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GSAS Commencement Schedule

In May of every year, Yale celebrates graduation at festive Commencement ceremonies. All Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) M.A., M.S., M.Phil., and Ph.D. recipients are awarded their diplomas at that time. 

Commencement activities span two days.

  • Sunday: GSAS Convocation (and Yale College Class Day) 
  • Monday: University Commencement, followed by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Diploma Ceremony

The Yale Commencement website is full of information for you and your guests, including where to stay, eat, park, and more. Hotels and other accommodations sell out quickly, often years in advance, so be sure to make arrangements early.

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Commencement Schedule


10:30 a.m.

Graduate School Convocation
Lecture Hall, Yale University Art Gallery (enter at ramp at 201 York Street, across from Loria Center)
This event recognizes student prize-winners and outstanding faculty mentors. The Graduate School dean and faculty prize winners give remarks. All prize winners and their guests are encouraged to attend, but seating is limited. Tickets are not necessary and academic regalia is not worn. 

2:00 p.m.

Yale College Class Day
Old Campus, 344 College St., New Haven, CT
Class Day, is a Yale College (undergraduate) event, but the wider Yale community is invited to join. The ceremony includes the awarding of academic, athletic, and other prizes, and an address by a notable speaker. A colorful, informal event, Class Day lasts approximately two hours and takes place outdoors, rain or shine. A list of previous Class Day speakers can be found here. You are welcome to attend the speech and then leave if you do not wish to stay for the awarding of Yale College prizes afterwards. No tickets are necessary, and there is ample seating on Old Campus. 


8:45 a.m.

Graduates & Faculty Assemble for Procession
McDougal Center Courtyard (behind 135 Prospect Street, enter off Hillhouse Avenue)

Graduating students and faculty wear academic attire (cap, hood, and gown; rented or purchased) and assemble at the McDougal Center to process together to Old Campus. Guests go directly to Old Campus to find seating, as seats fill quickly. Old Campus opens at 8:00 a.m. for guests.  

9:15 a.m.

Graduates Process to Cross Campus
The Dean of the Graduate School leads the procession of faculty and students to Cross Campus, starting at about 9:15. Guests should be seated on Old Campus by this time. 

9:45 a.m.

Cross Campus Assembly
Graduating students assemble according to the degree they are receiving, and prepare to process to Old Campus.

10:30 a.m.

University Commencement
Old Campus, 344 College St., New Haven, CT

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 present their approved candidates to the University President. The President, in turn, confers the degrees and admits new graduates to their degrees' “rights and responsibilities.” The ceremony lasts approximately one hour and 15 minutes. No tickets are required. Graduating students sit with their school. Guests sit separately. Note that bags larger than 12” x 12” are not allowed, and all bags will be inspected at the entrance to Old Campus. Read more about University Commencement.

12:15 p.m. (approximately)

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Diploma Ceremony
Woolsey Hall, 500 College St., New Haven, CT

Immediately following University Commencement ceremony, Ph.D., M.Phil. and M.A./M.S. diplomas are awarded by the Graduate School Dean and faculty representatives from each department or degree program.* For safety reasons, children and other guests are not allowed on stage at any time during the event. No tickets are required, but all graduating students must submit the Diploma Ceremony Response form by the deadline. 

The Graduate School Diploma Ceremony is followed by a reception for graduates and their guests in the McDougal Center Courtyard. (Enter from Hillhouse Avenue near Sachem Street or Watson Center, 60 Sachem Street).

*Students receiving master's degrees from the M.A./M.A.S. programs of the Jackson Institute attend a separate diploma ceremony at Horchow Hall, 55 Hillhouse Avenue.