Instructions for Degree Candidates (Students)

Students marching in procession

Commencement Day for 2015 is Monday, May 11. 

Updates to this website for 2015 will begin in January 2015. We recommend that you return to this site frequently for event updates as event details are subject to change.  Categories below that are marked with asterisk have been updated.

For the most accurate and timely information and instructions about Commencement activities, visit this website often.

View school sites for more details

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Looking for information about parking/shuttles, disability seating for guests, hotel information, or other guest information?  See the "Planning Your Visit" section.

Requirements for Graduation

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To be considered a prospective graduate, all requirements for graduation must be met. Students who are unsure whether they have fulfilled all requirements for graduation should contact the academic dean in their school as soon as possible.

Degree Applications

In order for a degree to be granted, degree candidates must follow appropriate procedures as stipulated by the school in which they are enrolled. Filing a degree application by the due date, during the semester in which the student anticipates graduation, is one of the requirements. Students should contact the degree coordinator in each school for information.

Registrar's Office

The Registrar's Office website contains information about filing for degrees, verifying personal information, final examination schedules, privacy rights (F.E.R.P.A.), and transcripts. Visit the site for answers to frequently asked questions.

If you have requested that information about your identity or status be suppressed (F.E.R.P.A.), you will not be listed in the Commencement program and your graduation cannot be verified. Contact the Registrar's Office to rescind your request and to allow information to be released.

Regalia (Cap and Gown)*

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Graduates in regalia

Students can purchase their custom Emory regalia from Barnes & Noble @ Emory University.  Below you will find 2015 prices for the regalia graduates will wear at Emory’s commencement ceremonies.

All regalia purchases must be made by March 31, 2015, except Doctoral Candidates who must place their order with the bookstore by March 15, 2015 (reach out to the bookstore for more information). 

Students who are off-campus during the spring semester can contact the Bookstore by phone at (404)727-2731 or email Rachel Barrueta at The best time to purchase student regalia is during Grad Fair (see below).

All Emory student regalia is custom-made and the vendor requires 6 weeks to produce the regalia.  The Bookstore does carry and continues to sell bachelors and masters regalia up until graduation, though students should not wait to purchase their attire.  Sizes will become limited and even unavailable as Commencement approaches if not ordered in time.

Honor Cords are obtained through the specific school or organization that is bestowing the honors.  Honor Cords are not available in the Bookstore.

At Emory, Bachelors wear cap, gown and tassel and Masters wear cap, gown, hood and tassel. All gowns are black except Emory’s custom PhD robes which are Emory blue and gold.  All hoods and professional or PhD robes feature the color of the discipline traditionally designated for the degree the student earned.  Students who earn dual degrees should wear the discipline color for the ceremony in which they will participate. When students purchase regalia, they should be sure of and specify exactly which degree they are earning.

Colors traditionally designated for earned degrees are:

Public Health
(dark blue)

2015 Pricing for entire outfit (Greenwear Quality*): 

* Emory is pleased to announce that bachelor and masters gowns are made from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles with a smooth finish and softer to the touch than traditional polyester. Recycling bins will be available at Commencement for those wishing to further aid in the sustainability effort.

Regalia Items Available Separately for Purchase: *

Need further information or assistance: Contact Rachel Barrueta with Barnes & Noble @ Emory University at or 404-727-2731.

Other items you may wish to purchase

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The official Emory Commencement announcement is available only from Jostens

Students or parents can order personalized Commencement announcements printed with the student's name, degree, and academic major and embossed with the University seal.  A representative for Emory personalized graduation announcements is on hand during Grad Fair (see below).  Annoucements are not available at the bookstore after Grad Fair but can be purchased on Jostens website.

Class Rings*

Students may visit the Emory Bookstore to see a display of Emory Class Rings. Rings can be ordered online at Herff Jones

Diploma Frames*

The Bookstore carries Framing Success and Church Hill diploma frames in several different styles year round.  Both frame vendors are custom sized to fit your Emory diploma.  Framing Success uses museum quality preservation mat board to protect your diploma from damaging pollutants and harmful contaminants.  Framing Success also uses eco-friendly, certified wood from well-managed forests.

