In acknowledgment of the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing restrictions and public health guidance, President Larry Bacow announced that Harvard's 370th Commencement would be postponed until a later date and a virtual ceremony recognizing graduates would be held on May 27, 2021. The ceremony will feature principal speaker Ruth Simmons, PhD '73, a leader in higher education, a GSAS alumna, and a recipient of the GSAS Centennial Medal

Following the University's program on May 27, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences will hold a Graduation Recognition Ceremony. All November 2020 and March and May 2021 degree recipients are invited to register and participate in the ceremony. Guests are welcome and encouraged to attend. Details on timing and schedule will be emailed to graduates and shared on this page once available. All graduates are encouraged to celebrate their incredible accomplishments with their departments, peers, family, and friends in addition to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Graduation Recognition Ceremony.

Please contact the GSAS Office of Alumni Relations and Events at with any questions or concerns.


Students receiving a PhD or a terminal master's in the November 2020, March 2021, or May 2021 degree periods are invited to participate in the Graduation Recognition Ceremony and asked to submit their details in advance by May 6. All degree recipients, including Master's in passing, en route to the PhD, are welcome to join the University-wide virtual ceremony where their degree will be conferred. Individual recognition for those students will be made at the completion of the PhD. Students receiving an AB/AM or AB/SM should plan to participate in the University-wide virtual ceremonies and degree-related activities with their undergraduate houses. 

Families and friends of all graduates are encouraged to tune in and can join this guestlist to receive updates and reminders regarding the GSAS Graduation Recognition Ceremony. Guest registration is not expected or required.

Ceremonies & Broadcast

Harvard University Ceremony
The University-wide ceremonies will be broadcast live over the web on Thursday, May 27, 2021. Archived versions will also be available immediately following the program. More information is available on the virtual University-wide graduation program website

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Graduation Recognition Ceremony
The GSAS Graduation Recognition Ceremony will follow the University's ceremony and be broadcast live as well as made available on after the event to stream at your convenience. The program will feature remarks from the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, a student representative, and individual recognition of each graduate who has registered to participate. To register and confirm your participation in the ceremony, please fill out this form by May 6, 2021. 

Students, departments and degree programs, families, and friends are encouraged to organize watch parties and virtual celebrations for their community to mark this festive occasion. Please share your creative ways of honoring our graduates in addition to the Graduation Recognition Ceremony with us at


Diplomas will be mailed after conferral. For more information and instructions on receiving your diploma, please visit the FAS Registrar site.

Regalia & Stoles

Academic regalia is available to all degree candidates who are interested via the Harvard COOP. Academic regalia is not required for the virtual programming on May 27, 2021.

In place of rented regalia, the Harvard Coop will offer a special, keepsake gown made from 100 percent post-consumer, recycled materials in the USA which will not require returning the item(s). Details for ordering regalia as well as processing and shipping times are available here. GSAS will subsidize standard shipping on domestic and international keepsake regalia orders. Make your order at your earliest convenience after March 1, 2021. Orders will begin shipping on April 15, 2021. In addition to event keepsake regalia, custom lifetime regalia will be available for purchase.

GSAS is also excited to offer its graduating students the opportunity to order stoles that honor their identities. To order stoles, please complete this form by April 12, 2021. Stoles will be mailed directly to the address that you indicate in the order form. There is no cost for the stoles at this time, however, supplies are limited.

GSAS Merchandise

The Harvard COOP is offering Graduate School of Arts and Sciences merchandise for online sales only. From April 1 to May 31, 2021, visit the GSAS online store and use discount code GSAS2021 for a 15% discount on all apparel and gifts. (Rings, textbooks, and regalia are excluded.) COOP members receive an additional discount, however other promotions cannot be combined with this offer.

2020 GSAS Graduation Recognition Ceremony

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.  

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 the program.

Watch on Youtube

Ceremonies & Broadcast

The Harvard University Honoring the Harvard Class of 2020 virtual ceremony was broadcast on 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 It is now also available to stream above at your convenience.