Celebration 2021 graphic


Elliott School of International Affairs

Save the Date: Undergraduate and Graduate Celebrations


Friday, May 14, 2021

Undergraduate Celebration at 4:00 pm EDT

Graduate Celebration at 6:00 pm EDT


While the Elliott School graduate and undergraduate celebrations will take place virtually, we are working closely with the community to explore all options for safe, in-person components to graduation. If you'd like to provide ideas or suggestions, please send them to [email protected].

For the most up-to-date information about GW's university-wide Commencement celebration, visit commencement.gwu.edu


Applying to Graduate

Spring 2021 graduates: Submit an Graduation Application in GWeb by March 15. 

Summer 2021 graduates: Students who plan to attend the May virtual commencement ceremony should submit a Graduation Application in GWeb after registering for summer 2021 courses, no later than April 1. 

Graduate Certificates: Students are required to file a paper Application for Certificate Completion by the published deadline to be considered for certificate clearance and to be awarded the certificate.

Apply for Graduation  Online Graduation Application Instructions

Submission of your online graduation application does not prompt a review of your eligibility to graduate, but rather informs the University of your intent to graduate at the conclusion of the semester. It is important that you review your degree requirements to ensure you are registered for the courses you need to graduate and consult an academic advisor if you have questions or concerns.


Mandatory Graduation Surveys

Required for all graduating students, these surveys are designed to help GW and Elliott learn more about the experiences and future plans of our students.

Student Speaker Competition

As you reflect on your Elliott School experience, if you are inspired to share your story and bestow words of wisdom and hopes for the future onto your fellow classmates, we want to hear from you.  

Representing the graduating class of 2021 as the Elliott School Student Speaker, the selected student will deliver a 3-minute speech to fellow graduates, family, friends, faculty and staff tuned in to the virtual Elliott School Celebration on May 14, 2021.


Undergraduate and Graduate students are eligible to apply. 
Students must meet one of the following criteria:

  • graduated in Summer 2020 (did not attend 2020 commencement)
  • graduated Fall 2020
  • applied or planning to apply to graduate in Spring 2021 or Summer 2021

Submission Process

  • Prepare a speech of less than 3 minutes/500 words that is of general interest to graduates, faculty, staff and guests and is relevant to graduation. The speech you submit should be the one you intend to deliver for the Elliott School Celebration.
  • Upload the text of your speech. The speech submission form is now open and will close on Sunday, March 28 at 11:59 p.m. ET. No late submissions will be accepted.
  • Upload a video or audio recording of your speech.
  • Prepare a statement of interest and short bio (100 words or less) and submit along with your speech.

Students chosen for auditions will be contacted via e-mail the week of March 29. Questions? Email [email protected].


Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, just apply for summer graduation in GWeb by March 25, after you register for summer courses, to ensure you are included in the commencement program.

Yes, all fall 2020 graduates are eligible to participate and will be included in communications.

You can still apply for graduation by submitting the Late (Paper) Graduation Application, to your academic advisor, but inclusion in the celebration program and virtual ceremony cannot be guaranteed due to publishing deadlines.

You will not receive an e-mail confirmation that your graduation application has been submitted. You can check DegreeMAP to confirm that the application is on file.

If an application is on file for you, then you will see the words "Sought-Applied to Graduate" or "Applied Late Degree Clearance" in the "Graduation Application" field on your DegreeMAP audit. This is located near the top, in the same section as your name, GWID, Major, etc.

Cords are handled by each organization. If you are involved in a group that you know or think might provide cords or stoles for graduation, we encourage you to contact that organization. If you are an Elliott School Dean's Scholar, you will be contacted about graduation cords for that program. Otherwise, there are no cords associated with Elliott School degree programs and Elliott does not provide cords or stoles for Latin Honors.

Yes, there is an Elliott School ceremony on May 14 AND a GW-wide commencement ceremony on May 16. You can attend/watch both and the content will be different at each event! At the Elliott School ceremony, each graduating student will be recognized individually. More details forthcoming.