Frequently Asked Questions
Who should attend the University-wide ceremony on Wednesday, May 18 at 4 p.m.?
All bachelor, master's and doctorate level candidates are invited to attend. All degrees from all nine schools will be conferred during this ceremony. Bachelor and Doctoral candidates from the following schools will be called across the stage:
- School of Education
- Peabody Conservatory of Music
- School of Nursing
- Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
- School of Medicine
- Whiting School of Engineering
- Krieger School of Arts and Sciences
This ceremony includes those candidates whose degrees were conferred earlier in the year. Candidates must let their schools know that they plan to participate in this ceremony by contacting their Registrar’s Office.
I'm graduating! What do I need to do?
Make sure you cover all things on our undergrad checklist. In early May, the Registrar's Office will post a document covering all final information and instructions.
Do I need tickets to attend?
Tickets are not required for family and guests of graduates to attend the university-wide ceremony. There is ample seating in the arena and students are welcome to bring as many guests to the university-wide ceremony as they would like. It is recommended that you arrive early if you have a particular seating area in which you would like to watch the ceremony. Doors will open between 2:30 p.m and 3:00 p.m.
When should candidates arrive at the arena?
Doors will open between 2:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Candidate line-up is at 3:00 p.m. Entrances are located at the corner of Baltimore Street and Howard Street and Baltimore Street and Hopkins Pl.
What do I need to do to be as informed as possible about Commencement day?
Continue to visit the Commencement website; information will be updated as it becomes available.
Download the Commencement app
- iPhone and iPad users—search “ JHU 2016 " in the Apple App Store
- Android users—search “JHU 2016" in the Google Play Store
- Blackberry, Windows, laptop users—go to https://jhu2016.gatherdigital.com
“Like” us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, @jhucommencement, #jhu2016
How can family members who cannot attend participate in the ceremony?
The ceremony is broadcast over the internet. Anyone with a computer or tablet can view it. The webcast will be available on May 18 at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/johnshopkinsu.
What hotels are close to the arena?
There are a number of hotels in close proximity to Royal Farms Arena. By visiting our visitor information page, you can see a list of these hotels and a map of all hotels in the nearby area.
When should families plan to be in town?
The university-wide Commencement will take place at 4:00 p.m. on May 18. As the Commencement date gets closer, we suggest that you ask your student what other events they are participating in, as there are many smaller events that take place leading up to and after Commencement.
Where is the Royal Farms Arena?
Royal Farms Arena is located in the heart of downtown at 201 W Baltimore St, Baltimore, MD 21201 Click here for directions.
Please note that the Hopkins Place entrance is the best drop-off point for mobility impaired guests.
Where should we park?
Public parking is limited near the Arena, so JHU will be offering free parking in the South Garage on the Homewood campus on Commencement day and operating shuttle service from Mason Hall on Homewood campus to the Royal Farms Arena. Shuttles are scheduled to depart from Mason Hall every 10 minutes from 11:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. with return service from the Royal Farms Arena to Homewood campus from 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. The trip should take approximately 30 minutes. Please allow ample time for your travels down to the arena. Guests should anticipate, that as it gets closer to the ceremony, shuttles may be more crowded and longer wait times can be expected.
Guests staying in the city are encouraged to take a taxi cab or walk to the university-wide ceremony. If you are driving, please consider carpooling. Guests are urged to allow extra time for parking.
There are approximately 23,000 parking spaces in the general vicinity. You can find parking at:
- The Arena Garage, located on Howard Street. Open 24 hours a day. To contact the garage call 410-837-2060.
- Days Inn Garage, located at 221 West Lombard Street, across the street from the arena on the corner of Lombard and Howard Street. Open 24 hours a day. To contact the garage call 410-576-1000.
- Arrow Parking, located at 210 West Baltimore Street, located behind the Nancy S. Grasmick School building. Open 24 hours a day. To contact the garage call 410-727-6811.
