The information posted to this page addresses questions regarding the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Commencement Ceremony, held annually in mid-May. 

Please note that the McCourt School of Public Policy, the School of Foreign Service and the School of Nursing and Health Studies hold separate commencement ceremonies for graduate students enrolled in their programs.

How will I get information and updates about the Commencement Ceremony and who do I contact if I have questions?

Information will be sent via our main email box, If you have questions that are not answered here, you may write to this address. We will aim to respond to your inquiry within 24 hours.   
Click for the 2017 Memo to Graduating Students (Graduate School) that contains detailed information about the 2017 Commencement Ceremony.

What time do I need to arrive on the day of Commencement?

You must arrive no later than 7:30 a.m.

What time does Commencement begin?

The ceremony begins precisely at 9:00 a.m. However, the lineup of graduates begins at 7:30 a.m. and the procession to Healy Lawn begins at 8:30 a.m.

Where do I go when I arrive on campus?

You will receive an e-mail in early May with the room number in the ICC or White-Gravenor Hall where you need to check in. The information will also be posted on the Graduate School Commencement web page in early May.

How long does the ceremony last?

We expect the ceremony will last just under 3 hours. The President, the Graduate School Dean, and the Honorary Degree Recipient will give remarks, then degrees will be awarded, each graduate’s name will be called and they will walk across the stage. After leaving the stage, graduates who are eligible to receive their diplomas (see below) will be presented with them. 

Graduate School Commencement is planned to finish no later than 11:45.

Should I bring anything to Commencement Ceremony?

The only items you should bring to the Commencement Ceremony are your cap, gown, and hood. We encourage you to leave any personal items at home or with your guests. Once you leave your assigned room and proceed to the lawn, you will not be able to return and retrieve items. Additionally, the rooms remain unlocked and unsupervised once the procession begins. Any items left in the rooms or elsewhere will be turned over to the Georgetown University Police Department’s Lost & Found.

Can I walk in the Commencement Ceremony if I am graduating in the summer?

If you are a doctoral candidate, you may Not walk in the May Commencement Ceremony.

If you are a master’s degree candidate and all requirements will be completed no later than August 31, you May walk in the Commencement Ceremony, but your name will not be listed in the official program, nor will you receive your diploma.

How do I get my diploma?

Diplomas for students who are eligible to receive them will be distributed at the Commencement ceremony. Students who have outstanding financial obligations to the University, registration or transcript holds, and who have not been cleared to graduate by their departments, will not receive diplomas at Commencement. Students who walk in the ceremony but are not graduating until July or August 2018 will not receive a diploma at the Commencement ceremony.

I graduated  between July 2017 and December 2017 and have already received my diploma. Should I bring it to the ceremony?

There is no need to bring your diploma to the ceremony. Diplomas for Spring graduates are presented to the students after they come down from the stage. The audience will observe no difference between Summer and Fall graduates and Spring ones.

Do we need tickets for the Commencement Ceremony?

No, the Graduate School does not issue tickets for the ceremony. Seating is available on a first-come, first-seated basis.

* Note: In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in McDonough Gym, where space is more limited. If the ceremony is held in the gym, we encourage your families and friends to arrive early to ensure seating.

How do I make arrangements if I need special accommodations for me or any guests I invite?

If you or any of your guests require special accommodations (wheelchair loaner, disabled seating, sign language seating) for Commencement please email You will receive information regarding designated seating areas.

Does the University provide announcements?

The University does not, but they can be purchased through Jostens website.

What are my options for parking for Commencement?

Since Friday is a regular business day for the University, parking will be limited.  Please refer to the Travel and Parking Tips website for guidance.

Is there a translation of the Latin on my Graduate School diploma?

Yes.  An translation of the diploma in included in your diploma envelope. You may also click here for a PDF of the diploma translation. The Registrar’s Office offers an English version that includes your name and degree and conferral date–though the format of the document is different from the Latin version.

Other questions that we haven’t answered?

Please send an email