Guide to Graduation

Commencement 2019
Commencement 2019

Fall 2019 University Ceremony

Friday, December 20
University Commencement Ceremony: 10:30 a.m. Doors open at 9 a.m.
Graduate School Commencement Ceremony: 2:30 p.m. Doors open at 1 p.m.

Undergraduate degrees are awarded at the University Ceremony. No college or department ceremonies are held in the fall.

Spring 2020 Commencement

  • Thursday, May 14, 2020: Graduate School Commencement Ceremony, Cassell Coliseum, 2:30 p.m.
  • Friday, May 15, 2020: University Commencement Ceremony, Lane Stadium, 8:30 a.m.
  • Sunday, May 17, 2020: Graduate School Ceremony (Greater Washington, D.C., metro area), Center for the Arts, George Mason University, 1 p.m.

Pamplin Ceremony

Friday, May 15, 3:30 p.m., Cassell Coliseum.

  • Degree candidates should arrive on floor of Cassell through the Merryman Center entrance (not Washington Street) no later than 2:45 p.m. to be seated in proper order with the primary major department.
  • Guests may enter after 2:30 p.m. through the Washington Street entrance or the parking lot doors.
  • There is no limit to the number of guests students may bring to the ceremony. Tickets are not required.
  • Reminder: Cassell is NOT air conditioned.

Rules and Information for the Pamplin Ceremony

  • Attire - Academic robes over street clothes with professional, comfortable shoes. Very high heels have caused problems on carpet and steps. Caps and gowns may be purchased at the university bookstore.
  • Pronunciation - If your name is difficult to pronounce, please provide a phonetic spelling to your department’s administrative staff.
  • Honors Sash - Students graduating with distinction (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, cum laude) may purchase a white honors sash at the Bookstore.
  • Double Majors/Dual Degrees – All degree candidates, including double major and dual degree students, will sit with their primary major on record and will cross the stage only once.
  • No Rehearsal – There is no rehearsal for the university or Pamplin ceremonies. Simply show up on time and follow directions given to you by faculty and staff.
  • No Alcohol - Arrive sober (your name will not be called and you will be asked to leave if under the influence).
  • No Selfies - No selfies permitted on stage. 

Clear Bag Policy - Approved bags for personal items are clear plastic or vinyl and do not exceed 12”x6”x12”, or a clear plastic freezer bag that is no larger than a gallon will be permitted. Small clutch bags will be allowed provided they are no larger than 4.5”x6.5”. Wrapped presents and noisemakers like plastic horns are not permitted.

Recent Commencement News