Commencement 2024


Monday, May 13, 2024
Francis Olympic Field
9:00 a.m.

Recognition ceremonies precede or immediately follow the ceremony.

New! Policy changes for Commencement

WashU has implemented several policy changes for the safety and convenience of our community during the university ceremony as well as the school recognition ceremonies and events.


Tickets are now required for all school ceremonies. Schools will communicate and distribute tickets for their individual ceremonies directly to the graduates. Please see Calendar of Events for school schedules and direct links to school Commencement webpages. Links are highlighted in red.

Bag Policy

Graduates may not bring any bags of any type onto Francis Olympic Field, or into the school ceremonies.

Guests are strongly encouraged not to bring bags. Only the following types of bags will be allowed:

  • Clear plastic bags, not to exceed 14”x14”x4”. Clear bags will be available in parking locations and at the ceremony entrance for those who need them.
  • Small clutch-type wallets or purses not to exceed 4”x6”. Diaper bags are allowed for those with small children, but will be inspected.
  • Medically necessary equipment is permitted after inspection.
Prohibited Items

The following items are prohibited in all university and school ceremonies and events, and are subject to confiscation:

  • Air horns and other artificial noisemakers
  • Animals, except assistance animals
  • Banners or signs larger than 2’x3’ (no poles of any kind will be allowed)
  • Food and drink (except water)
  • Firearms and weapons
  • Laser lights
  • Balloons, glitter and confetti
  • Unmanned aircraft/drones

The Procession

Candidates should march in front of or behind the person with whom they wish to sit, not side by side.

  • By 7:45 a.m., all candidates must be at the assembly point designated for each school.
  • The procession will begin at 9:00 a.m. sharp, led by the grand marshal, the chancellor, members of the administration, the Board of Trustees, honorary degree recipients, faculty, and alumni from the 50th reunion class.

The Ceremony

The program begins with the Commencement address, followed by the presentation and conferral of degrees.

  • Singing of “America the Beautiful”

The Academic Recession

  • All graduates will recess from Francis Olympic Field under the direction of Chancellor Martin.
  • Graduates should arrange to meet friends and relatives at one of the festival activity locations across campus to alleviate crowding and enable a quick exit from the ceremony.

The ceremony typically concludes no later than 11 a.m.

Photography and video

Please note that individual pictures of each student at each of the school recognition ceremonies will be available from professional photographers.

  • Out of consideration for others, please keep the front of the stage and pathways clear during the ceremony.
  • Graduates and guests are encouraged to utilized the professional and self-service photography areas across campus. More information to be posted in the spring.

University photos and video of Commencement will be posted on Widen and YouTube.