Graduate and Professional Schools

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Graduate and Professional Schools

Harvard University is closely monitoring the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Our top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our community, on and off campus. We are planning for several reopening stages to limit the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring the continuity of our teaching and research mission. We will continue to update the community regularly to keep you informed of additional measures. To stay up to date on Harvard's response to the outbreak, visit the University's COVID-19 website, which will be updated with information as it becomes available.

The Office of the President announced that our community would not host Commencement exercises in person on May 28th, 2020. The university hosted an online graduation program on Thursday, May 28th to honor our Harvard Class of 2020. You can watch that program here.

If there are further updates to Commencement and related activities, the University will post updates here. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.


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Commencement Day at Harvard is typically comprised of three components:

The Commencement Morning Exercises (9:45 AM)

Grad School Morning Exercises

The Morning Exercises, the official University Commencement ceremony, are held in the outdoor Tercentenary Theatre before an audience of 32,000 degree candidates from the College and Graduate and Professional Schools, family members, faculty, alumni/ae, and special guests of the University. Some families and guests may prefer to avoid the large crowds and view the ceremony on television monitors located at most of the undergraduate Houses and Graduate and Professional Schools. During the Morning Exercises, the three Commencement student speakers, representing each of the following categories (Undergraduate English, Undergraduate Latin, and Graduate English) deliver their speeches. The Deans of each school introduce their respective degree candidates for their specific degrees, which the president then confers. Towards the conclusion of the ceremony the graduating Seniors are asked to rise, and their degrees are conferred on them as a group by the president. Honorary Degrees are then conferred. Academic regalia (cap and gown) is required for all graduating degree candidates. Admission to the Morning Exercises is by ticket only. The sale of Commencement tickets is prohibited.

Diploma-Awarding Ceremonies at the Graduate and Professional Schools (Noon)

At the conclusion of the Morning Exercises, the President’s Division will process from the platform and down the center aisle of Tercentenary Theatre. Degree candidates and their guests return to their respective Schools for luncheons and individual diploma-awarding ceremonies. Luncheons and diploma-awarding ceremonies at the Schools conclude by approximately 2:00 PM, after which degree candidates, their parents and guests are invited back to Tercentenary Theatre for the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association.

The Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association (2:30 PM)

In the afternoon, the Harvard Alumni Association welcomes the graduates into the Harvard Alumni Association. The alumni/ae procession begins at 1:45 PM. The afternoon program includes alumni/ae presentations, the President’s Annual Report to the Alumni/ae, and the featured Commencement Speaker’s address. The afternoon program, also held in the outdoor Tercentenary Theatre, concludes at approximately 4:15 PM. For more information, please visit the Alumni site.

For additional information please contact the respective Graduate/Professional school.

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Divinity School
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Graduate School of Design 
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School of Public Health
Harvard Medical School
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Harvard School of Dental Medicine
School of Engineering and Applied Sciences