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Commencement FAQs



Where are the ceremonies being held?
All ceremonies will be held on South Campus under the Commencement tent on the football field.

What is Baccalaureate and when is the ceremony?
Baccalaureate is an undergraduate interfaith service of reflection and celebration. Students, staff, and faculty speakers are selected by the graduating class to highlight the remarkable journey of the class of 2019. Baccalaureate is on Friday, May 17, 2019 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. (approximately).

There will be a Presidential Reception following the ceremony in the Bentley Arena. 

When is Undergraduate Commencement?
Undergraduate Commencement is on Saturday, May 18, 2019. The academic procession begins at 9:30 a.m. and the ceremony is from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (approximately).

When is Graduate & PhD Commencement?
Graduate & Ph.D. Commencement is on Saturday, May 18, 2019. The academic procession is at 2:30 p.m. and the ceremony is from 2:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. (approximately).

Other than the ceremonies, what other activities are happening for Undergraduates during the week of Commencement?
If you are interested in learning more about Undergraduate events during Commencement week, please visit

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Where and when do Undergraduate graduates meet before Baccalaureate?
Graduates meet in the Dana Center Gym on Friday, May 17 at 2:00 p.m. The academic procession, led by a bagpiper, begins at 2:45 p.m.

Where and when do the Undergraduate graduates meet before Commencement?
Graduates to meet in the Dana Center Gym on Saturday, May 18 at 8:30 a.m.  The Undergraduate academic procession begins at 9:30 a.m.

Where and when do the Graduate & PhD graduates meet before Commencement?
Graduates to meet in the Dana Center Gym on Saturday, May 18 at 1:30 p.m.  The Graduate academic procession begins at 2:30 p.m.

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How do the graduates (excluding PhD candidates) order academic regalia?
Academic regalia (cap, tassel, hood and gown) is required for participation in the Commencement ceremonies. The cost of the cap, gown, and tassel is $55 for undergraduate students and $60 for graduate students. Please note that the caps and gowns for undergraduates are different from graduates. Please click here to order your regalia and do so by Monday, April 15.

How do PhD candidates receive regalia?
If you are a PhD candidate, Bentley University provides your regalia and you will receive a separate communication.

When and where do undergraduate and graduate students pick up their regalia?
Regalia pick up will be the following times:

  • Wednesday, May 1 from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Student Center, Room 261
  • Friday, May 10 from 1:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Student Center, Room 261
  • Friday, May 17 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. in the Dana Center before Baccalaureate (academic procession begins at 2:45 p.m.)
  • Saturday, May 18 in the Dana Center before the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony (academic procession begins at 9:30 a.m.) and before the Graduate & PhD Commencement Ceremony (academic procession begins at 2:30 p.m.)

How do graduates wear their cap and gown?
For an instructions, please watch this video.

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Are there recommended hotels in the area?
We strongly recommend that you make hotel room reservations as soon as possible as many other colleges and universities in the Boston area hold commencement during the same time as Bentley University. 

There is a limited hotel room block at the Westin-Waltham Hotel on 3rd Avenue in Waltham, MA.  Rooms are $219/night.  To make reservations contact the hotel at 888.627.8455.  This rate is available until Friday, April 26, 2019. 

Please visit the Area Lodging to view additional hotel options.

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Is there a brochure available to help guide graduates and guests?
Yes, please view our brochure.

Is the Bookstore open that weekend and what types of items are available?
The Bentley Bookstore, located in Collins Hall, will be open during the days and hours noted below.  Stop by to purchase your diploma frame, Bentley apparel and gifts, greeting cards, snacks and drinks.  Flowers and some Bentley apparel and gifts will also be available at a tent adjacent to the Commencement site. 

For online purchases, please visit

Bookstore Hours
Friday, May 17, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 18, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 19, Closed

Bookstore Tent Hours
Saturday, May 18, 7:00 a.m. - the beginning of the graduate ceremony

What food and beverage options are available on campus?
On Saturday, May 18, 2019, there will be food and beverages available for purchase at 7:00 a.m.

What are recommended dining options off of campus and what are suggested times to make a reservation?
It is recommended to make a reservation at least one hour from the approximate end time of the ceremony to allow enough time to leave campus and travel to the local restaurant. For dining recommendations off campus, visit

How are hometown news releases handled?
On the day of Commencement, the News and Communications department distributes a general news release about the undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies to the national media via PR Newswire and to local media. The department also provides a more detailed template news release that can be personalized with information specific to the graduate for each family to send to their hometown media. Download the Undergraduate Hometown News Release Template or the Graduate & PhD Hometown News Release Template.

Are invitations available for purchase?
Announcements are available for purchase through the Bentley University Bookstore for those who are interested.  To order, please contact the Bookstore at 781.891.3107.

How do you get documentation if you are traveling internationally to attend the ceremonies?
If you are traveling internationally to attend the ceremonies and need documentation, please contact the Registrar's office at 781.891.2177 or

How do you order transcripts?
Students may order an e-transcript or a paper copy transcript by visiting this page. Please note that each transcript costs $3.50. Additional fees apply when a paper copy is sent via FedEx or international mail. When the order is placed, students will be able to track their order. If you have additional questions, please contact the Registrar's office at 781.891.2177 or

Will there be a professional photographer during the ceremonies?
The University hires Grad Images, a professional photographer, who will photograph the graduates during the ceremonies. There is no obligation to purchase these photographs.

