Graduate Commencement

The 2020 Graduate Commencement will take place on Friday, May 15.

Ceremony Location: Main Athletic field, Bristol, RI 02809

Ceremony Time: 4:00 p.m.

Graduates must be in the Fieldhouse by 3:00 p.m.  Instructions will begin at 3:30 p.m. The procession will begin at 3:45 p.m. out of the Fieldhouse.  Graduates who arrive late will not be allowed to join the ceremony. Commencement exercises will begin at 4:00 p.m. and will take approximately one hour.

For those that cannot attend in person, the ceremony will be live streamed on the university website at this link:

Graduate Students: Please complete the Graduate Ceremony response form HERE by May 8. 

Please plan to arrive early as traffic and parking will take time. Guests and graduates arriving from off campus must enter through the North Campus Road and park in the North Parking Lots (Lots C & D).

Graduates may invite as many guests as they would like to Commencement on Friday. The gates to the field will open at 3:00 p.m. and seating is on a first come, first serve basis. It is recommended that guests are in their seats no later than 3:45 p.m. if they would like to be seated before the processional enters the tent. While we encourage guests to arrive early, no one is allowed to enter the field until 3:00 p.m.  Please, for the courtesy of others, there is no excessive seat saving.

Please note that the ceremony does take place outdoors on the main athletic field with no tent.  We urge all guests to be prepared and dress accordingly for the weather.

Prohibited Items

No large bags, balloons, signs, noisemakers, confetti, bullhorns, alcohol, and any other object and/or substance that would prove disruptive to your fellow guests will be allowed on the field.


Certified service animals accompanying their owner are allowed. The service animal must wear its credentials at all times.  All other animals are prohibited from the Commencement Ceremonies.

A reception for graduates and their guests will take place immediately following the ceremony in the Law School. Join fellow graduates, faculty, staff and families to celebrate this momentous occasion over light refreshments.

Professional Photography

Island Photography will take the traditional picture as graduates are hooded and after they step off stage with their diploma. Island Photography will contact graduates after commencement provided the student has given their contact information. For more information, please go to their website at: or call them at 800.869.0908. 

An additional professional photographer will also be on site during and after the ceremony to take photos of graduates. These photos will be shared on the website after Commencement for families to view and download.

Families are encouraged to take photos of their graduate before and after the ceremony.  No standing at seats and/or blocking aisles will be allowed during the ceremony as everyone wants to see their student graduate.


Please visit the University's Accommodations page for a full list of hotels and bed & breakfasts in the area.


If families plan on making reservations at a restaurant after commencement, we remind guests to allow time to get to your car and that traffic will be heavy.  We suggest you make your restaurant reservation from 6:00 p.m. on to allow ample time for travel. Please feel free to browse a list of recommended local area restaurants HERE.

Accommodations for Graduates & Guests with Disabilities or Special Needs

Every parking lot on campus has designated accessible parking spaces.  Public Safety will allow curbside drop off for those needing special assistance at any time before and after the Graduate Commencement ceremony.  The drop off point will be located at the circle drive between the Law School and Performing Arts Center.  

If you or your guest require any additional accommodations to attend the ceremony, please contact the Commencement Office at or 401-254-3166 by May 1, 2020.