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Fall Commencement 2016

Fall Commencement 2016


What order will the graduates be called in?

Fall Commencement is a combined graduation ceremony for the five main campus schools and colleges. Graduates will line-up and sit by degree (master's ahead of bachelor's) within their school. Schools will be recognized in founding order (CAS, SPA, Kogod, SIS, SOC).

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How many guests can I bring, and do my guests need tickets to attend the ceremony?

Graduates participating in the Fall Commencement ceremony will need tickets for their guests. Each student who rents or purchases a cap and gown (or who wears formal military dress in lieu of regalia) will be issued six tickets.

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What time should graduates arrive to line up before the ceremony?

Please arrive 45 minutes prior to the start of your ceremony in order to receive your name card, line up, and process into the arena.

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What should I wear?

All students participating in the commencement ceremony wear AU rental regalia, purchased regalia, or formal military dress uniforms. Your regalia order serves as your registration to participate in commencement. 

Students who are active duty, joining the Armed Forces, or authorized to wear a military uniform, may wear formal dress uniforms instead of rental regalia, but you must email this information to, in order to qualify for parking passes and commencement ceremony tickets.

Click here for more information on regalia rentals.

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How should my guests and I get to AU?

We encourage graduates and guests to use public transportation, such as Metro and the AU shuttle, to get to campus. The AU shuttle is complimentary and will run every 10 minutes between the Tenleytown-AU Metro station and the Nebraska Avenue and McKinley/Letts shuttle stops. The north-side shuttle stop behind Kogod will not be in use during commencement.

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If I need to drive, how do I get a parking pass?

Parking on campus will be limited on December 21. One commencement parking pass will be issued to each student who rents a cap and gown. The cap/gown rental serves as the graduate's registration to participate in their school's commencement ceremony. Click here more information on parking and when and where to pick up your parking pass.

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What do I do with my personal items during the ceremony?

Please leave all personal belongings with your guests or in your vehicle during the ceremony.

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How do I order graduation announcements?

Herff Jones has created school-specific, personalized announcements for American University, and you can order them through their website. It takes several weeks for personalized printing, so order them well in advance. 

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When will I receive my diploma?

Diplomas will be mailed to the address indicated on a student's graduation application approximately six to eight weeks after grades are finalized.

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Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden to address grads

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden

American University will celebrate more than 500 graduates in its Fall Commencement Ceremony on Wednesday, December 21. Dr. Carla Hayden, the first woman and first African American to lead the nation's library, will be the keynote speaker.

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Inspiring Graduate: Taimur Khan

Taimur Khan studied and navigated disparate cultures on the way to earning his Ph.D. in anthropology.

Taimur Khan, an ethnic Pashtun from Pakistan, will receive his PhD in anthropology at the December 21 ceremony. His family and community's work to preserve its language and identity became the foundation of his scholarly research.

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