Graduation Procedures

Undergraduate Students: See the Registrar’s Office for full Graduation Preparation Details and Deadlines.
Graduate Students: Please email Christina Wouters for the Petition to Graduate form.
All Students: Visit Northwestern's Graduation website

Bienen School of Music Convocation

Saturday, June 8, 2024 at 12:00 p.m. CT

Pick-Staiger Concert Hall
50 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208

The day of the convocation ceremony, please enter Pick-Staiger through the Box Office entrance and proceed to the rehearsal room. You will be greeted by Bienen School of Music staff who will line you up by degree for procession. 

Convocation typically lasts 75 to 90 minutes and is followed by a reception in the Pick-Staiger lobby.


To enter Commencement or School Convocations, all guests must have an e-ticket displayed on a device. Please note, students will need to reserve a separate set of tickets for each ticketed event they plan to attend.

Learn more about tickets

Doctoral Candidates

DMA and PhD candidates, please invite your committee chairperson to participate in the convocation ceremony. If for some reason your chairperson cannot attend, you may invite an appropriate faculty substitute. At the designated time, you will proceed across the stage carrying your hood over your arm. You will then hand your hood to your committee chairperson, who will place the hood over your head.


Guests may park in the Lakeside Parking Structure (1 Arts Circle Dr). This lot is adjacent to the south end of the Ryan Center for Musical Arts. The South Campus Parking Garage (1847 Campus Dr), attached to the Segal Visitor Center, will also be open for parking on the day of the ceremony.

Guests with impaired mobility may use Arts Circle Drive for drop off in front of Pick-Staiger Concert Hall.

Convocation Student Speaker

The convocation student speaker serves as the representative for graduating students and presents an inclusive and inspiring message for the future that honors Bienen graduates of all degree levels. The student’s message should be approximately three (3) minutes in length.

Selection Process

  • Nominations should be sent via email to: Multiple nominations are accepted, and students are welcome to nominate themselves. The deadline for nominations is Monday, April 15.
  • Following the nomination deadline, the Student Affairs Office will email nominated students and invite them to apply for the speaker position via an application web form.
  • Applicants will be asked to provide a rough draft of the proposed speech or a detailed bullet-point list of talking points. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, April 30.
  • The selected speaker will be announced approximately May 15. The speaker will be required to provide their final written speech to the Student Affairs Office by May 31.


April 15: Nominations for student speaker due
April 30: Applications for student speaker due
May 15: Selected student speaker announced
May 31: Final version of written speech due


Purple gowns custom designed for Northwestern are the standard regalia and must be worn by all graduates participating in convocation and graduation ceremonies.

Bachelor’s degree regalia include a souvenir stole. Advanced degree candidates wear hoods. The lining of the Northwestern hood is purple and gold, and the color of the velvet border of the hood indicates the academic area. Bienen tassels and hoods are pink. PhD tassels are gold metallic and the hood is dark blue.

Order Regalia

Northwestern University's 166th Annual Commencement

Sunday, June 9, 2024 at 10:30 a.m.

United Center
1901 W Madison St
Chicago, IL 60612

Tickets are required for this university-wide ceremony. Graduates are required to wear regalia for both the commencement and convocation programs.

More information about commencement