Ceremony Information


Students have two ceremonies they can attend, Morning Exercises in Harvard Yard and a school diploma ceremony at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in the afternoon.

GSAS students may also attend a lunchtime ceremony.

Morning Exercises – Harvard Yard Commencement Ceremony

Morning Exercises, during which University degrees are conferred; convene in the outdoor Tercentenary Theatre and are attended by approximately 32,000 degree candidates, family members, faculty, alumni/ae, and guests. This ceremony includes students from all parts of the University and features the awarding of honorary degrees and the collective conferral of the degrees to each school’s graduates by the president of Harvard University.

(Times listed are subject to change.)

6:45 AM – Gates open for guests to start taking seats

8:05 AM – Graduating students line up
Harvard Chan students line up on Quincy Street near Sever Gate.

8:35 AM – The academic procession begins

9:45 AM – The ceremony begins

11:30 AM – (approximately) The ceremony ends

Viewing Alternatives: Because guest seating in Harvard Yard is limited and not guaranteed, Harvard Chan offers guests the opportunity to view the morning proceedings in FXB G-11, G-12 & G-13. The benefits of this option include: ample and more comfortable seating in a climate controlled area and improved viewing and restroom facilities. Morning Exercises will also available via webcast.

11:30 AM -12:30 PM – Travel between Cambridge and Longwood campuses. After the morning ceremony, shuttle buses will bring students and their guests back to Harvard Chan free of charge for both graduates and all guests.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Diploma Ceremony

The school diploma ceremony is held in the Kresge courtyard between the Kresge Building and the Countway Library. The ceremony includes greetings from the Dean, a student speaker, the president of the Alumni Association and an address by an invited speaker. Each year approx 450 graduating Masters and Doctoral students have their names read from the stage and are met and congratulated by their dept. chair and Dean Frenk. As each graduate leaves the stage they are welcomed in to the Alumni Association by staff from the Office of Alumni Affairs. The ceremony is followed by an elegant reception for graduates and their guests.

12:00 PM – Seating opens in the ceremony tent in the Kresge courtyard. Because of limited seating capacity, this is a ticketed event, and those without a ticket will not be admitted.

12:00 – 1:30 PM – Pre-ordered graduate and guest lunches available in Kresge 213

1:30 PM – Graduates begin to line up for the academic procession

2:30 PM – The academic procession begins; ceremony immediately follows.

5:00 PM – (approximately) The ceremony ends and the reception begins.

The distribution of diplomas will take place during the reception.

Viewing Alternatives: The diploma ceremony will be broadcast in FXB G-11, G-12 & G-13. The ceremony will also be available via webcast.

If you have questions, please contact: Office for Student Affairs
617-432-1036, studentaffairs@hsph.harvard.edu.