Academic Affairs


Graduation Application
Tropaia Awards Ceremony
Commencement Ceremony
Purchasing Regalia
Lavender Graduation

Graduation Application and Clearance Process

The School officially graduates students in the BALS, MALS, DLS, and MPS programs three times per year (in May for spring graduates; in August for summer graduates; and in December for fall graduates). A single graduation ceremony is held for all graduates every May, and students who have earned their degrees in summer and fall are encouraged to attend the celebration. 

Graduation is not an automatic process, and all students must be cleared and certified in a timely manner to graduate by the Office of Academic Affairs & Compliance.  In order to facilitate this process, we ask all students to complete the following steps:

1. Print a copy of your transcript and degree audit (using the MyAccess system) to review on your own and with your advising program.  While your program can provide you with academic guidance, it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure that you have met all requirements (including specific course, GPA, credit, and major requirements which can differ by program).

2. Doctoral Liberal Studies (DLS) students should contact their advising programs to fill out their graduation application.  Those programs will forward your application to the Office of Academic Affairs & Compliance for final review and processing.

3. Master of Professional Studies (MPS), Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS), and Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies (BALS) degree candidates should fill out the graduation application in MyAccess at under "Student Records" and "Apply to Graduate."  Students can only apply to graduate when they have all attempted credit hours (your earned hours plus your currently enrolled hours).  This application process is described in more detail below.

4. Applications are required from all graduating students for diploma orders, degree conferral, and preparation of the annual Commencement Book.  Please note that students without all final recorded grades (for example, "I" or "NR" grades) may be excluded from the Commencement Book.  Failure to submit your completed application in a timely manner could result in delays receiving academic clearance to graduate, degree conferral, and ordering your diploma.  

5. All students should contact the Office of Billing and Payment (202-687-7369) to ensure that they have settled their financial obligations.  The University cannot provide diplomas or official transcripts to students who owe in excess of $100.00.

6. International students should contact the Office of Global Services at (202) 687-5867 to update their status.

back to top

MPS, EMPS, MALS, and BALS Graduation Application Process

**The application to graduate through MyAccess for Spring 2017 has closed. Please contact the OAAC at if you need to apply for Spring 2017 graduation or if you have any questions about the graduation process.**

(Click here to view Screen Shots of Online Graduation Application Process)

1. Login to the MyAccess system at using your NetID and password.
2. On the top menu bar, click on the "Student" tab.
3. Under "Student Services," click on the "Student Records" link.
4. Under "Student Records," click on the "Apply to Graduate" link.
5. Verify and select your curriculum/program and click "Continue."
6. By "Graduation Date," use the pull-down menu and select the date/month in which you will complete your final coursework. Click "Continue."
7. Indicate whether or not you plan on attending the May graduation ceremony.  Click "Continue."
8. Select your Diploma Name.  Click "Continue."  Verify the accuracy of your diploma name and make any needed changes here.  Your name will appear exactly as you enter it here, so please make sure it is accurate and as you want it written on your official diploma.  Click "Continue."
9. Select your Diploma Mailing Address.  Click "Continue."  Verify your diploma mailing address and make any needed changes.  Click "Continue."
10. Review your Application Summary and click "Submit Request."
**Please verify the status and receipt of your application using the MyAccess system.  Submission of an application does not guarantee degree conferral.  Degrees are awarded and posted on transcripts only after all requirements have been successfully completed.

back to top

Georgetown Diploma

All Georgetown University graduates earn the official Georgetown diploma, written in Latin, and reflecting the history, tradition, and values of the University. A full translation of the diploma is provided upon graduation along with a traditional blue-and-gray ribbon (the Georgetown colors) and suggestions for matting and framing. The degrees offered through the School of Continuing Studies include: The Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies (Artium Baccalaureatum in Studiis Liberalibus); the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (Magistratum Artium in Studiis Liberalibus); the Doctor of Liberal Studies (Doctorem Studiorum Liberalium); and the Master of Professional Studies (Magistratum Professionalium Studiorum).  View a sample Georgetown Diploma.

In case of damage to or loss of your original diploma, please visit the University Registrar's site and complete the diploma replacement form.

Note to Summer and Fall Graduates:

Before diplomas can be ordered for summer and fall graduates, the Office of Academic Affairs & Compliance must certify that the applicants have completed the minimum requirements for their degree.  This is a manual process that takes about 2-3 weeks from the posting of final grades.  You can help ensure an efficient process by checking your transcript and making sure that you have no outstanding grades.  If you find that you are missing a course grade, please contact the instructor of that course to encourage the timely recording of that final grade.  MALS and DLS students are required to secure official thesis approval from their advisor, the Graduate Liberal Studies department, and the School. 

