Harvard Extension School Commencement 2017

Over 700 Harvard Extension School undergraduate and graduate students will participate in the 366th Harvard Commencement on Thursday, May 25, 2017. We’ve outlined here all the information you need to reserve tickets, rent your cap and gown, and participate in activities on Commencement Day.

Ticket Reservations

If you are an Extension School graduate from November 2016, March 2017, or May 2017, you can reserve Commencement event and lunch tickets through online services starting March 17 to April 15. Graduates receive a limited number of tickets (typically two tickets) to all Commencement Day events.

Graduates do not need tickets to the events, but all guests must have a ticket for admission to each venue. Other guests are welcome to watch the morning exercises and alumni program in the Science Center, where the ceremonies are live-streamed and tickets are not required. There is seating, air conditioning, and easy access to restrooms.

You will pick up tickets when you arrive on campus during the week leading up to Commencement.

Hotel Reminder

Out-of-town guests should book their accommodations well in advance.

Visa Reminder

Guests who must have a visa to attend Commencement should begin the application process as soon as possible.

Cap and Gown Rentals

All degree recipients must rent a cap and gown from the Harvard Coop to participate in Commencement Day.

Online cap and gown reservations through the Harvard Coop are available March 20 to April 5.

Save the Date

Alumni Commencement Reception and Alumni Banquet

Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 6–9:30 pm

Join us to celebrate our new graduates and celebrate Harvard Extension School alumni as we bring the academic year to a close. This is an event you won't want to miss!

Ticket ordering and pricing information will be available soon.

Commencement Schedule

Morning Activities

Extension School degree recipients are part of the procession of scholars, dignitaries, and graduates from all Harvard schools who gather in Tercentenary Theatre in Harvard Yard.

  • 6:45–7:15 am: Celebratory breakfast at 51 Brattle Street. Guests with tickets to morning exercises should proceed directly to Harvard Yard to obtain a seat. Gates open at 6:45 am.
  • 7:15 am: Extension School procession to Harvard Yard.
  • 8:50 am: Academic procession into Harvard Yard begins.
  • 9:45–11:30 am: Morning exercises in Harvard Yard.

Alumni Lunch

11:30 am–12:30 pm

Given the limited time between morning exercises and the diploma-awarding ceremonies, the Harvard Alumni Association provides an optional bag lunch for graduates and guests.

Lunch tickets for graduates and guests must be purchased in advance. Lunch tickets grant access to Harvard Yard at 11:30 am for those who do not attend the morning exercises. Tickets are approximately $15 each and must be purchased by April 15 through online services.

Diploma-Awarding Ceremonies

12:45–2:30 pm

Undergraduate degree recipients
American Repertory Theatre (ART), Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle Street

Master of Liberal Arts (liberal arts fields), journalism, and mathematics for teaching degree recipients
Lowell Hall, 17 Kirkland Street

Management and finance degree recipients
Northwest Building, 52 Oxford Street

Information technology and museum studies degree recipients
First Parish in Cambridge, 3 Church Street

Sustainability, biotechnology, and biology degree candidates
First Church in Cambridge, 11 Garden Street

Alumni Exercises and Keynote Address

2:30–4:30 pm

All graduates and guests with tickets gather in Harvard Yard, where President Drew Faust and the Commencement speaker give their addresses. The keynote speaker will be announced in January 2017.

Visit the Harvard University official Commencement website to learn about the day’s history and traditions.

Tips for Commencement Day

  • Commencement will occur rain or shine. Check the forecast ahead of time to be prepared.
  • Bring your Harvard ID card or a valid government-issued ID on Commencement day.
  • Wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and footwear.
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times, and they may not sit with a graduating parent during the morning exercises.
  • All persons, bags, and personal items are subject to inspection before entering Harvard Yard. No bag or item larger than 12" x 12"x 12" will be permitted inside the Yard.
  • Strollers are permitted in Harvard Yard only in designated sections.
  • Disability Seating requests must be made when when you order your tickets through online services (March 15–April 15).
  • Parking near Harvard is extremely limited on Commencement Day. We encourage you to take public transportation or taxi.