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FAQs

Commencement

For students with international guests who wish to travel to campus for commencement, please visit the website for International Student Services, and complete the form titled "Commencement Invitation Request Form." 

If you have additional questions, please contact the International Student Services team via email at international@case.eduor stop by Tomlinson Hall, Room 143, to talk in person.

Diplomas issued by Case Western Reserve University are 11 inches x 14 inches in size. A variety of diploma frames are available for purchase from the University Bookstore. 

Your commencement coordinator is your school's contact for all commencement information. See the commencement contact page for your school coordinator.

Diploma ceremonies typically run between 90 and 120 minutes each, depending on the size of the school; receptions generally last for a couple of hours. Receptions are optional but encouraged for graduates and their families.

Both words, in the strictest sense, refer to the gathering of groups of people. However, at Case Western Reserve University, "commencement" refers to one special day each May that is comprised of one university-wide "convocation," and several diploma ceremonies. No student diplomas are awarded at the convocation; rather, it serves as a traditional opening when all prospective graduates gather to have their degrees officially conferred by the president before being awarded their specific degrees at appropriate diploma ceremonies later that day.

Convocation is the ceremony where degrees are conferred by the president to all the graduates. It is a traditional ceremony that is attended by many faculty, guests and dignitaries, and is the only time that all of the university's graduates are together for a ceremony. There is no option for undergraduates to attend only their diploma ceremony.

The following schools require attendance at convocation in order to receive a diploma:

  • Undergraduate Studies
  • School of Medicine
  • Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Attendance at convocation is not required for other schools, however it is encouraged.

Please be advised that all bags are subject to search. We discourage guests bringing large bags and backpacks into commencement venues. To accommodate all of our guests, only small bags, which fit under the seat, will be permitted inside the Veale Convocation Center. Strollers will not be permitted inside the seating area.

Tickets

Tickets are not replaceable. Students who receive tickets will not receive duplicates in the case of loss or damage.

Students who sign up online during March 1 - April 1, 2017 and indicate that they are planning to attend the university-wide convocation ceremony secure two guest tickets for convocation. Tickets are not required for graduates themselves. The convocation will be broadcast in several auxiliary viewing areas across campus and will be available via the live webcast for guests without tickets. 

No tickets are required for children under age 2. Children must be seated on a lap for the duration of the ceremonies. Please note that no strollers are allowed within the venue - a stroller check will be available for guests upon entrance to the Veale Convocation Center. A small children's play area is available in the Veale Convocation Center, but children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. 

No student diplomas are awarded during the 9:30 a.m. university-wide convocation ceremony. 

Of school-specific diploma ceremonies, only Undergraduate Studies, Weatherhead School of Management and the School of Law ceremonies require guest tickets. 

The university-wide convocation and the Undergraduate Studies diploma ceremony will be broadcast to other locations on campus for guests without tickets. Both can be watched online via the live webcast. 

All facilities are accessible to those with disabilities. Please review the information about special accommodations provided on the guest information page.

The Veale Convocation Center will be open at 8:00 a.m. for seating for the commencement convocation. Guest seating within the Veale Convocation Center is general admission. Guests must be in the Veale Convocation Center and seated prior to 9:15 a.m., or they may be held outside until the academic procession has entered the facility. 

Cap and Gown

Proper academic regalia is required for those graduates who register to participate in any commencement ceremonies. All graduates are responsible for purchasing or renting their own academic regalia from the University Bookstore. For questions regarding the rental or purchase of regalia, please call the bookstore at 216.368.2650 or 800.825.2650.

Graduates are permitted to wear cords, stoles, medals or pins that recognize academic achievement only. Symbols of social or fraternal organizations or of personal interest should not be worn. Graduates are permitted to embellish their caps, keeping in mind the spirit of the occasion and the parameters of good taste.

Graduates should plan on dressing comfortably without being overly casual or informal. Commencement day involves a great deal of walking. Comfortable shoes are strongly recommended.

The colors on the inside of the hood (blue and gray) indicate that the graduate wearing the hood earned his or her degree from Case Western Reserve University. The colored velvet on the outside of the hood indicates in what discipline the degree was earned.

Bachelor's and master's students may purchase and pick up regalia at the University Bookstore during Grad Fair on March 29-30. Regalia will be available at the bookstore through the end of April.

Doctoral regalia is ordered based on your commencement registration and may be picked up at the University Bookstore during the week prior to commencement, May 15-20.

View the University Bookstore hours >

If you still can't find the answer in the FAQs, contact the Commencement Office.  Call 216.368.2229 or email commencement@case.edu