A male graduating student shaking hands with a dean

Get Ready to Graduate


Commencement Week is full of exciting events to celebrate your accomplishments, including University Commencement on the National Mall.

As you prepare to celebrate, you need to:




Graduation Application; graphical presentation of papers

Apply to Graduate

As a degree-seeking student, you are required to apply for graduation by submitting a graduation application in GWeb. 

This applies to all programs except Law (J.D., LL.M) and SMHS-Medicine (M.D.). If you’re a Law or Medicine student, you cannot apply for graduation through GWeb. Instead, please submit an Application for Graduation (PDF) to your dean’s office.

If you miss the deadline, submit a Late Application (PDF) to your dean’s office. You will be charged a $35 late fee.

Application Deadlines; graphical presentation of calendar with date circled

Application Deadlines

Students graduating in Spring 2020 should submit their graduation application by February 1, 2020.

Students graduating in Summer and participating in Spring ceremonies should submit their graduation application by March 15, 2020.



Grad Fair



2020 Commencement Fair - Canceled

The 2020 Commencement Fair scheduled to take place from Tuesday, March 31 - Thursday, April 2 has been canceled due to the COVID-19 Campus Response. All of your commencement needs can be ordered online.



Two men hugging. One is a graduate.


Tickets are not required for Commencement on the National Mall but we ask that you register your guests in advance. Tickets for your school or college's ceremony are distributed in the Spring semester.

Many students in their robes smiling and waving to the camera

Regalia (Cap and Gown)

Wear your academic dress to University Commencement, school celebrations and individual recognition ceremonies, such as the Phi Beta Kappa Induction Ceremony.


Update your address to receive your diploma; graphical presentation of diploma and envelope with return address circled

Update Your Address to Receive Your Diploma

All graduates will receive diplomas by mail after Commencement. Diplomas are mailed to graduates' online application, diploma or permanent addresses on file approximately 6-8 weeks after Commencement. If your address has changed, email [email protected]. Per university policy, diplomas will not be distributed to individuals who have a financial obligation to the university.

graphical presentation of diploma scroll and diploma with name field circled

Confirm Your Name is Correct for Your Diploma

You can confirm your diploma name by logging into BanWeb, going to the “Student Records and Registration Menu” tab and clicking “View Application to Graduate.” The “Diploma Name” field displays how your name will be printed on your diploma. You may also visit the Office of the Registrar at Colonial Central. If you need to change your diploma name, complete a Name/SSN/DOB Update Form (PDF) and be prepared to provide a government-issued ID and/or one of the documents indicated in the form instructions. Be sure to complete this process prior to the published deadlines to allow time for processing. If your name is changed after your diploma is ordered, then re-order fees will apply in order to obtain an updated copy. Please note that prior earned credentials (ie. M.D., J.D., etc.) will not be included on your diploma.


a woman and man huddled together to take a celebratory selfie


Keeps from the Commencement Ceremony will be available to purchase. Photos will be taken of you by a professional photographer when you cross the stage during your school celebration. You will receive an email link and a free passport-sized digital proof of your photos three to seven days after your school celebration. Commencement on the National Mall and school celebrations are videoed and a DVD of the events can be purchased.

Graduates during the 2017 Senior Class Toast

Senior Class Gift

The Senior Class Gift Campaign, a tradition at GW since the 1980s, is a way for each class to leave their legacy on the university through philanthropic efforts.