Commencement

Information for Undergraduates

Before Commencement

What graduating seniors need to know before the ceremony.

College Ceremony Registration

Due to COVID-19 restrictions in the state of Rhode Island, the ceremony will be held in person for graduates only. Families and friends are invited to attend virtually. To keep everyone safe and socially distanced, we are requiring all in-person participants to register for the College ceremony they plan to attend. 

On April 16, all eligible undergraduates received an email to register for one of the two College ceremonies taking place on Sunday, May 2 at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. EDT. Students planning to attend virtually do not need to register. Registration for in person attendance must be completed by April 21.

Commencement Kickoff: Ceremony Wristband and Regalia Pickup

Seniors who have registered to attend in person must have an Eventbrite ticket, registration wristband and regalia in order to gain access to the College ceremony and the College Green. Wristbands and regalia must be picked up during the Commencement kickoff, which will take place the week of Commencement. 

Pickup days for undergraduates are assigned by last name and are broken down as follows:

A-D: Tuesday, April 27

E-L: Wednesday, April 28

M-R: Thursday, April 29

S-Z: Friday, April 30

Please bring your Eventbrite ticket and Brown ID with you on your scheduled day.

Reminder: Be sure to purchase your regalia from the Brown Bookstore by April 23.

Attend Other Commencement-Related Events

All graduates are encouraged to participate in the virtual Commencement events and celebrations, including the Baccalaureate service 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 graduating seniors need to know on Commencement day.

The College Ceremony

Undergraduates will gather both virtually and in person as senior orations are delivered and baccalaureate and honorary degrees are conferred. President Christina H. Paxson will preside. 

The College ceremonies will take place at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday, May 2. The program for each ceremony will be the same and last approximately one hour. 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 commencement.brown.edu.

Graduating seniors who are planning to attend in person must register for one College ceremony by April 21. 

Ceremony Arrival and Check-In for In-Person Attendees

Please follow the instructions provided on your Eventbrite confirmation email. Your confirmation email will include your chosen ceremony time, your gate number and gate address, your arrival time and other helpful information. You must arrive only during your registered ceremony and time slot at your assigned gate. 

Be sure to: 

  • Wear your regalia
  • Wear your wristband and have your Eventbrite ticket 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 to COVID-19
  • 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 seniors who have registered and are compliant with Brown’s COVID-19 testing program. 

Walking through the Van Wickle Gates

Following the College 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 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 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 seniors who have registered for a specific ceremony 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.