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Commencement (Graduation)

Yale 2019 Commencement will be May 19-20, 2019

This GSAS page and forms will be updated with 2019 Commencement information by Dec. 15, 2018.

Yale 2018 Commencement was May 20-21, 2018. 2018 schedules and forms are listed on this page.

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

  • 2018 Graduates - see Green box on this page for links to photos, videos, and programs from past year (coming in early June).

GSAS Graduate School Commencement Schedule, May 20-21, 2018  

  • Graduate School Diploma Ceremony Monday May 21 at 12:15pm, Woolsey Hall will be livestreamed.

Important Information for GSAS Degree Recipients Attending Commencement 2018

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 ceremonies in May.  See the brief GSAS schedule below, and full Yale Commencement schedule online (will be updated by mid February)
  • By April 15, you must complete the required GSAS Commencement Response Form by to tell us if you are attending Commencement in person, and if not, how you would like to receive your diploma (mail/pickup after).
    • In general, a GSAS student receiving a the Ph.D. or a terminal Masters degree (MA or MA/MAS as final degree) may march at Commencement to receive a diploma in person.
    • Most MA/MS or Mphil degrees conferred en route to the PhD are received via mail or pickup from the diploma office, which you select when completing the GSAS Commencement form. 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 GS Diploma Ceremony. Email the GS Commencement Team if you have questions about marching as an en route Master's recipient.
  • 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 schedule of events for alll Yale schools and events.

GSAS Commencement Schedule Outline

  • Free Yale Events Smartphone App for Commencement 2018 Info and Events 

    • Search for “Yale Events” in the Apple Store or Play Store - download and share with your family and guests!

    • To find GSAS Graduate School events in App, see Calendar of event, then Filter by “Track”- select GSAS, then apply

Prepare for Co​mmencement

GSAS Students who are graduating should begin early to make arrangements for 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 May degree deadline, which is in mid-March.
  • 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 GS Commencement team to inquire.

Due Date: April 1, 4pm; April 13 late order due date - Pre-Order Academic Attire

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

April 13 is the late pre-order deadline (late fee applies)

  • 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, late fee applies). 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 GSAS Response Form 

All students who are receiving a degree in a given year must complete the Graduate School’s online GS Commencement 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) and, if not, where they want their diplomas 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 afterwards, if desired.

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 each year

Graduate School Diploma Ceremony, May 22, 2017 at 12:15pm - Livestream link:     

The current 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 of the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS).


This year, Shavuot, a Jewish holiday, coincides with Commencement. The University is making special arrangements for our observant students and families. If interested in shavuot, please complete a brief survey on the Commencement website. 

On-campus Housing Accommodations - apply by April 27

Reservations for on-campus housing accommodations for guests of graduates will be taken through April 27. 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 Association of Yale Alumni (AYA) 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 (June 1, 2018 for 2016-17 grads). Contact ITS user accounts for information as needed.
  • Update your contact info - To receive News and other alumni communications from AYA and the Graduate School, please update your contact information using the online alumni directory or by email.
  • Association of Yale Alumni (AYA) offers you a number of Online Alumni Services, from an Online Directory and the Yale Career Network to a lifetime email forwarding address.
    • YaleMail - 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 forwarding account will be moved to YaleMail to offer you improved email features.  Learn more from their 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 3 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 email & IT Services - See Yale IT STC Page for Graduating students for all info on email, CAS Login, NetID, VPN access and more IT services. For those receiving a final Yale degree, your Yale student email address “”  is extended to the first week in June of the year following your graduation in May (June 4, 2019 for 2017-18 grads). Contact Yale ITS Help Desk for information as needed.
  • AYA YaleMail - 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 forwarding account will be moved to YaleMail to offer you improved email features.  Learn more from their 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!