If you intend to graduate in May, you must complete the online Application to Graduate form on the myAU.american.edu portal. All students, must complete this application on the portal, whether or not they plan to attend commencement. This form is separate from any clearance paperwork that you fill out for your school or college. If you have any questions, contact your academic advisor.
Submission of the graduation application triggers a review of your academic record, puts you on track to receive future commencement mailings and updates, and helps to ensure that your name is listed in the printed commencement program.
In mid-December, the Commencement Guide for Graduates and Guests was mailed to the permanent home addresses of students expected to graduate in May. The guide includes general information about preparing for commencement, cap and gown rentals, the weekend activities, etc. (Commencement Guide).
Ceremony Tickets, Remote Viewing, and Live Streaming
Guest tickets are not required for the School of Public Affairs, School of Communication, and Kogod School of Business ceremonies. However, students participating in these ceremonies are asked to limit their guests to no more than seven.
Because of limited seating in Bender Arena, tickets will be required for admittance to the College of Arts and Sciences Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 13 at 6:00 p.m., and the School of International Service on Sunday, May 14 at 2:30 p.m. An allotment of six (6) tickets will be distributed to CAS and SIS students who have rented regalia and registered to participate in the ceremony. CAS and SIS students participating in the ceremony will not need a ticket for themselves. Additional details on ticket distribution will be shared in future commencement update emails and will be posted on the commencement website.
Due to the expected attendance at the CAS and SIS ceremonies, we are unable to fulfill any requests for additional tickets. In order to accommodate guests without tickets, the ceremony will be shown live at a remote viewing location in the Ward Circle Building, Rooms 1 & 2, and live-streamed on the commencement website. Graduates seeking additional tickets are encouraged to ask friends within their school/college if they have extra tickets. Commencement tickets are not available for sale or purchase. Click here for additional information on commencement tickets.
Parking on campus will be limited over commencement weekend. One commencement parking pass will be issued to each student who rents a cap and gown. The cap and gown rental serves as the graduate’s registration to participate in their school’s commencement ceremony. The parking pass will be valid for a designated time period and parking garage, based on the graduate's school/college. Graduates will receive additional information when they pick up their passes during Cap and Gown Distribution in the Bridge Lounge from May 10 to 13. Passes will be distributed at a separate table next to the caps and gowns. Parking passes are complimentary; additional passes will not be available for purchase. Note that parking permits issued by AU Transportation Services for use during the year will not be valid for parking during commencement weekend.
Satellite parking for guests without parking passes will be available at locations close to campus. Shuttle service will be provided. Additional details will be announced in the coming months. Click here for additional information on commencement parking.
Doctoral degree recipients interested in purchasing regalia (approximate cost: $800) should contact associate registrar Michael Hunnicutt (202-885-2232, email@example.com) for information. The deadline to purchase doctoral regalia for commencement is March 10, 2017.
Each school/college has at least one student speaker at commencement. The selection process is coordinated within each school/college and is beginning now. Contact your dean’s office or academic advisor for details. Keynote speakers will be announced in early to mid-April.
The Office of the President and the Department of Performing Arts are seeking five graduating seniors or graduate singers to sing the National Anthem at each of the five American University commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 13, and Sunday, May 14. Click here for additional information on auditions.
Bachelor’s and master’s graduates rent regalia, beginning in mid-March. AU's customized regalia features our distinctive red, white, and blue colors and is appropriate to your degree. Rental of regalia serves as your registration for commencement.
The rental fees are approximately $45 (bachelor’s), $95 (master’s), and $125 (doctoral). Our March electronic postcard will be emailed to your local address once you are “eligible” to graduate—meaning, you applied to graduate and your advisor has found you on track to complete all requirements. The e-postcard will list steps to rent regalia and register to participate in the May commencement ceremonies.
Students who are Active Duty or who are joining the Armed Forces may wear formal dress uniforms in place of rental regalia. If you plan to wear your dress uniform, you must notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to list “Armed Forces” in the subject of the email.
Seventeen awards are given at commencement to exceptional graduating students. Awardees receive cash prizes from $250 (Student Achievement Awards) to $1000 (President’s Award). Nominations are due by March 17. See the university awards website for more information.
Dual degree students fulfill the requirements for two bachelor’s programs and earn a total of 150 credit hours. These students can participate in either or both schools’ ceremonies, are listed twice in the commencement program (once for each school/college), and receive two separate diplomas. Double major students are expected to participate in their “home” school’s ceremony, are listed once in the commencement program, and receive one diploma. Check your DARS report to verify your “home” school. See your advisor if you have questions.
The commencement printed program includes a section recognizing students joining the Armed Forces after graduation. To be included, email the following info by March 31 to email@example.com: Name, School or College, Branch of Military (ex. John Smith, School of Communication, Chemical Corps, US Army). Be sure to list “Armed Forces” in the subject of the email.
Students who are Active Duty or who are joining the Armed Forces who wish to wear formal dress uniforms in lieu of rental regalia must notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org (list “Armed Forces” in the subject of the email).
A senior class gift commemorative pin will be given to students who have generously participated in the 2016-2017 senior class gift. Wearing this pin during commencement shows family, friends, faculty, staff, and alumni that you have chosen to support the future of American University-your alma mater. Consider making a gift towards any area of the university that provided you with purpose, passion, and guidance. Click here for more information.
The Legacy Alumni Network (LAN) recognizes American University alumni and students who are the children, grandchildren, parents, or grandparents of an AU alum. The LAN helps these members of the AU community stay in touch with the university and with one another through special events and networking opportunities. With more than 2,000 legacy alumni and students, the network rewards families for their continued generational support of AU. If you have any questions, contact Pat Rabb at email@example.com.
This is the fourth in a series of updates for students expected to graduate in May 2017. Check the myAU.american.edu portal to be sure your correct mailing and email addresses are on file. All mailings and updates will be posted on the commencement website.
Please contact your academic advisor if you have questions regarding the Application to Graduate or other academic-related issues. If you have questions regarding the ceremonies, please contact Lisa Arakaki (202-885-2430) in the Special Events Office or email firstname.lastname@example.org.