On May 28, 2020, Harvard University convened online for the Honoring the Harvard Class of 2020 virtual program and The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences followed with a Graduation Recognition Ceremony where each participant's name was read and recognized.  

Harvard University's 369th Commencement Exercises have been postponed until further notice. We anticipate gathering together for the heraldry, pomp, and circumstance that is traditional to a Harvard University Commencement and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Commencement activities at a time when it is safe to congregate in large groups. We wish to provide the enthusiastic din of celebration to mark the achievements of our students as soon as we are able.

Harvard University's 370th Commencement Exercises are scheduled for Thursday, May 27, 2021. Further information is forthcoming. 

May 28, 2020 Schedule

11:00 a.m. Honoring the Harvard Class of 2020. The program featured Graduate and Undergraduate Orations, remarks from 2020 Commencement Speaker Marty Barron, executive editor of the Washington Post, and conferral of degrees.

12:30 p.m. Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Graduation Recognition Ceremony. Dean for Student Affairs Garth McCavana PhD ’90, emceed and introduced the 2020 Commencement Marshals, including Blakely Bussie O’Connor PhD ’20, who spoke on behalf of the graduates. Dean Emma Dench provided remarks and recognized the four alumni recipients of the GSAS Centennial Medal. Reading of the names proceeded by program. Watch it below or on Youtube.

Show us how you celebrated your graduation with the hashtag #GSAS20!


Order of Programs

African and African American Studies
Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Planning
Biological Sciences in Dental Medicine
Biological Sciences in Public Health
Population Health Sciences
Business Economics
Celtic Languages and Literatures
Chemical Biology
Chemical Physics
Chemistry and Chemical Biology
The Classics
Comparative Literature
Earth and Planetary Sciences
Regional Studies — East Asia
East Asian Languages and Civilizations
Engineering and Applied Sciences
Germanic Languages and Literatures
Health Policy
History of Art and Architecture
History of Science
Human Evolutionary Biology
Medical Sciences
Middle Eastern Studies
Molecular and Cellular Biology
Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Public Policy
Regional Studies — Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia
Romance Languages and Literatures
Social Policy
South Asian Studies
Systems Biology
Systems, Synthetic, and Quantitative Biology

*Graduates and families that currently reside in a nation where access to YouTube is prohibited should contact gsaa@fas.harvard.edu for alternative viewing options.


Students who graduated with a PhD or a terminal master's or received those degrees in the November 2019 or March 2020 degree periods were invited to participate in the Graduation Recognition Ceremony and asked to submit their details in advance by May 15. Students who received an AB/AM or AB/SM were encouraged to participate in the University-wide Honoring the Harvard Class of 2020 virtual ceremony and degree related activities with their undergraduate houses. All degree recipients, including master's in passing, en route to the PhD, were welcome to join the University-wide virtual ceremony where their degree was conferred. Individual recognition for those students will be made at the completion of the PhD. All November 2019, March and May 2020 degree recipients will be invited to participate in the postponed Commencement celebrations.

Ceremonies & Broadcast

The Harvard University Honoring the Harvard Class of 2020 virtual ceremony was broadcast on Harvard.edu on Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. EDT (-4 GMT). More details available on the University-wide graduation program website. The GSAS Graduation Recognition Ceremony was broadcast at 12:30 p.m. EDT on gsas.harvard.edu. It is now also available to stream above at your convenience.

We continue to explore creative ways to honor our graduates in addition to the Graduation Recognition Ceremony and invite you to share any ideas you may have with us at gsaa@fas.harvard.edu.

Regalia Orders

Academic regalia was not required for the May 2020 virtual celebration. The COOP and their regalia rental partners have canceled any advance rental orders already made. They will not be fulfilling any individual orders for rental regalia, but will still be fulfilling orders for purchased regalia and anticipate it may take longer than the four to six weeks that is normal for purchased regalia. Information on ordering regalia for future celebrations will be posted here when available.