You are here: American University Events Commencement Weekend Getting There

Travel & Accomodations

There are many hotels convenient to American University. We encourage you to make reservations as early as possible.

American University has negotiated discounted rates with local area hotels located conveniently to the campus. Discounted university rates are provided for guests of AU, faculty, staff, and current students for business or personal travel. 

Reservations for travel can be booked directly with the hotel via the Campus Travel Management portal. A small percentage of the proceeds from reservations made here will be returned to AU to support university programs and initiatives.

Parking and Transportation

Good Neighbor Policy

In accordance with Washington, DC, regulations and the University’s “Good Neighbor Policy,” parking for university events is prohibited on neighborhood streets. All guests, students, faculty, and staff driving to campus for the commencement ceremony are required to park in a designated parking garage with the appropriate parking pass.

AU Shuttle Service

We encourage our guests to use public transportation, such as the DC Metro, and the complimentary AU Shuttle. The university will provide shuttle bus service to and from the Tenleytown-AU Metro station, which is on Metro’s Red Line. Shuttle buses will run every 10 minutes from the Tenleytown-AU Metro station to the McKinley/Letts shuttle stops. Please note that the north-side shuttle stop behind Kogod will not be in use and the tunnel roadway will be closed over commencement weekend.

Parking Passes

Parking on campus will be limited over commencement weekend. Please consider alternative ways to get to campus including the AU Shuttle, Metrorail & Metrobus, taxi or ride-sharing service.

One (1) commencement parking pass will be issued to each student registered to participate in commencement. There will be no charge for parking passes; additional passes will not be available for purchase. Parking permits issued by AU Parking and Commuter Services for use during the year will not be valid for parking during commencement weekend. Lost parking passes will not be replaced.

Graduates must pick up their parking passes during Cap and Gown Distribution. You must have your regalia email confirmation or your regalia purchase form to pick up your parking pass. Graduates wearing military dress should bring an email confirmation from Passes will be distributed at a separate table next to the caps/gowns.

Fall Parking Hours and Locations
The Fall Commencement parking pass will be valid from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on December 15 and good for the SIS and Katzen Arts Center Parking Garages.

Spring Parking Hours and Locations
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.

  • Follow @AmericanUPolice and @ParkingatAU for real time updates on parking availability over commencement weekend.
  • To avoid a back-up, please display your parking pass in your window prior to arriving on campus.
  • Allow ample time to get to campus, find parking, and find your designated meeting point. Graduates should be in their line-up location at least 45 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. Guests should be seated in Bender Arena at least 10 minutes before the start of the ceremony.
  • Spring Overflow Parking: A limited amount of overflow spaces will be available on East Campus. Overflow parking spaces are first-come, first-served.

Guests with valid state-issued handicapped permits or plates requiring accessible parking will be permitted to park in the Sports Center Garage. Drivers may also drop off guests with limited mobility at an accessible entrance before proceeding to their designated parking garage. See additional information on disability support services.