Grad Fair*

Grad Fair is being held on February 25th and 26th from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. in the bookstore (with a snow-day makeup on March 4). During Grad Fair students are able to purchase their regalia and diploma frames. Representatives are on-hand to assist with ordering class rings and custom graduation announcements as well. Students may still purchase regalia at the Bookstore up until Commencement, but after March 31 regalia availability can be limited and the Bookstore cannot guarantee delivery in time for the ceremony.  


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

Ceremony Instructions

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Baccalaureate Service

Baccalaureate Service*

Sunday, May 10, 2015
9:00 am (student line up at 8:30)

The Baccalaureate tradition is an integral part of commencement exercises, marking the end of the student's undergraduate years just as opening Convocation marked the beginning. Emory's Baccalaureate (see Event Schedule) 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) and their guests.

Graduates, in caps and gowns, assemble on the south side of the Quadrangle near the Administration Building at 8:30 am.  Marshals direct the formation and a bagpiper leads the procession. In case of rain, graduates go directly to Fellowship Hall of the Church School Building, behind Glenn Auditorium. The service lasts no more than one hour.

Main ceremony

Commencement Ceremony*

Monday, May 11, 2015
8:00 am (student line up no later than 7:15)

Attendance at the commencement ceremony on the Quadrangle is required
unless your academic dean has sent special permission to the registrar in advance for your diploma to be awarded in absentia. In this case, the diploma will be mailed later to the address furnished by you to your dean.

There is no rehearsal for the commencement ceremony on the Quadrangle.

Graduates assemble in cap and gown no later than 7:15 am, Monday, May 11, at locations designated by each school.  Return to this website in late April (or subscribe to our Twitter alerts for advance notice) for a map of line-up locations. Graduates should be prompt in order to give the marshals time to arrange the lines accordingly. The procession begins at 8:00 a.m. sharp. The Quadrangle ceremony lasts approximately one hour and thirty minutes.

Diploma ceremony

Diploma Ceremonies

Diploma ceremonies are held following the University ceremony. Marshals of the various schools direct the exit of their graduates from the Quadrangle to the places indicated on the Event Schedule.

Logistics Overview

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Inclement Weather

See the Inclement Weather Schedule for important information about the two possible alternate schedules in the event of heavy rain or more severe weather. 

Tickets to Commencement Ceremonies

Tickets are not required for admission to the Commencement Ceremony on the Quadrangle or the diploma ceremonies under regular weather conditions (which includes light rain) with the exception of the School of Medicine and Academic Health programs. Some school diploma ceremonies may require and may limit tickets in the event of inclement weather. Those schools distribute rain tickets to their students accordingly.

Graduates and Guests with Disabilities

The Commencement experience involves events both inside and outside, on grass and pavement, in temporary/permanent event venues across campus. Emory is committed to removing barriers, whenever possible, so that all graduates and guests can enjoy the Commencement exercises.

The 2014 Disability Access and Seating Service Request Form is now open (click here for details and link).  If you have people in your party who are unable to walk long distances, who use wheelchairs, or who have other special needs, you may complete the Special Needs Request form. This form must be completed by May 5.  See the Planning your Visit section for more details. Please inform your guests that the campus terrain may challenge those with mobility concerns.

We work with the Office of Disability Services to identify students who need assistance at Commencement. Even if you are registered with their office, we ask you to fill out the form yourself so that we can ensure that proper arrangements are made.

Local vendors for wheelchair rentals are listed on this site. Emory does not provide wheelchairs.

Parking & Shuttles Overview

Free parking is available on Commencement day in parking decks around campus.  Students and guests are encouraged to arrive early. 

All visitors are encouraged to use the Cliff shuttle service on campus Commencement morning. Shuttles serve all parking decks except the Fishburne Deck and serve all on-campus events. All shuttle vehicles are equipped for easy accessibility and for transporting guests using wheelchairs.  A special Commencement-Day shuttle map will be posted on this website as Commencement nears.

Walking to Commencement sites on Emory's campus may require walking up and down hill or walking for some distance. Guests should consider their needs when planning whether or not to attend and when planning transportation.

More specific information about these topics is available in the Planning your Visit section.

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