Plan for Graduation

Guests enter Killian Court for Commencement; photo: Jake Belcher

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we ask that you please visit the COVID-19 and Commencement 2020 plans page for the most up-to-date information. Thank you.

For detailed information, please see the guest FAQ. A few tips and highlights:

  • Make sure that your entire party, including your graduating student, is prepared and coordinated. Think about how you will communicate with each other; make sure you have cell phones and watches and maps with meeting points. MIT is a big place. It will be crowded. Clarify your plans and expectations.

  • Be sure your graduate gives you the tickets before Friday morning. (Tickets are not needed for Thursday's Doctoral Ceremony.)

  • In regard to admittance at security, please 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 your hotel room.

  • Watch (and dress for) the weather! Ceremonies will be held outdoors unless conditions are dangerous. If it rains, please wear weatherproof clothing with a hood. Comfortable shoes that are waterproof and have some traction will be helpful. If it’s hot, wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. Water will be available in the court. You may carry an umbrella with you, but open umbrellas are not permitted while guests are seated, as they tend to hurt people and block others’ views.

  • Killian Court is a beautiful setting for graduation, but it is flat. Please do not plan on being able to take high quality pictures from the seats. Our section on ordering photos has more detail.

  • Killian Court is a smoke-free environment. Please plan accordingly.

Graduation is a special event, one that is personal to each family present. Please know that our primary concern is the comfort and happiness of our graduates and their guests. We provide this information to help you plan, but it is the courtesy that our guests show each other that carries the day. We look forward to celebrating with you.