Graduation & Commencement

The University has three graduation dates: August, January, and May. Degrees are conferred and diplomas awarded at the time of each graduation. Students who expect to receive a degree at the end of a term must register and complete ND Roll Call, where they will have an opportunity to add themselves to the graduation list. If a student is not on the graduation list and questions their status, they should contact their graduate program's administrative assistant.

Commencement Ceremony

The Graduate School holds one Commencement ceremony in May of each year. Students who graduate in August and January are invited to participate in Commencement celebrations the following May. 

During the Graduate School Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 16, 2020, doctoral recipients will be hooded and master's degrees conferred. Note: Separate ceremonies are held for graduate students in architecture, business, and law. Please consult your program for additional information.

Dr. Laura Carlson, dean of the Graduate School, will host the Graduate School Commencement Ceremony. Fr. John Jenkins, president of the University, will confer degrees to candidates as presented by the college deans. Witnesses to the conferral of degrees will include Dr. Tom Burish, provost of the University, other senior academic officers, and family and friends in the audience.

2020 Dates and Deadlines - Action Items

  • March 17
    Academic regalia: Purchase/rent academic regalia at the Hammes ND Bookstore Graduation Fair  - CANCELLED
  • March 18
    Academic regalia: After the Graduation Fair, students may rent doctoral regalia or purchase master’s regalia at the second floor jewelry counter of the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore. Master’s students may also order online at If you have questions or are unable to visit the bookstore to rent a doctoral gown, contact Trish Aschenbrenner at or (574) 631-1399.
  • March 19
    Deadline to submit the Registrar’s Graduation Application and request name, degree, or hometown updates for the diploma and Commencement program. Changes requested after this date will incur an additional fee.
  • March 19
    Deadline to order tickets for the University Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 18. Complete the Graduation Application to request tickets. (Tickets are not required for the Graduate School ceremony on Saturday.)


  • April 19
    Deadline to purchase a doctoral gown. Orders may be placed at the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore second floor jewelry counter, or by contacting Trish Aschenbrenner at or (574) 631-1399.
  • April 19 
    Deadline to rent a doctoral gown. Gowns ordered after this date may incur an additional fee.
  • April 29 
    Deadline for the Graduate School Commencement Form. All eligible participants (August 2019 – May 2020) are expected to submit the Graduate School Commencement Form, regardless of whether they plan to attend the Saturday ceremony.


  • May 13-15 
    Pick up doctoral gowns on the second floor of the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore.
  • May 17-21
    Deadline to return rented doctoral gowns to the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore. Late fees will be incurred after this date.

2020 Commencement Weekend Schedule of Events

For planning purposes only; all dates finalized March 1.

Friday, May 15

  • 11:30 AM
    Graduate Mass and Blessing (Basilica of the Sacred Heart). All members of the Notre Dame community are invited, especially graduating masters and doctoral students and their families and guests.

Saturday, May 16

  • 9:00 AM
    Assemble for academic procession (Compton Family Ice Arena)
  • 9:40 AM
    Academic procession. (Cap and gown attire required.)
  • 10:00 AM
    Graduate School Commencement Ceremony. Estimated end time: 11:30 AM.

Sunday, May 17

  • 8:45 AM
    Assemble for academic procession into the University Ceremony. Graduate students will line up by the college from which they are receiving their degree (e.g., Arts and Letters, Engineering, Science). See the Registrar’s Commencement site for more information.
  • 9:30 AM
    Academic Procession
  • 10:00 AM
    University Commencement Ceremony. See the Registrar’s Commencement site for more information.

For information on the broader Sunday University Commencement Ceremony, see the Registrar’s Commencement website.