Harvard Commencement

Harvard University Commencement in May is a time-honored tradition. Graduates of Extension School degree programs and other Harvard schools attend ceremonies throughout the day and receive their diplomas. Experience the day in our slideshow below.

First, the graduates of each of the Harvard schools, including the Harvard Extension School, begin their procession to Harvard Yard for the Morning Commencement Exercises, and are accompanied by bagpipers, drummers, and festive banners.

Second, all Harvard graduates go to various university locations to have lunch and receive their hard-earned diplomas.

Third, and finally, all the Harvard graduates go back to Harvard Yard for the alumni speeches and the keynote address.

Graduates typically receive two guest tickets to each of the three events.

Harvard Extension School’s Commencement tradition

Since awarding its first degree in 1913, Harvard Extension School has awarded more than 12,000 degrees and certificates to students who have passed through its gates.

Every year, graduates of Extension School degree programs begin the morning with a procession to Harvard Yard, where they join other Harvard graduates for the morning exercises, during which President Drew Faust and the dean of each school ceremonially confer degrees.

At the degree and certificate awarding ceremonies in the afternoon, the Extension School awards the bachelor’s and master’s degrees and graduate certificates, and numerous academic prizes. In the late afternoon, all Harvard graduates return to Harvard Yard for alumni speeches and the keynote address.

See Your Degree, Your Career to learn how employees and alumni value their Harvard Extension Degree.