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Frequently Asked Questions

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Here are the answers to our most frequently asked questions. Click on the question to reveal the answer. We will regularly update this page with additional questions and answers as we approach Commencement Weekend. If you have a question that is not addressed on this website, contact our office.

  • When will Commencement be held?
    • The 2023 Commencement will be held the weekend of June 15 – 18, 2023. The main Commencement ceremony will be held in Stanford Stadium on Sunday, June 18 and begins at 9:30 a.m.

  • What is Commencement and how is it different from my school or department's ceremony?
    • Commencement is the main ceremony in Stanford Stadium where all graduating seniors and advanced degree graduates gather from all schools with their families. This main ceremony includes the procession, President's address, keynote speaker addresses and degree conferrals. The ceremony from processional start to recession of the stage members lasts approximately two hours. Graduates do not have their names called, walk across the stage or receive diplomas at the main ceremony. This occurs at their individual school or department ceremonies. School and department ceremonies generally happen after the main Commencement ceremony and at various locations across the campus. Many ceremonies are followed by a reception.

  • Do I need tickets for my guests and how many guests can attend?
    • No tickets are required for the main Commencement ceremony or Baccalaureate Celebration and there is no limit on the number of guests who may attend.

      Some events, including some department ceremonies, may require RSVP or tickets, or restrict the number of guests due to maximum venue capacities. It is recommended to contact that school or department directly for information about these events.

  • Will the ceremony be viewable online for people who cannot attend?
    • Yes, the main Commencement ceremony will be livestreamed on the Commencement website. You may also listen to live broadcast on Stanford’s radio station KZSU 90.1FM and on A complete recording of the event will be available on the Stanford YouTube channel shortly after the ceremony.

  • What is Baccalaureate and when will it be held?
    • Baccalaureate at Stanford is a multi-faith celebratory gathering for graduating seniors, graduate students, and professional students, as well as their families and friends. The ceremony serves as a bookend to the Opening Convocation held four years earlier and is a time to acknowledge the spiritual contribution to the education of the whole person.

      Baccalaureate will be held in Frost Amphitheater on Saturday, June 17, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.

  • I missed the deadline to order regalia, what can I do?
    • Students who have not yet ordered regalia may rent from bookstore stock at the Stanford Bookstore, lower level, from Monday, June 5 through to Commencement. Students will need to show a picture ID at pickup.

      Store hours are:
      Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
      Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
      Sunday 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

      Faculty Regalia pick up begins June 1 and goes through to Commencement, based on availability. Faculty who did not pre-order rental regalia online may rent regalia with Stanford University hoods at the Stanford Bookstore, lower level, from Thursday, June 1 through to commencement. Let the bookstore staff members know you are there to rent faculty regalia and they will point you in the right direction.

  • Am I eligible to participate in this year’s Commencement ceremony?
    • You are automatically eligible to participate in the main Commencement ceremony if:

      • you have previously conferred a degree in Summer 2022, Autumn 2022, or Winter 2023
      • you are expected to confer your degree in Spring 2023 or Summer 2023
      • you are a coterm student who began your undergraduate degree program in Autumn 2019

      If you do not fall into the eligibility criteria above, complete the Commencement Participation Request form to request an exception to participate in this year’s ceremony. If you meet the eligibility criteria above, you do not need to complete the form.

      This eligibility criteria only applies to the main Commencement ceremony. If you would like to participate in your school or department ceremony, please check with them directly for their eligibility criteria and any actions you may need to take to confirm participation in that ceremony, including walking across the stage and having your name called out or included in the program.

      Note that the Commencement Participation Request is only to determine eligibility to participate in the main Commencement ceremony. Please see the following question for more information.

  • Do I need to apply to graduate to participate?
    • To graduate, you must have filed your graduation application by the required deadline (see the academic calendar for dates). Instructions for applying to graduate, as well as a graduation checklist, can be found on the Student Services website. If you are planning on conferring more than one degree — for example, an undergraduate and graduate degree, a PhD and master's degree — a separate application to graduate must be submitted for each degree.

      Eligibility to participate in the university's Commencement ceremony is based on a student’s actual OR expected graduation term. Expected Graduation Terms are based on matriculation year (e.g. 4 years after matriculation for an undergraduate student).
      Note: Expected Graduation Terms are calculated differently for graduate students. Graduate students should plan to apply to graduate or request an exception if they want to participate.

  • Am I eligible to participate in my department’s ceremony?
    • Each department has different eligibility requirements and processes to make requests to participate. Please check directly with your department regarding eligibility for their ceremony.

