Know Before You Go | Commencement 2024

May 15, 2024

Dear Families of the Class of 2024,

Yale Commencement 2024 is almost here! We are looking forward to welcoming many of you to New Haven to celebrate the accomplishments of your graduates, and hope others will join us via the Yale 2024 ceremony livestreams. If you are joining us remotely, the website will go live on Saturday, May 18.    
During commencement week, graduates’ and their guests’ ability to participate in the celebrations planned is our top priority. Please use this guide to help you prepare for the upcoming celebrations.

Free Expression, University Operations, and Safety
Yale is committed to free expression, which includes the ability to engage in peaceful dissent. University guidelines and policies, including specific guidelines for all university ceremonies on Old Campus, are in place to promote the exercise of free expression, while maintaining university operations and the safety and security of all members of the university community. 

Schedule of Events

  • Baccalaureate - Sunday, May 19, 2024 - 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m., Old Campus
    • This one-hour ceremony for Yale College features an address by President Peter Salovey, and remarks by Dean of Yale College Pericles Lewis. 
  • Class Day - Sunday, May 19, 2024 – 2:00 p.m., Old Campus
  • Class Day, a Yale College tradition, includes the awarding of academic, artistic, and athletic prizes, the celebration of undergraduates, and an address by U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy.  Seniors wear academic gowns with headgear of choice. 
  • All university degrees are formally conferred during the commencement ceremony on Old Campus. During the ceremony, the dean of Yale College and deans of the Graduate School and professional schools formally present their approved candidates to the president. You can find more information on the commencement ceremony here.
  • Shortly after the commencement ceremony, residential colleges, the Graduate School, and the professional schools hold ceremonies to celebrate their graduates and present diplomas. For more information on these ceremonies, please reach out to your respective residential college or school.
  • Many special events are scheduled during Commencement Weekend. Find more information here.
  • University Commencement Ceremony - Monday, May 20, 2024 – 10:30 a.m., Old Campus
  • Diploma Ceremonies 
  • Special Events and Concerts

Guidelines for all university ceremonies are in place to help support safe and celebratory occasions.

Baccalaureate, Class Day, and the University Commencement Ceremony are ticketed events in 2024. All guests will need a ticket to enter Old Campus on Sunday and Monday. Graduates in regalia do not need a ticket to enter Old Campus.

Please see below for more detailed information for each ceremony.

Baccalaureate & Class Day
Families and guests will need a ticket to enter both the baccalaureate ceremony on Sunday morning, and the Class Day ceremony on Sunday afternoon. Graduates will receive paper tickets from their residential colleges to distribute to their guests. One ticket will be used for both ceremonies, so please be sure to keep it in a safe spot between ceremonies.

Graduates are not limited in the number of tickets they receive for the baccalaureate and Class Day ceremonies.

University Commencement Ceremony
Tickets will be required for entry to Old Campus for Yale’s 323rd Commencement Ceremony on Monday, May 20, 2024. Graduating degree candidates do not need tickets to attend Commencement. Graduating students are required to wear academic regalia to participate.

Children ages 3 and under do not require a ticket. However, they cannot occupy a seat and must sit in the lap of a ticketed guest.

Guests must present their QR code ticket to enter Old Campus. Tickets can be presented on mobile phones, as screenshots, or as printouts.

Please ensure that you and your guests receive ticket confirmations and QR codes for each registered guest. If QR codes have not been received, please contact us at"> for further assistance.

Information for Students:

  • Students will enter Old Campus with their schools during the procession. Students will not be permitted to enter Old Campus before and must wear their academic regalia to enter Old Campus with their residential college. Find more information on Cap and Gown Distribution.

Information for Guests:

  • The University Commencement Ceremony includes 20,000 participants. The focus is on tradition, music, and the official conferral of student degrees and honorary degrees. The first half of the Old Campus lawn is dedicated to graduate seating, and you will not see your student at this ceremony. We advise that you sit near a jumbo screen, where you will have a full view of the activity on the ceremony platform. You will see your student receive their diploma at a more intimate ceremony at their residential college following the university ceremony.
  • Guests should go directly to Old Campus for the commencement ceremony. Guests are not permitted in areas where graduates assemble for the ceremony procession. For directions to Old Campus, use this interactive campus map.

