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Commencement (Graduation)

Yale 2020 Commencement will be May 17-18, 2020

  • There is one Yale Graduation or Commencement held in May each year for all degree recipients that academic year (December and May degrees).

  • This site will be updated during the 2019-2020 academic year with the 2020 Commencement forms and schedules.

  • In mid-May 2020, last-minute GSAS details, procession maps and seating charts for attendees will be posted here, and by May 15 will be emailed to students who completed the GSAS response form as attending.

 

GSAS 2019 Commencement - Full Schedule (brief schedule below)

Sunday, May 19, 2019

  • 10:30a.m., Graduate School Commencement Convocation, Lecture Hall, Yale University Art Gallery

    • Awarding of graduate student prizes and graduate faculty mentor prizes.

Monday, May 20, 2019

  • 12:15p.m., Graduate School Diploma Ceremony , Woolsey Hall, immediately following the University Ceremony at 10:30am (both will be livestreamed.)

GSAS Commencement Questions? Email Us

Please Click on the headings below to expand the text with information you need 

About Yale Commencement

Yale University holds one graduation or Commencement ceremony each year at the end of the spring term in May. See here for future years' dates.

  • GSAS students who receive degrees in December or May of a given academic year may attend the annual Yale and GSAS Commencement diploma ceremony in May.  See the brief GSAS schedule, and full Yale Commencement schedule online.

Prepare for GSAS Commencement

GSAS Students who are graduating should begin early to make arrangements for participation in Commencement, particularly travel arrangements for guests. Over 20,000 people attend Yale Commencement exercises each year, and last-minute reservations at hotels, restaurants and other facilities are typically unavailable.

  • Ph.D. Students must submit the dissertation by the March deadline to participate in Commencement that May.
  • The Graduate School does not permit students to walk “early” if they have not submitted their degree petitions and/or completed dissertations by the mid-March deadline for.May degrees each year.
  • Students who submit dissertations after the spring deadline are awarded degrees the following December and those graduates may participate in the following year’s Commencement exercises in May.
  • If you can not attend the ceremonies the year you received your degree, in special circumstances the Graduate School will allow you to participate in the ceremony the following year - email the GSAS Commencement team to inquire.
  • By April 15, you must complete the required Graduate School Diploma Cereomony Response Form online to tell us if you are attending Commencement in person, and if not, how you would like to receive your diploma (mail/pickup after).

Who marches at GSAS Commencement?  In general, a GSAS student receiving the Ph.D. or a terminal Masters degree (MA or MA/MAS as final degree) will march at Commencement to receive a diploma in person.

  • Most MA/MS or Mphil degrees conferred en route to the PhD usually are received via mail or pickup from the diploma office, which you select when completing the Graduate School Diploma Ceremony Response Form by APRIL 15. Students who are receiving en route degrees generally do not choose to march in the commencement processions, so they do not receive their diplomas in person at the GSAS Diploma. Please email the GSAS Commencement Team if you have questions about marching as an en route Master's degree recipient.

University Commencement Office

  • The Office of the Secretary coordinates Commencement activities at Yale and maintains a University Commencement website with information on orders for academic attire, local accommodations for family and friends, parking options, and the overall schedule of events for all Yale schools and events. Please review this information, and contact them directly if you have additional unanswered questions.

GSAS Commencement Schedule

See the complete 2019 GSAS Commencement Schedule of Events for Sunday and Monday of Commencement weekend.

Free Yale Events Smartphone App for Commencement Info and Events - starting in late April every year

  • Search for “Yale Events” in the Apple Store or Play Store - download and share with your family and guests!
  • To find Yale Graduate School (GSAS) events in the App, see Calendar of Events, then Filter by “Track”- select GSAS, then apply.

Due Date April 1 (regular), April 12 (late fee): Pre-Order Academic Attire 

April 1 at 4pm is the regular due date to pre-order academic attire (caps, gowns and hoods) online or by mail from the Yale cap and gown agency.

April 12 is the late pre-order due date (a late fee will apply)

  • The Yale cap and gown agency sells retainable gowns, caps and hoods for each degree. These affordable gowns only come in black and are not suitable for repeated use. 
  • If you miss the April pre-order deadline, last-minute late orders are available in person at the gym in May during Commencement weekend (cash only, a late fee will apply). Please see the details for the cap and gown agency online under “missed deadlines.” 

Custom Yale gowns, caps and hoods - To purchase “Yale blue” custom regalia, and velvet tams, contact Yale-licensed provider Oak Hall well in advance.

