Commencement

Frequently Asked Questions for the Class of 2023

Learn more about plans for Commencement 2023.

Commencement for the Class of 2023 will be held from Friday, May 26 to Sunday, May 28, 2023. Please see the Weekend Overview for additional information.

Yes, all students need to apply to graduate via Banner web. Visit the Office of the Registrar website for important graduation deadlines.

Undergraduate students in the Class of 2023 can purchase their keepsake regalia at the Grad Fair in April. Graduate and medical students can purchase their regalia from the Brown Bookstore website by April 14.

Regalia should be worn for the Baccalaureate Service on Saturday (gown only) and the Procession and Commencement ceremonies on Sunday (cap and gown). Commissioning students and those with military service have the option to wear formal military attire in place of the cap and gown if they so choose and if permitted according to their status with the military.

 

Yes, we are excited to welcome families and guests to Commencement and Reunion Weekend.

The University Ceremony and undergraduate ceremony for the Class of 2023 will not be ticketed. Some departmental ceremonies do ticket, so it is important to confirm this with your department in advance.

Each student attending the Master’s Ceremony may reserve up to three tickets for guests and can select tickets and share them with their guests through Marching Order as part of the registration process. 

The Doctoral Ceremony will not be ticketed. Students are advised to bring no more than four to five guests each; seating is first come, first served. 

The Warren Alpert Medical School 2023 Commencement will be ticketed. Each student participating in the ceremony will receive four tickets. Tickets will be distributed to the students on Saturday, May 27, during the mandatory rehearsal. If you are in need of additional tickets, graduates can reach out to classmates for unused tickets. There will also be an overflow room at the First Unitarian Church where guests can view a livestream of the ceremony. If additional tickets become available once attendance is confirmed, an email will be sent to the class on Saturday evening, and tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

An invitation letter from Brown University is not needed to apply for a tourist/visitor visa for Commencement. International students in F1/J1 nonimmigrant status who wish to invite family members to attend Commencement can find pertinent information on the Office of International Student and Scholar Services website.

Most Commencement and Reunion Weekend events are held rain or shine; however, some outdoor events may be canceled or moved to a rain location in the case of severe weather that poses safety concerns for participants. Check this website for the latest information.


Information also will be shared via the BrownAlert System.

Class rings, announcements and diploma frames can all be purchased from the Brown Bookstore.

Undergraduate mid-year completers (22.5 and 23.5) are welcome to "walk" in either the May ceremony preceding or following their December completion. Some choose to participate in both.

When students start at Brown, they start with a class and are always considered part of that class. As such, students can participate in the Commencement ceremony of their class, whether they have completed all degree requirements or not. Students may also choose to participate in the Commencement following the completion of all of their degree requirements.

To participate in Commencement, mid-year completers should line up in regalia with their class on Waterman Street on the day of Commencement and process through the Van Wickle Gates. They can participate in both the College Ceremony at the First Baptist Church and the University Ceremony on the College Green. 

Students are individually recognized at their departmental ceremonies (immediately following the University Commencement ceremony), where they will receive diploma covers. Mid-year completers are encouraged to connect with their concentration advisor or the director of undergraduate studies in their concentration’s department to ask if there is a way for them to participate in that ceremony if they are not earning their degree that spring. 

All mid-year completers should check in with their concentration directors to learn about their concentrations' specific guidelines. Diplomas are issued the May following the December completion.

Midyear completers are celebrated at the annual Midyear Completion Celebration, which will take place this year on Saturday, December 2, 2023.

 

All degree recipients, except for medical degree candidates, will receive their diploma by mail to the address provided on the Application to Graduate. We anticipate delivery from mid-June to mid-July, depending on location. Medical recipients will receive their printed diploma during their ceremony on Commencement day.

Undergraduate degree recipients will be individually recognized at their departmental ceremonies, where they will receive diploma covers. Students who have not indicated plans to attend Commencement via the Application to Graduate will have their cover mailed to them along with their diploma.

Master's and doctoral graduates also will receive diploma covers in their respective ceremonies on Commencement day.

Brown's alumni Reunion takes place during the same weekend as Commencement. More information will be posted on the Reunion website. Reunion student staff will be available throughout the weekend to offer assistance with event locations, directions on campus and in Providence, and any additional questions you may have.

Students and parents can order their yearbooks online. Any questions regarding yearbooks can be directed to liber@brown.edu.

Email commencement@brown.edu with any questions.