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, attire requirements, and guest considerations for Commencement 2013.
Commencement 2013 will be held Sunday, May 19, on the Jefferson Academic Center Green. The procession from Kneller Athletic Center begins shortly after 1.00 p.m. and the ceremony starts at 1.30.
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.
If a last-minute emergency on the day of Commencement prevents you from joining the ceremony as planned, please call (508) 793-7575.
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. You may contact your student account counselor, before April 1, with questions. If your last name begins with:
- A-Ge, call (508) 793-7721
- Gf-No, call (508) 793-7483
- Np-Z, call (508) 793-7491
All students who received federally funded or Clark institutional loans to finance their educations 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 March about the exit interview process.
Caps and Gowns
You must complete the Graduate Student Commencement Attendance Form so that we may order a cap and gown for you.
Caps and gowns for all graduating students may be picked up on:
Tuesday, May 14, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Atwood Hall Blue Room
Thursday, May 16, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Atwood Hall Blue Room
Master's: The charge for master's degree souvenir caps, gowns, tassels and hoods is $28, due and payable to University Cap and Gown upon pickup. The outfit is yours to keep.
Doctoral: The charge for renting doctoral degree outfits is $38, due and payable to University Cap and Gown upon pickup.
Rental caps and gowns must be returned to the Sackler Sciences Center after the ceremony. Doctoral students who do not return their caps and gowns will be billed directly by University Cap and Gown for the full cost of the outfit. The hood and tassel are yours to keep.
Graduates may invite as many guests as they wish to Commencement; guests do not need to show an invitation in order to attend the ceremony. There is no charge for University invitations.
Five formal invitations will be mailed to the address indicated on your Graduate Student Commencement Form (above).
Commencement Ceremony Details
If you are graduating, assemble at 12.30 p.m. sharp in Kneller Athletic Center wearing (or carrying) your cap and gown. Anyone who does not arrive in time for accurate placement in the procession risks not receiving a diploma on stage. Commencement is a formal affair. Commencement 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.
In the Kneller gymnasium, tagged seats are arranged alphabetically. Find the one with your name on it and be seated. You will receive last-minute instructions at this time.
From Kneller, you will walk in pairs to the Commencement area. When you take your seat on the Campus Green, stay in alphabetical order—otherwise you might get someone else's diploma.
The program, which begins with a commencement address and ends with the awarding of doctoral, master's and baccalaureate degrees, will run approximately 2.5 hours. To avoid disruption, and out of respect for all degree recipients, all students are expected to remain in their assigned seats for the entire ceremony. Students are advised to take care of their personal needs prior to the start of the procession.
Awarding of degrees
At some point in the ceremony, the faculty marshal will ask members of your degree group to stand. Remain standing as President Angel confers your degree. Your group then will proceed toward the podium, row by row, beginning at the front and the extreme left. Follow the person on your left. When your name is called, walk across the platform, receive your diploma from President Angel and return to your seat.
- Group 1: all graduate degrees
- Group 2: all COPACE undergraduate degrees
- Group 3: all undergraduate college degrees
After the ceremony, the formal recession of the platform party (including the president, trustees, honorary degree recipients and faculty) begins. You are expected to remain seated until the party has left the platform. Graduates will follow the platform party in a recession from the platform to Atwood Plaza along the walk beside Jefferson Academic Center, where faculty members will have formed an aisle to congratulate you.
Consideration for Guests
Guests who prefer seating indoors may sit in Atwood Hall, where they may watch a broadcast of the ceremony on a large screen, or in the Academic Commons, where the ceremony will be broadcast on large TV monitors.
If special seating is required for physically challenged family or friends, please contact Physical Plant (508-793-7566) in advance to arrange reserved seating. Any student needing special accommodations should make this known to Jane Daignault, Coordinator of Disability Services.
To allow all to hear and enjoy the Commencement ceremony without disruption, we request that you hold off celebrating until after the final recession. Drinking and raucous behavior during the ceremony will not be permitted.
Following the Commencement ceremony, a reception with refreshments will be held for all graduates and their families outside (weather permitting) in the Kresge Quadrangle, between the Higgins University Center and Sackler Sciences Center. In the event of inclement weather, the reception will be held inside the University Center.
Photography and Video Coverage
Professional photographers will set up near the Commencement platform to take photographs of each graduate as he/she is handed a diploma. Details about purchasing this photograph will be sent to students' homes, but there is no obligation to buy. Family and friends may take their own photographs along the processional route from Kneller and from a small section reserved at the side of the platform.
Clark will record the commencement ceremony and provide a live webcast online. Information about how to purchase a copy of the webcast and/or how to view the webcast live will be available on our website later this spring.
Please contact Denise Robertson in the Graduate School office for questions and/or additional information.
We Salute You On May 19, 2013 when you will reach your destination as graduates of Clark University and begin your journey as Clark Alumni, Class of 2013!