Due Date April 15 - Complete Graduate School Diploma Ceremony Response Form

All students who are receiving a degree in a given year (December or May) must complete the Graduate School’s online Graduate School Diploma Ceremony Response Form by the deadline to indicate whether they plan to attend the diploma ceremony in Woolsey Hall (or at Horchow Hall for Jackson Institute) or, if not, where they want their diploma to be sent. For those with degrees awarded in December who indicate they are NOT participating in Commencement exercises the following May, the University Diploma office will begin to mail out diplomas in the spring term.

Commencement Photos & Video LiveStream

Official Diploma Ceremony Photos

The Graduate School arranges for an outside professional photography company, Commencement Photos, Inc., to take individual photos of each GSAS student receiving the diploma on stage at Woolsey Hall. These photos are available for graduates and their families to purchase directly from the company after the event.

Family members and guests of graduates may take their own photos, so long as their activity does not interrupt or disturb the ceremony. Parents and guests are NOT allowed in the student section or in the aisles, nor on stage. Outside professional photographers and videographers are discouraged.

Video LiveStream

The past year's livestream is also displayed on the main Yale YouTube page

Commencement Invitation from Vice President G0ff-Crews

See the invitation letter from Vice-President and Secretary Goff-Crews.

Get Visa Invitation Letters for International Guests

Graduating international students whose family members require formal invitations to Commencement for the purpose of obtaining a visa should request an invitation letter using the online request form from the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS).

On-campus Housing in a Residence Hall for Commencement - apply by late April

Reservations for on-campus housing accommodations for guests of graduates will be taken through late April. The families of graduate and professional students are typically housed on Old Campus. Fees apply, but they may be more affordable than off-campus hotels.

Join the Yale Alumni Community

All degree recipients are encouraged to become involved in Yale’s active alumni community. The Yale Alumni Association(YAA) and the Graduate School Alumni Association (GSAA) sponsor many opportunities for alumni to remain connected to the University through learning and service, including a career network, alumni groups throughout the world, special events, and occasions to volunteer and provide leadership. The Yale Alumni website details a full range of alumni programs and resources you can use.

  • Magazine - All GSAS alumni are eligible for a free lifetime subscription to the Yale Alumni Magazine.
  • Yale Email - For those receiving a final Yale degree, your Yale email is extended to June 1 of the year following your graduation in May. Contact ITS user accounts for information as needed.
  • Update your contact info - To receive News and other alumni communications from YAA and the Graduate School, please update your contact information using the online alumni directory or by email.
  • Yale Alumni Association (YAA) offers you a number of Online Alumni Services, from an Online Directory and the Yale Career Network to a lifetime aya.yale.edu email forwarding address.
    • YaleMail - aya.Yale.edu email address: Yale has partnered with Google to offer a free, Yale-branded email service - now referred to as YaleMail - as part of Google Apps for Education.  Your @aya.yale.edu forwarding account will be moved to YaleMail to offer you improved email features.  Learn more from these FAQs.
    • Don't have an @aya email account and want to request one? Log into your profile in the Online Alumni Directory, scroll down and click the YaleMail tab, select edit to the right, and follow the instructions. Your Google activation will be sent to the email address you provided.

Yale Services After You Graduate - Email, IT, Library & Yale Health Services

Once you graduate or receive your final Yale degree, you do have access to some Yale services, some for a an extended time:

  • Yale Library Privileges for graduating Graduate Students are extended for three months following graduation in May - see Library information details. Once your student library privileges expire, you may purchase Alumni library privileges for yourself and/or your spouse.
  • ITS Yale.edu email & IT Services - See Yale IT STC Page for Graduating students for all info on email, CAS Login, NetID, VPN access and other IT services. For those receiving a final Yale degree, your Yale student email address “first.last@Yale.edu”  is extended to the first week in June of the year following your graduation in May. Contact Yale ITS Help Desk for information as needed.
  • YAA YaleMail - aya.Yale.edu email address - Yale has partnered with Google to offer a free, Yale-branded alumni email service - now referred to as YaleMail - as part of Google Apps for Education.  Your @aya.yale.edu forwarding account will be moved to YaleMail to offer you improved email features.  Learn more from these FAQs section.
    • Don't have an @aya email account and want to request one? Log into your profile in the Online Alumni Directory, scroll down and click the YaleMail tab, select edit to the right, and follow the instructions. Your Google activation will be sent to the email address you provided.
  • Yale Health - According to the Yale Health Student Handbook, coverage for graduating students who are enrolled in Yale Health at the time of University Commencement in May will continue until July 31. Students completing degrees or leaving the University at times other than University Commencement should contact Member Services (203-432-0246) or by email to determine coverage end dates.

Still  have GSAS Commencement Questions? - Email Us!