Graduate Students: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I wear my regalia?

Be sure to try on your regalia before the procession and Commencement to make sure you have received the correct items and they fit correctly.

Doctoral students: Please carry the doctoral hood over your left arm; you will be hooded at the ceremony. The tassel for the tam goes on the left.

Master’s students: Please wear your hood to the ceremony. The tassel for the cap goes on the left.

What color will my master’s hood be?
Trim colors are per the American Council on Education’s code for academic regalia.

AM: White
MAT: Light Blue
MFA: Brown
MPA: Peacock
MPP: Peacock
MPH: Salmon
ScM: Bright Gold
SCMIME: Orange
Executive Master Cybersecurity: Bright Gold
Executive Master Healthcare Leadership: Salmon
Executive Master Business Administration: Tan
Executive Master Science and Technology: Orange

What regalia should I wear and how can I order it?

You should only wear the regalia appropriate to the degree you are receiving at Commencement, even if you have another advanced degree. You can order your academic regalia online at the Brown Bookstore beginning February 5.

Where should my family sit?

Master’s students: The ceremony is at Pembroke Field, with seating for family and friends.
Doctoral students: The ceremony is on Simmons Quad, with seating for family and friends.
For additional information and tips, please visit our For Family & Friends page.

How does the procession work?

We ask all students commencing to report to Waterman Street for 9 a.m. Check-in with the Graduate School representative for your degree and alphabetical section (look for the appropriate sign). The procession will begin around 9:45 a.m. The procession is led by the chief marshal, who is a member of the 50th Reunion class, followed by the color guard and alumni aides and marshals from various reunion classes. The faculty, graduate students, medical students, undergraduate students, present and emeriti members of the Brown Corporation, invited guests, and the presidential party round out the procession.

Separate lines of doctoral and master's degree recipients will process. After processing through the Van Wickle gates, participants will be directed to the separate ceremony venues.

How long is the ceremony, what does it consist of?

Ceremonies last about 80 minutes and include a student address, awards presentation and conferring of degrees.

Where can I find food and water before or after the procession and ceremony?

Several “grab and go” food locations will be open on campus over the weekend that are near Simmons Quad. There will also be food trucks stationed near Pembroke Field. You are encouraged to bring your own snacks and a reusable water bottle, which you can refill. In an effort to reduce Brown’s social and environmental footprint, plastic water bottles will not be available during the Commencement ceremony. There will be several water stations available on campus to fill reusable bottles. Restrooms can be found throughout campus, including right on both Simmons Quad and Pembroke Field.

What other events occur over Commencement weekend?

There are a many events on campus throughout Commencement weekend, including Campus Dance on Friday evening and forums throughout the day on Saturday.

Where can I park? Where can my parents park?

In addition to the streets around the Brown campus, you and your visitors may park in any of the University lots anytime beginning at 5 pm on Friday through the weekend. The Power Street lot (both lower and upper levels) at the corner of Power and Thayer streets is the largest lot on campus. The top level is entered on Power Street and the bottom level is entered on the corner of Williams and Brook streets.

The Wheeler School parking lot (located at 216 Hope Street) will also be available on Sunday from 7 am to 4 pm.

Please note, due to very high traffic volume and street closures, parking is challenging during Commencement weekend and we ask that you plan accordingly when arriving for events and activities.

Please remember to lock your car, whether it is on the street or in a lot. Do observe city parking laws; any cars parked in a temporary emergency no parking tow zone, in marked handicapped spaces without a placard, in violation of a fire hydrant, blocking driveways, or obstructing Brown Police or Providence Police sawhorses will be ticketed or towed at owner’s expense. There is no parking on any Providence city street from 2 a.m. - 5 a.m.

For information about requesting a drop off pass, please visit our  Guests with Special Needs page.

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