Commencement FAQs

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Questions about tickets


Which events are ticketed?

  • Awards Ceremony, May 17: Guests need tickets, graduates do not. (Invitations will be sent to students in mid-to-late April.)
  • Prayer Service, May 18: Guests need tickets, graduates do not. (Click here to fill out the ticket form.)
  • Brunch, May 18: Paper tickets will not be issued for brunch, but guests will check in at Corbett Family Hall to verify they paid. (Click here to pay for brunch.)
  • University Commencement Ceremony, May 19: Guests need tickets, graduates do not. Tickets are unlimited and are requested through the Graduation Application sent to all graduates in early March. Information about tickets for the ceremony is here.
  • Tickets are not required for the Law School Diploma & Hooding Ceremony or the University Commencement Mass on May 18.

When will I apply for tickets?

On March 6, graduating law students received a ticket form from the Law School. Students should use the form to RSVP for the Law School Prayer Service and Diploma & Hooding Ceremony, and to indicate how many guests they plan to bring to both events.

Graduating students applied for tickets for the University Commencement ceremony through the Graduation Application, which was due March 21.

When and where do I pick up my tickets?

For the Law School events, students can pick up their tickets in Eck Commons from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. on May 2, 3, 6, 7, and 8. If you can't pick up your tickets during these times, contact Denise Wager, dwager@nd.edu, or stop by her office in 1335 Biolchini Hall.

For the University Commencement Ceremony, students can pick up their tickets in Corbett Family Hall on May 15, 16, 17, and 18. Click here to see the pickup times and more specific information.

Questions about specific Commencement events


What do graduates need to do at the Awards Ceremony?

Invited graduates need to be at Washington Hall at 2 p.m. to check in at the tables on the second floor. At the tables, graduates will pick up a card that will have their name and a seat number on it. Graduates will sit alphabetically.

The ceremony begins at 2:30 p.m. When the awards presentation begins, you will proceed by row to the side of the stage with the podium. Stand at the top of the stairs and begin walking as Dean O’Rear says your name. There will be an X on the stage next to the podium. If Dean O’Rear is still reading your awards when you reach the X, pause and face the audience until he is done. If he is done speaking when you get to the X, continue walking across the stage. Shake hands with Dean Newton, receive your awards packet, leave the stage, and return to your seat via the back of the auditorium.

What do graduates need to do at the Prayer Service?

Graduates need to line up in two lines on the sidewalks on the north side of Biolchini Hall by 9 a.m. You do not have to be in alphabetical order, but there will be signs to organize you via degree — J.S.D., LL.M., J.D. The procession to the Basilica will start at 9:15 a.m. with the tolling of the Basilica’s bells. You will process down the center aisle of the Basilica. Please be seated while other students process in; the Commencement marshals, Professors Matt Barrett and John Robinson, will let you know when to stand when the faculty walk in.

After the Prayer Service, the graduates in the first pew and onward will follow the faculty out of the Basilica to the steps of the Main Building for a class photograph.

How long is the Prayer Service?

The Prayer Service lasts approximately 40 minutes. Please note that the Prayer Service is not a full Mass.

When is the class photo?

At the conclusion of the Prayer Service, a class photo will be taken on the steps of Notre Dame’s Main Building. Please join your classmates for the photo, even if you choose not to attend the Prayer Service. Come to the steps of the Main Building by 10:10 a.m.

Where is the Law School Diploma & Hooding Ceremony held?

The Law School Diploma & Hooding Ceremony is held at the Reflecting Pool in front of the Hesburgh Library.

Where is the Diploma & Hooding Ceremony held if there is inclement weather?

If there is inclement weather, the Law School Diploma & Hooding Ceremony will be moved to the Joyce Center, North Dome. Students enter through Gate 2; guests enter through Gate 3.

What do graduates need to do at the Diploma & Hooding Ceremony?

Graduates need to be in place at 12 p.m. If the ceremony is outside at the Hesburgh Library Reflecting Pool, students will line up on the sidewalk outside the Rockne Gate next to Notre Dame Stadium. (If the ceremony is inside at the Joyce Center, North Dome, students will line up in the Monogram Room, which is located on the second floor of the Joyce and accessible via Gate 2.)

