Commencement

GSAS Commencement 2015

GSAS Commencement 2015

Congratulations on receiving your degree!

We look forward to celebrating with you on May 28, 2015. These are the important deadlines:

Regalia orders (PhD candidates): TBD
Regalia orders (Master's candidates): TBD
Last day to submit application for the May 2015 Degree: March 27, 2015

Ticket orders: April 1-24, 2015
Ticket order pick-ups: May 22, 26-28, 2015

Here's what to do to prepare:

1. See What's on Schedule, and Where

Please click here to view a detailed GSAS Commencement schedule. And here is a map of Commencement locations.


2. Order Your Tickets

The link for ordering 2015 commencement tickets will be live on April 1. 

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: five 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

Academic regalia must be rented (or purchased) from the Harvard Coop. Order in store, by fax (617-499-2016), or by mail. Call 617-499-2070 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions. The Coop begins taking reservations on March 23, 2015. 

Please check back in the spring for detailed 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 22, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center Information Center on the Arcade Level, 1350 Massachusetts Ave.
  • Tuesday, May 26, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus Center Information Center on the Arcade Level, 1350 Massachusetts Ave.
  • Wednesday, May 27, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Richard A. and Susan F. Smith Campus  Center Information Center on the Arcade Level, 1350 Massachusetts Ave.
  • Thursday, May 28, 7 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., GSAS Information Tent, Maxwell Dworkin, 33 Oxford Street


5. Get Festive, Get Nostalgic

Orations Competition
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. Visit the Commencement Office's website to learn more. 

House Masters Reception at Dudley
Jim and Doreen Hogle invite you and your guests to a reception at Dudley House, Wednesday, May 27, from 4-6 p.m. RSVP by May 25.

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).

Attend the Afternoon Exercises 
Stay tuned for the announcement of this year's commencement speaker. 

Order a DVD of Commencement Day
GSAS will post the DVD order form in mid-to late spring. 

Order Commencement Photographs
GSAS will post the photo order form in mid-to late spring. 

 

6. Learn More

Please check our Commencement FAQ, and see below for information about common concerns.

Children’s Diplomas

To learn about the awarding of diplomas to children of graduates, read this informational PDF.

Guests with Disabilities

View a list of FAQ or request additional information via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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.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.

International Students

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 2014 or or who will receive a March 2015 or May 2015 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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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.

Security

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

The Harvard University Student Health Plan (HUSHP) expires on July 31. Graduating students need to plan ahead early in order to secure insurance coverage for August 1. Students with general health insurance questions should This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The HUHS Patient Advocate is available to discuss and assist with any HUHS-related problems or questions.

Questions, Etc.

If you have additional questions, call 617-495-5591 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For information about University-wide Commencement activities, go to www.commencementoffice.harvard.edu.

Media inquiries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.