Graduates cheering at Commencement on the National Mall

Commencement Week 2018 is full of exciting events to celebrate your accomplishments, including University Commencement on the National Mall.

As you prepare to celebrate, please remember to:

  • find out where and when to pick up your tickets
  • order keepsakes, including class rings, personalized announcements, and diploma frames online; diploma frames can also be purchased, as well as other items, at the GW Campus Store 


Apply to Graduate

icon for graduation application

Graduation Application

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

Submit a late application (PDF)
Graduation application deadlines

Application Deadlines

The deadlines for this academic year are:

  • March 15: for summer applicants who are eligible to "walk through"

​Deadlines for Fall, Spring and the previous Summer semester have passed. If you missed your deadline, please submit a Late Application (PDF) to your dean’s office. You will be charged a $35 late fee.

Claim Your Commencement and School Celebration Tickets

GW Commencement Ticket

Ticket Process and Distribution Schedule

Guests need tickets to attend University Commencement and individual ceremonies. Graduates receive six guest tickets for University Commencement, while the quantity of tickets for school celebrations varies. Tickets for both events are distributed by your school and the schedule and process vary for each.

Learn more about how to get your tickets
GW Commencement Tickets

Lost and Extra Tickets

If you lose your tickets and need them reissued, submit a letter stating your situation for review and approval. If you want extra tickets, you can submit a request to be added to the waitlist. Extra tickets will be distributed if they become available.

Learn more about extra and lost tickets

Regalia and Diplomas

icons that depict cap and gown as required items to wear for commencement

Regalia (Cap and Gown)

Wear your regalia to Commencement on the National Mall, school celebrations and individual recognition ceremonies, such as the Phi Beta Kappa Induction Ceremony. You can keep your regalia, unless you are either a doctoral candidate or SMHS-M.D. graduate, who has rented it.

You can pre-order, purchase and rent regalia online.

Law School graduates should contact the school to purchase your regalia. Doctoral candidates can purchase regalia during the Doctoral Regalia Sale. SMHS-M.D. graduates can only rent regalia at the GW Campus Store.

Visit the campus store
icon of a diploma scroll and a letter with the 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.

icon of a diploma scroll and a diploma with the name circled

Confirm Your Name is Correct for Your Diploma

Non-GW employees

Ensure that your diploma includes the correct name by visiting the Office of the Registrar at Colonial Central. If you need to change your name, complete a Name/SSN/DOB Change Form (PDF). You will also need to provide a government issued ID and/or birth certificate. If you are a distance learner who has never been employed at GW in any capacity and need to update your name, you can email your completed form.

Current or previous GW employees

If you are currently or have ever been an employee of GW (student worker, GTA, etc.), visit the Faculty and Staff Service Center to check for accuracy. If you need to change your name, you need to provide your Social Security card. Distance learners who have worked for GW must still visit the center to change their name.

Diplomas take approximately 6-8 weeks to be mailed after Commencement. Once this happens, names can no longer be changed.

Learn more about...

Senior Class Gift Logo

Senior Class Gift

The Senior Class Gift Campaign, a tradition at GW since the 1980s, encourages you to leave an imprint on the university with a gift to an area of your choice. The Class of 2018 hopes to have the majority of the class give a donation and increase the number of recurring donations made by seniors.

Give now to contribute to the Senior Class Gift
Group of alumni posing for a photo in the Marvin Center

Alumni Association

After you graduate you automatically become a member of the GW Alumni Association. As a lifetime member, you’ll be able to continue to engage with fellow graduates, current students and the GW community and help to build a culture of philanthropy.

Check out the benefits you’ll receive as an alumni
Icon of green donations and recycling in front of house icon.

Green Move-Out

Participate in the Green Move-Out by donating items you would otherwise throw away. All items will be bagged and donated to local charities.

See a list of items that will be collected

Student Speaker

Enter the competition

Enter Student Speaker Competition

Check back later for information on who you can enter the 2018 Student Speaker Competition.

Learn more about the process for the competition
Angela Sako is the commencement student speaker

Angela Sako, 2017 Student Speaker

Angela Sako, a graduate student in GW's Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration, was the student speaker at the 2017 Commencement on the National Mall.


Meet the Student Speaker


The Cherry Tree yearbook logo

Take Your Cherry Tree Portrait

If you’d like to have a portrait taken by Victor O’Neill Studios, you will need to pay a $30 sitting fee. If you pay the fee, you will receive a free The Cherry Tree yearbook. Photo packages of your portrait can also be ordered.

View the portrait schedule
Students cheering with their arms in the air at commencement on the National Mall

Purchase Celebration DVDs

Commencement on the National Mall and school celebrations are videoed and a DVD of the events can be purchased.

Purchase a DVD of the celebrations
a group of students smiling while posing for a photo

Purchase Professional Photos

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. You have the option to purchase the photos.

Purchase the photos through Grad Images
GW sweater and bag in the campus store

Shop for Graduation Keepsakes

Herff Jones, Inc. offers several graduation keepsakes including personalized announcements to send to your friends and family, diploma frames to display your diploma and class rings to showcase your GW affiliation. You can also visit the GW Campus Store to purchase other graduation keepsakes and GW memorabilia.

Purchase a class ring, diploma frame or announcement