Guest FAQ

About

When MIT announced an in-person Commencement celebration last December, we noted that we would be carefully monitoring Covid-19 to assess whether any significant shifts in the public health landscape should prompt changes to our policies or plans.

While cases on MIT’s campus are currently decreasing, they are rising across the country and in Massachusetts. For these reasons, we strongly encourage graduates and guests to take precautions before Commencement ceremonies.

To help stop the spread of Covid-19, everyone can test before traveling and they can wear a high-quality mask while traveling and/or indoors. Consistent with these safeguards, MIT is strongly encouraging all MIT graduates and their guests—as well as ceremony participants, staff, and volunteers—to wear high-quality masks during indoor Commencement ceremonies. The Institute will make face coverings available for free at all Commencement events.

The Institute expects that Commencement attendees who are eligible to be vaccinated will be up-to-date on their Covid vaccinations or have a medical or religious reason why they cannot receive the vaccine. We strongly encourage attendees who are unvaccinated or who have concerns to wear a well-fitting mask at all Commencement events.

We will continue to closely monitor the Covid-19 situation, and keep you updated about any changes to our policies or plans.

Full information about MIT policy in regard to Covid-19 is available at MIT Now.

The OneMIT Commencement Ceremony will take place outdoors in Killian Court except in the case of severe weather. Please communicate this to your party: if it is rainy or cold, you may prefer to watch the webcast, which is open to all and does not require any log-in.

Arriving for Commencement

Please remain alert to these pages for the most up-to-date security information—Thank you.

There will be metal detectors in place at Killian Court and Briggs Field (see ceremony schedule) and a number of items are prohibited; please discuss these measures with your party so everyone knows what to expect. Attendees are advised to pack lightly for the day because all items taken into all ceremony venues are subject to search—the less they are carrying, the more quickly the party will be able to proceed through security.
 
The following items are PERMITTED in ceremony venues:

  • Snacks and beverages in plastic or paper/cardboard packaging. Plastic bottles, juice boxes, and disposable coffee cups are all ok. Water is available free of charge inside Killian Court.
  • Cameras
  • Phones
  • Diaper bags and related items (formula, juice boxes, wipes, creams, diapers, toys, etc)
  • Purses or similar, personal small bags, including tote bags and briefcases. Personal bags of this nature should be no larger than 16x16x6 inches (or approximately 40x40x15 centimeters)
  • Reading material, whether printed or electronic (Nook, Kindle, iPad, etc)
  • Laptops and tablets
  • Keys
  • Personal medical supplies

The following items are PROHIBITED in ceremony venues:

  • Bags with wheels
  • Bags whose size exceeds 16x16x6 inches (or approximately 40x40x15 centimeters)
  • Wrapped gifts  
  • Glass bottles and containers
  • Firearms, knives (including pocketknives), and other weapons
  • Scissors and other sharp objects
  • Mace, pepper spray, or similar substances
  • Selfie sticks
  • Drones
  • Large objects

Attendees are asked to consider the appearance of some objects, such as key ring tools/accessories, and leave anything that could be perceived as dangerous at home or in the hotel room. Service animals are welcome at Commencement ceremonies, but no other pets of any size will be permitted inside ceremony venues. Further, we discourage balloons or anything else that would block others’ view of the ceremony. Attendees may carry an umbrella to outdoor ceremonies, but open umbrellas are not permitted while seated. Please note that prohibited items will be confiscated and not returned.
 
Guests are advised to carry government-issued ID (such as driver’s licenses, state ID cards, or passports).

We recommend taking public transportation or a taxi to campus, as parking is extremely limited. Parking recommendations will be provided in May.

Once you arrive on campus, you can take free, MIT-sponsored transport via the Tech Shuttles. Information about the shuttles will be populated on the shuttles page in May 2022.

Please ask your graduate to visit the Registrar’s graduation site and scroll down to the “What you need to do” section, third bullet point for more information.

Seating and tickets

A ticket is required for all those ages three (3) and older. Babies and children ages two (2) years and under do not need tickets.

A ticket is required for all those ages three (3) and older. Babies and children ages two (2) years and under do not need tickets.

Graduation ceremonies will be webcast, which is open to all and does not require any log-in.

In addition, on-campus, indoor viewing locations will be available during the OneMIT Ceremony, the Undergraduate Ceremony, and the Special Ceremony for the Classes of 2020 and 2021. These venues are an excellent option for guests who either prefer to sit indoors or do not have tickets to enter the ceremony venue. No tickets are required for the indoor viewing locations; seating is open. The indoor viewing locations for Friday and Saturday are listed below. Please note that the rooms differ on each day.

