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What's the difference between the College's Degree Celebration and the University's Commencement Ceremony?

Degree Celebration

Graduates are encouraged to attend both the university-wide Commencement ceremony, and their specific degree celebration ceremony.

The College of Science Degree Celebration is a celebration of our graduating Mason Science students. All graduates are individually recognized and photographed on stage receiving their degrees.

Commencement is the celebration of graduation officiated by the University President. It is the official university-wide degree conferral ceremony for all graduates. PhD graduates are individually recognized, hooded and photographed on stage. All graduates are acknowledged, and degrees are conferred by deans/directors and university president.

Get yourself together - plan ahead

Graduates at the COS degree celebration

Registration and Information for Graduates

  • Assemble at 9 a.m. in Parking Lot A at the sign for your degree and major.
  • You will be given a card to write your name as it sounds (phonetically). You will hand this card to the usher on stage; this is the way your name will be read properly as you walk across the stage.
  • Wear your cap and gown when you arrive. You will not be allowed to participate without a cap and gown.

Guest Information

  • Doors open at 9 a.m. Seats are first-come-first-served.
  • No tickets are required for this event, bring as many guests as you like.
  • Parking: Please park in any surface lot as directed by the parking attendants.

Rain Plan
If it is raining on the morning of Friday, May 19 there will be no procession for bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates. 

Instead, graduates should report directly to the EagleBank Arena via the loading dock on the lower level of the East side. You will be seated by college and by major on the floor. Look for signs indicating your college and major. 

Faculty marshals will be there to assist you. Call 703-993-1000 if you’re unsure about the line-up location because of weather conditions.

Disability Accommodations
For disability accommodations at the ceremony, please email

Have questions?
Please email Also, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Graduating? Take the Career Plans Survey

All May 2023 graduates are encouraged to complete the Career Plans Survey. This helps gather information on what jobs our students get when they graduate, their starting salaries or where they go for graduate school. 

The survey is for BOTH graduate and undergraduate students earning their degrees in May 2023.  Students will sign-in with their Mason NetID in order to access the survey.

Career plans survey May 2022