Commencement Day Details and Guidelines


A map of arrival and check-in locations for students and guests for the Simmons University Commencement Ceremonies
Students check-in at the House of Blues, guests check-in at the MGM Music Hall

Guest Arrival and Check-in

Location: MGM Music Hall at Fenway, 2 Lansdowne St.

Time (morning ceremony): Starting at 8 am

Time (afternoon ceremony): Starting at 12 pm

Student Arrival and Check-in

Location: House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St.

Time (morning ceremony): Between 7:45 – 8 am

Time (afternoon ceremony): Between 11:45 am – 12:00 pm

Student Arrival, Line-up and Dress Code

A sample GradPass student ticket for Commencement line-up

Degree candidates will receive a GRADPASS email the week of May 13 containing a unique ticket barcode, line, and lineup number. This barcode will be used to check in and to prompt the reading of your name and degree as you cross the stage. 

Please take a screenshot of your GRADPASS on your phone (make sure your phone is fully charged!) to present during check in and as you cross the stage. 

Degree candidates who registered for the Commencement ceremony after April 23 and do not have a GRADPASS should proceed to the Check In Help Desk in the House of Blues for a card with your name, degree, and line number. This card will be presented to the name reader as you cross the stage.

  • Graduates will arrive at their designated arrival time at the House of Blues on 15 Lansdowne St (across the street from MGM) and present their GRADPASS barcode to be scanned at the check-in desk. 
  • Graduates without a GRADPASS will check in at the Help Desk (the booth next to the main check-in). 
  • Graduates will proceed to the main hall, present their GRADPASS or name card to the line staff, and will be placed in a line. Procession to MGM will begin around 8:40 am (morning ceremony) and 11:40 am (afternoon ceremony). Commencement line leaders will lead each line across the street and right up to each row at the MGM Music Hall. 
  • When it is time to proceed to the stage, be sure to have your GRADPASS or name card ready. Our team will direct you across the stage and back to your seat.

There are plenty of restrooms in the House of Blues (in the lobby and hall). We strongly recommend using the restroom after checking in and before heading into the main hall for line-up.

Degree candidates are expected to come dressed ONLY in Commencement regalia, which includes a cap, hood, gown, and tassel, along with any approved cords and stoles. 

Additional caps and gowns will not be available to purchase at Commencement. 

Per tradition, students are welcome to decorate their caps ahead of time–stickers, designs, inspirational messages, and flowers commonly adorn the caps of graduates! The use of profanity, obscenity, or hate speech of any kind is strictly prohibited.

Students will be notified by the Registrar's Office by Wednesday, May 15 after final GPAs are calculated. The email will inform you if you have received Cum laude, Magna cum laude, or Summa cum laude and are eligible to pick up a Latin Honor Cord. 

Latin Honor Cords will be available to pick up on Wednesday, May 15 from 9 am to 5 pm and on Thursday, May 16 from 8:30 am to 4 pm in the Student Affairs Suite (A-160, 1st Floor, Main College Building). 

Cords will not be available on the day of Commencement.

Guest Tickets, Arrival and Accessibility

Guest seating for Commencement is at full capacity. Additional guest tickets are not available at this time. If you have ordered guest tickets, please make sure to email your ticket(s) directly to each guest. All guests are required to present a ticket in order to be admitted into the venue, and are expected to adhere to the Food, Beverage, and Bag Policy described on their ticket.

Venue policies, parking and transportation information are available on the Commencement Tickets and Venue page.

The doors to the MGM Music Hall will open to guests starting at 8:00 am. 

There is no assigned seating at the MGM Music Hall. We strongly recommend that your guests arrive early in order to secure preferred seating at the venue. 

Guests are seated on the upper levels of MGM Music Hall, while degree candidates are seated on the main floor.

If your guests have wheelchairs and/or mobility issues, they will be escorted to an accessible seating area on the ground floor of the MGM Music Hall. 

Guests may be dropped off at the doors to the MGM Music Hall, where a dedicated accessibility staff member will greet them and escort them to their seats. 

PLEASE NOTE: Shuttles and transportation are not provided to or from the venue. There is very limited handicap-accessible parking in the Fenway neighborhood. For guests with mobility issues, we recommend arranging a drop-off directly at MGM Music Hall at 2 Lansdowne St prior to parking.

See the Commencement Tickets and Venue page for parking and transportation details.

Guests are also welcome to join us in the Linda K. Paresky Conference Center, located on the third floor of the Main College Building at 300 Fenway, for a livestream of the Commencement ceremony. 

Registration for the live stream watch room is not required. 

The event livestream link will be posted to the Commencement site as soon as it is available for those who wish to watch from home.

A stack of Commencement programs

Commencement Programs

Simmons has adopted an environmentally friendly approach to our Commencement programs. On the day of the Commencement ceremonies, you'll receive a short program with the order of exercises and some information about the speakers. This program will contain a link/QR code to an online listing of Simmons graduates.

If you would like a Commemorative version of the program with the full list of graduate names, you may place an order between Friday, May 3 – Friday, May 24. Programs are $10 and will be mailed to you approximately two to three weeks after Commencement.

Order a Commemorative program

Post-Ceremony Logistics

Graduates and guests will promptly vacate the venue as soon as the ceremony is over. In an effort to ensure a smooth transition between ceremonies, departing graduates/guests are not permitted to linger outside of entrances nor on the sidewalk bordering MGM Music Hall & House of Blues (Lansdowne & Ipswich).

We recommend that you coordinate a meeting spot with your guests/graduates after the ceremony ends. Possible locations within walking distance include the Simmons academic campus (where you’ll be able to pick up your degree and take photos!), the Ted Williams Statue on Ipswich, the corner of Lansdowne/Brookline Ave at Fenway, and other key locations in the Fenway area.

Diplomas will be available to pick up in the University Common Grounds at 300 Fenway until 5:00 pm on the day of Commencement. Graduates will also be able to pick up their diplomas at the Simmons OneStop (2nd Floor of the Main College Building) during normal business hours, between 8:30 am – 4:00 pm, from May 20 to 31. 

Diplomas that are not picked up will be mailed to graduates in early June.

Outstanding SFS Bills

Outstanding bills must be paid by Thursday, May 16, 2024 in order to receive your diploma. Please note that this does not prevent participation in the Commencement ceremony; however, graduates with outstanding bills will receive a letter in lieu of a diploma until payment is received. Please email [email protected] with any questions about outstanding bills.

Resident students who are participating in Senior Week, Commencement, or assisting with graduation and who have completed a Late Stay Request, are permitted to remain in their dorms until 12:00 pm on Saturday, May 18 at no additional charge.

Please refer to the Spring Closing for Residence Campus email, sent by the Office of Residence Life, for further information on preparing for move-out. Email [email protected] with questions.