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The Ceremony

May 17, 2020

*** Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the all-university in-person Commencement Ceremony has been cancelled. The School of Medicine will be hosting a web-based ceremony including speakers and a live-stream hooding ceremony on Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 2:00PM EDT. Please visit our Virtual Ceremony Website for more information:

The Commencement Ceremony is divided into two phases. Phase I is the University-wide ceremony in which all schools participate. It includes the academic procession, the awarding of honorary degrees, recognition of faculty emeriti, recognition of degree candidates by school, and the all-university Commencement address. The Phase I ceremony begins at 9 a.m. on the lawn of the main quad between Ballou Hall and Bendetson Hall on the Medford campus and typically lasts for 90 minutes.

Phase II of Commencement at Tufts consists of the presentation of diplomas to individual graduates and special activities for the various schools and departments. The School of Medicine/Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) specific ceremony (MD Degree, PhD Degree and the GSBS Master's Degree) will begin at approximately 11:30 a.m. in the Gantcher Family Sports and Convocation Center. The Gantcher Center is located at 161 College Avenue, and is about a ten minute walk from the Phase I ceremony. The Medical/GSBS ceremony will conclude at approximately 2:00 p.m. The Medical School also holds a separate ceremony for Master's Degree graduates (MPH, MS - Biomedical Sciences, MS - Health Informatics & Analytics, MS - Health Communication and DrPH).

The weather in May is sometimes unpredictable and we encourage guests to dress accordingly. The Phase I University-wide ceremony is held outdoors. The Phase II Medical/GSBS ceremony takes place in an indoor facility without air conditioning. If you will be attending both the Phase I and the Phase II ceremonies, we encourage you to wear comfortable shoes because you will descend the Tufts Memorial Steps which are steep, and then continue down College Avenue to the Gantcher Center.

Seating for the Phase I and Phase II Ceremonies

The Phase I and II ceremonies do not offer reserve seating. However, the Gantcher Center provides ample seating for the Medical/GSBS graduates and their guests. The doors to the Gantcher Center will open at 10:00 a.m.

Service Animals

Whether you are a graduating student or a guest, service animals--as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)--are allowed at commencement ceremonies. All other animals are prohibited from University commencement ceremonies.


Parking on Commencement Day will be available in all university parking areas. (Campus map) Parking facilities will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The university is located in a residential neighborhood and street parking is extremely limited. You should allow yourself extra time to secure parking since there will be significant traffic on the Medford campus that morning. We recommend that you carpool if possible.

Some guests have found it to be more convenient to use a taxi service or public transportation. A University shuttle will be making regular trips from the Davis Square - Red Line MBTA station to the main campus and the Gantcher Center (at the Eliot-Pearson turn-around). More information regarding the shuttle service is available on the Commencement website.

Campus Text Alerts

Parents, family members and guests of graduating Tufts students are able to opt-in to TuftsAlert will receive emergency alerts during a two-week period at commencement time. Should an issue arise during that time-frame, severe weather or other emergency, a text message would be sent alerting you of the effected campus, the issue and emergency instructions.

To opt-in to emergency alerts text keyword: Tufts2020 to phone number 67283

You will receive a welcome text thanking you for joining TuftsAlert for Commencement 2020. Your opt-in subscription for TuftsAlert will be active Monday, May 11, 2020 through Monday, May 25, 2020.

Office of Student Affairs

Phone 617-636-6534
Fax 617-636-0432

Jason T. Szelog processes with his classmates during the Phase II Commencement ceremony for the Tufts School of Medicine

Caps Off

The 2018 School of Medicine graduates are ready to tackle health-care challenges