Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Baccalaureate Service at Marsh Chapel at 11:00 a.m. on commencement day?

A: It is the non-denominational religious service for those interested. Attendance is not required. For more information on this and other Commencement Weekend worship services, please visit BU's Commencement Web site.

Q: Is it necessary to attend the main ceremony on Nickerson?

A: No, it is not required but encouraged. For more information, please visit BU's All-University Commencement Web site.

Q: Do I need tickets to attend the BU Law Commencement ceremony?

A: Tickets are not required to attend the commencement ceremony.

Q: Is there a limit to the number of guests I can bring to the BU Law Commencement ceremony?

A: There is no limit to the number of guests.

Q: How long is the BU Law Commencement ceremony?

A: The BU Law Commencement ceremony will be approximately two hours long (9 a.m. - 11 a.m.) and is immediately followed by a reception for graduates, their guests, and faculty in the 4-Court Gym on the second floor of the Fitness and Recreation Center, 915 Commonwealth Ave. from 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Q: How early should guests arrive?

A: Please inform guests that they may enter the arena starting at 8:00 a.m. but no earlier. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Q: Do I need a cap and gown to participate in the commencement exercises?

A: All students are required to wear the appropriate regalia to participate in Commencement exercises.

Q: Can I cover the crosses on my robe?

A: Purple ribbon and pins will be available during Commencement procession line-up if you wish to cover the crosses on your regalia. Please note there will be a fee if robes are damaged.

Q: How do I put on my robe and hood?

A: Please do not put on your regalia until after you arrive at Agganis. For more information, please visit the Regalia section of our Web site.

Q: Is there a dress code for the ceremony?

A: There is no formal dress code for the ceremony. The only piece of advice is not to wear white under the J.D. robes as the red color has been known to bleed.

Q: How hard will it be to find parking?

A: Due to the anticipated traffic on Commonwealth Avenue during Commencement Weekend, you are urged to use public transportation. Free shuttle buses will be operating continuously along Commonwealth Avenue. For more information, please visit the Parking & Public Transportation section of our Web site.

Q: Will the ceremony be videotaped?

A: The ceremony will be videotaped. If you wish to purchase a DVD please refer to the Photographs & DVDs section of our Web site. The entire ceremony can be viewed on the jumbotron in the center of the arena. In order to ensure good photographs of yourself, please remember to hold your diploma low (at a 45 degree angle) when accepting the diploma and shaking hands with the dean.

Q: When do I get my diploma?

A: Diplomas are awarded at the ceremony. This is contingent on the student having met all degree requirements and financial obligations.

Q: What if my name on the diploma is incorrect?

A: If your name is incorrect please contact BU Law's Registrar's Office to rectify the problem.

Q: How does the line-up work?

A: Line-up: By 8:00 a.m. (the earlier you arrive, the better) you will enter the arena through the side entrance marked "Feld Skating Entrance" on Harry Agganis Way across from the BU Police Department and follow signs to the "Student Line-Up" in the North Storage space. Check-in is alphabetical by your last name. Upon check-in you will receive a name card; please write the phonetic spelling on your card so the name reader pronounces it correctly. Find your place in line based on the number on your card.

Note: Please do not bring guests with you to the line-up area, as space is very limited.

Q: What is the procession order?

A: Procession Order: LL.M. candidates, J.D. candidates, platform party

Q: How are diplomas awarded?

A: Conferring of Degrees: Graduates will stand up one row at a time and approach the stage from the left. Go to the top of the steps and hand your card to the reader. When your name is read, walk across the stage, receive your diploma, shake hands with the dean (remember to hold the diploma low so your face is seen in photographs) and exit the steps at the far-right. Finally, you'll return to your row and seat.

Q: Do we have cords for academic distinction? When will we find out if we get one, and where do we get them?

A: The law school does not use honor cords for the ceremony. However, if you graduate with honors this will be mentioned at the ceremony and will also be printed next to your name in the commencement program booklet.

Q: How should disabled guests enter the arena?

A: Disabled guests should enter the arena through the Commonwealth Avenue arena entrances. They will be escorted to their seats in the disability seating areas on the concourse level.

Q: What is the layout of the arena for Commencement?

A: View Agganis Arena Floor, Seating, and Concourse Level Layout (PDF)

Q: I have a question not on this page. What do I do?

A: If you have a question not listed on this page please email Erin Lee, BU Law's Commencement Coordinator.