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 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 inbox, and if you have questions, you may write to this address. We will respond to your inquiry within 24 hours.   

Click for the 2016 Memo to Graduating Students (Graduate School) that contains detailed information about the 2016 Commencement Ceremony.

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

No later than 7:30 a.m.

What time does Commencement Begin?

9:00 a.m. is when the Ceremony begins,  However, the lineup 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?

The first week of May, you will receive and e-mail with the the room number where you need to check in, in Healy Hall or White-Gravenor Hall.  It will also be posted on the Graduate School Commencement web page.

How long does the ceremony last?

The first portion of the ceremony lasts approximately 1 hour. During the first portion, the President, Dean, and Honorary Degree Recipient will give remarks. The Ph.D. diplomas will also be awarded during this portion of the ceremony.

After the first part concludes, the master’s candidates will proceed to their designated Diploma Ceremony locations (information below). The distribution ceremonies also last approximately 1 hour.

All morning activities hosted by the Graduate School are planned to be completed no later than 12:00 noon.

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 for the Lost & Found.

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

If you are a Ph.D. candidate, you may NOT walk in the Spring 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 at the Diploma Ceremony.

How do I get my diploma?

Immediately following the main Commencement Ceremony on Healy Lawn, Diploma Ceremonies will be held for those receiving master's degrees from programs associated with the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown College, the Medical Center, and the McCourt School of Public Policy.

Diplomas will be distributed only to those students who have no outstanding financial obligations to the University, who do not have registration or transcript holds, and who were cleared to graduate by their departments. Students participating in the ceremony but not graduating until July or August will not receive a diploma at the Commencement ceremony.

Do we need tickets for the main Commencement Ceremony?

No, the Graduate School does not ticket the ceremony. Seating is 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 Information will be sent to you regarding designated seating areas as well as accessible routes to the Diploma Ceremonies.

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

Yes.  We have provided an insert in your diploma envelope package that provides a translation of your formal Georgetown University diploma.  You may also click here for a PDF of the diploma translation.

Other questions that we haven't answered?

Please send an email