Catholic University's 2019 Commencement will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 18, 2019 at the University Mall in front of the east entrance to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The procession will start at 9:30 a.m. Guests should plan to arrive by 9 a.m.
If your student isn't able to stop by the Graduation Fair in March, he/she will be able to visit the Oak Hall (our regalia vendor) website in the spring to order regalia.
The length of the ceremony is approximately 1½ hours. Please note: the Commencement Ceremony is followed by the distribution of diploma ceremonies for individual schools.
No, you do not need tickets to attend the Commencement ceremony or your student's degree ceremony. Seating is first come, first served. Please note that the processional begins promptly at 9:30 a.m.. Once the processional begins, access to seating is very limited.
Currently enrolled students who will receive degrees in May are to attend Commencement Exercises. Students not currently enrolled who received their degrees earlier in the year (October, January) are welcome to participate. It is recommended that those who graduated earlier in the year contact her/his school about his/her participation in the May exercises.
Yes! The ceremony is open to all graduates, both undergraduate and graduate students, and their families.
The Honors Convocation is for University Honors participants, Honors Society Members and students receiving special University honors. Honorees will receive individual invitations.
The graduation fee is used to underwrite the cost of processing candidates for graduation, Commencement exercises and related activities. Participation in the University and/or school exercises is afforded at no additional cost to graduates and their guests. The fee does not cover academic regalia. It is recognized that not all students will use the benefits made available by the fee, but the services supported by the fee are available to all graduating students. The fee applies to all students who graduate from The Catholic University of America and will be applied directly to the student's account during the term they anticipate graduating.
Every attempt will be made to hold the Commencement Ceremony outdoors. However, in the event of severe inclement weather, an announcement will be posted on the university website after 8 a.m. the morning of May 18, 2019.
For directions to campus, click here.
A link to the Oak Hall webpage is here. Students may also visit the campus bookstore to purchase regalia, announcements, diploma frames, etc.
Visitors are advised that on-campus parking is very limited in areas near the Commencement sites. Parking is available in the outlying areas of campus, namely the Marist and O’Boyle Hall parking lots, the DuFour Athletic Center parking lot, the University Parking Garage (accessible off of John McCormack Road), and street parking along both Harewood and John McCormack Roads. Parking is also available in the parking lot for the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Harewood Road.
Additionally, guests may choose to travel to Commencement activities and events via Metrorail to the Brookland/CUA stop on the Red Line. Parking at every Metro station is readily available most weekends. The two stations nearest to the Brookland/CUA stop are Fort Totten and Rhode Island Ave-Brentwood. For more information about Metro parking, please click here.
For a list of local hotels, click here.
The Catholic University of America is committed to promoting the full participation of all individuals with disabilities in the Honors Convocation, Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement Exercises. Handicapped parking is available on-campus in Fr. O’Connell Hall parking lot, as well as portions of Mullen Library and McMahon Hall parking lots. Vehicles displaying valid state, or District of Columbia, issued handicapped license tags and/or window placards identifying the driver or passenger as handicapped will be authorized to park in designated handicapped spaces. All ceremonies have designated seating areas for persons with mobility disabilities and for those who need interpreters or transcribers. Seating is available for the individual with the disability and one companion on a first-come, first-served basis. Should you or your guest need Commencement materials in an alternate format, such as enlarged print or Braille, or a sign language interpreter, please contact Disability Support Services at or 202-319-5211 prior to Friday, April 26.
For more information on disability access during Commencement weekend, please visit: http://dss.cua.edu/news/Commencement.cfm.
At the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the elevator is accessible via the Gift Shop entrance at the south end of the building.
Guests may choose to travel to Commencement activities and events via Metrorail to the Brookland/CUA stop on the Red Line. Check WMATA for schedules and any service interruptions.
Photography is allowed during the Commencement events. However, guests are discouraged from disrupting the ceremony or blocking the views of other guests.
A photographer will be in touch via postal mail in the weeks following Commencement with information regarding purchasing your student's graduation photo. Each academic school makes its own arrangements with photographers; questions about graduation photos should be directed to your student's academic school.
To purchase a class ring, visit the Class Ring website.
Family members and guests are encouraged to dress comfortably for the weekend, taking the weather conditions into account. Most guests tend to dress up more (what might be worn to a religious service, for example) for the Baccalaureate Mass and the Commencement Exercises, but there is still a wide range of attire at those events. There are no formal expectations for what guests should wear during the weekend.
Graduating students must check out of residence halls by noon on Sunday, May 12, 2019.
Except for service aids, pets are not allowed.
Yes. The main Commencement Ceremony will be broadcast via streaming video into the Pryzbyla Center Food Court.
Department of Public Safety uniformed officers, ushers, and volunteers will be available on campus to assist guests and answer questions.
There are restroom facilities available in the following nearby campus buildings: McMahon Hall, Shahan Hall and McGivney Hall.
Contact the Office of Events and Conference Services at 202-319-5291 if you have other questions concerning Commencement activities.