Commencement registration and ticket requests are available to degree candidates only. Registration to request tickets to the main ceremony opens on February 2 and lasts through March 2 at 11:59 p.m. Degree candidates who have filed their Notice of Candidacy (pdf) with the registrar’s office will receive an email with a unique link to register for Commencement. Filing your Notice of Candidacy does not automatically register you for the Commencement ceremony!
Failure to register by the March 2 deadline means you will not be able to pick up tickets for the main ceremony, although you will continue to receive Commencement informational emails. Students who miss the deadline and request tickets later will be handled on a case-by-case basis and will not necessarily receive the full allotment of tickets.
Due to limited seating availabiltiy in William & Mary Hall, and in order to ensure the safety of our graduates and guests, each graduating student is eligible to request a maximum of four (4) guest tickets. If tickets still remain once the Commencement registration period ends, degree candidates will have an opportunity to request additional guest tickets. If the number of requests exceeds the number of remaining seats, tickets will be distributed on the basis of a randomized computer drawing from among all of the requests received. Please note: if we receive more requests than available tickets, then tickets through the lottery will be limited to one ticket per person. This ensures that one person does not receive two tickets while someone else does not receive any. Further information about the lottery process will be sent to degree candidates by e-mail in March. The final opportunity to receive extra tickets occurs with tickets that never get picked up. In this case, we will re-distribute these tickets to students who request additional tickets, though this occurs only one week before Commencement. Students may also ask their friends to share any extra tickets they may have. Please note that the buying or selling of Commencement tickets is prohibited by the College.
Unable to Get Tickets?
The main ceremony in W&M Hall is one of the few Commencement events that requires tickets. We encourage guests without tickets who wish to view the main ceremony to go to one of the live video streaming locations on campus. If students are unable to secure enough tickets to the main ceremony, we also encourage them to invite those who cannot attend the W&M Hall ceremony to meet them at their diploma presentation ceremony. This has worked well for families in the past, especially when there are young children or older relatives who really would prefer not to sit through the main ceremony, but do want to see the graduate receive his/her diploma at the more intimate departmental event.
Most other other activities on Commencement Weekend — including the Baccalaureate Service, the Alumni Induction Ceremony, the Candlelight Ceremony, and most departmental diploma presentation programs and receptions — are open to any number of guests. We recommend checking with the department to ask about any seating restrictions they may have.
Diploma Presentation Ceremonies
Some academic departments have a limit on the number of guests who can attend, particularly in the event of rain. Degree candidates are encouraged to ask their major department about any restrictions that would affect guests attending the diploma presentation ceremonies.
Tickets for Wheelchair Seating and Limited Mobility Guests
To request wheelchair seating, limited mobility seating, and/or a vehicle access pass to drop-off guests with disabilities, you will need to complete the Disability Accommodations Form (available in February) in addition to the Commencement registration form. Please note that wheelchair and limited-mobility seating tickets count toward your allotment of four (4) tickets. For example, if you request four (4) tickets on this registration form and a wheelchair ticket on the Disability Services Form, you will receive a total of four tickets (two (2) general admission tickets and two (2) wheelchair section tickets - one for the wheelchair guest and one for a companion to assist him/her).
Tickets for Young Children
Children ages two and under are allowed to sit on someone's lap and do not need a ticket.