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Two graduates hugging in the stadium surrounded by other graduating students.

Graduates

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Congratulations graduates! This page includes important information regarding your participation and planning for Commencement Weekend. We look forward to celebrating with you!

Important dates and deadlines for 2024 graduating students

Tuesday, March 5:  Cap and gown (regalia) rental website opens for orders

Wednesday, March 6: Application to graduate available in Axess

Friday, April 12 (5:00 p.m. PT): Application to graduate deadline
Applications received after this deadline will be assessed a $50 late fee

Tuesday, April 16 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. & Wednesday, April 17, 12:00 p.m - 6:00 p.m.: Grad Fair at the Stanford Bookstore

Wednesday, April 17 (8:59 p.m.):  Student deadline to order rental regalia
(for pickup at Stanford Bookstore beginning June 3)

Monday, May 13: Deadline to order rental regalia to ship to home
(shipping fees apply)

Monday, June 3: Student rental regalia distribution begins at the Stanford Bookstore

Thursday, June 6: In-person open stock rental regalia available at the Stanford Bookstore

Friday, June 7, 2024 (5:00 p.m. PT): Late application to graduate deadline
No applications will be accepted after this date

Sunday, June 16: Rental regalia returns at the Stanford Bookstore

Top 5 FAQs for Graduating Students

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

  • you have conferred a degree in Summer 2023, Autumn 2023, or Winter 2024
  • you are expected to confer your degree in Spring 2024 or Summer 2024
  • you are a coterm student who began your undergraduate degree program in Autumn 2020

I am still not sure if I am eligible. Is there a way for me to check?

Yes! Students may check their participation eligibility directly in Axess. In your "My Academics" drop-down menu, locate the "Univ. Commencement Eligibility" link. You'll be directed to a page that will indicate Eligible or Not Eligible, based on your student record. If you are listed as eligible, no further action is necessary. If you are listed as Ineligible but would still like to participate, you will need to request an exception. Complete the linked Commencement Participation Request form to request an exception to participate. Students who are listed as eligible should not complete this form. Instructions can be found on the Student Academic Services website.

Please note: 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.

Do I need to apply to graduate to participate?
To graduate, you must file your graduation application by the application deadline (see the academic calendar for dates). Instructions for applying to graduate, as well as a graduation checklist, can be found of 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). Undergraduate students and coterminal students who began their undergraduate program in Autumn 2019 have an Expected Graduation Term of Spring 2023 and therefore do not need to apply to graduate in order to be eligible to participate in the main Commencement ceremony. 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 for requesting an exception to participate. Please check directly with your department regarding eligibility for their ceremony.

Do I need tickets for my guests and how many guests can attend?
Most events during the weekend do not have tickets and generally there are no limits on the number of guests graduates can bring. There are exceptions and some events do require RSVP, such as Senior Dinner on the Quad, which is exclusively for graduating seniors. Some department ceremonies may require tickets or have restrictions on number of guests due to limited capacity of a venue. It is recommended to contact the departments directly for information about these events.

Info for Undergraduates

You are automatically eligible to participate in the main Commencement ceremony if you are expected to confer your degree in Spring 2024 or Summer 2024.

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). Undergraduate students who began their undergraduate program in Autumn 2020 have an Expected Graduation Term of Spring 2024 and therefore do not need to apply to graduate in order to be eligible to participate in the main Commencement ceremony.

To graduate, you must file your graduation application by the application deadline (see the academic calendar for dates). Instructions for applying to graduate, as well as a graduation checklist, can be found of the Student Services website.

Undergraduate Degree Requirements
Undergraduate Degree Progress

Students at Commencement Baccalaureate

Info for Coterms

You are automatically eligible to participate in the main Commencement ceremony if you are a coterm student who began your undergraduate degree program in Autumn 2020.

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). Undergraduate students and coterminal students who began their undergraduate program in Autumn 2020 have an Expected Graduation Term of Spring 2024 and therefore do not need to apply to graduate in order to be eligible to participate in the main Commencement ceremony.

Coterm Academic Progress

Graduates of the Graduate School of Education smile with their diplomas

Info for Advanced Degrees

You are automatically eligible to participate in the main Commencement ceremony if you are expected to confer your degree in Spring 2024 or Summer 2024.

