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Preparing to Graduate

University Commencement

Commencement for the Class of 2024 information will be available in April 2024.

Please visit the Commencement website for information about the University events during the week of Commencement.

Stanford University is committed to ensuring its facilities, programs and services are accessible to everyone. To request accommodations, please submit the Request for Disability-Related Accommodations form no later than May 24, 2024. If you or a guest require disability-related accommodations at our Political Science Diploma Ceremony, please indicate so in your Diploma Ceremony RSVP

Political Science Diploma Ceremony

The Political Science Diploma Ceremony will take place on Sunday, June 16th from 12:15pm - 2:00pm. It will be held in Crothers Courtyard, located directly across from Encina Commons on the lawn at the center of the Crothers Hall Residence Buildings. 

Before our ceremony begins, we will have a reception from 11:15am - 12:15pm where we will be providing refreshments for our grads and their families. 

There are no tickets needed for this event, and you are welcome to bring as many guests as you would like. However, if you plan on walking at this department ceremony and have not yet filled out the Diploma Ceremony RSVP, please fill out the survey and contact Alexandra Davidovich (adavido [at] (adavido[at]stanford[dot]edu)) as soon as possible so we know that you will be joining us. 

FAQ for Graduation:

When should I arrive?
11:30am. Please head over to Crothers Courtyard as soon as the stadium ceremony is finished. 

Is regalia required to participate? 
Yes, a graduation robe and cap are required. 

Where should I go when I arrive? 
Please check in for the ceremony and pick up your graduation gift at the check-in table near the barbeque area in the Crothers Courtyard. 

Will food be served? 
Yes! We will have a light lunch and beverages available for you and your guests starting at 11:30am.

Are face coverings required?
Per university policy, with certain exceptions, face coverings are not required but continue to be strongly recommended on-site, regardless of vaccination status.

Where should I sit?
Graduates sit in a designated area near the front of the stage. Your name will be on the back of your chair. We are seating students in alphabetical order by last name. Please take your seat no later than 12:15pm. Please do not move any name tags or chairs.

Where can my guests sit? 
The seating for family and friends is first come, first serve so please encourage your guests to find a seat when they arrive at the site. No tickets are needed.

What is the order of the ceremony? 
The ceremony begins at 12:30pm with a welcome from our Department Chair, Professor Michael Tomz. We’ll begin with awarding the PhD diplomas and then move to the undergraduate portion of the event, beginning with our two undergraduate speakers and ending with our Class of 2023 diploma presentation. We estimate that the ceremony will end by 2:30pm. (Times may vary slightly depending on when the stadium ceremony finishes and how quickly students and families reach our site.)

When do I walk up to receive my diploma cover? 
Department staff will show you where and when to line up before you walk across the stage to receive your diploma cover. Professor Davenport will read each graduate’s name and short bio. When you hear your name called, you will walk up the stairs on the left side of the stage to receive your diploma from Professor Tomz. Professor Tomz will hand you your diploma cover on stage and then you should move to a designated marker on the stage where you can pause for photos. Once Professor Davenport has finished reading your bio, you will finish crossing the stage and walk down the stairs on the right. Then you will follow the walkway around the back of the stage, between the bike racks, and back to your seat. Staff will help guide you! Please be sure to proceed directly back to your seat to watch the rest of your classmates receive their diplomas.

Will I receive my actual diploma at the ceremony? 
No. All diplomas will be mailed. See here: The diploma cover that Professor Tomz hands you as you walk across the stage is yours to keep.

Is there an opportunity for photos or recording? 
Your guests are welcome to come up to the front near the stage to take your picture when you receive your diploma cover and to record the ceremony from their seat. We will have a professional photographer as well from Grad Images. They will contact you via your Stanford Email address after the ceremony with an opportunity to purchase their photos. We will not be live streaming or recording the ceremony.

Disability Accommodations
If you or a guest require disability-related accommodations at our diploma ceremony, and you did not already indicate so in your RSVP form, please contact me at adavido [at] (adavido[at]stanford[dot]edu) as soon as possible.

Prior to Commencement, students should complete the following:

  • Submit the Application to Graduate. Both the applications for Spring and Summer grads are now open in AXESS. 
  • Please complete this Diploma Ceremony RSVP to let us know whether you will participate in the Political Science department diploma ceremony. This form will also ask you to give us important details such as the number of guests you’re bringing and the activities and accomplishments you’d like included in your ceremony bio.
  • Walkthrough Petition due to me at adavido [at] (adavido[at]stanford[dot]edu) if you will not be formally graduating in June (you’ve already graduated or will be graduating at a later date) but would still like to walk in the diploma ceremony and then also fill out the diploma ceremony RSVP form. If you are applying to graduate in spring quarter you do NOT need to complete this form.  
  • Submit the Major/Minor and Multiple Major Course Approval Form in the Axess eForms portal if you have a second major or a minor. 
  • Order your Cap and Gown for commencement. All students participating in commencement need to wear a cap and gown. You can find more information about ordering your regalia here.

Careers after Graduation

Students in the program have excellent preparation for further study in graduate or professional schools as well as careers in government, business, and not-for-profit organizations. For a listing of some careers our Political Science graduates have pursued, please check our featured alumni page.