The Ceremony

May 19, 2024

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 9am 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 11:30am 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 2pm. The Medical School also holds a separate ceremony for Master's Degree graduates (Master of Public Health (MPH), MS in Biomedical Sciences (MBS), MS - Health Informatics Analytics (HIA), Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT), and Physician Assistant (PA)).

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 10am.

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. 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.