Graduate Commencement

School of Foreign Service Commencement

The SFS Commencement Ceremony will take place on Healy Lawn on Saturday, May 19th, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. EDT for graduate students. In the event of inclement weather, the rain site for our commencement exercises is McDonough Arena at 7:30 p.m. EDT. Diploma distribution will take place in the Healey Family Student Center immediately following the ceremony. The ceremony will last approximately 2 hours. See a detailed full-weekend schedule below.

Schedule

For the latest information on the full Commencement weekend events, refer to the Georgetown University Commencement website.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

  • 3:45 p.m. Student arrival for SFS Commencement, (location TBA)
  • 4:30 p.m. Procession begins (please inform your invited guest)
  • 5:00 p.m. School of Foreign Service Commencement, Healy Lawn
    (Graduate Rain site: McDonough Arena at 7:30 p.m.)
  • 7:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. Diploma distribution in the Healey Family Student Center
    (following the academic recessional)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

  • 9:00 a.m. Baccalaureate Mass, Healy Lawn (Rain site: McDonough Arena)
  • 10:45 a.m. Commencement Brunch, Leavey Center Ballroom

Rain call information will be announced on the Georgetown University weather line at (202) 687-7669. No tickets are required for the SFS Commencement Ceremony, rain or shine. The event can be viewed via a live webcast.

We congratulate all of our graduating students and welcome the friends and family who will share this momentous day with them. To make the most of the day, we invite you to consider the resources the University has made available covering such concerns as lodgingparking and directions to campus.

FAQ

WHEN CAN SFS STUDENTS GRADUATE?

GSFS Students can graduate at the every month except June.

  • August (Summer) Graduates: Students who can complete degree requirements during summer can march with the class at commencement in May. The names of summer graduates are called as the students cross the stage; however, the names of August graduates are listed in the Commencement Book in the following year.
  • December (Fall) Graduates: Students who complete degree requirements in the Fall semester are invited to march with the class at commencement in May (the following year), at which time their names are listed in the commencement book.

WHEN IS THE SFS COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY?

The SFS Commencement Ceremony will take place on Healy Lawn on Saturday, May 19th, at 5:00 p.m. EDT. In the event of inclement weather, the rain site for the Graduate Student Commencement Ceremony is McDonough Arena at 7:30 p.m. EDT. Diploma distribution will take place in the Healey Family Student Center immediately following the ceremony. The ceremony will last approximately 2 hours. See the detailed Commencement weekend schedule.

WHAT IS THE STRUCTURE OF THE COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY? HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?

In pleasant weather, the SFS Commencement ceremony is held outside on Healy Lawn. Graduating students report to assigned classrooms in White-Gravenor to robe and line up in alphabetical order with the program staff. Students are brought out onto the White-Gravenor Esplanade where they will line up behind the University Registrar, followed by the Color Guard and the Marshals carrying banners for the school, who lead the student procession.
Dean Joel Hellman serves as the Master of Ceremonies of the Commencement Ceremony, which includes the awarding of the degrees. Graduating students cross the stage as their names are read, shake hands with the Dean and the President and they are then hooded by the Associate and Assistant Deans. The Commencement Ceremony normally lasts about 2 hours.
The names of August ‘17, December ‘17, and May ‘18 degree recipients are printed in the Commencement Program.  The names and honors included in the Commencement program reflect the academic record as of May 8, 2018.  Graduates will receive their diplomas in the Healey Family Student Center immediately after the Commencement ceremony, where program staff and Directors greet students and families and offer good wishes.

IS THERE A REHEARSAL FOR GRADUATION?

No. Graduates receive full instructions via email prior to the ceremony.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE PROCESSION AND ON STAGE?
Graduating students will report to the White-Gravenor classrooms at 3:45 p.m.

  • Students must arrive on time! Bring your cap, gown and hood.
  • Hoods should be carried on the graduate’s left arm with the bunting toward the wrist.
  • The tassel on the cap is to be worn on the left side of the left eye at all times.

Graduating students will march behind the Graduate Marshal. The procession will make its way down the center aisle. Ushers will direct the graduates into rows stage right. You should remain standing until the ceremony begins.

