks and large bags that exceed 11”x17” are not allowed. Necessary diaper bags and medical bags are subject to inspection before entry.

Prohibited Items
For the safety concerns of patrons, NRG Park may refuse entry of individuals in possession of prohibited items including, but not limited to: all weapons and firearms, all handguns, air horns, video recorders, audio recorders, professional camera equipment, photography lenses over 3” in length, whistles, noisemakers, sealed packages of any kind, bottles, cans, coolers, containers, fireworks, Frisbees, inflatable objects (beach balls, swim equipment, etc.), illegal substances, laser pointers/pens, outside food or beverage (Exceptions are made for medical reasons and children), remote-controlled cars, Hoverboards, UAVs, Drones, binocular cases and camera cases. This list is in no way exhaustive, and other items may be prohibited at the sole discretion of NRG Stadium Management.

ADA Accommodations

  • Graduates: Graduates who need accommodations at the ceremony were advised to enter their needs on the registration form. Please check your email often for updates from HCC's Counseling and Abilities Services. 
  • Guests: Disabled guests are encouraged to contact NRG's Guest services and review the Accessibility Guide for details about accommodations:


Watch the Ceremony Live

On the day of the ceremony, your loved ones may visit to watch the ceremony live. 


*IMPORTANT* Commencement Registration Deadline: Nov 10

 How to Register for Commencement

Before you can register for the Commencement Ceremony, you must first meet with your academic advisor to apply for graduation by the November 1 deadline. If you have not already done so, please review the instructions in the section above to complete your graduation. After applying for graduation, please follow the steps below to register to walk in the Commencement Ceremony. 

Regularly Check Your HCC Student Email: Once you have applied for graduation by the deadline, you will receive an email invitation from MarchingOrder. This email will contain instructions on how to register for the Commencement Ceremony.

  • Starting in September, MarchingOrder will send out registration steps to approved graduates' HCC student email addresses every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. To ensure you don't miss any important updates, it's please consistently check your HCC student email. Be sure to also check your spam folder, just in case.

Register for Commencement by November 10 DeadlineTo participate in the Commencement Ceremony, you must register by the November 10 deadline. Please mark this date on your calendar and prioritize registering before this cutoff. Only graduates who are registered by this deadline will be allowed to walk in the ceremony.

Register Early to Secure Your Preferred Ceremony TimeDue to the building's capacity limitations, there is limited space available for each of the ceremony times. To ensure you can attend the ceremony at your preferred time, we strongly recommend registering early. Remember that you will only be permitted to participate during the ceremony time you register to attend.


More About MarchingOrder

In the MarchingOrder Commencement registration platform, graduates will be able to:

  • Choose Ceremony | Register for the Commencement Ceremony. 

  • Download GradPass | GradPass is a student's ticket to enter the Commencement Ceremony. A GradPass will be automatically assigned and can be downloaded. A GradPass will also be scanned when graduates walk across the stage.  A GradPass can be scanned from a mobile device or printed. 

  • Record How to Pronounce Your Name | Use Say It Right to record your name via telephone to assist the professional announcer with pronouncing your name correctly.



Cap/Gown (Regalia) and Celebratory Items (Invites, Frames etc)




Honors and Honor Cords Eligibility

Associate Degree candidates who meet the criteria below are eligible for Honor Cords for the ceremony. 

  • Honors: 3.35 – 3.59
  • High Honors: 3.60 – 3.79
  • Highest Honors: 3.80 – 4.00
  • Considerations
    • GPA used for the Fall ceremony is through the Summer semester (Fall grades will not be included for the ceremony but will be reflected on the final award).
    • GPA for the Spring ceremony is through the Fall semester (Spring grades will not be included for the ceremony but will be reflected on the final award).
    • Students completing a Certificate of Completion do not receive honor cords.

Prior to the ceremony, qualifying graduates can pick up Honor Cords at the HCC Bookstore locations. Qualifying graduates may also stop by the Honor Cords table on the day of the commencement ceremony.


Graduation and Commencement Help

Student Services

For more information regarding Graduation and Commencement, call 713-718-8222 (option 1) or send an email to