Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the questions that are frequently asked by students and parents as Commencement Weekend approaches.

Q: How many people can I invite to Commencement events?

All students who submitted an online Application for Graduation form and were approved to participate in the May 2014 Commencement Ceremony will be guaranteed a maximum set of five tickets for the Commencement Concert (Friday, May 9) and five invitations for the Commencement ceremony (Saturday, May 10).

Q: Can family and friends who are unable to attend commencement weekend still view the events?

Yes! This year's commencement events will be streamed live online via Concert Window:

Q: When can I pick up my invitations and tickets?

Both invitations and tickets will be available for pickup from Monday, March 10 through Friday, March 14 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Office of the Registrar, 921 Boylston Street, Suite 120 (first floor of the Uchida Building). Be sure to bring your Berklee ID or another form of photo identification, such as a passport or driver’s license, with you.

Q: What if I need more invitations or tickets?

Many students end up not needing all their invitations and/or tickets, so it’s a good idea to check with friends and classmates to see if they will give you any they don’t plan on using. You can also check with the Office of the Registrar after April 14 regarding the availability of extra invitations/tickets. In the event that there are extras, they will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Q: If I’m participating in the Commencement ceremony, do I need an invitation?

No, but you will need a ticket to attend the concert.

Q: What if I can’t get to the Office of the Registrar between March 10 - 14 because I’m studying abroad or working during the day at an internship?

You will be allowed to either send someone else to pick up your invitations and tickets or make other arrangements for getting them before April 14. Please see Invitations & Tickets for specific instructions.

Q: How do I get my cap and gown?

You can pick up your caps, gowns and tassels (all provided at no charge to graduates) at “The Loft” at 939 Boylston Street on Monday, April 28 through Friday, May 2, from 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Be sure to bring your Berklee ID or another form of photo identification, and make every effort to pick them up that week. Although we will have the unclaimed caps and gowns available at the Ceremony, getting them that morning will be much more difficult. Please see Caps & Gowns for more information.

Q: Can I walk with my class if I haven't completed my requirements for graduation?

Only students who completed their degree requirements in August or December 2013, appear on track to finish in May 2014, or who have no more than nine remaining credits after the spring semester to graduate, will be eligible and approved to participate in the May 2014 ceremony. See Requirements for Graduation and Applying to Graduate for more information.

Q: Should I let someone know if I'm NOT planning to walk at Commencement?

Yes, there is a place on the Application for Graduation form where you can indicate that you are not planning on participating in the commencement ceremony. Or you can notify the Graduation and Curriculum Specialist at slandry@berklee.edu.

Q: Where do I go on Commencement Day?

The commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 10, 2014 in the Agganis Arena at Boston University. Guests will be admitted at 9:00 a.m., and the ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m. Graduating seniors will receive an email with their call time (the time you need to arrive at Agganis Arena) and other important information regarding the ceremony in April.

Q. Is there a rehearsal?

No, there will not be a rehearsal the day of Commencement, but seniors are required to arrive at the Agganis Arena at their appointed call time.

Q: Where do my guests sit? Is there reserved seating?

Your guests will need to bring their invitations with them in order to be admitted to the Ceremony. Doors open at 9 a.m. Seats are not assigned; floor and stadium seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Q: How long is the Commencement ceremony?

The ceremony lasts approximately 2½ hours.

Q: Who is speaking at Commencement this year?

The Commencement speaker and honorary degree recipients for 2014 have not yet been announced. Please check back closer to the event.

Q.  What should I wear? What should my guests wear?

You’ll be wearing your robe during the ceremony, which can get a bit warm, so sweaters or jackets might become uncomfortable. Caps should be worn straight and parallel to the ground. Bobby pins can be used to hold caps in place. Wear comfortable shoes that you can stand in for long periods of time. Most guests aim for "dress casual.” And remember, caps and gowns must be returned after the ceremony—so plan on wearing something underneath your robe appropriate for the photos your family and friends will want to take to commemorate your important day.

Q: Is there anything planned for directly after the ceremony?

An informal reception will be held directly after the ceremony (around 12:30 p.m.) All graduates, faculty, and guests are invited to attend. Please follow the posted signs to find the reception room.

Q: Is parking available at the Agganis Arena?

Yes. For information on where to park, the availability of handicapped parking, as well as public transportation options, please go to Directions/Parking or agganisarena.com/directions/parking

Q: Are any provisions being made for people with special needs?

Graduates or their guests planning to attend any of the commencement events who may need special accommodations on the basis of disability should contact Morgan C. Walker, Conference Services and Events, at 617 747-6168 or mcwalker@berklee.edu by May 2.  Guests are encouraged to provide as much advance notice as possible prior to the start of an event to help ensure that their request for special assistance may be met. A listing of services available at the Agganis Arena at BU can be found under Accessibility Services.

Q: Are there services for guests with hearing needs?

Yes, assisted listening devices will be available free of charge. In addition to ALD, transcribed text from the ceremony will be projected onto the video screens in the arena. See Accessibility Services for more information or contact Conference Services and Events at 617 747-6168.

Q: Will there be a professional photographer at the Commencement ceremony?

Yes, Commencement Photos, Inc. will be taking pictures of each student during the commencement ceremony and will send a photo proof and information about purchasing a photo package to each graduate. If you don’t receive a sample within a few weeks of the ceremony or have any questions, contact customer service at 978 851-5924 or email them at customerservice@commencementphotos.com

Q: How can I get graduation announcements?

Graduation announcements that can be used to send to family and friends can be ordered from the Berklee Bookstore beginning in February. For more information about graduation announcements please visit the Berklee Bookstore website at berklee.bncollege.com

Q: Other than the actual Commencement ceremony (Saturday at 10 a.m.), what other activities are being planned for family and friends?

Graduates, their family and friends are invited to attend the Commencement Concert on Friday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the Agganis Arena 
at Boston University. A highlight of the weekend's festivities, this is a student concert held in tribute to our honorary degree recipients. Tickets are required for entrance.

Q: When should parents arrive? When should they leave?

There is no required time in terms of the arrival and departure of parents. Activities begin on Friday and continue through Saturday afternoon.

Q: Are any area hotels offering special rates or discounts to Commencement guests?

Yes, several area hotels are offering special rates. For a list of these hotels, as well as other lodging options, go to Lodging/Dining Guide.  Please note: You must mention Berklee College of Music Commencement 2014 when making a reservation to receive these reduced rates. Special rates depend on availability at each hotel and do not include tax or parking.

Q: Whom can we contact if we have further questions?

A: For general questions about Commencement weekend, please email Sarah Landry, the Graduation and Curriculum Specialist at slandry@berklee.edu. For questions regarding special accommodations on the basis of disability, please contact Conference Services and Events, at 617 747-6168.