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Graduate Information

Congratulations Prospective Graduates!

Candidates are personally responsible for satisfactorily completing all general University, major department, academic, and financial requirements (See Clearance for Graduation). Information on this page is directed to all prospective graduating seniors. Please note that receipt of the Dear Degree Candidate letter, official announcements, participation in the Commencement exercises, nor the appearance of a name in the printed program will be considered as conclusive evidence of graduation on May 13, 2017.

As you near the completion of your degree program, you will need pertinent information regarding the events of the week of May 8th, with particular emphasis on the May 13th Commencement ceremony. The following checklist should be carefully read and retained for guidance and continued reference throughout the graduation process.

Questions? Email commencement@howard.edu

Time and Place

Howard University Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 13, at 10:00 a.m., on the Upper Quadrangle, main campus. Prospective graduates are required to assemble by School or College at 7:00 a.m. on the field of Greene Stadium. Prospective graduates who arrive late may not be allowed to sit with their respective School or College and may be added to the end of the procession.

Ticketing and Admission of Guests

Four reserved seat tickets will be issued to each graduate by the University. Additional guests may be seated in the general seating section (i.e. bleacher seating) on a first-come, first-served basis.  A ticket is not required for the general seating section. Please encourage all guests to be seated by 8:30 a.m. to witness the procession of the graduates.

Broadcast Arrangements

Commencement will be livestreamed over WHUR-FM Radio 96.3 MHz and WHUT-TV, Channel 32 beginning with a pre-show at 9:30 a.m. and actual Commencement from 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. DVDs of the Commencement Convocation will be available. Purchase Order Forms for the DVDs may be downloaded. An encore airing of Commencement will be broadcasted on Sunday, May 14 at 7:30 a.m. on WHUT.

Academic Costume

The academic costume consists of cap, gown, hood, tassel, and black shoes. The cap is an essential part of the academic costume and is to be retained on the head throughout the academic exercises, except during prayer and the singing of the Alma Mater. In particular, the cap is not to be removed at any point during the Conferring of Degrees. The hood is not to be worn until the actual Conferring of Degrees by the President of the University.

Order & Purchase of Academic Costumes

All graduate academic costumes are available for purchase at the Howard University Bookstore (the "HUB"). Each candidate must complete all academic and financial requirements and obtain clearance slips before academic costumes can be purchased. Candidates may receive further instruction via the HUB Graduation Center. Graduation candidates may order their academic costumes and buy their commencement accessories from the Howard University Bookstore and online at www.howard.bncollege.com/.

Important: To assure receipt of a properly fitting academic costume, you should know your head or hat size, and your height and weight. A size chart will be provided at the HUB to assist you in selecting the appropriate costume size.

Graduation Center Pick-Up Procedures for Academic Costumes

Graduates may pick up their regalia and commencement tickets from their School or College on the designated date and time. Check for your scheduled time at auxiliary.howard.edu/campus-stores---graduation-information.html.

Official Announcements

Official announcements are available for purchase through the HUB. Candidates may order announcements at the ordering fair or online at howard.bncollege.com.

  • Pick-up Fair: Monday, May 8 - Friday, May 12, 2017

Clearance for Graduation

Clearance for graduation is the process of completing and fulfilling all academic and financial requirements established by the University. Each candidate is personally responsible for obtaining academic and financial clearance prior to graduation. Please consult your respective Dean of the School or College to determine if you have met all academic requirements. For financial clearance, you must report to the Office of Student Financial Services to settle your account. Only candidates with official University clearance by both the respective Dean and the Office of Student Financial Services will be approved to receive the academic costume and to participate in the Commencement ceremony.

All graduation clearance questions should be directed to the respective Schools and Colleges. For a list of all 13 Schools and Colleges please click here

Rehearsal

A graduation rehearsal will be held in Cramton Auditorium on Tuesday, May 9, at 10:30 a.m. All degree candidates and all marshals for the divisions of the University must attend. Important information is provided at this session regarding arrival instructions, guest information, parking, transportation, and processional route, as well as any last minute updates of information pertaining to the Commencement ceremony. If you cannot attend the rehearsal, please check back here for ongoing updates.

Assembly of Degree Candidates

Degree candidates will report to Greene Stadium no earlier than 7:00 a.m., but not later than 7:45 a.m. on Saturday, May 13 for the assembly and procession to the staging area. The procession begins at 8:30 a.m. (In the event of inclement weather, degree candidates will assemble in Burr Gymnasium, with no academic procession.)

The University Marshal, with the assistance of the faculty, student, and staff marshals, will assemble the procession. Under the direction of class presidents who will serve as assistant marshals, candidates will form in columns of two behind the markers designating their respective Schools or Colleges. On the signal from the University Marshal, the candidates will march to their assigned seats. Upon reaching the reserved seats, the candidates will remain standing, facing the rostrum, until the President of the University acknowledges the salute of the University Marshal, then all will sit simultaneously.

Conferring of Degrees

At the direction of the Dean of the School or College, the candidates will rise and face the rostrum, and remain standing at attention. The Dean then presents the Class to the President of the University. The President confers the degree, and the person at the graduate’s immediate left invests him/her with the hood. All graduates face forward, remain standing at attention, and await the signal of the Dean before sitting.

Note: Graduation is a joyous and special occasion. It is a time for celebration and merriment. You are reminded, however, that Commencement is a formal University function. You are requested to maintain the order and solemnity of the proceedings. It is a courtesy we owe each other and our guests.

President’s Reception

Graduating Seniors and Their Families

  • Thursday, May 11
  • 4:00 p.m – 6:00 p.m.
  • J. Blackburn University Center Ballroom - Main Campus

Prayer Breakfast

All Degree Candidates and Their Families

  • Friday, May 12
  • 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
  • (Breakfast served from 8:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.)
  • Armour J. Blackburn University Center Ballroom - Main Campus