Here parents and other guests of students can find what they need to know regarding tickets and seating, parking and directions, and where to stay and eat while visiting.
Baccalaureate and Commencement Tickets and Seating
Pick-Staiger Concert Hall
Tickets are not required. Candidates and their guests will be admitted on a first-come, first-served basis to the Baccalaureate Service. Candidates do not wear caps and gowns at these services. Pick-Staiger Concert Hall is fully accessible.
Commencement Tickets and Seating
Tickets are required for all seating at the outdoor ceremony at Ryan Field and will be available to each graduate at the time of cap and gown distribution at Norris Center. General seating is accessed only at ground level through west side gates as indicated below. Upper deck seating and elevator service to general seating on the mezzanine level are not available.
|Gate K||Guests arriving in wheelchairs|
|Gates M-N||General seating|
|Gate P||Special Guest Ticket Required|
|Gates Q-R-S-T||General seating|
Individual school convocation ticket information is sent to candidates by the appropriate school offices. Questions concerning convocations should be directed to the individual school offices (see the list of school phone numbers).
How and Where to Obtain Tickets
Tickets are available to candidates at the time of cap and gown distribution in the Louis Room at Norris University Center. Each candidate will receive 10 tickets for admission to Commencement at Ryan Field and two tickets for the severe weather location in Welsh Ryan Arena.
Commencement Seating for Guests with Disabilities
By prior arrangement, guests who are deaf and hard of hearing or who arrive in their own wheelchairs may be accompanied by one companion in specially designated seating sections. An interpreter will be present in the deaf and hard of hearing section, and closed captioning will appear on a television screen.
Specially marked tickets are required for seating in the hearing-impaired section at Ryan Field and are available for pick-up by the participating graduate at the time of cap and gown distribution. Reserved wheelchair, and deaf and hearing-impaired section seating may be requested in advance by completing and returning this downloadable reservation form (pdf). You may either return this form by fax or by mail. Reservations are confirmed by mail and include seating and gate entrance information.
Webcast of Northwestern's 155th Commencement
Family members and friends who are unable to attend Commencement may view the ceremony live over the Internet. Webcast coverage of the proceedings from Ryan Field will begin at a specified time to be determined on June 21, 2013.
Please check back to this site for links to the live webcast that morning.
To view the 2013 Northwestern University Commencement ceremony, you must have a newer version of Adobe Flash Player v10 installed on your computer, a high-speed connection to the internet and speakers.
To verify that your computer is compatible with Northwestern University's streaming service, you can visit the NUIT Webcasting page for instructions to download and test your computer and browser for compatibility.
Orders for DVDs of the June 21, 2013, Ryan Field Commencement ceremony may be placed using the form below, are accepted by mail and can be purchased at cap and gown pickup at the Norris Center. DVDs are Domestic $35.00 USD and International $40.00 USD with shipping and handling fee per DVD.
Your order for the Northwestern Commencement DVD may be placed now. Shipment will take place beginning July 5th, 2013.
Directions to the Evanston Campus
Information on taxi and limousine service to the campus from both O'Hare International Airport and Midway Airport is available at:
Travel times from both O'Hare and Midway airports can range from 45 minutes to one and one half hours.
From O'Hare, take Mannheim Road north to Oakton Street. Turn right and follow Oakton east to Gross Point Road. Turn left and follow Gross Point north to Golf Road. Turn right and follow Golf (Emerson Street in Evanston) east to the campus.
From Midway, take Cicero Avenue north to Interstate 55 (Stevenson Expressway). Follow I-55 east to Lake Shore Drive. Follow Lake Shore Drive north to Sheridan Road. Follow Sheridan into Evanston to the campus.
From the west or north, take Interstate 294 (Tri-State Tollway) or Interstate 94 (Edens Expressway) to the Dempster Street east exit. Follow Dempster to Chicago Avenue in Evanston and turn left to reach the campus.
From the east or south, take Lake Shore Drive north to Sheridan Road. Follow Sheridan into Evanston to the campus.
Local Transportation: From downtown Chicago, take the Union Pacific (Metra) commuter train to Davis Street in Evanston or take the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) elevated train to Davis.
Shuttle Bus Service and General Parking
The University provides continuous, complimentary shuttle bus service between the campus and the Ryan Field/McGaw Memorial Hall area on Friday and Saturday, June 21 and 22, 2013.
Guests are urged to park in campus lots and use the shuttle bus service. Parking in the area will be very limited (see the map indicating campus parking lots and the shuttle bus route).
Handicapped parking is available in all campus parking lots, and a fully accessible bus is available at all shuttle stops. Limited parking for vehicles displaying a valid handicapped tag as well as a drop-off site for persons with disabilities is available at the stadium.
Staying in or near Evanston
Staying overnight? There are four hotels and two bed and breakfasts to choose from in Evanston. Each lodging option in Evanston offers personalized service, dining and/or banquet facilities, and amenities to help you do business or relax during your stay. The North Shore Visitors Bureau link below has many nearby options close to Evanston.
Be sure to bring your appetite when you’re in Evanston because it offers enough diverse dining options to suit every palate and mood. Specialties range from ethnic to on-the-go dining…outdoor to fine dining.
There are many things to do and see in and around Evanston. For more information about these options, please visit the Evanston Chamber of Commerce web site and enjoy your stay!