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View graduation checklists, information surrounding regalia and tickets, day-of schedules, and more.

This page will be updated as information becomes available, so visit early and often to keep yourself apprised of all things Commencement!

Graduating Student Checklists

Commencement 101

What to expect on Class Day and Commencement Day.

What is Class Day?

Class Day is a celebration of the achievements of the graduating class! The day prior to Commencement, we celebrate with speeches–including a keynote from the HLS Class Day Speaker–and the presentation of awards in a ceremony that typically begins mid-afternoon.

Following the ceremony, the celebration continues with a casual reception for degree candidates and their guests. Tickets are not required for Class Day events.

Commencement Day is comprised of the following events:

The ceremonial University Morning Exercises, where Harvard President Lawrence Bacow and the University Commencement Speaker deliver their addresses, and President Bacow confers degrees.

The Law School Diploma Ceremony where Law School Dean John F. Manning presents diplomas to each graduate.

Commencement Day Schedule

  • Sunrise Breakfast | Location & Start Time TBA

    Commencement Day will begin with a Sunrise Breakfast (call time usually 6:00am!) where you will get a lanyard. This lanyard, along with your Harvard ID, is required to enter the Yard. You will also receive everyone’s favorite keepsake, the Graduate’s Gavel! 

  • Class March | Location & Start Time TBA

    All HLS graduates assemble in front of Harkness Commons’ main entrance to join Dean Manning and the Class Marshals in a procession to the Yard. Degree candidates typically march to Quincy Street outside the entrance to Sever Quad in preparation for the Academic Procession. 

    Note: all degree candidates must be in academic regalia, wearing a University lanyard and your Harvard ID. 

  • Formation of Advanced Degree Candidates | Location & Time TBA

    Join other Harvard degree candidates in the Sever Quadrangle to prepare for the Procession of Advanced Degree Candidates into Tercentenary Theatre. Following this Procession, you will be seated in a designated section for the duration of the University Morning Exercises.

    Note: all degree candidates must be in academic regalia, wearing a University lanyard and your Harvard ID. 

  • Morning Exercises | Tercentenary Theatre, Start Time TBA

    Watch the pomp and circumstance of the University’s historic Morning Exercises with fellow degree candidates from across Harvard.

    Note: all degree candidates must be in academic regalia, wearing a University lanyard and your Harvard ID. 

  • HLS Diploma Ceremony & Lunch | Holmes Field, Start Time TBA

    Immediately following the University Morning Exercises, return to Holmes Field for lunch and to begin the HLS Diploma Ceremony.

    In order to begin the ceremony on time and minimize disruption throughout, we ask that degree candidates arrange to meet guests on the Law School campus at the conclusion of the Diploma Ceremony.

Need-to-know: The HLS Diploma Ceremony

  • Degree candidates will be called by program and then by section. 
  • Following the Morning Exercises, SJDs, LLMs, and JD/MBAs should proceed to Hauser Hall immediately for lineup. 
  • Sections will be called to Hauser for lineup throughout the Diploma Ceremony. Please listen carefully!
  • In Hauser, you will be given a pronunciation card with the phonetic spelling of your name, which you’ll hand to the announcer prior to crossing the stage. Commencement staff will have extra copies and blank cards on hand.
  • After exiting the stage, you will receive your diploma and gather with your sectionmates on the steps of Langdell Hall for a section photo.
  • Graduates and guests with prepurchased lunch tickets may pick up lunch in the Lunch Tent throughout the ceremony.

What to wear

Business casual attire is common dress for the Class Day and Commencement ceremonies and you are advised to wear shoes appropriate for walking on grassy areas.

All ceremonies are held outdoors, except in the event of severe weather.

Have International Guests?

For J.D. students with international guests, the Registrar’s Office can provide an invitation letter to support visa applications. You may request a Commencement invitation by completing a Document Request Form.

LL.M. and S.J.D. students will receive support letters via the Graduate Program office.

We encourage your guests to submit visa applications as soon as possible.

Tickets, Regalia, & Lunch

Heads up: all must be ordered in advance!

Entry Tickets

  • Tickets are required for the University Morning Exercises held in Harvard Yard on Commencement Day
    • Each Degree Candidate typically receives two guest tickets to Morning Exercises (your ticket is your Harvard ID)
    • HLS will confirm the number of guest tickets for 2023 once we receive that information from the University
    • Please note: Morning Exercise tickets are generated by the University and cannot be replaced if they are lost
  • Tickets are not required for any ceremonies or events on the HLS campus

Lunch Tickets

All tickets will be available for pick-up by graduates in mid-May.


All students participating in May Commencement Ceremonies are required to wear the official Harvard regalia, as approved by The Harvard University Commencement Office and distributed by The Harvard Coop.

Regalia ordering is open!

The deadline to submit an order is midnight on Saturday, April 8, 2023. Please note this deadline is strict.

More information on pickup and drop-off will be communicated later this spring.

Note: Regalia is not required for Class Day.

Affinity Celebrations

Various University-wide Affinity Graduation Celebrations will take place on Monday, May 22 and Tuesday, May 23. The most up-to-date schedule can be found on the University Commencement website and additional information will be available here when it becomes available.

View the Harvard University Commencement Week Schedule

Severe Weather