FAQs Ceremony Details

Other FAQ Topics

When is Commencement?

Commencement is the all Northwestern ceremony Friday, June 22 at 9:30 a.m. at Ryan Field. There will be a Live Webcast of the 2018 Northwestern Commencement ceremony will begin at 9:15 a.m.. Please check back for more information as we get closer to Commencement. From 8:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., there will be a live stream of social media pictures and posts submitted by members of the Class of 2018 and their guests.

Please contact our Commencement Office with any questions or comments. Thank you!

What is the difference between Commencement and Convocation?

Commencement is the all Northwestern ceremony at Ryan Field where the Class of 2018 is commemorated as a whole. During the ceremony, student, faculty and guest speakers will address graduates and their families.

Convocation is an individual school ceremony that awards the graduate with their diploma. Students walk across the stage and are individually recognized at their school's Convocation ceremony.

How long is the ceremony?

The Commencement ceremony is approximately two hours long.

Is Commencement mandatory?

While the Commencement ceremony is not mandatory for students; attendance is encouraged as a traditional experience for Northwestern students, their families and friends.

Are Commencement audience seats assigned?

There will not be assigned seats, but there will be assigned sections for patrons to sit at. Sections will be notated on commencement tickets. Doors open at 8:00 a.m. and we encourage all guests to arrive early in order to have the greatest flexibility in seating.

Will there be a specific location where parents can photograph their student as they proceed in?

We are unable to designate a specific area for parent photography. However, our media team will be taking photos of the processional, and these photos will be made available online for personal viewing.

Do we have family bathrooms at Ryan Field for guests in wheelchairs with caretakers that are a different sex?

Unfortunately there are no family bathrooms at Ryan Field.

Can stadium seats with backs be brought into the stadium?

Yes, cushions and seat backs meant to sit on top of the bleachers for comfort purposes are allowed at Ryan Field. Full sized folding chairs or portable chairs that cannot be used on bleachers will not be allowed into the stadium.