SPS Convocation 2024

In-Person Convocation

The in-person SPS Convocation ceremony will take place Saturday, June 8, 2024, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. CT inside the Ryan Fieldhouse (2333 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208) on the Northwestern campus in Evanston.

  • Doors open for graduates and guests at 1:30 p.m. 
  • Please arrive no later than 2:15 p.m. to ensure there is time to join your program. 
  • The processional will begin promptly at 2:30 p.m. 
  • Graduates and guests will enter the Ryan Fieldhouse through the northwest entrance. 
  • Graduates should come dressed in regalia.
    • Tassels are worn on the right side of the cap throughout the ceremony.
  • There is no practice ahead of the ceremony, but please allow adequate time for travel, check-in, and line-up. 

For those that cannot or choose not to travel, guests and viewers will be able to tune into the livestream of the in-person SPS Convocation on Saturday, June 8 at 2:30 p.m. CT. (If screen remains black after 2:30 p.m., please refresh browser).

Expectations and Event Access 

  • All graduates and guests pass through magnetometers upon entrance check. Large bags are not permitted, and all bags will be inspected.   
  • Prohibited items at all graduation venues include: noisemakers, instruments, balloons, confetti, glitter, food or drinks, long lens cameras, signs, flags, fliers, handouts, weapons, or anything else that would interfere with another guest’s sight lines or enjoyment of the ceremony. The full prohibited items list can be found here.
  • Any prohibited items will not be permitted in the building, with security staff at entrances instructing guests to surrender prohibited items or return them to a personal vehicle. 
  • Disorderly conduct or disruptive acts are prohibited, including the following: 
    • Engaging in behavior that objectively prevents a student or group of students from benefiting from a class, program, or activity. 
    • Significantly interfering with the functioning of the University. 
    • Causing or allowing excessive or disruptive noise. 

Ticketing and regalia are required for this in-person event.  

Virtual Convocation

The SPS Virtual Convocation will go live the evening of Saturday, June 8, 2024 at 8 p.m. CT. The Virtual Convocation is a rich experience designed for all students. Each graduate will have the opportunity to personalize their graduation page. The site will feature an address from the Dean of SPS, Convocation speakers, in addition to personalized content to commemorate your achievement. This is a wonderful opportunity for families and friends to celebrate with you, no matter the distance.       


Please reach out to spsconvocation@northwestern.edu with any questions regarding personalized content submissions and edits.

Ticketing and regalia are not required for the virtual event.


Northwestern University-wide Commencement

Northwestern recognizes the entire graduating class from across all Northwestern schools at the University-wide Commencement. The 166th Annual University-wide Commencement will take place in-person on Sunday, June 9, 2024, from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. CT. at the United Center (1901 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60612) in downtown Chicago. The home of the NBA’s Chicago Bulls and NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks will serve as the backdrop as Northwestern celebrates the Class of 2024 with speeches from President Schill, the Commencement speaker, and student speakers.

A livestream of the event will be available at the Commencement home page.

Ticketing and regalia are required for this in-person event.

The Graduation website remains the key source of information for the graduation weekend schedule, family and guest content, accessibility information and other frequently asked questions.



Graduation attire, also called regalia, is required for the in-person Convocation and Commencement.

Ordering for regalia, is now closed. If you have not ordered regalia or encounter an issue, the Norris Bookstore (1999 Campus Dr.) will have limited inventory the week of graduation. The bookstore will be open the week before graduation, including Saturday June 8th. Visit the regalia page of the Graduation website to find guidelines and further details about your Northwestern regalia.

For questions regarding regalia, contact the Office of Graduation and Senior Year Experiences.


About Your Regalia

How to Care for Your Regalia

When you receive your gown, remove it from its packaging and place it on a hanger to allow any folds or wrinkles to fall out. If an iron is needed, turn the gown inside out and use a warm (NOT HOT) iron. Steaming is also an option. 

  • TIP: Hanging your gown in a high humidity area, such as your bathroom, will help the folds and wrinkles fall out faster. 
  • TIP: To ensure you don’t lose any pieces from your regalia package, hang your gown on a hanger and use the plastic bag provided to store your stole, cap, and tassel. 

How to Wear Your Regalia

Bachelors Cap and Gown

Masters Cap and Gown



Visit the NU Graduation Tickets website to reserve tickets for the in-person SPS Convocation and the university-wide Commencement.

Tickets are required for each event students and guests plan to attend. You will be able to order convocation tickets at the same time as you order Commencement tickets.

Only students are able to order tickets and will be responsible for transferring them to their guests. Waitlist requests continue to be collected and potentially filled.

Graduates may order up to 10 tickets for the in-person SPS Convocation. Those participating in the university-wide Commencement ceremony at the United Center may order up to a total of six tickets.

  • Log into the NU Graduation Tickets website with your NetID and password.
  • Please only request the number of tickets you need. You can donate back remaining tickets during the checkout process or share with friends who need additional tickets.
  • Reserve a ticket for yourself if you are attending the in-person SPS Convocation, but not expecting guests, as this will serve as your RSVP for the ceremony.
  • If you are expecting guests, you do not need to order a ticket for yourself. The ticket order for your guest(s) will serve as your RSVP for the ceremony.
  • Children 3 years of age and under who will sit in a caregiver’s lap do not need a ticket.

