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Commencement is always a special time of celebration at Carleton. We hope that when you review the schedule of activities for Commencement Weekend you will be as full of anticipation as we are. We are proud of the accomplishments of the Class of 2024, and we look forward to celebrating with you!


When and where will the commencement ceremony take place? Are tickets required?

Commencement will take place Saturday, June 8, 2024, at 9:30 a.m. Central Time. As is tradition, the ceremony will be held outdoors on the Bald Spot, rain or shine. The event also will be live-streamed so family and friends can share in the experience wherever they are in the world. The program will include the traditional elements of ceremony; academic procession, remarks by President Byerly and a selected graduate, awarding diplomas on stage, and the singing of the Carleton Alma Mater. The printed program will list all graduates and their honors. The printed program will be available the morning of commencement from the ushers. Tickets are not required for Commencement.

What is the schedule for the morning?

Parents and guests will be permitted on campus at 8 a.m. Graduating seniors are required to check in with the Provost’s Office staff at a tent between Boliou and Olin from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. (the staff asks that students arrive as close to 7:30 as possible, though). The live-stream will begin at 9:10 a.m. and the academic procession kicks off at 9:20 a.m. The program on stage begins at 9:30 a.m. and concludes by 11:30 a.m.

Schedule for Senior Week and pre-Commencement events.

The Student Activities Office, in association with other campus departments, is putting together an exciting lineup of events leading up to Commencement. View the Senior Week schedule of events. More information will be available soon. Families are invited to join us for events on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Will there be an opportunity to meet with my student’s professors at a Department Reception?

Yes! Departmental Receptions are planned to take place on the Friday before Commencement. You can view the Department Receptions on the Senior Week schedule of events.

Is photography allowed during the ceremony? Will there be a professional photographer onsite?

You may take photographs from your seat. However, in keeping with our commitment to provide the safest possible in-person experience for all attendees, we must insist that all guests remain seated during the ceremony and not approach the graduate seating or stage areas.

For your convenience, Carleton has arranged with Grad Images for professional photographers to take a set of photographs of each graduate at the ceremony: a close-up image (similar to a headshot) and a three-quarter body length portrait holding their diploma.

The Grad Images Pre-Registration website offers 20% off your entire order for graduates and families. Once in, enter “Carleton College” to proceed to the Registration page.

Three to five days after Commencement you will receive an email to view your proofs online, and you will have the option of ordering from a variety of packages. There is no obligation to purchase. Carleton does not benefit from this arrangement; it is provided as a service to graduates and their families.

Can students who are currently off campus participate in commencement?

All seniors who are currently on OCS or graduated during a previous term and wish to return for Senior Week or commencement are invited to do so. The Senior Week/Commencement Housing Form is now available. Please contact the OCS Office for more info via ocs@carleton.edu

Arrival times for those who plan to participate in Senior Week activities are 2-5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5. If you will only be attending the commencement ceremony, you should return to campus on Friday, June 7, between 1 and 4 p.m.

When will graduates need to move out of their campus housing?

Following the ceremony, all residential seniors should be prepared to move out of campus housing no later than 2 p.m.

Where do we stay when visiting Campus? Will there be on campus housing for guests?

Northfield offers a variety of local hotel and short-term rental options for families and guests who are visiting campus. Commencement Weekend is a great time for families to explore lodging in the cities, closer to local attractions, restaurants, and the airport as their student concludes their time at Carleton.

Carleton College offers limited housing in Goodhue Hall for guests of graduating seniors. Guests will be housed in empty student rooms and will share the building and community bathrooms with students who are staying during Commencement week. These spaces are not air-conditioned and no pets are allowed.

Rooms that are available include singles and doubles and share a common floor bathroom. Rooms can be reserved for Friday night or Friday and Saturday nights. Check-in is between 11:00am and 4:30pm on Friday and Checkout is 2:00pm on Saturday, June 8 and at 10:00am on Sunday, June 9. The reservation form is now available to open to requests.

Discover a variety of lodging options in Northfield or other lodging options within the surrounding area.

Where should guests park vehicles?

Parking on campus is very limited, but there is plenty of street parking available south of the campus.

What time should guests arrive for the commencement ceremony?

Guests may arrive on campus anytime after 8 a.m. We ask that you be in your seats by 9:20 a.m. and remain seated during the ceremony. Out of respect for others, we ask that there be no artificial noise makers, air horns, or megaphones used during the ceremony.

Weather…or not?

The ceremony will take place outside, rain or shine, unless there is lightning or severe weather conditions. Please check the weather forecast and prepare accordingly.

Where can snacks or other last-minute items be purchased?

Sayles-Hill Campus Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. The Bookstore carries snacks, batteries, sunblock, sunglasses, umbrellas, and other last-minute supplies that may be needed (cash or credit card accepted). Sayles Café, however, can only accept campus OneCards or credit cards.

Are there restroom facilities?

Everyone in attendance must remain seated during the ceremony unless needing to use the restroom facilities. There are standard and handicapped portable toilets on the sidewalk south of the ceremony site. In addition, there are restrooms in Hulings Hall, Skinner Chapel, and Sayles-Hill.

Can the commencement ceremony be viewed online?

Yes, the ceremony will be live-streamed so family and friends can share in the experience wherever they are in the world. The stream will begin at 9:10 a.m. Central Time and will last until the conclusion of the ceremony at about 11:30 a.m. The video will be archived online at the same web address for on-demand viewing afterward.

What about lunch?

Complimentary Box Lunches will be provided from a location near the Bald Spot following the ceremony for all in attendance, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Will there be accessible parking for those attending Commencement?

Skinner Memorial Chapel East parking lot will be designated solely for those with handicapped parking permits. This parking lot will be reserved for those vehicles issued handicapped parking permits by the DMV.

map of campus showing handicap parking to the east of Skinner Chapel.

Carleton College is committed to providing universal access to all of our events. Please contact Noel Ponder at nponder@carleton.edu, and/or (507)222-5461 to request disability accommodations (e.g., sign language interpreters, alternative formats). Advance notice (two weeks) is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.