Graduation FAQs

Preparing for Graduation

What should someone do if they missed the deadline to apply for graduation?

You can complete the Late Graduation Application form.

Remember, you must apply to graduate even if you do not plan to attend the graduation ceremony!

 


 

General Ceremony Information

When and where are Commencement and the Degree Celebrations?

The University Commencement will be on Thursday, May 9, 2024 at 10 am in EagleBank Arena 

Degree Celebration dates, times, and locations are on the Degree Celebration page, as each college/school has their own ceremony.

What is the difference between University Commencement and the College/School Degree Celebrations?

University Commencement

The University Commencement is the main university ceremony presided over by the President of the University.  The ceremony includes a commencement speaker, student speaker and can include other special honors.  Caps and gowns are worn.

Doctoral candidates will be hooded and individually recognized.  Bachelor and master candidates will be recognized at their seats by major.

College/School Degree Celebrations

Each college/school has an individual ceremony where all graduates are individually recognized and photographed on stage.  Celebrations include select speakers, performances and all graduates crossing the stage and having their name ready.  Doctorals have already been hooded at the University commencement so they are not hooded at the degree celebrations. Caps and gowns are worn. 

Will the ceremonies be livestreamed?

Yes, all ceremonies will be viewable via live stream on Mason's YouTube channel. More information on live streams will be made available as we get closer to the event dates.

 

When do I "walk" to get my diploma?

At Degree Celebrations, all bachelors and masters students graduating in Spring or Summer 2024 are allowed to walk. Please see the Degree Celebrations page for the complete schedule.

During the Commencement ceremony, Doctoral graduates will be individually recognized and photographed on stage. All other graduates will be recognized as a group by major at their seats.

For Doctoral candidates, only Spring 2024 graduates confirmed by their colleges/schools are permitted to participate in the Commencement ceremony.

Students with special circumstances should contact the Office of University Events at gmuevent@gmu.edu.

Will accessible seating be available?

Yes, accessible seating will be available. Check the location of each ceremony you will be attending, then check the location information below.

Eagle Bank Arena

Graduates needing special assistance should reach out to the Accessibility Office to let them know of your accessibility needs.

Guests requiring special assistance may be seated with one companion guest in easy-access sections of EagleBank Arena. Ushers will be available in the lobby to assist those requiring handicapped and special-assistance seating. Accessible seating is near the number 4, 8, 13, and 17 portal entrances with clear views of commencement proceedings. 

Center for the Arts

Ushers will be available in the lobby to assist those requiring handicapped and special-assistance seating. Please reach out to the Accessibility Office to let them know of you and your guests' accessibility needs.

Van Metre Hall - Mason Square

Please reach out to the Accessibility Office to let them know of you and your guests' accessibility needs.

What happens in the case of inclement weather?

If there is inclement weather the day of any ceremony, updates will be posted on the Graduation homepage.

Who can I call with questions about the ceremonies?

University Events: 703-993-2853 / gmuevent@gmu.edu

 


 

Tickets

Are tickets required to attend Commencement?

Yes, all guestsages 2 and older, need a ticket to attend. Graduates will not need a ticket for themselves but are required to present a Mason ID or G# to check in.

Are tickets required to attend Degree Celebrations?

Yes, all guestsages 2 and older, need a ticket to attend. Graduates will not need a ticket for themselves but are required to present a Mason ID or G# to check in.

When and where may I claim tickets for my guests?

Ticket links for each Degree Ceremony for bachelor and master graduates are available on the Degree Celebration page starting April 5.  

Advance tickets for the Commencement ceremony are no longer available. However, please note that on the morning of Commencement there are normally seats available in the arena due to no-shows. On the day of Commencement, guests without tickets should go to the EagleBank Arena box office on the west side of the concourse to request available day of tickets. There will also be overflow viewing seating available across Patriot Circle at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall.

Please note: Only Doctoral graduates will be individually recognized and cross the stage at Commencement. Master and Bachelor graduates are individually recognized and photographed on stage at their school's Degree Celebration.

 

 


 

Regalia

Where can I get my graduation regalia?

The Grad Fair is the perfect time to get all your graduation regalia and related purchases. It will be Feb. 27, 28, and 29 from 10am – 6pm in Dewberry Hall, Johnson Center on the Fairfax Campus.

If you are unable to attend the Grad Fair, regalia will be available in the University Bookstore starting March 1 or online. Please see the regalia page for more information.

Is there a deadline for regalia purchases?

Doctorals

  • Last day to order if purchasing regalia: March 10
  • Last day to order rental regalia online: March 31

Bachelors/Masters

  • Last day to order online: April 14
  • After that date, purchases available in person at the University Bookstore while supplies last.

Faculty

  • Last day to order regalia:  March 31

How much does regalia cost?

Regalia cost depends on your degree.

  • Bachelor's degree regalia (cap, gown, and tassel): $83.98;
  • Master's degree regalia (cap, gown, tassel, and hood): $136.98 
  • Doctoral regalia (for purchase): $973
  • Doctoral regalia (rental): $178.98

If you are unable to purchase regalia on your own, please reach out to the Gowns for Grads Program as soon as possible.

When and where do I return rented Doctoral regalia?

Doctoral rental regalia should be returned to the University Bookstore no later than May 13.

 


 

Parking

Where can I park for the ceremonies?

Parking for graduation ceremonies on the Fairfax campus will be available in Lots K, L and parts of A, plus Mason Pond Parking Deck for ceremonies in the Center for the Arts, Concert Hall. Accessible parking will be available in Lot A of EagleBank Arena and on Mason Pond Drive. 

For ceremonies on the Mason Square campus, parking will be available in the Van Metre Garage, directly underneath Van Metre Hall. Accessible parking will be provided in the Van Metre Garage.

 


 

Commencement Information

Will there be overflow seating?

Yes. Overflow seating will be available in the Center for the Arts with a live stream of the ceremony.

When should my guests and I arrive for Commencement?

Doctoral Candidates

Doctoral candidates should arrive between 8:15 - 8:30 am.  Detailed instructions will be emailed to each candidate.

All Other Graduates

All other graduates should arrive one hour prior to Commencement; please meet in Lot A, near the loading dock. 

Guests

Doors will open for guests one hour prior to the start of the ceremony. Tickets are required, but seating is general admission. 

How long is Commencement?

Typically the ceremony lasts about two hours.

 


 

Degree Celebration Information

When should I arrive for my Degree Celebration?

Graduates should arrive no later than one hour prior to the start of the ceremony. 

Doors open for guests one hour prior to the start of the ceremony.  Tickets are required, but seating is general admission.

How long are the Degree Celebrations?

The ceremonies average around two hours in length.

Will my name be called in the ceremony?

Yes. When you arrive, you will be given a reader card. You will be asked to fill it out with your name and pronunciation notes and keep it with you. You will hand the card to the reader when you walk onto the stage.  

 


 

Bookstore

Will the bookstore be open on Commencement morning?

Yes, the bookstore will be open at 8:30 am.

Could I pick up graduation regalia from the bookstore the day of Commencement?

Technically, yes. However, the bookstore does not open until 8:30 am. Graduates need to start lining up at 9 am for the 10 am ceremony. As such, it is advised to pick up any regalia orders by the day before the ceremony.

 


 

After Graduation

When and how will I get my diploma?

Diplomas will be mailed six to eight weeks after commencement. Notify Mason if you need to update your diploma mailing address.