Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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. Regalia online orders may be made at Oak Hall (not available until February 12, 2020) All orders for regalia MUST be placed by March 4, 2020 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). Regalia will still be sold at the Bookstore through graduation day, but Barnes & Noble cannot guarantee sizes past March 4, 2020.

What is Grad Fair?  What if I miss it? 

Grad Fair is an event at which you can order regalia (cap and gown), class rings, announcements and diploma frames among other items. Grad Fair 2020 is on February 12, 2020. Students who plan to march should go to the Bookstore as soon as possible to order regalia. Regalia orders must be placed by March 4 to ensure size availability and delivery. After March 7, customization and specific sizes may not be available. The second fair will be held on Wednesday, April 15 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and will revolve around rental regalia pickup.

How much does regalia cost to purchase?      

Bachelor degree-level regalia costs $67.98.  Master degree-level regalia is available for $116.. PhD regalia price is pending. For all other regalia needs please see the full price chart for details.

How do I order graduation announcements?

Jostens suggests that announcements be ordered at least 6 weeks in advance of graduation date. This covers a 2-3 week creation time for the order, and a suggested 3 week window of delivery to family and friends.

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?

Formal portraits will not be offered for 2020.

How do you place an ad in the Emory Wheel Graduation Magazine?

Family members and friends are invited to highlight a graduating senior's accomplishments in the Graduation Magazine. See their website for details and pricing. 

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 have a list of area vendors who provide this service.

When and where do I line-up on Commencement morning?

Students should be at line-up locations no later than 7:30 a.m. These locations are designated by the school from which you are graduating.  A map indicating these locations will be posted on the Student Instructions page. Entrances on the Quadrangle open for guest seating at 6:45 a.m. We recommend that guests plan arrival to campus accordingly considering distance from campus, traffic and parking.

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 (8:30 until 10:00 a.m.). 

Where is my school 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 for the status of Commencement activities scheduled for Monday.   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 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 2020?

The 175th Commencement Exercises will be held on Monday, May 11, 2020.  

When is Commencement in 2021 and 2022?

Commencement 2021 is on Monday, May 10 and in 2022 it is on Monday, May 9. These dates are subject to change.

Will there be a live Webcast of the Commencement Ceremony?

Yes!  The webcast can be viewed at our webcasts page. 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 2020 Class Day Speaker?

The Class Day speaker will be announced in the spring.

Who is the 2020 Commencement speaker?

The keynote speaker for the Quadrangle ceremony will be announced in the spring.

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 details regarding parking decks and lots and for recommendations based on which events you plan to attend.

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 retail area.

Can I get to campus using public transportation?

Absolutely! Visit the 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.

Is there First Aid available during 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 a 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, any 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 a police officer for directions to White Hall, Room 200, on the west corner of the Quadrangle for assistance finding family members

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.

View on-campus dining information

Where do I learn about the Alumni Association events?

You can view full details at the Alumni Association's Emory Commencement Weekend events page including the Corpus Cordis Aureum (50+ year Emory alumni).