Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Commencement held?
Commencement is held on Georgetown University's Main Campus, at 37th & O Streets, NW, Washington, DC.
How does Georgetown Law Commencement Work?
We have two ceremonies for Law Center Commencement.
First, there is a Main Ceremony on Healy Lawn. After the graduates, faculty, and University President process, university leaders address the graduating class, we confer honorary degrees, and our Honorary Degree Speaker presents his or her Commencement Address. The Main Ceremony typically lasts about one hour.
Immediately following the Main Ceremony, there are nine smaller ceremonies (seven J.D. sections and two LL.M./S.J.D. groups). These smaller ceremonies are a chance for graduates to be individually recognized and for the group to hear from its elected student speaker.
The two ceremonies are followed by receptions for J.D. and LL.M./S.J.D. students. Please consult the schedule of events for further information and locations.
Do guests need tickets?
Tickets are not required for either ceremony. However, in the case of inclement weather, the main ceremony will be held in the McDonough Arena. Due to the limited space indoors, each graduate will only be permitted to have two guests seated inside the arena. Additional guests will be able to view the main ceremony at a number of different sites around main campus. Tickets are not required for the smaller ceremonies that follow the main ceremony, even in inclement weather. Seating is limited and first come first serve.
What is the limit of guests a graduate can invite to attend the Commencement Ceremony?
There is no limit on the 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, especially in inclement weather (see above). Seating is limited and is first come, first serve. In addition, most seats are in direct sunlight. If you believe a guest would have trouble sitting outside for a period of time, or would have difficulty navigating an uneven outdoor area, we recommend having that guest watch the main ceremony in an indoor location and move directly to the smaller ceremony.
Is there parking available at Main Campus?
Parking is very limited on the main campus and we urge you to consider taking a taxi from your hotel to campus. Drop-offs at 35th & N, O or P Streets, NW or Reservoir Road & 38th Streets, NW will avoid unnecessary congestion. Please leave ample time for travel to and from the commencement ceremony.
Limited parking 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.
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). To rent your regalia:
- Go to Jostens.com
- Select Georgetown University Law School as your school
- Next Select Cap and Gown Rentals
- Select Student JD and LLM Regalia (includes SJD students)
- Then Select Doctorate Tam, Gown, Tassel, and Hood ($99.00) *Note that picture is not what you will receive in the mail. The Georgetown Gown is purple and blue, not black as pictured.
- Next select customize to enter your height and tam size.
- Proceed to checkout
Graduates can return their regalia two ways: (1) Following the receptions they can return their regalia at two designated spots: the University Bookstore located in the Leavey Student Center and the Southwest Garage parking entrance; and (2) Mail it back using the return shipping envelope and label provided by Jostens in the regalia package.
What is appropriate guest 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.
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 Special Events at (202) 662-9505 or the Office of Disability Services at (202) 662-4042 as soon as possible to discuss accommodations for themselves or their guests.
What if I am not planning on participating in the Commencement exercises?
First, complete the 2018 Commencement Participation Form. We will send out information about receiving your diploma this spring.
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.
Graduate's Program (JD or LLM)
Graduate's Guest's Name(s)
Country the guest is traveling from
The guest's relation to Graduate
Where do I locate Lost & Found
Any lost items will be returned to the Law Center Campus and be stored with the Office of Public Safety, (202) 662-9325.