Information for Graduate Students

Before Commencement

What graduate students need to know before the ceremony.

Graduate Ceremony Registration

Due to COVID-19 restrictions in the state of Rhode Island, the ceremony will be held in person for doctoral and master's degree candidates only. Families and friends are invited to attend virtually. To keep everyone safe and socially distanced, all in-person participants were required to register for the Graduate School ceremony.

Commencement Kickoff: Ceremony Wristband Pickup

Graduate students who have registered to attend in person must have a registration wristband in order to gain access to the Graduate School ceremony and the College Green. Wristbands must be picked up during the Commencement kickoff, which will take place on Tuesday, April 27 and Thursday, April 29. Graduate students must have registered for a pickup time via Eventbrite. Please contact [email protected] with any questions. 

Attend Other Commencement-Related Events

All graduates are encouraged to participate in other virtual Commencement events and forums. Additionally, many departments are planning virtual celebrations during the week prior to Commencement. Please visit the Schedule of Events page for an up-to-date calendar.

During Commencement

What graduate students need to know on Commencement day.

The Graduate School Ceremony

Graduate students will gather both virtually and in person for the conferral of master's and doctoral degrees. Dean of the Graduate School Andrew G. Campbell will preside.

The Graduate School ceremony will take place at 2:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 1. The program for the ceremony will last approximately 90 minutes. Following the ceremony, graduates will process outward through the Van Wickle Gates. 

Remote students who are not planning to attend in person, as well as families and guests, can watch virtually at

Please note: Traditionally, graduates receive diplomas as their names are read during the Graduate School doctoral or master’s ceremony. Given the safety precautions in place, graduates will receive their diplomas via mail this year. Departmental celebrations will be held in a virtual manner. Please contact your department or visit the Departmental Celebrations page for more information. 

Ceremony Arrival and Check-In for In-Person Attendees

Please follow the instructions provided at wristband check-in regarding your wristband color, entry gate assignment and time. You will also receive an email reminder on Friday, April 30 with this information.

Be sure to: 

  • Wear your regalia
  • Wear your wristband and have your Brown ID ready
  • Arrive at your assigned gate during the assigned allotted time
  • Be in compliance with the University's COVID-19 testing program
  • Bring a filled water bottle
  • Leave large bags or backpacks at home
  • Stay home if you are sick and/or learn that you have been exposed
  • Follow all health and safety guidelines, including maintaining social distance and properly wearing a face covering.  

Please note: If you want to sit with friends who have the same gate assignment, you should arrive together. 

As a reminder, this event is open only to graduating students who have registered and are compliant with Brown’s COVID-19 testing program. 

Walking through the Van Wickle Gates

Following the Graduate School ceremony, students will walk through the Van Wickle Gates by seating section. Please stay seated until dismissed and follow staff guidance as they move you through the gates safely. Once you are through the gates, please continue to process down Prospect Street.

Don't forget to smile! Your walk through the gates will be livestreamed to family and friends watching the ceremony virtually on the Commencement website. 

Safety Protocols

Please be sure to follow all safety protocols, including wearing a face covering and socially distancing, if you are attending in person. Visit the Safety Requirements page to learn more. 

Share the Celebration Both In Person and Virtually

Please join in the celebration online by sharing photos, videos and well wishes on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter using the hashtags #Brown2021 and #BrownU. 

Graduates — both remote and in person — as well as families and friends watching virtually are encouraged to take a selfie and tag #Brown2021 and #BrownU to appear on the jumbotron and Commencement website.

For Guests

Please note that, due to COVID-19 restrictions, only graduating students who have registered and are in compliance with Brown's COVID-19 testing program are eligible to attend in person. All other graduates, and all guests and family members, may attend virtually by watching the livestream.

Access to the College Green and surrounding areas will be restricted during Commencement Weekend.