Commencement Weekend 2017

Commencement 2017 occurs over Memorial Day Weekend, May 26-28, 2017. Commencement Day is Sunday May 28th. A full schedule for the weekend along with detailed information for students and their guests can be found below and at the University's Commencement website.  Share your Commencement Weekend with #Brown2017.

Friday, May 26th

5:30 PM, Room 375
Faculty, staff, students, and guests are welcome to kickoff the weekend festivities with us. Please RSVP!

Saturday, May 27th

"Politics, Patients & Price: The Ongoing Saga of US Healthcare Policy" 
11:00AM-12:00 PM
85 Waterman St., the Building for Environmental Research and Teaching, room 130

The US spends more than any other country on healthcare, yet the return on this investment is not reflected in our overall population health.  Meanwhile, Congress and the White House continue to debate repealing or enhancing the Affordable Care Act.  What could revision mean for patients and the broader American public?  How might a new plan impact States?  What are the potential impacts on health practitioners, and the delivery and quality of care?  Experts from the School of Public Health and the Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership program will untangle the state of healthcare in the US.

ModeratorTerrie Fox Wetle, MS, PhD, Dean, School of Public Health
Ira B. Wilson, MD, Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice; Professor of Medicine; Chair, Department of Health Services, Policy and Practice
Peter Hollmann, MD, Academic Director of the Executive Master of Healthcare Leadership; Chief Medical Officer, University Medicine; Assistant Clinical Professor, Warren Alpert Medical School
Vincent Mor, PhD, Florence Pirce Grant University Professor; Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice
Anya Radar Wallack, PhD, Acting Secretary for the RI Executive Office of Health and Human Services

This event is sponsored by the School of Public Health and the School of Professional Studies
Complete list of Commencement Forums

Sunday, May 28th

The School of Public Health Commencement Ceremony will be held under the tent on the Ruth J. Simmons Quadrangle (Lower Green), behind Sayles Hall. The Ceremony is estimated to begin at 2:30 pm, immediately following the University Ceremony (see below). For additional details, visit Commencement 2017 and Understanding Commencement.

The key ceremonies on Sunday with times and locations: 

  • 10:15 AM Graduate School Doctoral Ceremony,  Simmons Quad

    • Doctoral students receive their diplomas at this ceremony. Graduates are also encouraged to attend the SPH Ceremony in the afternoon, where they will be recognized individually for their achievements.

  • 10:30 AM Graduate School Master's Ceremony, Pembroke Field

    • Master's students receive their diplomas at this ceremony. Graduates are also encouraged to attend the SPH Ceremony in the afternoon, where they will be recognized individually for their achievements.

  • 12:15 PM College Ceremony, Grounds of the First Baptist Church in America, Steeple and North Main Streets

    • For graduating seniors.
  • 1:00 PM University Ceremony, College Green

    • For Seniors, Graduate, and Medical School Students. Senior Orators speak, Presentation of Honorary Degrees.
  • 2:30 PM (approx) SPH Ceremony, Simmons Quad

    • Undergraduate students receive their diplomas at this Ceremony immediately following the University ceremony. 

    • Graduate students receive their diplomas at the Graduate School ceremonies in the morning but are encouraged to attend the SPH Ceremony in the afternoon, where they will be called individually and recognized by their programs/departments and the School for their achievements.

    • Family members and friends are welcome to attend.

Note that there are separate, concurrent Graduate School Doctoral and Master's Program ceremonies. Please make sure to follow all Graduate School directives regarding registering for, and participating in, the Graduate School ceremonies. 

Degree-receiving students: Please check the following pages for specific Commencement-related requirements and deadlines:


  • There will be a professional photographer present taking candids of all the graduates.


  • As you can imagine, the whole Brown campus area is packed and it's difficult to move anywhere quickly; parking is infinitely more challenging, so please plan accordingly.
  • For Parking information throughout Commencement Weekend, please visit the parking page.

Other Events & Tips

  • Commencement Guidebook App Available Now! For information at your fingertips, download the new Guidebook App for Commencement 2017. Graduating students, please encourage your guests to download the app. This tool will help staff, faculty, students, and guests navigate the campus during this busy weekend. 
  • Many of the weekend’s Commencement events — including the Baccalaureate Service on Saturday, the procession on Sunday and both the College and University ceremonies on Sunday — will be streamed live on the web via Brown's Live Webcast page.
  • Campus Dance (tickets required) is one of Brown’s best-loved traditions, the event brings more than 10,000 people to dance the night away on Friday May 26th under a sky lit with some 600 paper lanterns.
  • Waterfire Saturday May 27th, 8:10 pm, Downtown Providence - A celebrated work of public art ignites a line of bonfires atop Providence’s downtown rivers.
  • The Brown Bookstore features flowers, fresh flower leis, and balloons. Pre-order today! For additional info call 863-3168, visit, or stop by the bookstore.
  • If you plan to grab lunch between the Graduate School ceremony and the School of Public Health ceremony, time will be tight due to the number of people on campus.  We recommend something very quick on Thayer St., or a food truck within walking distance of the festivities. It will be too rushed for a sit-down lunch.  There will be a reception with food and drinks at the School of Public Health ceremony.
  • Packing water and snacks is recommended. There will be several water stations available on campus to fill reusable bottles. Restrooms can be found throughout campus, including on both Simmons Quad and Pembroke Field.
  • More answers to your FAQs here.