Frequently Asked Questions

Requirements for Graduation

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Do I need to fill out a degree application in order to graduate?
Yes.  Contact the Registrar’s Office or your School Coordinator for applicable forms and due dates. 

What do I need to do in order for my name to appear in the Commencement program?  
If you have ever placed a F.E.R.P.A. (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) privacy hold on your records, the hold must be removed in order for your name to be listed in the program. Contact the Registrar’s Office for more information.


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How can I purchase my regalia (cap and gown)?
Barnes & Noble @ Emory is the University’s sole vendor for official Emory regalia.  Visit the Bookstore (2nd Floor) to order regalia.  All orders for regalia MUST be placed by March 31 to ensure that your regalia arrives in time for Commencement.  Make sure you know the correct discipline when you place your order (discipline determines hood color).

What is Grad Fair?  What if I miss it? 
Grad Fair is a two-day event at which you can order regalia (cap and gown), class rings, announcements and diploma frames among other items.  Grad Fair is being held February 25th and 26th from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the bookstore. Regalia orders must be placed by March 31 to ensure size availability and delivery. After March 31, customization and specific sizes may not be available.

How much does regalia cost to purchase?      
In 2015, Bachelor degree-level regalia costs $67.98.  Master degree-level regalia is available for $107.98. PhD regalia is $157.  For all other regalia needs please see the full price chart for details.

How do I order graduation announcements?
The official Emory Commencement announcement is available only from Jostens through the Emory Bookstore. Students or parents can order personalized Commencement announcements printed with the student's name, school, degree, and academic major and embossed with the University seal through February 27, 2014.  After that time, non-customized announcements are available.


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Are there professional photographers at the school diploma ceremonies?

All school diploma ceremonies utilize contract photographers who will provide proofs (hard copy or digital) for purchase of each student receiving her or his diploma. Contact your school for more information.

Do you offer formal Commencement portraits?

Yes. Commencement portrait sessions will take place at the Barnes & Noble at Emory Bookstore (Second Floor) on Sunday, May 11 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., and on Monday, May 12 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.


Ceremony Details & Instructions

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What is Baccalaureate?
Emory's Baccalaureate is an inter-religious service with prayers and readings from various religious traditions and a time for reflection. Baccalaureate is for all students receiving bachelor's degrees (BA, BS, BSN, BBA, and BMSc) in full regalia, and their guests. 

When and where do we line-up for Baccalaureate Service?
8:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 10, dressed in cap and gown, on the south side of the Quadrangle near the Emory Administration Building. In the event of heavy rain, report with cap and gown directly to the Fellowhsip Hall of the Church School Building behind Glenn Auditorium to line up.

When and where do I line-up on Commencement morning?
No later than 7:15 a.m. at locations designated by the school from which you are graduating.  A map indicating these locations will be posted on the Student Instructions page.  We recommend that students and family members plan to arrive on campus no later than 6:30 a.m. so that the degree candidates can be at their line-up location no later than 7:15 a.m. This allows for time to walk from the parking decks and locate the assembly area. Family members and friends who wish to have the best view of Commencement should arrive even earlier as the seats nearest to the graduates fill early. 

Seat reservation policy: In order to be fair to all guests, guest seats may not be reserved in advance of Commencement morning.  On Commencement morning, a guest can hold two seats on either side of them (essentially those seats that you can touch while seated in the middle seat) for the rest of their party.  The seat holder must remain in place while holding seats. Signs, ribbons, rope, etc. cannot be used to hold seats.

Is there rehearsal for Commencement? 

How long is the Quadrangle ceremony?
Approximately one and a half hours (8:00 until 9:30 a.m.).

Is the Quadrangle ceremony required?
Yes. Degrees are conferred only at the Quadrangle ceremony. 

Where is my school diploma ceremony/reception held?
See the full Commencement schedule for school-specific events.

What do we do if it is raining on Commencement morning? 
Check the University’s website, or call the inclement weather hotline - 404-727-1234 - after 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 10 for the status of Commencement activities scheduled for Monday, May 11.   There are three options:  the regular schedule, the heavy-rain schedule, or the severe-weather schedule depending on conditions and forecast.  Both the heavy-rain and severe-weather plans involve significant timing and venue changes.  Family members should not schedule return travel plans until early evening on Commencement day in case the severe-weather plan is activated. Details about the 2015 Inclement Weather Plans can be found here.

Do my family/friends need tickets to attend commencement?
Under the regular schedule, tickets are not required for the central ceremony or for any of the diploma ceremonies with the exception of the School of Medicine and the Academic Health Programs.  

Where can I get a copy of Emory’s printed commencement program?
Copies of the printed Commencement program are available to family and friends at each of the entrances to the Quadrangle.  Graduate copies are placed on the seats of each of the candidates for degrees.  An electronic PDF version of the program will be available for download at this website after Commencement Day.