You will line up in two lines in alphabetical order. The first line starts with J.S.D. and LL.M. graduates, then the beginning of the J.D. class. The rest of the J.D. class continues in the second line. When you arrive to line up, Law School staff will give you a card with your name on it.

Do not wear your hood. Carry it over your right arm — small point to the outside, velvet toward your wrist — and the button and loop disconnected. Keep your cap on, tassel on the left side. You will process into your rows, directed by the Commencement marshals, Professors Matt Barrett and John Robinson.

When it comes time to be hooded and receive your diploma, you will stand with your entire row and walk to the right side of the stage. When directed to do so, climb the stairs to the stage. Give your name card to the reader and your hood to Christine Holst. When you reach the hooder onstage, stand on the X, and face the audience with your back to the hooder. They will hood you and pat your shoulders to let you know you can walk to Dean Newton to receive your diploma. Then walk to the left side of the stage and down the stairs to be photographed before returning to your row.

At the end of the ceremony, the faculty will recess but the graduates will not. Feel free to find your family and friends, take photographs and leave at your convenience.

Can I have a family member hood me?

Most graduates are hooded by one of the Notre Dame Law School faculty members onstage. However, you can be hooded onstage by a close family member if that family member is a Notre Dame Law School graduate, a graduate of Notre Dame who obtained his or her J.D. at another law school, a Notre Dame faculty member or academic officer, a member of the judiciary, or a law professor, current or retired, whether at Notre Dame or elsewhere. Please contact Denise Wager, dwager@nd.edu, by April 8 if you would like to have a family member hood you.

I have questions about the University Commencement Mass on Saturday evening and the University Commencement Ceremony on Sunday.

Please refer to the University Commencement website and the FAQs page.

Please note that the main University events listed at the links above are optional and are not controlled or arranged by Notre Dame Law School.

Where can I see the full schedule of events for the Law School Commencement Weekend?

A detailed schedule is located at law.nd.edu/commencement.

Where can I see the full schedule of Commencement events for the overall University?

A detailed schedule can be found at commencement.nd.edu.

Will any of these events be available to watch online?

Yes, several Commencement events will be webcast live. Click here to see the webcast schedule and video links. The Law School's Prayer Service and Diploma & Hooding Ceremony are among the events that you can watch online.

Click here to see a map of where the Law School's Commencement events are located on campus.

Questions about attire


What is the dress code for the Awards Ceremony?

The dress for the Awards Ceremony is business attire (not your graduation cap and gown). 

How do I get my cap and gown?

You will rent your doctoral gowns, hoods, and tams through the Hammes Bookstore. The rental cost is $128. The deadline to order your apparel is Friday, April 19. Click here for more information.

When do I wear my cap and gown?

Your cap and gown are required for the Law School Prayer Service, the Law School Diploma & Hooding Ceremony, the University Commencement Mass (if attending) and the University Commencement Ceremony (if attending). We suggest that you dress comfortably. For women, typical attire is a dress or a blouse and skirt that is shorter than the gown so it does not hang below the hem. For men, typical attire is dress pants and shirt (tie and jacket are often worn, but are optional).

I am confused about the graduation hood. When do I wear it?

For the Prayer Service, you will wear your hood. The tassel on your cap should be on the left. For the Diploma & Hooding Ceremony, you will not wear your hood. You will carry the hood over your right arm. Your tassel will be on the left.

Questions about transportation and parking


Visit the Transportation and Parking section of the University's Commencement website. See parking lot locations, campus shuttle schedules, and transportation and parking options for people with mobility issues.

Questions about disability resources


Visit the Disability Resources section of the University's Commencement website. This FAQs page includes information about requesting a wheelchair-accessible van or golf cart on campus.

Questions about on-campus housing


Visit the Where to Stay page of the University's Commencement website. Look at options for on-campus housing in residence halls and buying on-campus meal plans. May 1 is the deadline to request on-campus housing.

I have more questions. Who do I contact?


If you have academic-related questions, please contact Law School Registrar Jenny Fox, jenniferfox@nd.edu.

For questions about event logistics, tickets, communications, and anything else, please contact Alicia Sachau, alicia.sachau@nd.edu, or Denise Wager, dwager@nd.edu.