Student Affairs

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Contact:
Prather, Catherine
Assistant Director of Finance and Administration

WCL, Room WCL - C301 on a map

WCL,Washington College of Law 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016-2132 United States

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Commencement Information

Commencement 2024 Information

AUWCL's ceremony will be held in Bender Arena on Saturday, May 18. The event will begin promptly at 1:00 pm (doors open at noon). The ceremony will last approximately two to two and a half hours. Tickets are required. 

Friday Commencement Events

Award Ceremony: Invitation only. 

Graduate Reception: WCL will host a reception on our campus on Friday, May 17 from 4:00-6:00pm in Claudio Grossman Hall. More information, including RSVP, is forthcoming. 

Preparing to Graduate (completing Your degree requirements)

March, May, and June 2024 graduates only must submit an Application to Graduate on Eagle Service.  Whether or not you plan to attend commencement, all students must complete this application in the portal. Submission of this form is required as it triggers a review of your academic record, puts you on track to receive future commencement updates, and helps ensure that your name appears in the printed commencement program.

Joint degree students in AU main campus programs must submit a separate application for each degree (MA, MBA, MPA, etc.)  You can edit your diploma name and mailing address there any time after submitting.  Mailing address changes can only be accepted until May 17, 2024.

If you have already completed your degree in 2023 or if you have already submitted the Application to Graduate online, please disregard this step.

Commencement Eligibility

Graduates in these terms and programs who did not attend the AU Commencement Ceremony in December are eligible to attend the WCL Commencement on May 18, and will receive monthly commencement updates via email to your AU student email account:

August 2023/Summer

JD, LLM, SJD

October 2023/T3

MLS

December 2023/Fall

JD, LLM, SJD

December 2023/T4

MLS

March 2024/T1

MLS

May 2024/Spring

JD, LLM, SJD

June 2024/T2

MLS

Names of students in the above cohorts will appear in the ceremony program.

Prospective August 2024 (JD and LLM) graduates may request permission to participate in this ceremony by completing the Commencement Ceremony Participation form and returning it to the Law School Registrar for approval, registrationservices@wcl.american.eduNames of prospective August 2024 graduates will appear in the ceremony program in May 2025.

Graduation Week

The Student Bar Association will plan activities the week prior to the Commencement Ceremony for graduating students to help celebrate this achievement!

Hotel Accommodations

American University has negotiated discounted rates with local area hotels located conveniently to the campus. Reservations for travel can be booked directly with the hotel via the Campus Travel Management Portal

Parking

Parking on campus will be limited over commencement weekend. One commencement parking pass will be issued to each graduate with their academic regalia. The parking pass will be valid for a designated time period and parking garage based on the graduate's school/college.

Overflow parking will be available on a first-come, first-served basis in satellite parking lots including the Washington College of Law campus. Shuttle service will be provided to and from campus. Additional details will be announced later in the semester.

Please consider the following alternative ways to get to campus:

  • AU Shuttle
  • MetroRail & MetroBus
  • Taxi
  • Uber, Lyft or ZipCar

Good Neighbor Policy

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

Academic Regalia

Purchase of academic regalia is used as confirmation of your participation in commencement. To place an order to rent your academic regalia, please visit https://hjgradwalk.com/aulaw/ (portal will open no later than March 1) and search for American University. From there, select Spring Commencement, then Washington College of Law, and Doctorate for JD, SJD, and LLM graduates or Masters for MLS graduates. Feel free to stop by the Office of Student Affairs in C101 if you need to use a Herff Jones Cap measurer to help select the correct cap size.

Regalia must be ordered online. The last day to order regalia for best-price shipping and on-campus pickup is April 1, 2024. The cost for regalia and shipping both increase for the final order date of April 23, 2024.

PICK-UP OF REGALIA: Graduates who did not have regalia shipped to their home must pick up regalia from Mary Graydon Center Room 200 during the following days/times:

  • Thursday, May 16, 12pm-5pm
  • Friday, May 17, 12pm-5pm
  • Saturday, May 18, 11am-4pm

Please bring an ID (AUID or government-issued). Proxies can pick up on another student's behalf: proxies should bring a copy of the other student's receipt and be prepared to sign on the other student's behalf.

