Commencement Answers Here
Main Commencement Ceremony
Where should guests sit?Seating is available in the stadium bleachers or in designated areas on the field. For more information see the seating and stadium map.
Can I reserve seats?Any attempt to “reserve” seats is based on the cooperation of other guests. It is advisable to keep a member of your party with your seats at all times. University staff is not responsible for reserving seats.
Where can I take pictures/video?Photographers may stand along the edge of the track, but may not interfere with the procession of graduating students. Staff will be available to indicate appropriate zones for photographers and guests. Please remain clear of the stage area at all times. No students will be individually recognized on stage during the main commencement ceremony. Students will receive diplomas individually at diploma ceremonies and you may ask the appropriate department about photography at those events.
Can I view the ceremony from an indoor location?
Yes, the ceremony will be broadcast in McConomy Auditorium, first floor, Cohon University Center. Seating is first-come, first-served. No tickets are required.
Is there a webcast of the ceremony?
Yes, we'll be streaming live coverage of the main commencement ceremony. Access information will be available in May.
What are the diploma ceremonies?All graduating students will receive their diplomas at department or school diploma ceremonies, held throughout the weekend. Visit the diploma ceremonies page for complete information.
Are there shuttles to off-campus diploma ceremonies?Yes. Shuttles to and from the off-campus diploma ceremony sites will be available on Sunday only beginning at 12:30 p.m. For details, visit the parking & shuttles page.
Is there seating at the main commencement ceremony for people with disabilities?Seating for guests with special needs and their families will be available in special sections on the field, which will be indicated with signage. For additional details, visit the special needs page.
Is there a wheelchair ramp to the field?Yes. A wheelchair ramp is near the stadium entrance closest to the Cohon University Center. All campus buildings and parking areas are also wheelchair accessible.
Will wheelchairs be available on campus?A limited number of wheelchairs and electric scooters will be available for rental on Sunday only. For additional details, visit the special needs page.
Who can participate in commencement? My program concludes later than the end of the spring semester; will I be able to participate in commencement?
While degrees are awarded three times during the year (May, August and December), there is only one formal commencement ceremony in May. The commencement program includes those students who had graduated during the previous December, plus those students expected to graduate in May or upcoming August before the beginning of the new academic year.
All undergraduate and master’s students who are certified to complete their studies by the deadline for expected August graduation during a given calendar year will be allowed to march in that year's commencement ceremony. Those students who are expected to fulfill degree requirements after May would be listed in the commencement program as August graduates.
Students who are expected to complete their degree requirements later than the August deadline will not be allowed to march and will not be listed in the commencement ceremony program. Ph.D. students may not march or be hooded until after they have defended.
In all cases, only students who have fulfilled their graduation requirements by the May deadline would receive their actual diplomas or hoods during the commencement. Graduates fulfilling requirements after the May ceremony would receive their diplomas (and hoods) only after completing their requirements.
Where should I park?Parking is available in most campus garages and lots. Charges apply in some locations. Please visit the parking & shuttles page for more details.
Where can I get something to eat/drink?Entropy+, the university convenience store, is located in the Cohon University Center. Complimentary coffee will be available in the Commencement Welcome Area on Sunday and complimentary bottled water will be available in Gesling Stadium during the main ceremony. Food, chewing gum and beverages other than water are not permitted in Gesling Stadium.
Where can I get a list of local worship sites?
For information, please contact the Carnegie Mellon University Interfaith Council.