GSAS Commencement 2013
Congratulations on receiving your degree!
We look forward to celebrating with you on May 30, 2013. These are the important deadlines:
Regalia orders (PhD candidates): April 26, 2013
Regalia orders (Master's candidates): April 10, 2013
Last day to submit application for the May 2013 Degree: March 29, 2013
Ticket orders: April 1-26, 2013
Ticket order pick-ups: May 24, 28-30, 2013
Here's what to do to prepare:
1. See What's on Schedule, and Where
2. Order Your Tickets
Please note: tickets are required for Commencement Day events. Degree candidates are allotted the following number of tickets:
- GSAS Breakfast with the Deans: no ticket maximum
- Morning Exercises: two ticket maximum (degree candidate does not need her/his own ticket)
- GSAS Diploma Awarding Ceremony in Sanders Theatre (PhD and terminal Master's candidates only): two ticket maximum (degree candidate does not need her/his own ticket); four additional tickets to Science Center Simulcast
- GSAS Luncheon: one complimentary for degree candidate, $15 per person for additional tickets
- Afternoon Exercises: three ticket maximum (this includes the degree candidate)
For reasons of capacity and safety, there will be no exceptions to the two-ticket rule for the Morning Exercises and the GSAS Diploma Awarding Ceremony in Sanders Theatre.
3. Order Your Regalia
Please Note: Orders for regalia for Master's degree candidates must be placed from March 25 - April 10, and from March 25 - April 26 for PhD degree candidates. Download instructions and order forms.
4. Pick Up Your Tickets
Degree candidates must pick up their tickets in person, with a photo identification, at the following times and locations. Tickets cannot be mailed.
- Friday, May 24, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Holyoke Center Information Center on the Arcade Level, 1350 Massachusetts Ave.
- Tuesday, May 28, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Holyoke Center Information Center on the Arcade Level, 1350 Massachusetts Ave.
- Wednesday, May 29, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Holyoke Center Information Center on the Arcade Level, 1350 Massachusetts Ave.
- Thursday, May 30, 7 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., GSAS Information Tent, Maxwell Dworkin, 33 Oxford Street
5. Get Festive, Get Nostalgic
Each year three graduating students are selected to speak at the Morning Exercises, including one representative from the graduate or professional schools. Speeches must not exceed five minutes in length, and there is a $1,000 prize. Learn more here or visit the Commencement Office's website.
House Masters Reception at Dudley
Jim and Doreen Hogle invite you and your guests to a reception at Dudley House, Wednesday, May 29, from 4-6 p.m. RSVP by May 27.
Breakfast with the Deans
Commencement Day starts with breakfast on the Gropius Lawns (35 Oxford Street), 6:45-7:45 a.m., after which we'll process to Sever Quadrangle.
Commencement Day Luncheon
Lunch is served from noon-3 p.m. on the Gropius Lawns (33 Oxford Street).
The menu for breakfast and lunch will be posted at a later date.
Attend the Afternoon Exercises
Oprah Winfrey will present the commencement address.
Order a DVD of Commencement Day
Note: The GSAS diploma ceremony will not be included. More details on the order form. Print the DVD order form.
Order Commencement Photographs
Find out more about commencement photographs and place your order.
6. Learn More
Please check our Commencement FAQ, and see below for information about common concerns.
To learn about the awarding of diplomas to children of graduates, read this informational PDF.
Guests with Disabilities
Live Broadcast for Morning and Afternoon Exercises
Commencement Morning and Afternoon Exercises will be broadcast live via Comcast Cable (Channel 283) in Boston/Brookline and Cambridge/Greater Boston. These ceremonies will also be streamed live via the following web sites: www.commencementoffice.harvard.edu, www.commencement.harvard.edu, and www.uis.harvard.edu. Please note that the GSAS Diploma Awarding Ceremony in Sanders Theater will not be broadcast on television, but it will indeed be streamed online here on this page.
Families of international students sometimes experience difficulty obtaining visas to attend Commencement. Family members who will require US visa stamps must apply to a US embassy or consulate far in advance to complete the process in time. International students who received a November 2012 or or who will receive a March 2013 or June 2013 degree may request that the Dean's Office send an invitation letter to their family; this letter may facilitate the granting of a visa. To request a letter, please e-mail the GSAS Office of Student Affairs at least 3 weeks before your family’s appointment with the embassy or consulate. To request a letter, please e-mail the
View a PDF containing specific information required to generate a letter.
Details about the visitor's visa may be found on the US Department of State website. You may also visit the Harvard International Office (HIO) website which outlines the documents needed for the visa application process. Darryl Zeigler, HIO International Student Advisor, can answer any questions you may have and can be reached at 617-495-2789.
Heightened security measures will be in effect for Commencement. All degree candidates who are attending Commencement must visibly display their Harvard identification (ID) cards or Harvard Yard Passes before being granted admission to Harvard Yard. GSAS will distribute Commencement lanyards (a cord with an attached pouch to be worn around the neck) and Yard Passes to degree candidates when they pick up their Commencement tickets. Lanyards allow degree recipients to display their ID cards or Yard Passes visibly and gain speedier access to Harvard Yard. Degree recipients who are unable to pick up their lanyard and tickets before Commencement Day may obtain them at the GSAS Information Tent at 35 Oxford Street. Please be aware that additional security may be in place at the entrance gates for Commencement guests, and delays can be expected.
Health Insurance for Graduating Students
For information about University-wide Commencement activities, go to www.commencementoffice.harvard.edu.