Commencement: Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that this information may change to reflect updates from the Office of the President or the Office of the Provost.

Applying For Graduation

Please see the step-by-step directions to apply to graduate on the Graduate School’s website.

Choose the May 31 date option. Your degree will still be conferred on the day of the Commencement Ceremony.

You must apply to graduate no later than February 1 if you wish to have your diploma available at the Commencement Ceremony and have your name and graduation information printed in the Commencement Book. This early deadline is necessitated by the production schedules of both the diplomas and Commencement Book.

After February 1, you may still apply to graduate until May 1. If you do so, you will still be able to participate in the Commencement Ceremony, but your diploma will not be available at commencement and your graduation information will not be in the Commencement Book.

If you don’t see the “Apply to Graduate” option on your MyAccess, please submit the following information to your program Director of Graduate Study (DGS) and Program Coordinator as soon as you can:

  • Expected Graduation Date
  • Full Legal Name
  • Mailing Address

You will need to adhere to all graduation application deadlines.

The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences does not offer distinctions and honors to graduates.

Diploma & Academic Regalia

To change your address to which your diploma will be sent, please email with your new address.

All graduates participating in Commencement are required to wear the appropriate academic regalia – gown, hood, cap, and tassel. Standard regalia will be available for purchase in the University Bookstore.

You will receive instructions on how to wear your regalia as you line up for Commencement. You can also watch our quick video guide: “How to Put On Your Commencement Regalia.”

Commencement Ceremony

Friday, May 19, 2023

Yes. Participation in the May Commencement Ceremony is limited to those who have been awarded degrees between August and May of the current academic year. For example, participation in the 2023 May Commencement is for students who have been awarded degrees from August 2022 to May 2023 and who have notified the Graduate School that they are attending the ceremony.

Tickets are not required for the Commencement Ceremony on Healy Lawn; seating is available on a first come, first served basis. Students will be informed during the spring semester if the public health situation necessitates changes to this policy.

Note that if the ceremony is held in McDonough Arena due to rain, tickets will be required. Ticket instructions are sent in emails from the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

Tickets are required for the Ph.D. and Doctoral Hooding Ceremony.

Free accessible shuttle buses, wheelchairs and sign language interpreters are available. Visit the Commencement Accessibility page for details.

Please email your accommodation requests to

The Commencement Ceremony will be livestreamed on the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences Facebook page. Other livestreams will be announced in advance on social media.

We ask that you remind your family and guests that they MAY NOT approach the stage during any part of the ceremonies to take photos.

A professional photographer from GradImages will be taking pictures during the Commencement Ceremony. They will be contacting you directly by mail and email with your proofs. If you have any questions, please contact them directly at 800-261-2576.

The rain site for the 2023 Graduate School Commencement Ceremony is McDonough Arena. In the event of a rain announcement, all graduates are to report directly to the white tent in front of McDonough Arena no later than 7:30 a.m. for the lineup.

In the event of inclement weather, the University will make an announcement on the morning of commencement day on the Georgetown University Commencement page and students will be notified via email right away. Rain announcements will also be available through our University Weather line at 202-687-SNOW.

For more information, visit the Class of 2023 Commencement website.