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. The May 2024 Commencement Book will feature the names of graduates from August 2023 and December 2023, as well as degree candidates from May 2024.

If you don’t see the “Apply to Graduate” option on your GU Experience account, 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

Visit Diploma Information for the diploma timeline. Students cleared to graduate in May will receive their diploma at the May Commencement Ceremony.

To change your address to which your diploma will be sent, please email gradstudentservices@georgetown.edu 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.

Master of Science hood

To find the color to order for your academic regalia, please refer to the Academic Regalia page on the Graduate School website. Hood linings for BGE degrees are as follows:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.): Royal Blue
  • Master of Arts (M.A.): White
  • Master of Science (M.S.): Gold
  • Executive Master’s in Clinical Quality, Safety & Leadership (EMCQSL): Peacock Blue

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

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 2024 May Commencement is for students who have been awarded degrees from August 2023 to May 2024 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 starting at 7:45 a.m. 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 severe weather, tickets will be required. Ticket instructions are sent in emails from the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GSAS) (gradlife@georgetown.edu). Follow the link from the GSAS email to claim the severe weather tickets.

The 2024 Graduate School Commencement Ceremony will be held outdoors in the event of rain. In case of severe weather such as electrical storms, the site for the ceremony is McDonough Arena. If there is a severe weather announcement, all graduates are to report directly to the white tent in front of McDonough Arena at 7:30 a.m. for the lineup.

In the event of severe 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. Weather announcements will also be available through our University Weather line at 202-687-7669.

Note that if the ceremony is held in McDonough Arena, tickets will be required. Ticket instructions are sent in emails from the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GSAS) (gradlife@georgetown.edu). Follow the link from the GSAS email to claim the severe weather tickets.

Free accessible shuttle buses, wheelchairs and sign language interpreters are available. Instructions for making a request for accessibility needs are sent in emails from the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GSAS) (gradlife@georgetown.edu). Follow the link from the GSAS email to submit accessibility needs.

You can find more information on the Commencement Accessibility page.

The Commencement Ceremony will be livestreamed on the Georgetown University 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 May 2024 Commencement Book will feature the names of graduates from August 2023 and December 2023, as well as degree candidates from May 2024.

For more information, visit the Georgetown University Commencement website.