Commencement Information

Photo: Marvin Center filled with 2017 graduates

Elliott School Graduation Celebration

The 2019 Elliott School Graduation Celebration will be held in the Charles E. Smith Center at 11:30 AM, Friday, May 17, 2019. Our keynote speaker will be announced soon.

Schedule of Events

For Friday, May 17:

  • 10:30 AM — Graduates report to Funger Hall (2201 G Street NW)
  • 10:30 AM — Smith Center doors open to guests (600 22nd Street NW)
  • 11:30 AM — Ceremony begins
  • 1:45 PM — Ceremony concludes (approximate)

GW Commencement on the National Mall

GW Commencement will be held on the National Mall at 9:30 AM on Sunday, May 19, 2019.

Elliott School Commencement Speakers

Student Speaker Competition

We know that your time as a student at the Elliott School has been challenging, rewarding and memorable. If you would like to represent your class and share your experiences, enter for the chance to be selected as the 2019 Elliott School Student Speaker.

One student will be selected to share his or her experiences, lessons learned and words of encouragement on stage in front of fellow graduates, family, friends, faculty and staff at the Elliott School Celebration on May 17, 2019.

  • Undergraduate and Graduate students are eligible to apply.
  • Students must meet one of the following criteria:
    • Graduated in Summer 2018 (did not attend 2018 commencement)
    • Graduated Fall 2018
    • Applied or planning to apply to graduate in Spring 2019 or Summer 2019
  • Prepare a speech of less than four minutes that is of general interest to all graduates (both undergraduate and graduate students), faculty, staff and guests and is relevant to graduation. The speech you submit should be the one you intend to deliver at the Elliott School Celebration.
  • Upload the text of your speech. The competition will close on Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 8:00am. No late submissions will be accepted.
  • Students chosen for in-person auditions will be contacted via e-mail no later than Monday, March 25, 2019. In-person auditions will begin Thursday, March 28, 2019.

  • A selection committee will choose one Elliott School Celebration speaker. The selected candidate will then work with our staff to modify his or her remarks for the celebration. 

Submit your speech now!


Speech submission DEADLINE
THURSDAY, March 21, 2019 at 8:00 a.m.

Please direct any questions regarding the ESIA Student Speaker Competition to [email protected].

The University Commencement Student Speaker Competition is run through the Office of University Events. If you are interested in auditioning to speak on the National Mall, please visit the Commencement website for information. 

Additional Information


Tickets are required for guests to attend the Elliott School Graduation Celebration at the Smith Center. Graduates may pick up their tickets from the Elliott School on the dates listed in the chart below.

Each graduating student who has indicated an intent to participate in commencement ceremonies on his or her graduation application is eligible to receive up to 5 tickets for the Friday, May 17, 2019 Elliott School Celebration.

Tickets are not required to attend Commencement on the National Mall. If you plan to attend the ceremony on the Mall, the University asks that you register your guests online. Graduating students are not required to have a ticket.

Undergraduate Students: Please complete the mandatory online graduation survey (link coming soon) before claiming tickets. You will receive an email confirmation after completing the survey. To claim tickets, you will need to present the email confirmation and a valid GWorld card.

Graduate Students: Please complete the mandatory online graduation survey AND the Graduate Student Career Development survey (links coming soon) before claiming tickets. You will receive an email confirmation after completing the graduation survey, but not the Career Development survey.

To claim tickets, you will need to present the graduation survey email confirmation and a valid GWorld card. We will have a list of students who have completed the Career Development survey, though if you complete it the same day, please provide a screenshot of the final screen.

Express Ticket Pick-Up

Date: Thursday, May 2, 2019
Time: 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: 1957 E Street, NW 3rd Floor Lounges (outside 301 and 302)

Alternative Pick-up Times (if you are unable to attend Express Ticket Pick-up on May 2):





Undergraduate Students

Office of Undergraduate Academic Advising, Suite 302 Monday, May 6 - Tuesday, May 14 Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5:30pm

Graduate Students

Office of Graduate Student Services, Suite 603

Monday, May 6 - Tuesday, May 14 Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5:30pm

Extra Tickets for the Elliott School Celebration  

Students who wish to request additional tickets must submit a request online. The extra ticket request form will be available online through May 14, 2019 at 6:00 PM. Please submit only one request. If multiple requests are submitted, then only your first request will be considered. No exceptions will be made.

Extra tickets are not guaranteed. If extra tickets are available, then students who have requested extra tickets will be notified via email on May 15. Extra ticket pick-up will take place on May 16, 2019 from 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM. Undergraduate students can pick up tickets in the Office of Undergraduate Academic Advising, and graduate students in the Office of Graduate Student Services.

Any unclaimed tickets will be available on a first-come-first-served basis on the morning of the Elliott School Celebration outside of Funger Hall.

If you are unable to come to campus to claim your tickets during the times listed above:

You may assign a proxy to claim your tickets by submitting a Proxy Ticket Pickup Request Form. The form will ask for:

  • your full name,

  • your GWid,

  • your proxy's name,

  • whether you are an undergraduate or graduate student, and

  • the number of tickets you are claiming

Your proxy must bring a valid photo-id to claim your tickets.

Students are required to wear academic dress (regalia) to participate in commencement ceremonies.

Please see the Commencement website for ordering/purchasing regalia. A very small number of gently-used regalia will be available for purchase through the Graduate Student Services (GSS) office.  Note: the Elliott School does not provide cords for commencement.

For further information about regalia including purchase costs, please visit the Commencement website, GW Campus Store website, or call the GW Campus Store at 202-994-6870.