Yale University Ceremony
All University Degrees are formally conferred during the Commencement ceremony on Old Campus. During the ceremony, the dean of Yale College and deans of the Graduate and professional schools formally present their approved candidates to the president. The president, in turn, confers the degrees and admits new graduates to each degree’s “rights and responsibilities.” Student marshals from each residential college and school accept symbolic diplomas from the president on behalf of their colleagues. The ceremony lasts approximately 1 hour 15 minutes. No tickets are required for the Commencement ceremony.
Access to Old Campus will be through Phelps, Chapel East, Dwight Hall, Lanman (handicapped accessible), and Cheney Ives Gates. Miller Gate and High Street Gate will be open to processing graduate and professional students only. (View a map of gates accessible to the public here.)
Please note: Guests are strongly encouraged to avoid bringing bags to all major ceremonies. All bags are subject to search at all events. A luggage check will be set up in Phelps Gate for guests entering Old Campus who are traveling and must have their luggage with them at Class Day or Commencement due to swift arrivals or departures directly prior to or following the ceremonies.
- Timeline of Events:
- 8:30 AM | Students should arrive to SOM Evans Hall: We will then process together to the ceremony.
- 9:30 AM | Processional to Cross Campus: We will walk from Evans Hall to Cross Campus for the University Ceremony. Specific processional route will be sent prior to the ceremony. Friends and family can either choose to line up along the processional route to wave and cheer on the graduates, stay at Evans Hall, or make their way to Old Campus for the ceremony.
- 10:30 AM | The ceremony will take place on Old Campus. Ceremony is open to all guests (in accordance with the visitor policy), who can proceed directly to Old Campus to find open seating.
- 11:30 AM | Recessional back to Evans Hall: Graduates should make their way back to Evans Hall on their own to attend the SOM Ceremony. Once arrived, graduates should line up at their assigned location. Please be sure to arrive back immediately so that we can begin on time.
- Lanyards will be required for each graduating student. These lanyards must be worn for both ceremonies. The lanyard will provide you with your seat information, order of names called on stage, and to help with photos taken by our professional photographers.
- Lanyards will be made available for pickup on May 18th from 12pm-1pm in the Student Commons and before the Graduate Reception, on May 19th at the Commencement Rehearsal and on May 23 at the Solutions Table when you arrive to partake in Commencement.
- Do not switch your lanyard with anyone else.
- EMBA Students: Lanyards will be available the morning of Commencement, 8:00am – 8:45am in the Beinecke Terrace, along with regalia pick-up.
- There is no limit or tickets required for families, guests, and partners to attend the SOM graduation ceremony.
- Guests will need to register for SOM events where registration is required.
- The current visitor policy states that all guests and graduates must be fully vaccinated and boosted if they are eligible, and be able to provide proof of their vaccination status upon arrival, if asked.
- Invited guests who are not yet eligible for the vaccine or the booster, such as children under 5 years old, will be able to attend the University and SOM Commencement ceremonies.
- Graduates can request visa letters for guests traveling internationally, if needed, here.
Health & Safety Measures
- [NEW 5.3.22]: Unvaccinated guests can now attend the SOM and University Commencement Ceremonies with conditions. The University has posted the following update: “Invited guests who are not vaccinated must agree to comply with the university requirements for Commencement activities from May 13 to 15 and May 20 to 23 and register to attend.” Please note that this is for Commencement activities only and are awaiting guidance if this policy will be extended to other activities during this time.
- Vaccinated Guests: All guests must be able to provide proof of their vaccination status upon arrival, if asked.
- Hand sanitizer and masks will be provided and available around the Old Campus location and at Evans Hall, especially near entrances and exits.
- Masking will be optional except in the following settings: Classrooms and other instructional spaces; campus transit vehicles; and healthcare facilities such as Yale Health & Yale Medicine.
- Masking is still required for those who have COVID-19 symptoms or test positive, are a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and/or have a university-sponsored exemption to vaccination.
- Please refer back to this section periodically, as University health and safety guidance may change.
- All students participating in both the University ceremony and the SOM ceremony must wear regalia.
- Orders: Regalia is now available for purchase through the SIS portal.
- The last day to order regalia is April 14, 2022.
- What to order: When placing your order through the portal, you should select: Master’s cap & tassel; Master’s gown; Blue Master’s hood.
- Cost: The Master’s cap, gown, hood and tassel is $59.00 +tax. The Doctoral cap gown, hood, and tassel is $68.00 +tax.
- Pickup: Regalia will be available for pickup at the Payne Whitney Gym. Click here for the list of dates and times.
- If you are unable to pick up your regalia at the times listed, you can have someone pick it up for you. The person picking it up must present their Yale ID as well as a signed note from you authorizing pickup for the order.
- If you have any questions regarding regalia, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- EMBA Students: regalia will be available the morning of Commencement, 8:00 – 8:45am in the Beinecke.