Diplomas are distributed through the Office of Academic Affairs & Compliance.  Summer and fall graduating students are contacted when their diploma is available with information on picking these up in person; spring graduates are able to pick up their diplomas following the May Commencement ceremony.  If you do not pick up your diploma in-person, your diploma will be mailed to the address you provided on the electronic Application to Graduate.  If no address was provided on the electronic Application to Graduate, your diploma will be mailed to the address stored in MyAccess.  Diplomas for summer graduates usually are delivered by mid-November; diplomas for fall graduates usually are delivered by mid-March.

back to top


The transcript is the official University record of the work you completed here at Georgetown.  After the Office of Academic Affairs & Compliance certifies the applicants' graduation, they notify the Registrar's Office and the awarding of the degree is posted officially.  Transcripts for summer graduates are usually complete by mid-September; transcripts for fall graduates are usually complete by late January into early February (depending upon the recording of final grades).  Students should request official transcripts through the Registrar's Office to confirm the posting of their degree.

back to top

Tropaia Awards Ceremony

The School of Continuing Studies’ Tropaia Awards Ceremony celebrates the outstanding contributions and achievements of students, faculty, staff and an alumnus or alumna. Each of Georgetown University’s schools holds an annual Tropaia exercise to honor outstanding members of the Georgetown community. At SCS’s Tropaia Ceremony, awards are given to outstanding students, faculty, staff, and an alumnus or alumna and Doctor of Liberal Studies candidates are presented with their hoods. Please note that degrees are not conferred nor certificates awarded at the Tropaia Ceremony.

2017 Tropaia Information 

The School’s 2017 Tropaia Ceremony will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 in Gaston Hall. All SCS students, faculty, staff, alumni, and their families and friends are invited to attend. There will be a reception immediately following the ceremony in Dahlgren Quadrangle

“Tropaia” comes from the ancient Greek word for "trophies," which refers to a monument constructed to celebrate a military victory. We preserve and extend this meaning to honor outstanding members of the Georgetown community.

NOTE: Parking at Georgetown is very limited, but there are some locations to park on campus. The entrance off Canal Road, N.W.—west of the Key Bridge—leads to the Southwest Garage. Off-campus (street) parking is hard to find in the Georgetown area, so the use of public transportation is strongly encouraged when visiting the university. Call (202) 687-4355 for more detailed parking information or click here.

Please note academic regalia is NOT worn at Tropaia.

Students, faculty, staff, and alumni from SCS degree programs must RSVP for the 2017 SCS Tropaia Ceremony.


Awards and Nominations

Spirit of Georgetown Award

The Spirit of Georgetown Award honors a graduating student or alumnus or alumna who exemplifies Georgetown University's values of men and women in service to others, commitment to justice and the common good, intellectual openness, and leadership. All members of the SCS community—students, faculty, staff, and alumni—are encouraged to submit nominations for the Spirit of Georgetown Award. The final award selection will be made by an SCS Tropaia Awards Committee comprised of students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

ELIGIBLE NOMINEES INCLUDE: All students of degree programs (BALS, MALS, DLS, MPS) who are eligible to graduate in May 2017 and alumni of degree programs (BALS, MALS, DLS, MPS) who graduated between 1975 and December 2016.

Outstanding Student Award

The Outstanding Student Award honors students with an exceptional academic record and commitment to their industry or field of study who have made outstanding contributions to their communities.

Awards are given for each Master of Professional Studies/Executive Master of Professional Studies (MPS/EMPS) program, the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies (BALS) program, Graduate Liberal Studies (MALS and DLS), and the Center for Continuing & Professional Education (CCPE). Award recipients are nominated and selected by each program.

Outstanding Faculty Award

The Outstanding Faculty Award honors faculty who advance the mission of the School and University through active engagement of students in teaching and learning, a commitment to their industry or field of study, and contributions to the Georgetown and Washington, D.C. communities.

Awards are given for each Master of Professional Studies/Executive Master of Professional Studies (MPS/EMPS) program, the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies (BALS) program, Graduate Liberal Studies (MALS and DLS), and the Center for Continuing & Professional Education (CCPE). Award recipients are nominated and selected by each program.

Dean’s Service Award

The Dean’s Service Award honors students, faculty and/or staff who make outstanding contributions to the School, University and/or Washington, D.C. community. Award recipients demonstrate exceptional vision, leadership and integrity with a commitment to Georgetown’s heritage and values.

