Frequently Asked Questions

Graduates walk across the green during Dartmouth College Commencement
(Photo by Rob Strong ’04)
General Questions

Tickets are not required. Commencement is held outdoors, rain or shine. We ask that guests be seated by 8:45 a.m. as the academic procession begins at 9 a.m. Commencement exercises will begin at 9:30 a.m. All seats on the College Green have favorable sightlines to the large video screen with open captions. Seating will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis. Remote viewing will be provided in several indoor locations for those guests wishing to avoid heat, sun, or rain.

The Commencement procession begins at 9 a.m. The Commencement ceremony begins at 9:30 am.

Commencement usually concludes between 12:15 and 12:30 pm.

In the case of dangerously high winds, lightning, or other severe weather, the ceremony will be delayed or a severe weather plan implemented.

Seniors march in alphabetical order. March order lists, with the number assigned to each graduate, will be posted in Baker Main Hall, Baker-Berry Library the Friday before Commencement. At a signal from the undergraduate dean, the class marshals and the bagpiper will lead the seniors from Leede Arena to the Green. Once on the Green, the seniors will form two lines through which the Academic Procession will advance toward the platform, providing an opportunity for acknowledgment of the accomplishments of the seniors and the support of faculty and administrators. The seniors and graduate and professional school students then march to their seats in the front sections.

Hanover weather can vary widely from sunny and hot to cold and rainy in mid-June. Since Dartmouth's Commencement ceremony is located outdoors, please dress comfortably, keeping in mind the weather. Guests may be most comfortable in shoes with low or flat heels due to uneven ground. Please bring hats, sunscreen, raincoats, etc. as necessary. Business Casual is appropriate for most of the receptions and other events.

Commencement exercises will be held, rain or shine. Please bring raincoats and umbrellas, if appropriate. The ceremony will be delayed if there are dangerously high winds, lightning, or other severe weather. The ceremony would be canceled only in the highly unlikely event that such weather persists. Information about a delay or cancellation may be obtained on Commencement morning by accessing the following resources: the individual graduate school websites (see full list), a recorded message from (603) 646-8181; or channel 99.3 FM. These resources will be updated throughout Commencement weekend with any venue changes, delays, or cancellations.

Umbrellas are ONLY permitted when there is heavy rain. We ask that you be considerate of those sitting behind you and use an umbrella only when necessary. Umbrellas are not permitted as sun shades. Please arrive prepared for the weather; remember your hat, sunscreen, raincoat, etc.

If you bring a pet to the Commencement ceremony, please be aware that the animal must remain on a leash at all times. Pets are not permitted in seating areas. Pets are not permitted in residence halls.

Smoking and the use of tobacco products (including smokeless tobacco) are prohibited in all facilities, grounds, areas owned, operated or occupied by Dartmouth with no exceptions. This includes, but is not limited to, all indoor and outdoor areas and properties.

President Philip J. Hanlon '77 and Gail Gentes host a reception for all graduating students and their guests. Due to the possibility of rain, this year's reception has been moved to the tent on the Cutter Shabazz Hall lawn. Appropriate attire is business casual.

Immediately following the commencement rehearsal, seniors will process to the Bema for class day (Leverone Field House in case of rain), entering the Bema at approximately 10 a.m. The program will include speeches by seniors and faculty, as well as an awards ceremony. Guests are invited to join the graduates at this event. The Bema is located at the end of a wide gravel path that branches off of Observatory Road behind North Fayerweather. Parking is very limited near the Bema, so guests should plan to walk to the event. The space is an outdoor amphitheater with a limited number of chairs, available on a first come, first served basis. Since many guests will need to sit on the ground, family and friends are encouraged to bring blankets to sit on. Seniors will sit together on the grass in an area in front of the stage. The space is wheelchair accessible but we recommend guests with mobility disabilities arrive by 9:30 a.m., as the final path to the Bema is unpaved.

Baccalaureate is a multifaith service of thanksgiving and celebration for the completion of the undergraduate and graduate careers of Dartmouth students. The service is conducted by the Tucker Foundation. This event is open to the public.

For Students

Seniors assemble at 8:15 a.m. and must be in their assigned seats by 8:30 a.m. The doors will be locked at 8:30 a.m. sharp. Seniors will not be admitted to the Commencement procession after 8:30 a.m. Only graduating seniors are permitted in the assembly area; family and guests should go directly to the Commencement seating area.
Graduate and professional school students gather at their designated assembly sites (contact your department directly for details).

Graduating students will pick up their diplomas at the following locations immediately after the ceremony, unless otherwise indicated:

  • Undergraduates: Reiss Hall, Baker-Berry Library (until 2 p.m.)
  • Geisel School of Medicine: Graduates will receive their diplomas at their Class Day Ceremony (May 27).
  • Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies (AM, MS and PhD): Guarini School Office, Room 102, Anonymous Hall - 64 College St.
  • MALS: First Floor Wentworth Hall, MALS Office.
  • MHCDS: Diplomas will be mailed.
  • TDI: Graduates will receive their diplomas at their Class Day Ceremony.
  • Thayer School: Cummings, Great Hall (until 2 p.m.)
  • Tuck School: Tuck School, Stell Hall (until 2 p.m.)

The Aegis, Dartmouth's award-winning yearbook, has a quick reminder for parents and families. The final deadline to order a 2022-23 yearbook is May 26.

Order a Yearbook

Graduates hug during Commencement at Dartmouth College
(Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)
Commencement graduates throw their hats in the air at Dartmouth College
(Photo by Robert Gill)
For Families and Friends

Information regarding ordering both general and personalized graduation announcements will be provided in the near future on the Dartmouth Coop.

The Courtyard Café in the Hopkins Center is open
on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The Hanover Inn will be serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner in PINE Restaurant.

Area Dining Options: A listing of restaurants in the Upper Valley and surrounding areas.

Learn more about lodging options. Please note that lodging fills up very early and the Hanover Inn is reserved for Trustees, honorary degree recipients, and the 50-year reunion class.

There is no location beyond your own seat where guests may take photos of graduates. If you need to stand to get your shot, we ask that you do so briefly so as not to block others' view of the ceremony. Commencement guests will be prohibited from taking pictures or videotaping from locations near the platform. Arrangements have been made for GradImages, a professional photography company, to take a picture as each graduate crosses the stage. Graduate and professional school students and families of undergraduates will receive an order packet from GradImages with details in May.

A live webcast of the ceremony will be available at 9:30 a.m.  A recorded video of the ceremony will be available the Tuesday after the ceremony on YouTube.

If you are on campus, the webcast of the ceremony will be streamed to Collis Common Grounds and classrooms in Dartmouth Hall and Thornton Hall.

Due to safety regulations, strollers are not allowed in the aisles or seated areas. Guests attempting to park strollers in these areas will be required to move them.

Due to the large crowd at Commencement, we strongly urge families to designate a building or location OFF the Green at which to meet their graduate after the ceremony.

The English translation of Bachelor of Arts degree awarded by Dartmouth College:

By the authority of the Trustees of Dartmouth College

To all who read this document, greetings:

Let it be known that we have decided to honor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
and in accord with his/her merits to decorate him/her with the title and rank of Bachelor of Arts
and that we have bestowed upon him/her the fullest power of enjoying all the privileges and
immunities and honors which everywhere on earth pertain to this same rank. Of which act let our
official seal and names be a witness.

Conferred from the halls of the College in Hanover, New Hampshire on the . . . . . day
of the month of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in the year . . . . . . .