What to Wear and Bring
- Is there a dress code? No, but we recommend business, or business casual clothing with comfortable shoes.
- It can be mild and sunny or cold and rainy in Connecticut in May. Dress with an eye to the weather and comfort. Both the University ceremony and the SOM ceremony are held outdoors.
- Low heels or flats are appropriate for navigating the grass and mulched pathways of Old Campus. Rain gear, including water-impervious footwear, is important; and rain ponchos are preferred over umbrellas so sightlines are not blocked. Sunglasses and hats may also be useful.
- Graduates will not have anywhere to store their belongings, so we recommend packing lightly and note that anything you bring you will have to carry with you to both ceremonies.
- At the University ceremony, a symbolic diploma will be presented to the SOM student marshals. Individual diplomas will be distributed at SOM in the Beinecke Terrace directly after the SOM ceremony.
- April 11, 2022 is the last day to change your name on your diploma via the SIS portal.
- The official conferral date for your Diploma is May 23, 2022.
- Diplomas will be available for pickup after the SOM ceremony in the Beinecke Terrace.
- If the diploma is not picked up after the ceremony, you can request to have it mailed by submitting a Diploma Order Form at anytime. Click here for more information regarding diplomas.
- You can request a diploma via this link at anytime.
- The Diploma does not show the Management Science concentration. Your official transcript will, however! As soon-to-be Alumni, you can order transcripts through Parchment. More information on this process can be found in the “support” link on the Parchment site.
- Diploma Holds: If you are on a diploma hold, you will not receive a diploma at commencement and will need to submit a Diploma Order form once the hold is cleared.
- Professional photographers will be on site during both ceremonies.
- The photographers will take candid photos as well as a photo of each graduate receiving their diploma, and walking across the stage.
- Photos of graduates will be made available for purchase after the ceremony. Links to view Commencement photos will be made available here after the ceremony.
- Accessible seating at the SOM Ceremony: Assisted seating and wheelchairs are available at the SOM ceremony for those with accessibility needs. There will be a designated seating area located on the right side of the Evans Hall courtyard. There will be a ramp, but please keep in mind that seating is in a grassy area. Families with a reserved seating in this area will be seated together in the assigned chairs which will be labeled. To request assisted seating, please email email@example.com including the number of seats needed, if you will attending with a stroller, and whether anyone in the party will be in a wheelchair.
- Wheelchairs: Reserve a wheelchair from the University here.
- Access Map: Yale’s Campus Map includes information about building accessibility which can be found here.
- Accessible Parking: Accessibility drop-off locations will be accommodated in Yale Lot 51, located on Temple Street from 4:00 PM on Friday through 12:00 PM on Tuesday.
Travel & Accommodation
- It is Yale’s custom to hold the University and SOM ceremony outdoors regardless of the weather. In the event of rain, be prepared with raincoats, umbrellas, and wet-weather shoes.
- For the University Ceremony: If we anticipate a dangerous storm, you will be notified by 8:00 a.m. on the day of the event that a severe weather plan is in effect.
Lost and Found
- If you lose an item during Commencement weekend, please call the Yale Security Department at 203-785-5555. A dispatcher will assist you in finding the proper lost and found location.
- If you lose an item in Evans Hall, please head to the front security desk.
Yale SOM Ceremony
- Timeline of Events:
- 12:00 PM | Graduates return to Evans Hall and proceed to their designated lineup location. Assigned locations will be communicated to graduates as we near closer to Commencement.
- 12:30 PM | SOM Diploma Granting Ceremony Begins: The processional will be led by Dean Charles, the faculty and student marshals, followed by graduates. The ceremony generally lasts 1.5-2 hours.
- 2:30 PM | Optional Lunch Pickup: Graduates and guests will have the option to reserve a boxed, to-go lunch on CampusGroups, and will be able to pick it up at Evans Hall directly after the ceremony. To reserve a to-go lunch for you and your guests, please be sure to register here. Only those who reserve a lunch by May 6 will be eligible to receive one. Pricing: Graduates – FREE | Guests 12 and older – $15.00 | Guests 12 and under: $10.00
- 2:30 PM | Diploma Pickup: Graduates will have until 4:30pm pick up their diploma in the Beinecke Terrace after Ceremony.
- Other Important Info:
- Once you’ve found your seat, please remain seated. Staff will be onsite at the entrances and around the seating area to help you locate your seat.
- The ceremony will include Self-Graduation: Self-graduation is a Yale SOM tradition that began at the very first Commencement ceremony of the school. It is a tradition where our graduates announce the names of their classmates as they receive their diplomas. As the first graduate comes forward to receive their diploma, the next graduate will announce the graduate’s name. Each graduate will do the same and Dean Jain will announce the name of the last graduate.
- The ceremony will include a welcome from Dean Charles, speeches from our student speakers, and the official roll call of students attending in-person, where you will walk across the stage and collect your diploma cover. Please remember that you must pick up your diploma after the ceremony in Beinecke Terrace.