Accessibility Accommodations

  • All tickets to all ceremonies are general admission. When ordering tickets, the system will prompt you to enter how many guests in your party require accessible seating for a guest who uses a wheelchair. Please note: every wheelchair space has one companion seat included. Because these spaces are limited and in high demand, we are not able to seat entire parties.  
  • If your guests have other accessibility needs besides wheelchair seating, please visit the Guests with Accessibility Needs webpage for additional information.

If you have questions about the ordering process or the ticketing system, please contact the Graduation Office.


Terms and Events

Convocation is a separate ceremony where students are recognized by their individual Northwestern school. During the ceremony, student, faculty, and keynote speakers will address graduates and their families, and each graduate will be given recognition.

Commencement is the all Northwestern University-wide ceremony where the graduating class is commemorated as a whole. During the ceremony, student, faculty, and guest speakers will address graduates and their families.


Frequently Asked Questions

View FAQ's

When is the Northwestern School of Professional Studies in-person Convocation?
The Northwestern School of Professional Studies in-person Convocation will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2024, from 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. CT.

When is the Northwestern University Commencement Ceremony?
University-wide Commencement will be held on Sunday, June 9, 2024, from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. CT.

Are Commencement and Convocation the same event?
No, Commencement is a university-wide ceremony for all graduates of Northwestern University and Convocation is a ceremony held by each individual school of Northwestern University.

Can I attend both Commencement and Convocation?
Yes, graduates may participate in either or both events.

Will graduates be acknowledged during convocation?
Yes, graduates will have their names announced as they walk across the stage at the in-person convocation.

Will graduates be seated by academic program?
Yes, graduates will be seated by academic program.

Will guests be seated together?
Tickets are general admission, so seating is on a first come first served basis.

If I need special seating arrangements due to a disability or health issues. What should I do?
If accommodation is required, please indicate this when ordering tickets for either ceremony.

Who is eligible to participate in Convocation and Commencement?
Undergraduate and graduate students who complete their degree in the Summer 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, and Summer 2024 quarters may participate.

Can I participate if I graduated last year and was not able to attend?
Yes, and students should reach out to spsconvocation@northwestern.edu to inquire.

I am completing my program this year, but do not have access to order tickets. What should I do?
If you plan to participate in the SPS Convocation and/or the University-wide Commencement, you must submit your program completion form. Find "Application for Degree" on the Forms and Documents page. You will gain access to order tickets 1-2 weeks after submitting your application.

What is the date and time of the virtual convocation?
The virtual convocation site will go live on Saturday, June 8, 2024, at 8 p.m. CT.

Who is eligible and included in the virtual convocation?
All graduates and prospective graduates from Summer 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, and Summer 2024 will be included in the virtual convocation.

Can I walk in convocation if I haven’t finished my degree program?
The June graduation ceremonies celebrate the students who have completed their degree program since last June (in the summer, fall, winter, and spring quarters of this past academic year). Students who plan to complete their degree this summer can attend Convocation and walk across the stage, once your academic adviser confirms that you are on track to graduate and enrolled in the necessary courses to complete your program this summer. If you would like to attend Convocation but are not going to graduate until the upcoming summer term, please contact your academic adviser to confirm your eligibility.

Should I order regalia for the virtual convocation?
Regalia is not necessary to participate in the virtual convocation. If you would like to order regalia for your own photographs, please visit the regalia site.

Will I be acknowledged during the virtual ceremony?
Personalized content will be created for each graduate. Students will receive communication and an invitation to personalize your graduate slide.

Can I share my graduate slide on social media?
Yes. You will receive a complimentary graduate slide that you can download and share on social media. Graduates can submit a photo and personal note.

How many tickets will be available for the in-person Convocation?
Each graduate can order up to 10 tickets for the in-person convocation.

Can another student who has extra tickets give them to me?
Yes, if you have ordered your allotment, another student can share extra tickets with you and your guests.

Do children need a ticket?
Children that are three and under who will sit in a caregiver’s lap do not need tickets; everyone else needs a ticket.

Is regalia required at the in-person ceremony?
Regalia is required if a graduate chooses to attend the in-person Convocation and/or the University-wide Commencement.

Can someone else pick up my regalia for me at the Norris Center?
Yes, they can. The student would need to forward the pickup confirmation email to that person, and that person would need to have that available when picking up.

How will I receive my diploma?
Participation at Convocation is not required to receive your diploma. Diplomas are mailed to the graduate at the address they list on the Graduation Application form after the quarter they graduate.

How will I receive my ASL honor cord, veteran cord, or student leader honor stole?
These items will be available at Convocation for those who are eligible.

I plan to participate in Convocation or Commencement, but my NetId is expired. What should I do?
Please contact us at spsconvocation@northwestern.edu for assistance.

I plan to participate in Convocation or Commencement and need a letter of participation for my visa. What should I do?
Please contact us at spsconvocation@northwestern.edu for assistance.

How can I view the presentation and recording of the SPS Virtual Grad Fair?
You can access the recording and presentation deck from the SPS Virtual Grad Fair featuring ddetails ahead of graduation in June.


Questions regarding the School of Professional Studies Convocation can be directed to spsconvocation@northwestern.edu.

Questions regarding Northwestern University Commencement can be directed to the Office of Graduation and Senior Year Experiences - graduation@northwestern.edu.


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