How can an undergraduate student know if they are eligible to graduate?
Students are eligible to graduate with the Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS) Degree when they have successfully completed a minimum 40 courses and 121 credits, all SFS core courses and courses in the major. All students must satisfactorily complete the foreign language proficiency requirement, as well as the rest of the curriculum requirements. Questions about degree completion should be directed to the student’s curricular dean.
When can SFS students graduate?
Students can graduate at the end of the Fall (December), Spring (May), or at the end of the Summer Session (August).
- Summer (August) 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.
- Fall (December) 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.
Is there a rehearsal for graduation?
No. Seniors receive full instructions via email prior to the ceremony.
What is the structure of the commencement ceremony?
In pleasant weather, the SFS Commencement ceremony is held outside on Healy Lawn. Dean Joel Hellman serves as the Master of Ceremonies of the Commencement Ceremony, which includes the awarding of the degrees. 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. Graduating students cross the stage as their names are read, shake hands with the Dean, and they are then hooded by the Associate and Assistant Deans. The Commencement Ceremony normally lasts about 2.5 hours.
What information is in the commencement program?
The names of degree recipients from the previous Summer and Fall semesters and the current Spring semesters are printed in the Commencement Program. The names and honors included in the Commencement program reflect the academic record as of early May. Based on Spring semester grades reported after early May, 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” and reconfigure our ceremony in McDonough Arena. Students will meet in the tent located outside of the gym and placed in alphabetical order by last name for the procession. Diplomas will be distributed in the ICC Galleria 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 +1 (202) 687-SNOW (1-202-687-7669). 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. Some seniors may still have the gowns that they wore during New Student Orientation. If so, they may wear it at Commencement and purchase only the cap, tassel, and hood from the University Bookstore either during Senior Parents’ Weekend (in February) or during Commencement Week. The hood must be that of the B.S. degree, with yellow on it. Students may purchase caps, gowns and hoods at the University Bookstore.
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?
Please check back at a later time for more up-to-date information on the 2019 Commencement Ceremony for the Walsh School of Foreign Service.
What is Tropaia?
Tropaia is the official SFS Undergraduate Honors Ceremony. At the SFS Tropaia Ceremony students and faculty are recognized for their academic excellence and outstanding achievement. The entire Senior Class and their guests are invited to the SFS Dean’s Reception which immediately follows in the ICC Galleria. Students nominated for honors or awards will receive an invitation shortly before the Ceremony. Additional information about the Tropaia ceremony and SFS Dean’s Reception will be e-mailed to students closer to the date.
When do students receive the diploma?
Diplomas for May graduates are distributed in the ICC Galleria immediately after the ceremony. Diplomas are also issued twice a year for students who complete their degree requirements in August or December. 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 at the Office of the 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. For seniors, there will be special billings in March and April. Please check the status of your account in early May to make certain that your account is clear. All outstanding balances (library fines, room damage charges, 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 at +1 (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 contact them directly at +1 (800) 261-2576.
What about other Senior Week events?
Commencement Week begins with a Convocation for members of the entire senior class. During Senior Convocation, the senior class for all four undergraduate schools will march together (similar to Freshman Convocation). The University President, the Provost, and guest speakers make remarks. At least one student from the senior class reflects on his or her time at GU. Details about Senior Convocation will be e-mailed to students by the Office of the Provost closer to the date.
The Senior Class Committee sponsors several major senior social events including Senior Parents’ Weekend, Senior Auction, and the Senior Ball.
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.