The Dean of SCS selects the recipient(s) of the Dean’s Service Award.

back to top

May 2017 Commencement 

The School of Continuing Studies will hold its annual Commencement Ceremony and Reception on Friday, May 19, 2017 to honor August 2016, December 2016 and May 2017 graduates of the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies (BALS), Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS), Doctor of Liberal Studies (DLS), and Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree programs.

Ceremony: 3:30 p.m., Healy Lawn (Rain site: McDonough Arena)

Reception: 5:00 p.m., Leo J. O'Donovan Hall

Student and Faculty Check-In

Please arrive by 2:00 p.m. for check-in in White Gravenor or the Intercultural Center (ICC). Program specific locations below:

  • BALS - White-Gravenor Room 204
  • DLS and MALS - ICC Room 101
  • Emergency & Disaster Management - White-Gravenor Room 208
  • Global Strategic Communications - White-Gravenor Room 202
  • Global Hospitality Leadership - White-Gravenor Room 411
  • Human Resources Management - White-Gravenor Room 405
  • Integrated Marketing Communications - White-Gravenor Room 206
  • Journalism - ICC Room 108
  • Project Management - White-Gravenor Room 213
  • Program & Portfolio Management - White-Gravenor Room 213
  • Public Relations & Corporate Communications - ICC Room 115
  • Real Estate - ICC Room 105
  • Sports Industry Management - ICC Room 103
  • Systems Engineering Management - White-Gravenor Room 409
  • Technology Management - White-Gravenor Room 311
  • Urban & Regional Planning - White-Gravenor Room 407
  • Platform Party - White-Gravenor Room 201

In the event of rain:

  • All students and faculty should report to McDonough Arena no later than 2:20 p.m.
  • Guests will receive four (4) tickets that students must collect ahead of time.
  • Tickets must be collected no later than 5 p.m. on May 18, 2017.
  • Students will receive additional information via e-mail regarding the Commencement Rain Ceremony as the date approaches.

Academic Regalia

Please review this guide to wearing your academic regalia as you prepare for the commencement activities. All faculty who are participating in commencement and candidates for graduation are required to wear the exact academic regalia for their degree (gown, cap, hood, and tassel). 
Due to the formality of this occasion and safety concerns regarding walking on the steps and stage, please wear appropriate footwear; flip flops, clogs, and loose-fitting shoes are not recommended. In addition, it is requested that men wear slacks and a dress shirt with tie. For women, slacks with a blouse, or a dress is appropriate for the ceremony. Please remember that a collared shirt helps to easily attach your hood. Flowers, corsages, and balloons should not be carried or worn during the academic procession and commencement ceremony.
Purchasing Academic Regalia

The deadline to purchase regalia online has now passed. You may purchase your cap and gown at the Georgetown Bookstore on main campus (Georgetown University, 3800 Reservoir Rd NW, Washington, DC 20057) until graduation day.

Student Veterans can contact the Student Veterans Coordinator regarding the red-white-and-blue honor cords for veterans to wear at Commencement in May at
Student Eligibility
Students eligible to participate in the 2017 Commencement Ceremony include August 2016 graduates, December 2016 graduates, and May 2017 graduates.
  • BALS students must accumulate a minimum of 120 credits to qualify for graduation and are eligible to walk in Commencement if they are within 12 hours of completing all requirements in the summer term. 
  • MPS students who are within 6 credits of completing their coursework, and plan to complete them in the upcoming Summer 2017 semester, may also be eligible to participate in the Commencement Ceremony.
  • MALS non-thesis students who have completed at least 30 credit hours are also eligible.
  • Due to intensive thesis review and approval requirements, MALS and DLS students must have completed all required credits and have received formal thesis approval to participate in the Commencement Ceremony. 
Please note: only the names of students expected to complete their coursework by the end of the Spring 2017 semester, and students who completed their coursework in August 2016 or December 2016, will be printed in the 2017 Commencement Book. Students graduating in August 2017 or December 2017 will have their names printed in the 2018 Commencement Book.
Please review graduation eligibility policies and requirements here: /academic-affairs/graduation
May 2017 Commencement FAQs 
When is the SCS Commencement Ceremony?
The School of Continuing Studies’ 2017 Commencement Ceremony is on Friday, May 19 at 3:30 p.m. on Healy Lawn (Rain site: McDonough Arena). A Reception follows at 5:00 p.m. in Leo J. O'Donovan Hall.
Do my guests need to RSVP for the Ceremony?
No. However, students must indicate how many guests (up to 10) they will bring on student survey.
Are tickets required for the Commencement Ceremony?
Is the Dean's Reception open to family and friends?
Yes. The Dean's Reception follows the Commencement Ceremony at 5:00 p.m. in Leo J. O'Donovan Hall. Light refreshments will be served.
How long will the Commencement Ceremony last?
The ceremony lasts approximately 90 minutes. 
Where do I go on graduation day?
Please visit /academic-affairs/graduation#commencement for the most up-to-date information about checking-in on Commencement day.
I’m a student—how do I purchase my graduation regalia?
In order to participate in the Commencement Ceremony, students must be dressed in the correct academic regalia. We suggest wearing business casual attire under your gowns. As part of your attire, we highly recommend wearing shirts or blouses with a button-up collar, which helps keep your hood in place.
Students are responsible for purchasing their own regalia.
Regalia Specifications
  • The hood for the Master of Professional Studies degree is peacock blue.
  • The hood for the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree has a white velvet trim on the edges of a black hood.
  • The hood for the Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies degree has a white velvet trim on the edges of a black hood and is a shorter version of the master's hood.
  • The hood for the Doctor of Liberal Studies degree has a wide band of white velvet on a black hood. The doctoral gown has horizontal black velvet stripes on the sleeves.

