SFS Commencement: Information for Undergraduates
The SFS Commencement Ceremony will take place on Healy Lawn on Saturday, May 19th, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. EDT for undergraduates. In the event of inclement weather, the rain site for our commencement exercises is McDonough Arena. Diploma distribution will take place in the ICC Galleria immediately follow the ceremony. The ceremony will last approximately 2 hours. See a detailed full-weekend schedule below.
Commencement Weekend Schedule
For the latest information on the full Commencement weekend events, refer to the Georgetown University Commencement website.
Thursday, May 17, 2018
- 2:00 p.m. Senior Convocation, McDonough Arena
- 5:00 p.m. Phi Beta Kappa Annual Initiation, Gaston Hall (by invitation)
- 6:00 p.m. Phi Beta Kappa Reception, ICC Galleria
Friday, May 18, 2018
- 7:30 a.m. Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony, Gaston Hall
- 9:00 a.m. Army ROTC Pinning Ceremony, Healey Family Student Center
- 3:00 p.m. School of Foreign Service Tropaia Exercises, Gaston Hall (Business attire)
- 4:00 p.m. School of Foreign Service Dean’s Reception, ICC Galleria
- 9:00 p.m. Senior Ball, Union Station
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 (Undergraduate Rain site: McDonough Arena)
- 7:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. Diploma distribution in the ICC Galleria (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 seniors 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 lodging, parking and directions to campus.
HOW CAN A 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. Detailed curriculum requirements can be found at: http://bsfs.georgetown.edu/academics/. 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).
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 our Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony is McDonough Arena at 5:00 p.m. EDT. Diploma distribution will take place in the ICC Galleria immediately follow 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 the ICC to robe and line up in alphabetical order with the Deans. Students are brought out into Red Square where they will line up behind the University Registrar, followed by the Color Guard and the Class Marshal 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 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 ICC Galleria immediately after the Commencement ceremony, where Deans greet students and families and offer good wishes.
IS THERE A REHEARSAL FOR GRADUATION?
No. Seniors receive full instructions via email prior to the ceremony.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE PROCESSION AND ON STAGE?
Graduating students will report to the ICC 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 Class Marshal. The procession will make its way down the center aisle. Ushers will direct the graduates into rows stage left. 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, precede 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.
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. 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 undergraduate ceremony will take place at the same time, 5:00 p.m. EDT. 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 (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. 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, 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.
WHAT IS TROPAIA?
The BSFS Tropaia Ceremony will take place on Friday, May 18th at 3:00 p.m. in Gaston Hall. 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 http://registrar.georgetown.edu/records/transcripts.
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 (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 (800) 261.2576.
WHAT ABOUT OTHER SENIOR WEEK EVENTS?
Senior Convocation is on Thursday, May 17th at 2:00 p.m. in McDonough Arena. 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 Freshmen 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. See details at http://commencement.georgetown.edu/convocation.
THE SENIOR CLASS COMMITTEE sponsors several major senior social events including Senior Parents’ Weekend, Senior Auction, and the Senior Ball. See details at http://scc.georgetown.edu/.
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 at email@example.com 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.