Information for Graduate Degree Candidates
Congratulations! You will soon receive your degree from Clark University. Although most of your work is completed, there are a few significant details to which you need to attend before graduation in May. Please read carefully and note important dates, times, locations, procedures and attire requirements for Commencement 2016.
Commencement 2016 will be held Sunday, May 22, on the Jefferson Academic Center Green.
Students who have completed all work and whose grades (no incompletes) have been received at the Registrar's Office are automatically included in the Commencement program and invited to participate in the graduation ceremony.
Please review your student account prior to April 1 to see if you have any holds and/or a balance due. All holds and balances must be eliminated before you can be cleared for graduation. Contact your student account counselor, before April 1, with questions.
Last names beginning:
A-G (508) 793-7721
H-O (508) 793-7483
P-Z (508) 793-7491
All students who received federal or Clark institutional loans to finance their education must complete an online exit interview. These are mandatory, and diplomas of any students who do not complete online exit interviews may be withheld. You will be notified in April about the exit interview process.
Clark Invitations for Your Family and Friends
Each graduating student receives 3 invitations/announcements to send to family and friends. Please keep in mind that seating in the Kneller for the graduate student portion of Commencement will be limited to three people per graduate student. See Consideration for Guests section below for additional seating information.
Extra announcements will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and must be picked up in the Graduate School Office, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Supplies are limited.
Commencement Brunch for Graduates and their Families
9 – 11 a.m.
Higgins University Center
Brunch reservations are available for graduates and their families at $12 per adult, $6 for graduating students, $5 for senior citizens (65+) and children 6-12 years-old; children under 5-years-old eat free. Walk-ins are welcome for $13 per adult and $6 for senior citizens (65+) and children 6-12 years-old. Please remember to include your graduating student in your reservation. Please note brunch is general seating.
Caps and Gowns
Graduate students must order their own commencement regalia through University Cap and Gown. Students who have submitted the Application for Degree form will receive the following information directly:
- Graduate Student Commencement Attendance form (due by March 25)
- Information and link to order regalia (regalia site will be open until April 15)
The cost for Master's degree regalia is $28; the regalia is yours to keep.
For Ph.D. students — The cap & gown are rentals, which cost $38 and must be returned on Commencement day. If you wish to purchase the regalia there is an option to do so on the University Cap & Gown website.
Both Master's and Doctoral students — You may have your regalia shipped to your home address for an additional fee of $14.25, or you may pick it up on campus in Atwood Hall on Tuesday, May 17, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. or Thursday, May 19, from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Doctoral Students only — Returning rented regalia:
- University Cap & Gown will be in the Kneller Athletic Center on Commencement day until 5 p.m.; you may return your garments there.
- You may also drop garments off on the second floor of the Geography Building before May 25.
- After May 25 you are responsible for shipping the garments back at your own expense. Ship to: University Cap & Gown, Attn: Returns, 486 Andover Street, Lawrence, MA 01843.
Processional begins at 12 p.m.
Kneller Athletic Center
Graduate students must assemble by 11:15 a.m. sharp in the Kneller Athletic Center wearing (or carrying) their caps and gowns. The Kneller will open to graduates at 11 a.m. Commencement is a formal affair. University officials reserve the right to prohibit a student from participating if the formal cap and gown are not worn — or if the student's identity is concealed in any way.
If a last-minute emergency on the day of Commencement prevents you from joining the ceremony as planned, please call (508) 793-7575.
Backpacks or large handbags will not be allowed at Commencement. High-heeled shoes are not recommended for the procession or ceremony.
In the Kneller gymnasium, tagged seats are arranged alphabetically for all students. Graduate students will be seated in alphabetical order by degree in the sections closest to the stage; Undergraduate students will be seated in alphabetical order behind the Graduate students. Please be seated; Commencement Marshals will be on hand to help. You will receive last-minute instructions at this time.
From the Kneller, students will walk in a formal procession to the Commencement area. Students must take their seats on the Campus Green, and stay in the same order in which they were seated in the Kneller.
The program will begin on the Campus Green and will include a welcome, opening remarks, the Commencement address, conferring of honorary degrees and recognition of all graduates. This portion of the ceremony will run approximately 1 hour.
At the conclusion of the ceremony above, designated members of the platform party, followed by graduate students, will process behind the piper and drummer to the Kneller Athletic Center for the Graduate School Commencement.
Families of graduate students will be directed in an orderly fashion to the Kneller Athletic Center.
Please Note: Once capacity has been reached in the Kneller Athletic Center, all remaining guests will be directed to seating in the Sackler Sciences Center; the ceremony will be live-streamed in Sackler.
Ushers will be at the Kneller to assist family and friends with seating.
After the ceremony, the formal recession of the platform party begins. You are expected to remain seated until the party has left the platform. Graduates will follow the faculty in a recession down the center aisle and out the back door of the Kneller. Faculty members will have formed a receiving line on the Kneller patio to congratulate you.
To allow all attendees to hear and enjoy the Commencement ceremony without disruption, we request that students hold off celebrating until after the final recession. Drinking and raucous behavior during the ceremonies will not be permitted.
Consideration for Guests
Graduate Student Guest Seating on the Campus Green
Sections of seating on the Goddard Library side of the green will be designated as preferred Graduate Student Guest seating and will be marked with green banners. This will enable guests to easily leave at the conclusion of the first ceremony and walk to the Kneller for the graduate student ceremony.
Graduate Student Guest Seating in the Kneller Athletic Center
Guest seating for the graduate student portion of Commencement will be very limited. Students are asked to bring no more than three guests to the Kneller Athletic Center for the graduate student ceremony. Additional/overflow seating for guests of Graduate students is in Johnson Auditorium in the Sackler Sciences Center. Both the University-wide ceremony and the Graduate Commencement will be broadcast in Johnson Auditorium as well as the Kneller Athletic Center.
Guests of Graduate students who prefer indoor seating should go directly to the Kneller Athletic Center, which will open to guests shortly after the noontime procession to the campus Green has ended.
Seating for Physically Challenged Attendees
If seating is required for physically challenged family or friends, please arrange to reserve seating in advance by contacting:
Any Clark student needing special accommodations for him/herself should contact:
Emily Tarconish, Director of Disability Services
Photography and Video Coverage
Professional photographers will set up near the Commencement platforms to take photographs of each graduate as he/she is handed a diploma. Details about purchasing this photograph will be sent to students' homes directly from Commencement Photos, Inc. There is no obligation to buy. Additional information and online ordering is available through the company's website after graduation day.
Please note this professional photograph is a candid shot and graduates are asked not to stop and pose as this will hold up the diploma awarding part of the ceremony; photographers will not take posed photos. To ensure your photograph comes out well, please be sure to look at the Provost and smile when you are receiving your diploma.
Family and friends may take their own photographs along the processional route from the Kneller Athletic Center. Please note there are no photography areas near the stage; we respectfully ask that guests do not try to approach the platform for photographs as this creates unsafe conditions and blocks the views of others.
Clark will use Livestream.com to broadcast Commencement; you can also watch commencement on-demand (available, shortly after the ceremony finishes), or download the event.
If you have any additional questions please call or email:
Graduate School Office