Live streaming
Guests without tickets on Monday can watch the ceremony live stream at viewing in the following locations:

  • Sheffield-Sterling-Strathcona Hall, Room 114 (1 Prospect Street)
  • Humanities Quadrangle, Room L02 (320 York Street)

All university ceremonies are also streamed on the Yale 2024 website.

All ceremonies will take place rain or shine. If a ceremony is canceled in the event of severe weather, a notice will be posted to the commencement website. We encourage guests to have rain ponchos and avoid umbrellas. Ponchos can offer complete protection from rain and are lightweight and easy to carry.

Bag Policy and Prohibited Items

Bag Policy
All persons, bags, and personal items are subject to inspection before entering Old Campus.

  • Clear bags, which can be sized 12” x 12” x 6” or smaller, will be permitted.
  • One-gallon clear Ziploc bags are permissible and available if needed.

Backpacks, purses, camera bags, binoculars cases, or diaper bags bigger than 6.5” x 4.5” are not permitted at major ceremonies, and Yale security staff cannot hold bags for guests. Guests with those size bags should enter Old Campus at College Street and Elm Street by Phelps Gate, where luggage can be checked until after the ceremonies.
The following are prohibited:

  • Signs or flags larger than 8.5” x 11”
  • Banners
  • Balloons/inflatables
  • Any objects larger than 12” x 12” x 12”
  • Laser pointers or similar items
  • Wireless speakers and sound amplification of any kind including bullhorns
  • Drones
  • Noisemakers and compressed air devices

Items not permitted will be confiscated. Graduates or guests may be asked to leave.


When your student registered for their guest tickets they were asked to include information about their guests with accessibility needs. Students and their registered guests with accessibility needs will receive an email from the Commencement Office with information about how to enter the accessible seating area for all ceremonies.

For more information on accessibility services on Commencement Weekend, including accessibility parking, restrooms, and assistive listening devices, visit the commencement accessibility page.

Parking, Transportation, Shuttles

Parking lots and garages across campus are available to use on Commencement Weekend beginning at 5:00 PM on Friday, May 17th and ending on Tuesday, May 21st at 12:00 PM.

A full list of university parking lots can be found here.

Following the university ceremony on Monday, May 20, shuttle service will be available from Phelps Gate (College Street) to some residential colleges and school ceremonies. Each shuttle will have a color-coded feather flag placed by them to help guests find the bus that will transport them to their preferred location.

Please look for the appropriate colored flag for your shuttle.

Shuttle Color   


Green Line

Divinity School

Yellow Line

School of the Environment

Orange Line

Medical School

Pink Line

School of Architecture, School of Art, David Geffen School of Drama, 
Pierson College, Davenport College, Ezra Stiles College, Morse College,  Timothy Dwight College, and Silliman College

Purple Line

Pauli Murray College, Benjamin Franklin College, Jackson School of 
Global Affairs, and School of Management

More information regarding parking, transportation, and getting around campus can be found here!

Lost and Found
Security will hold lost items on Old Campus at Phelps Gate until 4:00 p.m. each day. After 4:00 p.m., items will be moved to the security desk at the Law School, located at 127 Wall Street. Please call 203-785-5555 if you have lost an item.

If you are separated from your party, or if a member of your party is missing, please go to the High Street Gate near the Reunification sign. Yale Police will be available to assist you.

Yale Alerts
Yale ALERT can reach students, faculty, staff, and members of the New Haven community with time-sensitive information during unforeseen events or emergencies using voice, email, and/or text messaging.

Parents are encouraged to provide their emergency contact information to receive these communications. To register or to update your information, please have your student add your contact information through Yale Hub.

You are welcome to contact us at"> with questions.

Congratulations to the Class of 2024! We cannot wait to celebrate with you.

Best Regards,
Yale Commencement Office