Carnegie Mellon University

Commencement Weekend

May 20-21, 2017

Main Ceremony

Sunday, May 21
Gesling Stadium

All guests must be seated by 10:15 a.m. for the procession of graduates into Gesling Stadium.

The ceremony begins with the procession of graduates and will include addresses from the student speaker and keynote speaker, as well as a charge from the president of the university.


10 a.m.
Various locations on campus

  • Robing is for all graduates and ceremony participants only. Guests should proceed directly to the ceremony.

General Information

  • The ceremony lasts approximately 90 minutes.
  • Graduates will receive their diplomas at department/college diploma ceremonies, which take place throughout the weekend. View a schedule.


  • All guests must be seated by 10:15 a.m. for the procession of graduates into Gesling Stadium.
  • Tickets are not issued and there is no limit on the number of guests a student may bring.
  • Seating is first come, first served.
  • General seating is available in the bleachers or on the field surface. Seating sections for guests with special needs will be available on the field. 

View the ceremony seating map.

Elderly & Special Needs Guests

  • Seating sections for guests with special needs will be available on the field surface. These seats are reserved for those guests who are in wheelchairs, who have difficulty with stairs and cannot access the bleacher seating, or those guests who have special needs. Tickets or prior arrangements are not needed.
  • To accomodate as many families as possible, we kindly request that no more than three additional members of your party sit with an elderly or special needs guest in these sections. Other guests may utitlize the Family & Friends seating sections on the field or in the bleachers.
  • Closed captioning will be provided. Assistive Listening Devices will be available at the indoor simulcast in McConomy Auditorium.


  • The ceremony takes place outdoors in Gesling Stadium, rain or shine! The stadium is NOT covered and there is no shade. Please plan accordingly.
  • In the case of rain, complimentary ponchos will be distributed. The ceremony may also be shortened.
  • It is extremely unlikely that the ceremony would be cancelled for a weather-related reason.
  • If you or a family member cannot be in the direct sunlight or heat for a long period of time, we strongly encourage you to watch the ceremony from one of our indoor simulcast locations.

Live Streaming

  • Multiple indoor simulcast locations will be available in the Cohon University Center:
    Au Bon Pain, second floor
    Kirr Commons, first floor
    McConomy Auditorium, first floor (Assistive Listening Devices will be available.)
    Studio Theater, first floor
    Wiegand Gym, first floor
  • The ceremony will also be webcast on this site via YouTube.

After the Ceremony

To ensure a smooth exit, please determine where you need to go after the ceremony and follow the appropriate exit route, regardless of whether you are seated on the field or in the bleachers.

If you are taking the shuttle to an off-campus diploma ceremony, exit the stadium using the ramp on the southeast side, near Resnik House. The shuttles will be lined up along Margaret Morrison Street. View the map for additional details.

More details on shuttles

If you need to get to ANY campus building, including the Cohon University Center, exit the stadium using the staircase on the southwest side, near West Wing. Proceed through the courtyard and turn right onto the sidewalk. Enter the Cohon University Center through Merson Courtyard or continue down the sidewalk to other campus buildings. View the map for additional details.

A wheelchair ramp is located on the northwest side of Gesling Stadium.

At the conclusion of the main commencement ceremony and until 6 p.m., wheelchair-accessible shuttles will be available to transport special needs guests to and from off-campus diploma ceremonies (except Heinz Field/Entertainment Technology Center) and to more distant campus locations, as needed.

More details on shuttles