- What is the difference between Degree Celebration and Commencement?
- Do I need tickets for the ceremonies?
- How do I obtain regalia (cap, gown, and hood) for the ceremonies?
- Do I need to participate in both ceremonies?
- Who is eligible to participate?
- Will I receive my diploma at either ceremony?
- How can I make sure I am receiving all the necessary information about graduation?
- I am a PhD candidate and my defense isn’t scheduled yet. Should I apply to graduate?
1. What is the difference between the Schar Degree Celebration and Commencement ceremonies?
While we encourage students to participate in both ceremonies, participation is not required. Highlights of both ceremonies are summarized below:
The Schar School Degree Celebration Ceremony
- Student line-up will start at 6:00pm in Lot A*
- Thursday, May 17th, 2018 at 7:00pm
- EagleBank Arena, Fairfax Campus
- Schar School graduates only
- All guests are welcome – tickets are not required
- At this ceremony only, names are read aloud as graduates cross the stage and receive a ceremonial diploma.
- Degrees are officially conferred at Commencement
- Individual photographs are taken of every graduate at this event
- Caps and gowns are worn
- Light refreshments following the ceremony for graduates and their guests
*Ph.D. candidates meet in the hospitality suite for robing between 5:15-6:00pm
University-wide Commencement Ceremony
*Ph.D. candidates meet in the Johnson Center atrium for robing at 8:30am
2. Do I need tickets for the ceremonies?
Tickets are not required for either ceremony.
3. How do I obtain regalia (cap, gown, and hood) for the ceremonies?
Graduation regalia will be available for purchase at any Mason campus bookstore during the spring semester. You will purchase your cap and gown based on your height, and your hood based on your specific academic program.
*Schar School master’s graduates purchase peacock blue hoods.
**Schar School Ph.D. graduates purchase royal blue hoods.
4. Do I need to participate in both ceremonies?
While we encourage students to participate in both ceremonies, we do not require attendance at either ceremony.
5. Who is eligible to participate?
Undergraduate, master’s, and certificate students who complete their degree requirements in December 2017, May 2018, or August 2018 may participate in the May 2018 graduation ceremonies. Ph.D. students who complete degree requirements in August 2017, December 2017, or May 2018 may participate in the May 2018 graduation ceremonies.
6. Will I receive my diploma at either ceremony?
No, except for doctoral graduates who attend the University-wide commencement ceremony. All other students will receive their diplomas in the mail approximately 6 – 8 weeks following their official degree conferral date. Your diploma will be mailed to the address on file with the university. Please make sure your mailing address in up to date in PatriotWeb.
7. How can I make sure I am receiving all the necessary information about graduation?
Specific event details, RSVP instructions and all other graduation-related information will be communicated to students via the Mason e-mail system. Graduating students should check their Masonlive accounts on a regular basis to ensure receipt of this important information.
8. I am a PhD candidate and my defense isn’t scheduled yet. Should I apply to graduate?
Students who are unsure whether or not they will graduate in a given semester should contact Ph.D. Student Services before filing any paperwork with the Registrar’s Office. The PhD Milestone Guide provides guidance on scheduling a dissertation defense. University Dissertation and Thesis Services also posts the dissertation submission deadlines (post-defense, all edits complete) that Ph.D. candidates must meet in order to graduate in a given semester.