Common Commencement Questions

What graduation requirements must I fulfill?

Your graduation status is contingent upon successful completion of a number of academic and non-academic requirements in your final semester. Please click here to complete all applicable Graduation Requirements. 

Are tickets required?

Graduating students do not need tickets. All guests will need a ticket to enter. Each graduate will receive four (4) complimentary tickets for guests. Students may submit for additional tickets should a lottery become available. Due to the fixed number of seats, we may not be able to accommodate all requests.

Do I need tickets for children?

Yes, everyone entering must have a ticket, including children and infants.

Where do guests enter the venue?

Old South Church in Boston is at the corner of Dartmouth and Boylston Streets at the Copley T stop at 645 Boylston St. Boston, MA 02116. Guests will enter through the main entrance doors  Doors will open for guests at 10:15 AM.

What should I wear and what should I bring?

You should show up wearing your College approved academic regalia consisting of cap, gown, tassel, and hood.  Honors students will receive an Honors Cord from Bay State College and Veteran students will receive an American Flag Lapel Pin from Bay State College.  Those adornments can be worn as well.  All regalia must be ordered online by Wednesday, April 20, 2022.  You are not permitted to wear additional adornments such as stoles and you should not have any other personal items with you since there will be nowhere to store them during the ceremony. Feel free to keep your cell phone with you, but please remember to silence it before the ceremony starts.  

Where do guests sit during the Commencement Ceremony?

Reserved seating is available for graduating students, guests of trustees, and guests of valedictorians. All other seating is open on a first come, first served basis. Saving seats is not permitted.

Where can I take photos/video of my graduate?

There is no location beyond your own seat where guests may take photos of graduates. If you need to stand to get your shot, we ask that you do so briefly so as not to block others' view of the ceremony. Guests will be prohibited from taking pictures or videotaping from locations near the platform. GradImages, a professional photography company, will take a picture as graduates cross the stage and after they walk off the platform. Students will receive proofs after Commencement and you can purchase photos at that time. 

Is there a Commencement Ceremony rehearsal?

There is no formal rehearsal for Commencement. You will be guided through the ceremony by your Program Chairs and several Bay State College staff members.

Will my name be printed in the Commencement program if I have a FERPA block on my record?

If you have requested a FERPA block be placed on your record to prevent disclosure of your personal directory information, your name will be announced at Commencement but will not be printed in the program unless you request the block to be removed. For more information, please contact the Office of the Registrar at registrarsoffice@baystate.edu

When will the Ceremony end?

Commencement usually concludes between 12:30 and 1:00 PM.

Where may I park?

Old South Church does not have dedicated parking so please plan accordingly. The venue is located at the Copley T station (Green Line, all trains). It is also a short walk from Back Bay Station (Orange Line) (from the station, walk two blocks north on Dartmouth Street, towards Copley Square). Bus routes 9, 10, 39, and 55 also stop in Copley Square. If you must drive, Bay State College partners with two garages in the area to offer a daily discounted rate. information can be found here

Are strollers allowed in the seating areas?

Due to safety regulations, strollers are not allowed in the aisles or seated areas. Guests attempting to park strollers in these areas will be required to move them. 

Can I bring balloons, signs, and noise makers?

Sorry, no, these will not be allowed into the venue.

Do I receive my diploma at Commencement?

No, you will receive a diploma cover as you cross the stage. Graduating students will receive their diploma by mail 4-6 weeks after their conferral date.

Will refreshments be available?

No, food and beverages are not allowed in the venue.

Where do I meet my graduate after the Ceremony?

For safety purposes, guests and students will be directed to exit the venue immediately following the ceremony recession.  For the best Commencement experience, we encourage you to decide on a location outside of the venue where you and your guest(s) can meet after the ceremony ends. 

Is the building accessible?

Yes, we want all of our guests to have an opportunity to enjoy this special event. If you or a guest needs special accommodations, please contact the Registrar’s Office registrarsoffice@baystate.edu. We will have wheel chair reserved seating and Assistive Listening Devices upon request.