Commencement Weekend is an exciting time for everyone to celebrate YOUR achievements. We encourage you to attend and participate in weekend traditions. We look forward to celebrating with you!
Download W&M Mobile and tap W&M Grad to build a custom schedule, see event updates, have fun with #wmGrad, and find your instructions, parking, shuttle and other essential information (available April 29).
Main Ceremony Instructions
SecurityGraduates will pass through a security checkpoint before entering the stadium. Review the list of items that are prohibited at the ceremony venue.
The following degree candidates are eligible to participate in the May 2019 Commencement ceremony:
January 2019*, May 2019, August 2019
Graduate Degrees - 2019 Eligibility:
*January 2019 Graduates
We will send communication via your W&M email account only. If you use another email address, be sure to forward your W&M email to your new address. If you are returning for the May ceremony, notify your department in advance so they can include you in their ceremony. If you request guest tickets to the main ceremony, you can arrange to either have them mailed to you or pick them up on-campus the week before Commencement.
Registration for Commencement and Guest Tickets for the Main Ceremony
Graduating students who plan to dress in regalia and participate in the main ceremony are required to register for the ceremony and request guest tickets online.
Registration is open as follows:
Because the ceremony is scheduled to be held in Zable Stadium (larger seating capacity) the number of guest tickets is 6. Please note: in the case of inclement weather and the ceremony must move indoors to Kaplan Arena only 4 guest tickets may be used due to the smaller seating capacity.
Only graduating students who participate in the Commencement Ceremony may request guest tickets.
Additional important info:
How do I get my tickets?
You must use the registration form to request your guest tickets.
You will be notified of the ticket pick-up schedule in early 2019.
Double & Interdisciplinary Majors
Undergraduate degree candidates in Interdisciplinary Programs
Students majoring in an interdisciplinary program may choose any department’s ceremony to attend on Sunday to receive their diploma. Typically, it will be the program in which you have taken the most classes or have connected with the most. Students must indicate their departmental ceremony preference when they register for the main ceremony. This information will be passed on to the Registrar's Office for diploma distribution and they will ensure your diploma is delivered to the appropriate department for you to receive it. You should also notify the department of your intention to attend so they can include you in the program.
Undergraduate degree candidates with Double Majors
Undergraduates who have two majors may choose only one departmental ceremony to attend on Sunday. Double-majors must indicate their ceremony preference when they register for the Commencement ceremony. This information will be passed on to the Registrar's Office for diploma distribution - they will ensure your diploma is delivered to the appropriate ceremony for you to receive it.
Global Studies and International Relations
Graduating students in GS/IR are recognized by name at a ceremony scheduled on Saturday after the main ceremony. However, no diplomas are presented. Instead, GS/IR majors will pick up their diplomas at Tyler Hall on Sunday morning.
The W&M Bookstore is your contact for all regalia and graduation merchandise.
The bookstore designates specific days when students may buy regalia and other graduation merchandise all at one time. Representatives from Jostens, Oak Hall, Framing Success, Senior Class Gift, Grad Images Photography, Churchill Frames/Carolina Sewn Leather Products, Career Services and Alumni Association will be on hand! Available for purchase at the bookstore fair are cap and gowns, class rings, announcements, diploma frames and other graduation merchandise. Specialty Bundle Packages will be available at this event. Raffle prizes including merchandise, deluxe personalized announcement sets, bookstore gift cards. Event will include free refreshments.
Undergraduates and Masters Degree Candidates - Regalia is available for purchase only there is no rental option. You can purchase regalia by the set (cap, gown, hood and tassel). Items will be sold separately as well.
JD, EDD, PHD and LLM Degree Candidates - Regalia is available for purchase or there is a rental option.
When to Wear Full Regalia (caps, gowns, hoods)
Walk Across Campus, Main Commencement Ceremony, Departmental Diploma Ceremony
Wear Caps/Gowns Only (no hoods)
Candlelight Ceremony (tassel on the right side of the mortar board)
No Regalia Worn
Baccalaureate Service, Saturday Departmental Receptions (unless otherwise noted by your department), Alumni Induction Ceremony
Arts (White), Business (Drab-Tan), Science (Gold), Education Masters (Light Blue), Public Policy (Peacock Blue) (color is different than Education hood)
The University Registrar’s Office is responsible for preparing diplomas and ensuring they are delivered to the correct department to be distributed to graduates. Diplomas indicate the degree a student is receiving (e.g. Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science), but not specific majors and minors. Students must inform the Registrar’s Office by the last day of classes if they plan to receive their diploma from a department that is not their primary major. The University Registrar’s Office will contact students who do not attend their departmental ceremony to arrange for delivery of their diploma.
Helpful things to know about diplomas
William & Mary does not issue honor cords. Honors are determined by a graduating student’s final GPA. Due to the timing of final grades in May, grades cannot be certified until just before Commencement. As a result, it is not possible to ensure the distribution of cords to all eligible students in time for the main ceremony.
Departmental Honors are granted by individual departments and programs to recognize achievement in independent study and research projects. These student projects may receive their degree with "Honors," "High Honors," "Highest Honors," or "Honor in Research," depending on the department and the quality of the work.
Latin Honors are awarded to undergraduates on their overall grade point average as follows:
3.50 - 3.64 cum laude
Latin Honors are indicated on the diploma but not in the Commencement program because grades are not certified until after the program has gone to print.
Class rings may be purchased online at the Jostens website. If you have any questions about class rings, please contact the Bookstore at 757-221-1669 or Jostens at 800-854-7464. The Alumni Association also sells William & Mary rings.
If you have any questions about announcements, please contact the Bookstore at 757-221-1669 or Jostens at 800-854-7464.
Student Speaker Competition
Do you have something to say? Each year a graduating student is selected to deliver an address at the college-wide Commencement ceremony. Anyone undergraduate and graduate student participating in the May ceremony is eligible to apply for this honor. The only stipulation is that the topic must be a theme to which any graduate could relate. The competition is generally announced in December, with application materials due in January.
How to Apply
The online application utilizes Captcha as a security measure. We STRONGLY recommend you save your work before submitting the application through ReCaptcha. If you incorrectly type your ReCaptcha phrase, you might lose the contents of your application and will need to start your application over.
Graduating seniors who live in on-campus housing must turn in their residence hall keys by 10:00 a.m. on the Monday after Commencement. If you have additional questions about move-out, speak to your RA or contact the Office of Residence Life at 757-221-4314.
Graduating students will automatically receive email announcements/instructions beginning in the fall and continuing to the days before Commencement. All emails are sent to the student's W&M account.
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Commencement Schedule and General Information
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Regalia and General Graduation Merchandise