Graduate Students

Commencement 2020
Commencement is an important event for you, your family, and the entire University community. We look forward to celebrating with you on Sunday, May 24, 2020.

Beginning in Fall of 2019, graduate students in terminal degrees are eligible to have degrees conferred, and to receive their diploma, at three different times during the academic year: October, February and May. See the Registrar’s website for full details.

There will continue to be only one Graduate School Commencement ceremony in May. October and February graduates are welcome to participate. The Graduate School will reach out in mid-February 2020 to the email address recorded on your Application to Graduate, with instructions for registering to attend and participate.

All eligible graduates should complete the following steps:

1. Fill out the Application to Graduate on self-service Banner
October deadline: September 13, 2019
February deadline: January 17
May deadline: May 1

  • The University can only graduate and generate diplomas for graduate students who complete this application.
  • The application enables you to list your name as you would like it to appear on your diploma and be listed in the Commencement program. The default formula is first name, middle name, last name.
  • Once logged into Banner, select the Student Records menu and select the Application to Graduate menu item.
  • May graduates only: Indicate whether you will participate in the May 24 Commencement Procession and the Graduate School ceremony for doctoral or master's students. The ceremonies are concurrent.

2. Complete the Award Form by May 1 
Identify awards and honors you received while a graduate student at Brown for possible inclusion in the Commencement program. Please do so regardless of whether or not you plan to participate in Commencement.

3. Doctoral candidates and master's students with thesis should read the dissertation and thesis guidelines.

Additional Steps for those Participating in Commencement Weekend
(regardless of when you have Applied to Graduate)

1. Rent or purchase academic regalia.
You must wear regalia appropriate for your degree to participate in the procession and ceremony. There are no exceptions to this rule. You can order your academic regalia online beginning February 1 at the Brown Bookstore for pick up in May. Regalia includes a gown, cap (master’s) or tam (PhD), and a hood. The Bookstore charges an additional $35 late fee for rental orders placed after April 10.

2. Pre-register with GradImages, our Commencement photographer, for the opportunity to order photos. Photo samples and ordering information will be mailed to you after the event. Search for Brown University on the Pre-Event Registration page.

3. Required Check-in at the Graduate School: Horace Mann, Room 103 at 47 George Street from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on Friday, May 22 or Saturday, May 23.

4. Plan to attend the Graduate Student Reception on Saturday, May 23.

Please email [email protected]

Certified Electronic Diplomas
Brown offers graduates the opportunity to purchase a Certified Electronic (Ce) Diploma (find out more).

Special Accommodations
Individuals with disabilities requesting accommodations during the weekend should contact the Office of University Events and Conference Services as far in advance of Commencement as possible at 401-863-3100 and complete the Handicapped Parking Pass form requesting a parking permit for persons with special accessibility needs.