RETURN OF REGALIA: Students who chose campus pick up must return regalia to the AU campus store on Saturday May 18 no later than 4pm. Graduates who ordered regalia for home delivery can return the regalia via return mail (shipping labels will be provided in your order). 

Graduates who are unable to return their regalia by the deadline, 5/18 at 4pm, can return regalia via mail to the following address. Graduates who do not return regalia in a timely manner may face additional fees.

Herff Jones, Inc. Cap and Gown Division
1000 N Market St.
Champaign, IL 61820

DUAL DEGREE: Students graduating with dual degrees pay the rental for the JD regalia and then bring the JD receipt to the main campus regalia distribution. HerffJones will fill your dual degree (e.g. MBA, MA) order out of the spare regalia.

Diploma name verification

Students can use a chosen first, middle, and last name(s) on their diplomas. Chosen names may include nicknames, anglicized names, initials, mononyms, names that reflect gender identity, or family name(s). Even if your chosen name has not changed since you first applied to AU, please take a moment to check your application to graduate on Eagle Service to verify the spelling (José Rodríguez or Jose Rodriguez), punctuation (Al Shamsi or Al-Shamsi), spacing (La Barge or Labarge), and capitalization (Dewitt or DeWitt) of your diploma name.  

If you have trouble editing the name or address fields on your submitted Graduation Application, contact registrationservices@wcl.american.edu with the correct spelling, address, etc. 

namecoach and recognition of graduates at commencement

NameCoach will create a professionally recorded reading of your diploma name, which will appear on screen when you cross the stage at commencement. Eligible graduates and candidates for degrees will receive a unique NameCoach registration link beginning March 6. The link allows each graduate to record their name to ensure it is pronounced correctly. The deadline to submit name pronunciation is April 1. If a student made eligible for graduation does not submit a recorded name, NameCoach name readers will pronounce their diploma names as accurately as they can.

spring commencement ticket information

Tickets will be required for admittance to the Spring Commencement ceremonies. Children three and older will require a ticket. An allotment of six (6) tickets will be distributed to students who have registered to participate by ordering their cap and gown. Graduates will not need a ticket for themselves. Registered students will receive a unique link to their AU email to access their electronic tickets prior to the ceremony. We are unable to guarantee requests for additional tickets.

Commencement Ceremony

All graduating students should be robed and at Bender Arena no later than noon. The ceremony will begin promptly at 1:00 pm.

Special Needs Access

  • PARKING: Guests requiring disability parking will be permitted to park in the Sports Center Garage. We recommend that you arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the ceremony, when doors open to Bender Arena. Disability parking spaces are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • ACCESSIBLE ENTRANCE: Drivers may also drop off guests with limited mobility at an accessible entrance before finding parking on campus. This entrance, located on the south side of Bender Arena across from the Asbury Building, allows for ground-level access to the arena floor. Public Safety staff will be present in the parking areas to direct vehicles to this entrance. To utilize this entrance or the accessible parking, enter campus from the Fletcher Gate (see map for details).

  • ACCESSIBLE SEATING: A seating section, located next to the ground-level entrance to Bender Arena, will be available for senior citizens and persons with physical disabilities and their families. Reservations are not required. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign language interpreters and onsite CART captioning will be provided.

Admission tickets are required, and seating is open. For further information please call 202-274-4030.

Graduation Clearance

Expect a confirmation email of your degree clearance from the Registrar before the end of business on Friday, May 17, 2024.

Safety Regulations

American University welcomes all guests. To ensure the comfort of our guests and in accordance with local fire safety laws, aisles must be kept clear at all times. Guests are asked to cooperate with ushers and public safety officers and to keep designated areas clear.

No large bags (backpacks, briefcases, duffel bags, etc.) will be permitted inside Bender Arena. Large signs, banners, noise makers, and other objects that impede visibility or sound will not be permitted.

Any Questions?

Contact the Office of Student Affairs at studentaffairs@wcl.american.edu or (202)-274-4030 if you have any questions.