Three Schar School students standing together in a gown and cap for graduation

George Mason University and the Schar School are excited to celebrate the achievements of our graduates. We hope you will take the time to celebrate your accomplishments and invite friends and family to do so as well. Congratulations! 

Additional Information

Mason's graduation website

Tickets for Graduation (Commencement and Schar Degree Celebration)

The Gowns for Grads Application is now open for Spring 2024! The program was created to offer some financial relief and encourage the celebration of their achievements by making regalia available for our students who are unable to purchase regalia on their own. If you know or work with a first-generation student, low-income, Pell Grant recipient, Stay Mason recipient, or a student who cannot afford regalia right now due to financial difficulties, then encourage them to apply for this program. The first deadline is March 8th and the second deadline is April 5th. More details about deadlines and when students will hear back can be found on the website. For more information check out the University Life website here

Congratulations, SCHAR Graduates!

George Mason University invites you to celebrate your achievements at the May graduation ceremonies:

  • GMU Commencement- May 9th at EagleBank Arena, Fairfax. Detailed information on the ceremony and the Grad Fair (to purchase graduation regalia, invitations, diploma frames, etc.) can be found on the University’s graduation website.
  • The Schar Degree Celebration - May 10th at 7pm at EagleBank Arena, Fairfax. Schar Bachelors and master’s graduates are encouraged to attend both the official university commencement ceremony and the Schar degree celebration ceremony. Graduates will be individually recognized and photographed on stage during the degree celebration. Doors open one hour prior to the ceremony. More details will be emailed to all graduating students in early spring.

* Submit your graduation application by February 20th. Failure to apply by this deadline may result in your name not appearing on any of the graduation programs and a delay in the conferral of your degree.

Even after graduation, want to hear from you! Whether it’s new employment, continuing your studies, or an exciting life event, we hope you will share your news with us.

Graduation FAQs

Are tickets required to attend Commencement? 

Yes, all guests need a ticket to attend, graduates do not need a ticket.

Are tickets required to attend Degree Celebrations? 

Yes, all guests need a ticket to attend, graduates do not need a ticket.

Is there an age restriction on tickets?

Everyone ages 2 and older MUST have a ticket.

When may I claim tickets for my guests?

Ticket links for each ceremony will be active on the graduation website and the last week in February. The deadline to obtain tickets will be March 31. If tickets are still available, a second opportunity to obtain tickets will be open early April.

  • First ticketing opportunity: 

    • Master and Bachelor graduates will be able to obtain 6 tickets for Commencement and 6 for their degree celebration.
    • Doctoral Candidates will be able to obtain 8 tickets to Commencement and 6 for their degree celebration.

What is the difference between University Commencement and the College/School Degree Celebrations?

University Commencement
The University Commencement is the main university ceremony presided over by the President of the University. The ceremony includes a commencement speaker, student speaker and can include other special honors. Caps and gowns are worn.

Doctoral candidates will be hooded and individually recognized. Bachelor and master candidates will be recognized at their seats by major.

College/School Degree Celebrations
Each college/school has an individual ceremony where all graduates are individually recognized and photographed on stage. Celebrations include select speakers, performances and all graduates crossing the stage and having their name ready. Doctorals have already been hooded at the University commencement so they are not hooded at the degree celebrations. Caps and gowns are worn.

Will the commencement ceremony be livestreamed? 

Yes. On the University’s YouTube channel.

Will there be overflow seating? 

Yes. Overflow seating will be available in the Center for the Arts with the livestream.

Where can I park for graduation?

Parking for Graduation ceremonies will be in Lots K, L and parts of A, plus Mason Pond Parking Deck for ceremonies in the Center for the Arts, Concert Hall.

When do doctoral candidates need to arrive on the day of Commencement? 

Between 8:15 -- 8:30 am. Detailed instructions will be emailed to each candidate.

When should all other graduates arrive on the day of Commencement?

One hour prior to Commencement; please meet in Lot A, near the loading dock.

When should guests arrive to Commencement? 

Doors will open 1 hour prior to the start of the ceremony, seating is general admission.

Time of Arrival Degree Celebrations: Graduates should arrive no later than one hour prior to the start of the ceremony. Doors open for guests one hour prior to the start of the ceremony. Seating is general admission.

Can I walk?

At Degree Celebrations, all bachelors and masters students graduating in Spring or Summer 2024 are allowed to walk. Please see the graduation website for the complete schedule.

During the Commencement ceremony, Doctoral graduates will be individually recognized and photographed on stage. All other graduates will be recognized as a group by major at their seats.

For Doctoral candidates, only Spring 2024 graduates confirmed by their colleges/schools are permitted to participate in the Commencement ceremony.

Students with special circumstances should contact the Office of University Events at

How long is the commencement ceremony, and how long is the degree celebration?

Typically, ceremonies last about two hours.

Where can I get my graduation regalia?

Grad Fair happening Feb. 27,28,29 in Dewberry Hall 10am – 6pm; after that time you can purchase directly from the University bookstore in person or online. Check George Mason University bookstore website for the online regalia link.

Regalia Deadlines:

Doctorals—Last day to order if purchasing ($973) regalia: March 10
Last day to order rental regalia online: March 31

Bachelors/Masters—Last day to order online: April 14
After that date, purchases available in person at the University Bookstore while supplies last.

How much does regalia cost for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees?

  • Bachelor's degree regalia (cap, gown, and tassel): $83.98;
  • Master's degree regalia (cap, gown, tassel, and hood): $136.98

How much does it cost to rent Doctoral regalia?


When and where should the rental regalia be returned?

Doctoral rental regalia should be returned to the University Bookstore by May 13.

Where can someone find information about Commencement?

Where can someone get information about degree celebrations?

Will my name be called?

Yes. When you arrive to Lot A (if ceremony is at EBA) or CFA, you will be given a reader card. You will be asked to fill it out and keep it with you. You will hand the card to the reader when you walk on the stage.

Will the bookstore be open on Commencement morning? What time?

Yes, 8:30 am

Could I pick up graduation regalia from the bookstore the day of graduation?

Yes, however, the bookstore does not open until 9am and Commencement starts at 10am so it would be advised to have everything picked up the day before.

Is handicapped-accessible parking available?

Yes, in Lot A of EagleBank Arena and on Mason Pond Drive.

Is accessible seating available for guests?

Yes. Guests requiring special assistance may be seated with one companion guest in easy-access sections of EagleBank Arena. Ushers will be available in the lobby to assist those requiring handicapped and special-assistance seating. Accessible seating is near the number 4, 8, 13, and 17 portal entrances with clear views of commencement proceedings.

Who can I call with questions about the ceremonies?

University Events: 703-993-2853/

What happens in the case of inclement weather?