Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your questions about Commencement 2021.

2021 Ceremony Information

  • When and where will Northeastern’s Commencement ceremonies be held?

    Separate outdoor ceremonies will be held the second weekend in May, rain or shine, at Boston’s Fenway Park. In compliance with state-mandated gathering limits, the undergraduate and graduate ceremonies will be divided into two time slots on each day. Graduates will be emailed an assigned time and receive instructions for downloading a Fenway Park app to use to access their tickets.

    Saturday, May 8
    9 a.m. and 2 p.m. EST
    Fenway Park, 4 Jersey St., Boston

    Graduate Students
    Sunday, May 9
    8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. EST
    Fenway Park, 4 Jersey St., Boston

    College of Professional Studies Graduates
    Saturday, May 8
    7 p.m. EST
    Fenway Park, 4 Jersey St., Boston

    School of Law Graduates
    Sunday, May 9
    8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. EST
    Fenway Park, 4 Jersey St., Boston

    D’Amore–McKim School of Business graduate ceremonies will, as usual, take place in late summer, on a date to be announced.

    Each 90-minute ceremony will be livestreamed with closed captioning for friends and family who are unable to attend in person. Watch parties will also be scheduled on campus and elsewhere.

  • Will I need tickets? How many guests can I invite to the in-person ceremony?

    You’ll access tickets for yourself and one guest electronically that indicate your seat location and arrival time. Tickets will be made available for download at the end of April. We will email you directly with details about ticket access.

    You’ll fill out a health attestation form on the day of your ceremony; upon completing it, your tickets will appear on your phone or other device through the Fenway Park app previously emailed to you. The Office of the Provost will announce whether additional guests will be permitted if state guidelines change.

  • Is there anywhere on campus to watch the livestream?

    Matthews Arena on Northeastern’s campus will be showing the livestream of Commencement exercises. Admission is available on a first-come, first-served basis to family members and friends who are unable to attend the ceremony in person. Doors will open one hour before each ceremony. Per state and university guidelines, masks will be required and no concessions are allowed at the venue. Large bags are prohibited and small bags must be checked.


  • When and where will my college celebration take place?

    Each college will host a celebration for its graduates in the week leading up to Commencement. This year’s celebrations will be a mix of virtual and in-person activities. Check your college’s website for details.

  • When do I officially graduate?

    Your graduation date is determined by the date you fulfill all your academic requirements. See these deadlines for your degree program.

  • I'm graduating from another Northeastern campus. Can I attend the in-person Commencement in Boston?

    Yes! Class of 2021 students from across our global university system are welcome to take part. If you aren’t able to travel to Boston, you can watch the livestream.

  • What events are planned for Commencement Week?

    In Boston, Northeastern will offer a weeklong celebration for undergraduate seniors starting Saturday, May 1. For details on this annual tradition, visit the Commencement Week website.

  • Who will be in the event program?

    After a year of unprecedented challenges, we’re eager to celebrate with many of the traditional highlights— including a student speaker, greetings from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Kim Janey, remarks by Dr. Patrick O. Brown and Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, and music. In addition, President Joseph E. Aoun will speak, and Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs David Madigan and other university leaders will also take the stage. No honorary degrees will be awarded at this year’s Commencement exercises.

    Students from the College of Professional Studies should visit the college website for additional details about the CPS graduation.

  • Will I receive a diploma during the ceremony?

    For safety reasons, you’ll receive your diploma by mail.

  • Will I get a chance to take photos in my cap and gown?

    Yes, graduating students may order regalia here. The week long festivities leading up to Commencement Day will include a procession across our Boston campus, ending with on-stage photo ops at Matthews Arena. We’ll also offer portrait sessions April 12–16 by appointment only in Solomon Court in the Cabot Center for graduating students who ordered their regalia at least three weeks ahead of April 12.

  • I’m graduating with honors. How will this be recognized?

    Honors designations are included on diplomas for undergraduate degrees only. The designation also appears in the Commencement program based on information available as of April 1. Honors cords will be mailed along with caps and gowns or later, based on graduates’ eligibility.

  • Will there be a hooding ceremony for PhD degree recipients?

    For social distancing reasons, a ceremony for Doctor of Philosophy degree recipients will be planned for a date in summer or fall, to be announced soon.

  • Will Golden Graduates and other alumni participate in Commencement?

    Golden Graduates will be duly acknowledged during the undergraduate ceremonies. Alumni may be invited to attend as guests of graduates. There will be virtual events for our Golden Graduates this year.

  • Where can I park on Commencement Day?

    You can arrange in advance to park on campus and take the subway to the Fenway stop on the MBTA Green Line’s D branch, then walk to Fenway Park. You can also choose to park one of the parking garages in the Fenway Park area.

    Parking on the Northeastern University campus will be available for a fee. Each garage is a 1 mile walk or less to Fenway Park. Please use this link to select your preferred parking location (Columbus Garage, Gainsborough Garage, or Renaissance Park Garage).

  • Is Fenway Park accessible to people with disabilities?

    Yes, Fenway Park offers accommodations. Visit the venue’s site for details.

  • What am I allowed to bring to Fenway Park?

    Bags are not allowed inside Fenway Park for Commencement, with the exception of diaper bags and medical bags.

  • Where can I eat on Commencement Day?

    Find a sampling of local restaurant options and other information for your visit on the For Guests page. Please be aware that concessions will not be available at Fenway Park during our Commencement ceremonies.

  • Can I purchase food at Fenway Park?

    Concessions will not be available at the ceremonies, so please plan accordingly.