Friday, May 27, 2022 Saturday, May 28, 2022
Building 1: 1-246, 1-273 Building 1: 1-246, 1-273
Building 2: 2-105, 2-131, 2-151, 2-190 Building 2: 2-135, 2-139, 2-143, 2-147, 2-151
Building 3: 3-270, 3-333, 3-370 Building 3: 3-270, 3-333, 3-370
Building 4: 4-231, 4-237, 4-270, 4-370 Building 4: 4-231, 4-237, 4-270, 4-370
Building 6: 6-120 Building 6: 6-120
Building 10: 10-250 Building 10: 10-250
Building 26: 26-100 Building 26: 26-100
Building 32: 32-123 (Kirsch Auditorium) Building 32: 32-123 (Kirsch Auditorium)
Building 34: 34-101 Building 34: 34-101
W16: Swraj Paul Theatre at Kresge Auditorium and Little Theatre

 

There are no extra tickets available for the OneMIT Ceremony, Undergraduate Ceremony, or Advanced Degree Ceremonies. If you have more family members than tickets, we recommend checking with friends who may have tickets they do not expect to use. 

While the Institute encourages students to share unneeded tickets, graduates and guests are advised that no tickets to Commencement ceremonies at MIT may be bought or sold under any circumstances.

For families of candidates who have more guests than tickets, on-campus, indoor viewing locations will be available during the OneMIT Ceremony, the Undergraduate Ceremony, and the Special Ceremony for the Classes of 2020 and 2021. These venues are an excellent option for guests who either prefer to sit indoors or do not have tickets to enter the ceremony venue. No tickets are required for the indoor viewing locations; seating is open. The indoor viewing locations for Friday and Saturday are listed below. Please note that the rooms differ on each day. 

Friday, May 27, 2022 Saturday, May 28, 2022
Building 1: 1-246, 1-273 Building 1: 1-246, 1-273
Building 2: 2-105, 2-131, 2-151, 2-190 Building 2: 2-135, 2-139, 2-143, 2-147, 2-151
Building 3: 3-270, 3-333, 3-370 Building 3: 3-270, 3-333, 3-370
Building 4: 4-231, 4-237, 4-270, 4-370 Building 4: 4-231, 4-237, 4-270, 4-370
Building 6: 6-120 Building 6: 6-120
Building 10: 10-250 Building 10: 10-250
Building 26: 26-100 Building 26: 26-100
Building 32: 32-123 (Kirsch Auditorium) Building 32: 32-123 (Kirsch Auditorium)
Building 34: 34-101 Building 34: 34-101
W16: Swraj Paul Theatre at Kresge Auditorium and Little Theatre

 

Accessibility services

To reserve seating in the Disabilities sections, please complete the online request form. Please do this as soon as possible: seating is limited in these accessible sections. Questions may be directed to Disability Access Services at 617-253-1674 or email das-student@mit.edu.

The person with the disability does not have to sit alone. Your entire party may sit together in the Disabilities Section. All graduates receive the same number of tickets, regardless of section. Ticket information is forthcoming.

Yes, devices are available at event venues. Please see us there or call ahead 617-253-2808 if you have further questions. 

There is no standing allowed in the Disabilities sections, since that would obstruct the view of those unable to stand. Please consider this carefully as you determine whether these section are appropriate for your family.

If you think that your family member will need a wheelchair for the entire day, we recommend that you rent one. Please see services and resources listed on the Accessibility page for suggestions of wheelchair rental companies.

Service animals are always welcome at MIT. If you are requesting tickets for the Disabilities sections, it is helpful, though not essential, to let us know at that time that your family will be accompanied by a service animal. Reminder: no other pets of any size will be permitted inside the event venues.

We recommend first calling the accessible Cambridge Taxi program at 866-654-1003. Other area companies include: Ambassador Cab 617-492-1100, Checker Cab of Cambridge 617-497-9000, and Top/City Cab of Boston 617-536-5100.

Yes: please visit the campus accessibility map provided by the Department of Facilities.

First aid

Personnel from MIT’s Medical Department will staff a Medical Station. Graduates and guests requiring onsite first aid are welcome to visit as needed. Emergency and ambulance services will be on call and onsite and can be activated by any of the Commencement staff.

If you anticipate a need for local medical support during the graduation festivities, please contact the MIT Medical Department ahead of time to let us know how we can help (617) 253-7625.

Photos and webcast

Yes, graduates' photos will be taken at the Undergraduate Ceremony and the School/College Advanced Degree Ceremonies. More information

Yes! There will be captioned webcasts of all ceremonies, with the videos available online after the events, as well.

Area services

For hotel information, please visit the accommodations page.

Commencement guests and those new to Cambridge will also find it helpful to review MIT’s visitors pages. Campus maps may all be found there. 

Children

Yes, we have a lactation and infant changing tent in both Killian Court and Briggs Field.

Strollers must be left in the stroller corral. However, you may take the child to the seat in the stroller, then ask a guest services representative for help in removing the stroller once you are settled.