Convocation

Northwestern University is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak (commonly known as coronavirus) to best advocate for the health and safety of our campus community. The University advises that all community members take necessary precautions to protect themselves from this virus. Northwestern is evaluating Northwestern's 162nd Annual Commencement and more information will follow, and the information below will be updated when more information is available. Thank you for your patience.

There are two types of graduation ceremonies at Northwestern:

  • The University Commencement ceremony, which will be held at Ryan Field at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, June 19, 2020.  This event is for the entire university community, undergraduate seniors and graduate students in all majors. 
  • Secondly, there are the individual school Convocation ceremonies. Undergraduate students in the School of Communication who have petitioned to graduate and complete their degree requirements by or before August of 2020 are invited to participate in the SoC Convocation. The SoC Convocation will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 20, 2020 in Welsh-Ryan Arena.  The Convocation ceremony lasts approximately two hours and is followed by a reception.

Students attend the Convocation for the School of their primary major, no matter what other programs or majors they might be completing.  With the exception of students enrolled in the 5-year dual degree programs with the Bienen School of Music and the McCormick School of Engineering, students will earn only one degree even if they have more than one major. For example, a student with a primary major in Theatre and a second major in Political Science will earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication with a major in Theatre and a major in Political Science. Dual degree students will receive information from Bienen and McCormick regarding those Convocation ceremonies.

  • Graduating seniors may request unlimited tickets to the convocation. Graduating students will not require a ticket. We ask however, that students respectfully request only those tickets they are sure to use. Links will be sent to graduates in late April to order tickets. Tickets will be sent to the student’s Northwestern email address late May 2020.
  • All students are required to wear caps and gowns for both the University Commencement and the SoC Convocation. Information about how to order commencement regalia will be made available from the Northwestern Commencement Office in late April. 
  • Diplomas will not be distributed during the ceremony – they will be mailed to the student’s permanent address as listed in CAESAR approximately 6 weeks after the student’s degree is posted.
  • Each graduate will be photographed while receiving their diploma cover from SoC Dean Barbara O’Keefe. Information on how to order pictures will be provided to students when they request their tickets for Convocation.
  • Students who have completed their degree requirements by June of 2020 will appear in the 2020 Commencement Program.  The names of August 2020 graduates will appear in the 2021 Commencement Program.

Additional information regarding the NU 2020 Commencement ceremony and regalia ordering is available at www.northwestern.edu/commencement/. Travel and hotel information can be found on the University Commencement website: www.northwestern.edu/commencement/

Graduates will pick up their cap and gown in early June.

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