Is there only one Commencement Ceremony?
No. There is a Main Ceremony, where we will hear our distinguished speaker, at 2pm, and Section Ceremonies that will be held in locations around the main campus at 3pm. The Section Ceremonies are where graduates receive their diplomas.
How does the Georgetown Law Commencement Ceremony Work?
In sunny weather, we hold the ceremony outside on Healy Lawn.
The Law Center's Commencement Ceremony is essentially in two parts. After the graduates process, Dean Treanor conducts the Commencement Ceremony (the "Main Ceremony"), which includes the presentation of the honorary degrees and the Commencement Address from the Honorary Degree Speaker. This first part of the ceremony typically lasts about one hour.
After this, there are nine separate "Diploma Presentation Ceremonies" for the seven J.D. sections and two for the LL.M. students; these ceremonies are where the students will actually be presented with their diplomas. The Main Ceremony begins at 2 p.m. and the Diploma Presentation Ceremonies begin around 3 p.m. The Diploma Presentation Ceremonies are followed by receptions for J.D. and LL.M. students. Please consult the schedule of events for further information and locations.
What if my guest(s) need a Letter of Invitation to support their Visa request to attend?
Before we can provide a letter of invitation for a graduating student's guest(s) you will need to submit a Letter of Invitation Request Form on OrgSync giving the following information. Letters are processed daily Monday - Friday and given to the requesting graduate within 48 hours.
- Graduates Name
- Graduates Program (JD or LLM)
- Graduates Guest's Name(s)
- Country the guest is traveling from
- The guest's relation to Graduate
When are tickets needed?
In inclement weather, tickets are required for guests to attend the main ceremony only, which in rain is held in the McDonough Arena. Guests without tickets will be able to view the main ceremony on a monitor in a tented area just outside the arena or at other indoor sites around the main campus. Tickets are not required for the diploma distribution ceremonies that follow the main ceremony, even in inclement weather. Seating is limited and first come first serve.
When are tickets NOT needed?
If it is not raining, Commencement will be held outdoors, and tickets will not be required.
What is the limit of guests a graduate can invite to attend the Commencement Ceremony
There is no limit on a number of guests a graduate can invite to attend Commencement, however, because Commencement is held at Georgetown University main campus, it is subject to some space limitations. If the weather is amenable, all events are held in the "sun sites" and guest tickets are not required. Seating is limited and is first come, first serve, and the main ceremony is in full sun for most seating.
How do I get Rain Site tickets?
Rain Site Tickets for the main ceremony will be distributed the week following Spring Break. Each graduate may claim two (2) tickets for guests for the main ceremony. Tickets must be claimed *in person in the Office of Student Life. First Round Tickets not claimed within three (3) weeks of the beginning date will be forfeited. Second round distribution will begin the day following the end of the 1st round distribution. During Round 2, graduates may claim two (2) additional rain site tickets while they last. Please note graduates do not need tickets for entrance to the main ceremony. *If you are studying abroad or have finished classes and are no longer living in the DC Metro area in the spring semester, please notify the Office of Student Life to make alternate arrangements for the retrieval of your tickets.
How do I get extra Rain Site tickets after I pick up my first 2?
A second round of distribution of Rain Site Tickets begins in early April. Individuals can then pick up 2 additional Rain Site tickets for commencement, again at no charge, while supplies last.
What do I do if I lose my Rain Site tickets?
Unfortunately, we will not be able to replace any lost or stolen tickets.
What do I do about guests without Rain Site tickets?
If it rains, guests will view the Main Ceremony on televisions in a tent outside of the McDonough Arena or in a few designated viewing locations indoors. They will be able to attend the 3pm Section Ceremony for diploma distribution without a ticket.
Is there parking available at Main Campus?
Parking is very limited on the main campus but is available without charge on Sunday in the Southwest Garage. This parking deck is approximately a 10 minute walk from the Commencement sites, under the Southwest Quad and accessible by Canal Road, NW. For more information, visit here.
Is assistance for individuals with disabilities available?
Transportation shuttles will be available to take individuals with disabilities from the parking lots to the Commencement sites. Disability accessible parking is available around campus and on a first come first serve basis. Complimentary wheelchairs will be available on site, on a first come first serve basis. A sign language interpreter will be on stage for the main ceremony. Wheelchair seating is first come first serve and one (1) additional guest can sit with the person needing accommodations. Please note the location of wheelchair seating (near the stage and the paved entrance) is in full sun. If additional services are needed, graduates can contact the Office of Student Life at 202-662-9292 or the Office of Disability Services at (202) 662-4042 as soon as possible to discuss accommodations for themselves or their guests.
Are Graduates required to wear Academic Attire? (Regalia)
Caps and gowns are not required for Commencement, but most graduates choose to wear them. The Georgetown Law Regalia will be shipped to the home address listed at time of rental. All Georgetown Law graduates wear the same regalia (cap, gown, and hood). Graduates will be required to return regalia on the main campus immediately following the Commencement receptions. More information regarding regalia rental will be sent to your Georgetown Law email account.
When do I return the Academic Attire?
Graduates are required to return their cap, gown, and hood on Commencement Sunday following the reception. There are two return locations: the University Bookstore located in the Leavey Student Center and in the Southwest Garage parking entrance. If a graduate fails to return the Regalia on the day of Commencement they can also mail it back using the return shipping envelope and label found in the same box that Jostens shipped them the Regalia in.
What is appropriate guest attire?
Most guests choose to wear dressy attire. We recommend dressing for the weather and being prepared for varying conditions (sun, wind, rain, and moving indoors for many of the diploma presentations). We also recommend bringing a rain jacket and umbrella if there is rain in the forecast and to wear shoes appropriate for traversing a grassy lawn (flat or low heeled shoes). The main campus is on a hill and there are many steep hills and stairs leading from one location to another.
Where do I locate Lost & Found
Any lost items will be collected in the Law Center Commencement Communications Office: in sun this is Healy Hall Room 113-Campus Ministry Office. In rain it is McDonough Gym, Room 101-Athletic Development Office. After 6:00 p.m. all items will return to the Law Center Campus and be stored with the Office of Public Safety, 202-662-9325.