Inclement Weather Plan

The Commencement Ceremony takes place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, and is held on the University Mall in front of the east entrance to the Basilica.

All attendees of the Ceremony, excluding those in the procession, should be in their seats no later than 9:30 a.m. to view the Commencement Ceremony.

Students who are currently enrolled and expect to receive degrees in May (i.e., have completed all degree requirements) are required to attend the main Commencement ceremony. If necessary and for a significant reason, a student may request to be excused from the ceremony by the provost of the university. Students not currently enrolled at the university who earned their degrees earlier in the year are not required to be present but are welcome to participate.

Candidates wear caps and academic gowns and carry their hoods that denote the degree to be received. The tassel should be placed to the right side of the cap until their degree is conferred. The Commencement procession will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m. Commencement ushers will assist in organizing the procession. Students who have been excused by the provost or not required to attend the ceremony may arrange to obtain their diplomas in the Office of Enrollment Services any time after Commencement or may request that their diploma be mailed.

Candidates for degrees are asked to assemble no later than 9 a.m. (undergraduate arts and sciences graduates no later than 8:45 a.m.) in the following locations behind signage bearing their degree designation:

  • Doctoral candidates gather on the east, front side of McMahon Hall.
  • Candidates for master's degrees gather on the east side of McMahon Hall.
  • Candidates for baccalaureate degrees gather on the north side of McMahon Hall.

Commencement programs will be placed on the seats for candidates. Programs will be distributed to guests by the ushers at the exercises.

Candidates from each school are asked to rise when their respective deans are introduced to present the candidates for degrees. After all deans have made their presentations, candidates for baccalaureate and master's degrees will rise and will don their hoods. Candidates for doctoral degrees will be ushered to the steps of the basilica behind the dais while their names are read individually. Candidates stand facing the audience as their degrees are conferred, don their hoods and remain standing for the rest of the ceremony.

If inclement weather precludes holding the Commencement Exercises on the mall, an announcement will be made for alternate locations. Graduates and their guests will proceed to the sites of diploma distribution where degrees will be conferred according to a special schedule.

Be advised that on-campus parking, especially for Commencement is limited.

Inclement Weather

Updated on May 12, 2023

Every attempt will be made to hold the Commencement ceremony outdoors. In the event of severe inclement weather, an announcement will be made no later than 12:00 p.m. on Friday, May 12 canceling the University-wide Commencement ceremony. 

For those on campus, a livestream display of the Commencement Ceremony will also be available indoors on campus starting at 9:30 a.m. in the Pryz Great Room, located on the second floor of the Edward J. Pryzbyla Center, or in the Della Ratta Auditorium, located in Maloney Hall.

Please check the weather forecast in advance and be sure to have the proper rain gear in case of inclement weather. You are permitted to bring an umbrella to the ceremony.

Rain Plan

In the event of rain each school will hold its diploma ceremony as planned at their given time and location. Schools that will have an alternate location are designated below.

  • Architecture and Planning: Columbus School of Law Atrium, 11:45 a.m. 
  • Canon Law:  Happel Room, Caldwell Hall, 11:45 a.m. 
  • Conway School of Nursing: Crypt Church, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 11:30 a.m.
  • If the rain plan is enacted the Main Commencement address would then be part of the Arts and Sciences undergraduate ceremony and would be held in the Upper Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at 10 a.m. Undergraduates in the School of Arts and Sciences will line up in Memorial Hall at 9:30 a.m. The procession will begin at 9:50 a.m.

Lightning/Thunder Plan

If there is lightning or thunder during the main ceremony we will announce from the stage for everyone to move to the designated shelter locations - please follow DPS officers' directions.

If there is lightning in the area during the diploma ceremonies held outside (in or outside of a tent), we will notify the designated person at your site who will make an announcement to move to the shelter location. We have designated areas - listed below - where everyone can shelter if needed. Please be familiar with your shelter location.

  • Architecture and Planning: Shelter in Crough
  • Arts and Sciences (Graduate): Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center, Great Room
  • Arts and Sciences (Undergraduate): Shelter in McMahon or Shahan Hall
  • Tim and Steph Busch School of Business: Della Ratta Auditorium
  • Canon Law:  Shelter in Caldwell Hall
  • Engineering: Shelter in Law School
  • Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art: Shelter in Hartke Theatre
  • Conway School of Nursing: Great Upper Church, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
  • Philosophy: Saint John Paul II National Shrine
  • Metropolitan School of Professional Studies: Heritage Hall, Father O'Connell Hall
  • National Catholic School of Social Service: Shelter in McGivney
  • Theology and Religious Studies: Ukraine Catholic National Shrine of the Holy Family