Please read below for an overview of major Commencement exercises and events. A complete listing of events for 2020 will be posted on the schedule page as it becomes available
Yale College Baccalaureate
Saturday, May 16 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. | Woolsey Hall
Jonathan Edwards, Grace Hopper, Trumbull, Silliman, and Ezra Stiles Colleges
Sunday, May 17 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. | Woolsey Hall
Berkeley, Davenport, Benjamin Franklin, and Pauli Murray Colleges
Sunday, May 17 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. | Woolsey Hall
Branford, Timothy Dwight, Morse, Pierson, and Saybrook Colleges
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, and readings of sacred texts. Each senior will be allocated up to four tickets. Learn more about Baccalaureate.
Yale College President’s Reception
Saturday, May 16 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. | Cross Campus
President Salovey and Dean Chun will greet the senior class and their guests.
Yale College Class Day
Sunday, May 17 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. | Old Campus
Class Day, a Yale College celebration dating to the 19th century, takes place on Old Campus on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. The ceremony includes the awarding of academic, athletic, and other prizes; an address by a notable speaker chosen with undergraduates’ input; and speeches and a film reflecting on the graduating class’s four years at Yale. Seniors wear academic gowns and headgear of choice and process from Cross Campus to Old Campus. By longstanding tradition, the wider Yale community is invited to join the audience on Old Campus. A colorful, informal event, Class Day lasts approximately two hours and takes place outdoors rain or shine. A list of previous Class Day speakers can be found here.
University Assembly on Cross Campus and Procession to Old Campus
Monday, May 18 at 9:25 a.m. | Cross Campus + Old Campus
The Commencement procession is a celebration. Candidates for degrees march from their residential colleges and schools to assembly on Cross Campus. Once all graduates have assembled, the Yale Band leads the procession out of Noah Porter Gate to Old Campus. Learn more about the procession.
Monday, May 18 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. | Old Campus
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.” The ceremony lasts approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Learn more about the University Commencement.
Monday, May 18 at noon, or immediately following University Commencement
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 more intimate ceremonies last approximately two hours, and an optional Commencement luncheon follows in each of the residential colleges. Learn more about the diploma ceremonies here.