Cap and gown rental is not offered for students.

I’m a faculty memberhow do purchase my graduation regalia?
The Director of Events will be reaching out to all faculty with rental directions for graduation regalia in the last week of March. Please note, however, that if a member of your faculty does not return their regalia, your department will be billed.
If you or your faculty would like to purchase custom-made regalia, you are welcome to do so at your own expense. To do this, you must call Jostens directly at 800-854-7464. Details and photos can be found at
How can I order graduation announcements?
Students may order personalized announcements through the Jostens website
When should my family and friends arrive to Healy Lawn?
Commencement Ceremony seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Seating will begin after the conclusion of the Business School’s 12:30 p.m. ceremony (approximately 2:00-2:30 p.m.), which is before SCS’s ceremony. There are plenty of seats on Healy Lawn to accommodate everyone’s guests, and in the event of rain there are plenty of seats in McDonough Arena. All guests should be in their seats by the start of the procession at 3:15 p.m.
I have a difficult last name—how can I ensure it is pronounced correctly?
When students arrive on Commencement day, they will be given a note card on which to write their name phonetically. They will hand this card to the announcer before they cross the stage.
When do I get my diploma?
Diplomas will be distributed in-person immediately following the Commencement Ceremony in Leo J. O'Donovan Dining Hall. If students do not pick-up their diploma on Commencement day, it will be mailed to them. 
Who is our graduation speaker?
Georgetown University announces all graduation speakers through the Office of Communications. This announcement is made in early May.
Do you provide wheelchairs or handicapped seating during the Commencement Ceremony?
Yes. Wheelchairs are provided free of charge during graduation.  Students will need to RSVP via the online survey, coming soon, if a family member or friend requires wheelchair rental during the ceremony.
There is a reserved seating section for wheelchairs (Healy Lawn: on the audience right side of the stage closest to Healy Circle; McDonough Arena: on the audience’s left side by the bleachers and the band). Each guest requiring a wheelchair can bring one attendee with them to this section.
How will I know if there is a rain call?
If you have questions about the status of the Commencement Ceremony, you may check the University’s main web page (, the inclement weather page,, or call the inclement weather line: (202) 687-7669 for updates.
Can I get pictures or a video of me walking across stage?
Yes. Ordering information will be provided by the photographer when your photo is taken.
Note: A live webcast of the Commencement Ceremony will be available at:
What other activities can I participate in during graduation week?
The annual Baccalaureate Mass will be held Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. on Healy Lawn and includes an academic procession of students (undergraduate and graduate) and faculty. (Rain site: McDonough Arena)
The annual Commencement Brunch will be held on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at 10:45 a.m. in the Leavey Center Ballroom. All graduates and their guests are welcome to attend.
Do you have information about area hotels and restaurants?
Hotels and restaurants will be heavily booked, and we recommend you and your guests make reservations as soon as possible.
Where can I find a map of the Georgetown campus?
Where can I find more Commencement information online?
The Georgetown University Commencement website has up-to-date information:
What if I have more questions or need additional information?

You can email:

Optional Lavender Graduation 

Lavender Graduation celebrates LGBTQ graduates of all Georgetown University degree programs in a voluntary ceremony on Main Campus. Please note that this ceremony is a separate event from Commencement and participation is optional.

back to top

Last updated: 1/13/17

School of Continuing Studies News and Highlights