When is Oxford College’s commencement ceremony? 
The Oxford College Commencement is on Saturday, May 9 in Oxford, Georgia.  There is a separate website for Oxford Commencement details. 

When is Commencement in 2015?
The 170th Commencement Exercises are held on Monday, May 11, 2015.  The Baccalaureate Ceremony is held on Sunday, May 10, 2015.

When is Commencement in 2016? 2017?
2016 Commencement is currently scheduled for Monday, May 9. In 2017 it is on Monday, May 8.  These dates are subject to change.

Will there be a live Webcast of the Commencement Ceremony?
Yes!  The webcast can be viewed at Soon after, the live event video will be available for archival viewing.

Are previous ceremonies available for viewing?
Yes!  You can view archived Commencement ceremonies from 1998 to the most recent events.

Who is the 2015 Class Day Speaker?
The Class Day speaker is designer and social activist Kenneth Cole 76C Read more

Who is the 2015 Commencement speaker?
The keynote speaker for the Quadrangle all-schools ceremony is author and human rights advocate Sir Salman Rushdie. Details here.

Disability Services

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Is there reserved seating for wheelchair riders or guests with mobility concerns?
Yes, detailed information is available through the Planning Your Visit section.

Is there any service for the hearing impaired?  
Yes, there will be two large screens on the Quadrangle with live-captioning for the central ceremony and the Emory College of Arts & Sciences diploma ceremony.   We recommend that guests concerned about volume level select a seat close to one of the easily identifiable speaker towers around the perimeter of the Quadrangle.

Can I drop off a guest with mobility concerns near the ceremony site and then park my vehicle?
Yes, a passenger drop-off area is located on Dowman Drive near the Administration Building, closest to the accessible seating area of the Quadrangle.

Does Emory University provide wheelchairs to rent or borrow on the morning of Commencement?
No, but we do provide a list of area vendors who provide this service. 

Parking, Transportation, and Maps

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Where do I park on Commencement morning?
Parking on campus for Commencement events is free in designated Emory parking decks only.  See the Planning Your Visit section for deck details and recommendations.

Is there shuttle transportation on campus?  
Yes, Emory operates the “Cliff” shuttle system, free and open to all guests and visitors to the Emory campus.  All shuttle buses are accessible to guests with mobility concerns.  See the Planning Your Visit section for more details and a Commencement-specific shuttle route map when available.

Are there areas of campus where parking is prohibited?
Do not park in any “No Parking,”  “24-Hour Reserved,” “Carpool,” or “Service Vehicle Only” spaces on campus.  Parking on the residential streets surrounding campus, or in parking lots at Emory Village or any area retail or commercial lots is also prohibited and may result in towing or booting. Please be advised, booting/towing is strictly enforced in the Emory Village area.

Can I get to campus using public transportation?
Absolutely!   Visit this Parking and Transportation Office website for helpful information regarding public transportation options. 

Where can I get a map of the Emory campus or Commencement-specific maps?
The general campus map can be found here.  A Commencement-specific map will be posted on the Planning Your Visit page once available.

Visitor Information

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Is there a listing of area hotels and restaurants?
We are pleased to provide listings of area hotels and restaurants.  Listing does not imply Emory University endorsement or guarantee. On-campus dining information can be found here.

Lost & Found, Lost Guests, and Medical Assistance

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Is there First Aid available during Baccalaureate and Commencement? 
Yes, medical personnel are on-site and ready to assist guests in need.  Please see any Emory volunteer (look for the Emory-branded straw hats) or police officer for assistance.

Where is lost & found?
On Commencement day, lost and found is located in White Hall, Room 200, on the west corner of the Quadrangle. By mid-afternoon, remaining unclaimed items are turned over to the Emory Police department.

What do I do if someone in my party becomes separated from our group?  
Find any Emory volunteer (look for the Emory-branded straw hats), or police officer for directions to White Hall, Room 200, on the west corner of the Quadrangle for assistance finding family members.

Other Events

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What is the President's Open House?
The open house is a chance for President and Mrs. Wagner to greet graduates and their families and open Lullwater House for tours.  Trained docents guide you through the house and gardens (weather permitting). You must either walk or ride the shuttle buses to this event.

Where do I learn about the Alumni Association events?
Full details about the Alumni Association's "Emory Commencement Weekend" events including the Torch and Trumpet Soiree, and the Corpus Cordis Aureum (50+ year Emory alumni) can be found here.

How do I order tickets for the Commencement Brunch?
Click here for detailed Commencement Brunch information and ticket sales including on-site purchasing information and menu.  All guests, including students, must have tickets.