Eligibility to participate in the university's Commencement ceremony is based on a student’s actual OR expected graduation term. 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.

To graduate, you must file your graduation application by the application deadline (see the academic calendar for dates). Instructions for applying to graduate, as well as a graduation checklist, can be found of the Student Services website.

Graduate Degree Progress
Dissertations and Theses

Grads with Stanford block S on their caps

Info for Summer, Autumn, Winter Grads

You are automatically eligible to participate in the main Commencement ceremony if you have previously conferred a degree in Summer 2023, Autumn 2023, or Winter 2024.

The only thing you need to do is update your email address and set up your Alumni account to receive Commencement Weekend emails after your @stanford.edu email expires.

Tip: If you no longer have your student ID to scan at the gate, you may check in with the team at the solutions table to get a wristband.

Graduate hugs on stage while receiving their diploma.

Info for Double Majors & Dual Degrees

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.

As most school and department ceremonies occur on Sunday afternoon following the main Commencement ceremony, you should check with both departments to confirm their planned schedules to see if it would be possible to attend both, however you may need to choose which ceremony you prefer to attend.

Large group of graduates in cap and gown posing for photo outside of the stadium
Grad Tips

Commencement Weekend Do's

Dress comfortably. That includes shoes too. While there is generally no dress code requirement, most graduates opt to wear business casual attire under their robes (think slacks, dress shirt with or without a tie, blouse or skirt/dress) for Baccalaureate and Commencement and evening cocktail attire for Senior Dinner on the Quad. Remember that you will be standing in the lineup, walking quite far across various surfaces (gravel, pavement, grass) and sitting in the sun for extended periods of time, so make sure to wear clothing that is comfortable, not too warm, but will still look good in all of the photos you will take throughout the day (with and without your robe).

Travel light. Only bring what you need or leave valuables with family or friends. You will have to carry what you bring (as long as it meets the clear bag policy requirements) with you onto the field, plus you'll want to have an extra hand to pick up a program and bottle of water, so less is more. 

Arrive early. Gates open early and graduates are expected to arrive at least an hour prior to the procession start time. Avoid long lines at the entry and arrive early. Make sure you give yourself enough time to find parking, walk to the venue, go through security, grab a program/water and get into the lineup. You'll also want to factor in time to take photos and catch up with family and friends. Avoid the stress of rushing and arrive early.

Follow instructions. Make sure to read the candidate instructions ahead of time. There will be different instructions for Advanced Degree graduates and Undergraduates, so pay close attention to the signs around the graduate lineup area, and to verbal instructions from Marshals and staff.

Make sure your phone is fully charged. Opportunities to charge will be few and far between, so you'll want to be sure to be fully charged before heading out the door so you can contact family and friends, take photos and get updates. 

Graduates walking into the stadium lineup areas
Grad Tips

Commencement Weekend Dont's

Don't bring bags or items that do not meet the clear bag requirements. Read the Clear Bag Policy page for a list of prohibited bags and items. These items will not be allowed into the venue. Complimentary bag check will be available, but save yourself the hassle of getting turned away at the gate and having to wait in line to check your items by know what not to bring before you come.

Don't forget your student ID. Your student ID will be scanned at the graduate lineup gate to allow access to the field. If you don't have your ID you will need to check in separately at the solutions desk. Only eligible students/graduates will be allowed in the graduate lineup area, in the ceremony procession and on the field.

Don't forget your cap and gown. Academic attire (cap and gown) is required to be worn for participating in both Commencement and Baccalaureate ceremonies. To expedite entry into the venue, carry them, don't wear them through security and put them on once you are inside. There will NOT be extras available so if you don't have the proper regalia, you won't be allowed to participate. Another tip, take your regalia out of the bag ahead of time to ensure you have everything, and hang it up or give it an iron/steam to get out some wrinkles.

Don't forget to RSVP for events. Some events during the weekend may require RSVP or tickets, so be sure to confirm your attendance ahead of time for any events that may require it, such as Senior Dinner on the Quad.

Don't attend events if you are sick or experiencing COVID symptoms. The main Commencement ceremonies will be livestreamed for anyone who is unable to attend.