FAQs

Check back frequently. FAQs are updated as more information becomes available.

Please note changes to questions regarding diploma distribution.


Page Last Modified Apr 29, 2016

What is the Unified Commencement Ceremony?
When do graduates receive their diplomas?
What can I expect at my individual school graduation ceremony?
Can I reserve seats in the Superdome?
How long will the unified ceremony last?
When do the students need to arrive?
How early may guests arrive for Commencement?
When do things start?
What about parking at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome? Is there a shuttle from the uptown campus?
What about attendees who are physically challenged?
What is Wave Goodbye?
Are tickets required for Wave Goodbye?
What is GradFest?


Q: What is the Unified Commencement Ceremony?

A: The Unified Commencement Ceremony honors the graduating students from all of the university's schools and colleges. It features the pomp and circumstance expected of a traditional Commencement celebration but with a New Orleans twist. At this ceremony you can expect to see the procession of graduates and faculty, the conferral of degrees and hear live jazz.

Recent keynote speakers include President George H. W. Bush, President William J. Clinton, NBC news anchor Brian Williams, political commentators James Carville and Mary Matalin, Ellen DeGeneres, Anderson Cooper, Thomas Friedman, Lisa Jackson, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Wynton Marsalis and Maya Rudolph.

Tickets are not required for this ceremony.

Q: When do students receive their diplomas?

A: With the exception of Doctor of Medicine students, all graduates will receive their diplomas via FedEx delivery three to four weeks after commencement.  The diploma will be mailed to the diploma mailing address provided by the student on the application for degree. This address can be updated via Gibson Online at the “Update Diploma Address” link found under the Student tab. Doctor of Medicine students will receive their diplomas at the School of Medicine graduation ceremony.

Q: What can I expect at my individual school graduation ceremony?

A: Graduates will attend the ceremony of the school awarding their degree. It is at these graduation ceremonies that a graduate’s name will be called and he or she will walk across the stage. Visit the Schedule page for more details.

Q: Can I reserve seats in the Superdome?

A: No. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis and cannot be reserved.

Q: How long will the unified ceremony last?

A: About 90 minutes.

Q: When do the students need to arrive?

A: Students should arrive no later than 8 a.m. The Superdome will conduct bag checks on all guests so please plan your arrival time accordingly. 

Allow extra time to find a place to park, go through security and get to your robing location. All personal items must be left with your parents or guests. Tulane University will not be responsible for any lost or stolen items. (The Bookstore will have a station in the robing area with extra caps, gowns, etc., in case of any problems.) 

Visit the Mercedes-Benz Superdome page for more information on parking and entrances. For more information on what to expect at Commencement, review the important information for graduates.

Q: How early may guests arrive for Commencement?

A: The doors will open at 7:30 a.m.

Q: When do things start?

A: Live music starts at 8:30 a.m. The colorful academic procession starts at 9 a.m. and the stage ceremony at the conclusion of the procession, by about 9:30 a.m.

Q: What about parking at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome? Is there a shuttle from the uptown campus?

A: You can park at the Superdome for $15 (cash only). There will also be free shuttle service from Tulane's uptown campus.

Q: What about attendees who are physically challenged?

A: Guests with physical challenges should enter the Superdome through gate A (Poydras St.) on the ground level. This entrance is a covered drop-off area for disabled access. Wheelchairs will be available for transportation to and from handicapped seating; however, for those who wish to have a wheelchair with them at all times, it will be necessary to bring one with you. Handicapped-accessible shuttle service will be available.

Q: What is Wave Goodbye?

A: Wave Goodbye is an annual party given by the president that is modeled after New Orleans' many springtime festivals. Graduates from all schools and their guests are invited to mingle on Gibson Quad on the uptown campus on Friday, May 13, 6-8 p.m. The event will feature local food and music.

Q: Are tickets required for Wave Goodbye?

A: Yes, tickets are required. Each graduating student can receive a maximum of seven tickets, one of which the student will need to use to enter the party. Children 10 years and younger will not need tickets. Tickets for graduates will be available through Gibson Online beginning Wednesday, April 27 after 9 a.m.

Faculty members participating in commencement exercises are allotted two tickets each. Participating faculty can request tickets via this website. See the "For Faculty" page of this site for more information. 

Q: What is GradFest?

A: GradFest is held in the spring for students to order their academic regalia, announcements, cap-and-gown pictures, etc. Missed GradFest? Visit the website for more information.