Are guests allowed to leave their seats and take their own photos during the ceremonies?
The professional photographer has access to capture the best photographs during the ceremony.  Due to tight security and space concerns under the tent, it is recommended that guests remain seated during the ceremony, and rely on the professional photographer’s photos. There will be ample time after the event to take photos.

Are tickets needed to attend the ceremonies?
Tickets are not required to attend the ceremonies.

Who are the Commencement speakers?
The Commencement speakers have been announced. The Undergraduate Commencement speaker is Ronald O'Hanley, president and chief executive officer of State Street Corporation. The Graduate & PhD Commencement speaker is Robert E. Quinn, Margaret Elliot Tracy Collegiate Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business. For more information, visit Speakers.

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Is there a map of campus?
Yes. There is a map of campus that can be downloaded and used as a resource. 

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Where is general parking available on campus?
Once on campus, University Police will direct Commencement guests to available parking areas on the main campus.  There is limited parking on South Campus. We urge you to arrive early as the main campus lots fill up quickly. 

Will shuttle service be available?
Shuttle service will bus guests from the main parking lots to the commencement site on South Campus. 

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Will security be on site and will there be bag checks?
There will be visible security on campus.  Please be prepared to have your bags checked upon entering campus. 

If someone needs medical help or sees something suspicious happening, who should be contacted?
If you see something suspicious, please contact the Bentley University Police at 781.891.3131 or alert any Bentley University staff member.

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What seating is available and how early can guests arrive?
Seating is first-come, first-served. The tent will open at 7:00 a.m. The saving of seats prior to Commencement is not permitted. If your family or group would like to sit together at the ceremony, please arrive together. Ushers have been instructed to remove signs, tape and other devices.

Will there be accommodations for those with hearing impairments?
The ceremonies will be closed captioned on video monitors throughout the tent. 

How do those needing special assistance request seating?
Those with limited mobility may request to sit in a special assistance area. This section is accessible by golf cart and wheel chairs. This section is also for those with hearing impairments and the ceremonies will be closed captioned. To reserve seating, please fill out our special assistance form by visiting

The special assistance form is due by Friday, May 3, 2019.  This is for the one needing the special assistance and one guest only.

What does the special assistance seating look like?
Please know the views from this section are no better than any other section. It is simply in an area that is convenient for golf carts and wheelchairs. This area of seating is easily identifiable by its white chairs under the tent. As you look at the main stage, this section is on your left. We will have staff there to greet and assist you upon arrival.

Are golf carts available for transportation for those with mobility issues?
Visitors with limited mobility, who do not have a handicap plate or government issued placard, may also request the transport service from all lots on the main campus.  As you enter any parking lot, please inform the parking attendant and a golf cart will be summoned. Bentley kindly requests that visitors without mobility issues refrain from golf cart service, so that those who truly need assistance may be accommodated.

Is handicap parking available?
Limited parking is available for those with a government issued handicap placard or license plate may park in Lot 20 on the south campus.  Parking is first-come first-served.

Are wheelchairs available and if so, for the entire ceremony?
Wheelchairs will be available to escort those in need from the parking lots to the seats.  If you require a wheelchair for the whole ceremony, please bring your own wheelchair. Below is a recommended wheelchair rental option:
Belmont Medical Supply
185 Belmont Street
Belmont, MA  02478

Phone: 617.484.3888

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What happens if it rains?
The ceremonies will be held under a tent rain or shine.  Please dress accordingly.  If there is rain the day of, there will also be the option to view the ceremonies on a screen in the Dana Center. 

What if severe weather occurs?
However, if severe weather does occur, please visit our website for updated information and follow Bentley's main social media channels.

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Are diplomas given on stage? If not, where is the pick-up location?
Diplomas will not be distributed on stage during the Commencement ceremony.  Following the ceremony, diplomas will be available for pick up at the Bentley Arena.  Students who do not pick up their diploma should contact the Registrar’s office at 781.891.2177.

Where is the Commencement reception?
Directly after the Undergraduate and Graduate Commencement ceremonies, there will be a reception held at the Bentley Arena for graduates and guests. 

When do graduates move out of the Residence Halls?
We are asking those to be moved out of the dorms by 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 18. To alleviate prolonged delays and heavy traffic congestion after the ceremonies, we request your cooperation with the following recommendations:

  • In advance of Commencement, send home items no longer needed, e.g., winter clothing
  • Prior to Commencement Week, pack up any items you will not need on a daily basis
  • Traffic is at higher volume directly after the ceremonies, to experience the most successful move out, it is encouraged to move out prior to the ceremony, or to leave campus and come back a few hours later to stagger traffic

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The Commencement Office,781.891.2400 or
for any questions related to the ceremonies

Alumni Career Services Office, 781.891.2164
for help finding job postings and expanding your network

Bookstore, 781.891.3107
for promotional items such as diplomas, rings, and flowers

Undergraduate Commencement Week:
for information about Undergraduate activities during the week prior to the Commencement ceremony

Registrar's Office, 781.891.2177
for questions regarding regalia and degree requirements

Office of Alumni and Family Engagement, 781.891.2000
for information about joining regional alumni chapters and connecting with other Bentley alumni

University Police, 781.891.3131
for medical attention or suspicious behavior

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