  • I was eligible to participate last year, but I was unable to attend. Can I participate this year instead?
  • I am a coterm or double major in different departments/schools, which department ceremony do I attend?
    • Most school and department ceremonies generally occur around the same time on Sunday afternoon following the main Commencement ceremony (except GSB, Law and Med which happen on Saturday). We recommend checking with both departments to confirm their planned schedule and see if it would be possible to coordinate attending both, however you may need to choose which to attend.

  • What COVID-19 health and safety precautions are being taken?
  • How do international F1 or J1 students obtain a travel visa letter of invitation?
    • You may email for information regarding visa letters of invitation. Invitations are only addressed to the student, not family or guests. When requesting a letter of invitation, please include your full legal name and your degree program/school. Please note: Bechtel International Center does not provide Letters of Invitation.

  • When should we arrive?
  • How do I get to Stanford?
    • Information about traveling to campus, including directions, nearby airports, public transportation, shuttles and parking details can be found on the Plan Your Visit page.

  • I am a family member/friend of a graduate. Where can I find information about lodging?
    • We recommend contacting the hotels directly to inquire about availability and pricing as reservations are handled separately through the hotels and not by the university. Links to a general listing of accommodations in the Bay Area can be found on the Plan Your Visit page.

  • Where do I park?
    • Free parking is available throughout the campus on Saturday and Sunday. For Baccalaureate on Saturday, guests parking is available in Galvez Lot. For the main Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, general parking is in the lots surrounding Stanford Stadium, including Gavez Lot, Lasuen Grove, Arboretum Grove, Eucalyptus Grove, and Toyon Grove. No special pass is needed to park in these lots on these days.

  • Where is disability parking?
    • Disability parking for guests with state-issued or temporary Stanford-issued disabled parking permits is available in the Track House Lot, with overflow in the Galvez Lot. Guests with limited mobility or other assistive needs may also be dropped off in this lot.

      A limited shuttle service will also be available to transport guests to stops along Jane Stanford Way near the department ceremonies. As these ceremonies may be some distance away, please consult the map if you plan on parking closer to the ceremony locations.

  • How do I arrange for disability-related accommodations for Commencement Weekend?
    • Commencement Visitors: For those with mobility limitations, it is recommended that you drive from the stadium to the diploma ceremony site to drop-off and/or park closer. For assistance locating close to disabled parking or drop-off locations near the diploma ceremony site, please complete a Special Needs Request form by May 26.

      Student graduates: who need support or accommodations for weekend events, please contact the Diversity and Access Office directly.
      Diversity & Access Office
      For fastest response, email:
      Phone: (650) 725-0326

  • Where can I rent a wheelchair?
  • Is there public transportation to get to campus?
    • Information about public transportation to campus is available on the Plan Your Visit page. There will be a limited shuttle service from the CalTrain station in Palo Alto to campus on Saturday and Sunday morning.

  • Is there a shuttle service during the weekend?
    • Yes, limited shuttle service will be available during the weekend. For more information regarding shuttles, including stops and locations, visit the Guest Information page.

  • Is there financial support available for students with need?
  • Can I bring pets?
    • Please note that the University restricts pets and emotional support animals from public spaces on campus, with the exception of service animals that are specifically trained to perform a service and/or task for an individual with a disability. Restricted areas include dining areas, athletic venues, performance spaces, etc. If you have questions, need additional information or to report a concern regarding accessibility for Commencement Weekend events, please contact the Diversity & Access Office at or 650-725-0326.

  • What should I plan to wear?
    • Weather during the middle of June can be hot and sunny. It is recommended to dress for the heat in comfortable light clothing. Hats, visors, and sunblock are highly recommended. The Commencement ceremony is scheduled to occur rain or shine. The stadium is an open space with little to no shade available during the ceremony. Umbrellas are not allowed. As the department ceremonies are some distance from the stadium, comfortable shoes are also recommended.

  • What can I bring to the Commencement ceremony?
    • There is a clear bag policy in effect for Baccalaureate in Frost Amphitheater and Commencement at Stanford Stadium. This policy limits the size and types of bags permitted, as well as some items. Items must be carried or fit into a permissible bag. See the Clear Bag Policy page for a general list of permitted bags and items, as well as prohibited bags and items. It is recommended to not leave any belongings in vehicles as parking areas are not closely monitored.

  • What type of weather can I expect?
    • Weather during the middle of June can be hot and sunny. Please check the weather forecast on the Plan Your Visit page.

  • Where can I eat on campus?
    • Some on campus dining establishments will not be open during Commencement Weekend. Information about dining options is available on the Plan Your Visit page.

Updated 5/26/23