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.

Graduate School Commencement Ceremony

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

During the Graduate School Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 22, 2021, doctoral recipients will be hooded and doctoral and master's degrees conferred. Note: Separate diploma 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. Marie Lynn Miranda, Charles and Jill Fischer provost of the University, other senior academic officers, and family and friends in the audience.

If you have any questions about the Graduate School Commencement Ceremony, please contact our coordinators at for assistance.

2021 Dates and Deadlines 

Updated 4/9/2021


  • April 23
    Deadline to rent/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.
  • Deadline for the Graduate School Commencement Form. All eligible participants (August 2020 – May 2021) are expected to submit the Graduate School Commencement Form, regardless of whether they plan to attend the Saturday ceremony.


  • May 19-20 
    Pick up doctoral gowns on the second floor of the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore.
  • May 23-27
    Deadline to return rented doctoral gowns to the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore. Late fees will be incurred after this date.

2021 Commencement Weekend Schedule of Events

Saturday, May 22

  • 8:00 AM - Tentative
    Assemble for academic procession (Notre Dame Stadium)
  • 8:40 AM - Tentative
    Academic procession. (Cap and gown attire required.)
  • 9:00 AM
    Graduate School Commencement Ceremony. Estimated end time: 11:00 AM.

Sunday, May 23 

  • 9:30 AM
    Graduate Mass and Blessing (Notre Dame Stadium). All members of the Notre Dame community are invited, especially graduating masters and doctoral students and two guests. Guest tickets are required.
  • 11:00 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.