Please read below for an overview of major Commencement exercises. More information about the events listed below, as well as other school-specific ceremonies, please see the menu on the left hand side of the page.
Please note that no tickets are required for Baccalaureate, Class Day, or Commencement.
Yale College Baccalaureate ceremonies
Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20
(dates and times assigned by residential college; see schedule below)
Woolsey Hall, corner of College and Grove Streets
Since Yale’s first century, Yale College seniors and faculty have gathered on the Sunday before Commencement for the Baccalaureate ceremony, a ceremony with a Baccalaureate sermon at its heart. The sermon of days past has given way to an address by Yale’s president, although religious overtures remain with the participation of the university chaplain and the singing of hymns and an anthem. Of the three main events of Commencement weekend - Baccalaureate, Class Day, and Commencement - Baccalaureate is the most formal.
Seniors and their guests are assigned to one of the three services based on residential college affiliation. Students wear academic regalia and process from Cross Campus to Woolsey Hall, located on the corner of Grove and College Streets. The wheelchair-accessible entrance to Woolsey Hall is via Wall Street and Beinecke Plaza.
Saturday, May 19 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Trumbull, Silliman, Branford, Jonathan Edwards
Sunday, May 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Morse, Timothy Dwight, Saybrook, Pierson, Pauli Murray
Sunday, May 20 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Berkeley, Hopper, Davenport, Ezra Stiles, Benjamin Franklin
Yale College Class Day
Sunday, May 20 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Class Day, a Yale College tradition, takes place on Old Campus on Sunday at 2:00 p.m., and includes the awarding of academic, artistic, and athletic prizes; the celebration of undergraduates; and an address by a notable speaker. Seniors wear academic gowns and headgear of choice and process from Cross Campus to Old Campus. A colorful, informal event, Class Day lasts approximately two hours and takes place outdoors rain or shine.
Monday, May 21 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
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 and professional schools formally present their approved candidates to the president. The president, in turn, confers the degrees and admits new graduates to each degree’s “rights and responsibilities.” Student marshals from each residential college and school accept symbolic diplomas from the president on behalf of their colleagues. The ceremony lasts approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
For Yale College, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and Professional Schools
Monday, May 21 at noon, or immediately following University Commencement
Yale College ceremonies take place in each residential college.
Diploma ceremonies for Yale College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the professional schools usually take place immediately after university Commencement on Monday. These ceremonies last approximately two hours, and an optional Commencement luncheon follows in each of the residential colleges.