At the direction of the ushers, graduates will be asked row by row to stand and to move down the aisle to the left-hand stairs leading to the stage. Each graduate will mount the ramp to the stage when his or her name is called, proceed right across the stage to shake hands with Dean Hellman and President DeGioia, and receive the diploma translation. Remaining in order, each graduate should proceed to the BSFS Deans to be hooded. Hand the Dean your hood, remove your cap, and turn to face the audience so the Dean can place the hood on your shoulders. Exit the stage to the right and return to your seat. Please remain quiet until all of the members of the class have left the stage.

WHAT INFORMATION IS IN THE COMMENCEMENT PROGRAM?

The names of summer ’17, fall ’17, and spring ’18 degree recipients are printed in the Commencement Program. The names and honors included in the Commencement program reflect the academic record as of May 8, 2018. Based on Spring 2018 semester grades reported after May 8, the final honors status can be different from that printed. We apologize for the incompatibility of the print deadline and the grade reporting deadline.

HOW WILL I KNOW IF THE COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY IS ON HEALY LAWN OR IN MCDONOUGH ARENA?

If rain threatens the ceremony, we make a “rain call” at least three hours in advance, and reconfigure our ceremony in McDonough Arena. The graduate ceremony will take place at 7:30 p.m. EDT. Students will meet in the tent located outside of the gym and placed in alphabetical order by degree program and then by last name for the procession. Diplomas will be distributed in the Healey Family Student Center immediately following the ceremony.

Once the rain call is made, the University’s Inclement Weather telephone message will be updated with the ceremony location. The telephone number is (202) 687-SNOW (202-687-7669). You may also check the University’s Commencement website for this information.

WHAT ABOUT CAPS AND GOWNS?

Caps, gowns and hoods are required for the SFS Commencement Ceremony. The hood must be that of the MA, MS, or MGHD degree, respectively. Students may purchase caps, gowns and hoods at the University Bookstore, from Monday, May 14 through Saturday, May 19. The schedule is as follows:

  • Monday-Friday, May 14-18 – 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 19 – 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

WHAT ABOUT TICKETS?

Tickets are not required for the SFS commencement ceremony, rain or shine.

WHERE CAN I GET INVITATIONS?

The bookstore has vendors who sell personalized commencement invitations.

WHO WILL BE THE COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER?

The Georgetown University Office of Communications announces the names of commencement speakers for all Georgetown ceremonies about a week before Commencement Weekend.

WHEN DO STUDENTS RECEIVE THE DIPLOMA?

Diplomas for May graduates are distributed in the Healey Family Student Center immediately after the ceremony. Diplomas are also issued throughout the year for students who complete their degree requirements prior to May. Please note that your diploma is written in Latin. You will receive the translation as you cross the stage during the Commencement ceremony. The Georgetown diploma measures 17″ (43 cm) wide by 14″ (35.5 cm) high. Diploma frames are available at the Georgetown University Bookstore.

WHAT ABOUT TRANSCRIPTS?

The degree is posted to the transcript in May for spring graduates, in January for fall graduates, and in September for summer graduates. Transcripts can be requested from the Georgetown University Registrar.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I OWE THE UNIVERSITY MONEY? CAN I STILL GRADUATE?

Students with an unpaid balance may participate in Commencement activities, but University policy states that any student with an unpaid balance will not receive a diploma or transcript until the account is settled. Please check the status of your account in early May to make certain that your account is clear. All outstanding balances (library fines, parking tickets, etc.) must be paid before Commencement. The Office of Billing and Payment Services will not be open Commencement Weekend, so accounts must be cleared in advance of the weekend. The Office of Billing and Payment Services can be reached by phone at (202) 687-7100.

WILL PICTURES BE TAKEN AT THE COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY?

Graduate photos taken at the SFS ceremony are taken by GradImages. They will be contacting students directly by mail. If you have any questions, please call them directly at (800) 261.2576.

SOMEONE THAT I INVITED REQUIRES SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Handicap-accessible shuttle service will be running throughout Commencement Weekend from parking lots to both Healy Hall (bus stop at Leavey) and McDonough Gymnasium:

  • Friday, May 18: 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 19: 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 20: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

If you have an invited guest that needs a wheelchair and/or handicapped accessible seating, please contact Michael Volk by May 1st.

Wheelchair Tent Schedule:

  • Thursday, May 17: 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday, May 18: 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 19: 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 20: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.