- The Avalon Centerpoint, located at 310 West Baltimore Street. Open from 7 a.m.-11 p.m. To contact the garage call 410-244-5766.
- Edison Parking (under Center Plaza), located at 100 West Fayette Street. Open 24 hours a day. To contact the garage call 410-659-7621 or visit Baltimore Park Fast.
We recommend using a parking service called Parking Panda, which allows you to reserve and prepay for parking at a specific day and time. A special Johns Hopkins University Commencement page has been set up with this service, which can be found here.
To find more local, city owned parking garages surrounding the arena, please visit Visit Baltimore's parking information page.
Is there accessible parking available near the arena?
Accessible parking spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are located in the garage attached to the Arena. Parking in these spots requires a state-issued handicapped license plate or hangtag. Should these extra spaces be filled, there are various parking garages located around the Arena that can accommodate your needs for accessible parking.
The Hopkins Place entrance is the best drop-off point for mobility impaired guests.
How early should guests arrive to get seats?
The doors to the Royal Farms Arena will open between 2:30 and 3:00 p.m. All guests should be in their seats by 3:45 p.m. for the 4:00 p.m. processional. Please allow time for traffic, parking and walking to Royal Farms Arena.
Is there mobility impaired seating available?
The ceremony will have designated seating areas for persons using wheelchairs. Seating is available for the individual with the disability and up to three companions on a first-come, first-served basis. This seating is located on the level 1 Concourse behind sections 103, 104, 115 and 116. If you need assistance finding seating, please see one of the volunteers or guest services representatives inside the arena.
For other guests with mobility disabilities, it is strongly recommended that you arrive early to ensure you are able to find a seat that meets your needs. Should you need assistance, please see an usher or commencement volunteer.
Elevators are available on the Southeast and Southwest corners of the buildings. Please see a Royal Farms Arena staff member for assistance upon entering the building.
Please Note: The arena is a large facility and a considerable distance must be traveled to get to all of the seats. Guests for whom walking distances is difficult are strongly encouraged to rent a wheelchair for the day. Wheelchairs will not be available at the arena. To rent a wheelchair, please call Northern Pharmacy at 410-254-2055, ext. 282, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will there be wheelchairs available?
There will not be wheelchairs available at the arena. To rent a wheelchair, please call Northern Pharmacy at 410-254-2055, ext. 282, or e-mail Northern Pharmacy.
Will I be able to purchase food during the university-wide ceremony?
There will be concession stands available around the arena. The stands will accept credit cards and cash.
When and where should I eat on Commencement day?
We encourage you to eat lunch around the arena so you can arrive to the arena between 2:30 - 3:00 p.m. If you'd like to make dinner plans please note the ceremony is expected to conclude around 8:00 p.m. with recessional and diploma pick up to follow.
Our visitor information page has a listing of restaurants located around the arena and Homewood campus.
Are there restrictions on what can be brought into the arena?
Yes. All bags and purses could be searched upon entering the arena. Bags and purses larger than 13 5/8" x 15 1/4" will not be permitted in the arena. Diaper bags are permitted. Please do not bring wrapped gifts into the arena. No balloons are allowed in the arena. Re-entry to the arena will not be permitted. Food and drinks may not be brought into the arena.
How will I find my graduate after the ceremony?
It is strongly recommended that you pick a meeting location that is in the concourse area or outside the arena near an entrance.
Once my graduate's name is called and he/she crosses the stage, can we leave?
No. Out of respect for the other graduates, all graduates and their guests are expected to stay until the ceremony is over, around 8:00 p.m. However, if it is necessary to exit early, we ask you to move quickly and quietly so that you do not disrupt those around you.
How can we help commemorate the day?
A number of items are available for purchase:
- Flowers and Graduation T-shirts with all the graduates' names on the back will be available for purchase at commencement.
- A photographer from GradImages will be at your ceremony to take a candid photograph of you at your special moment of recognition.
- You will receive a free passport-sized digital proof of this photo on an order card within 5 - 7 days following the ceremony.
- After the ceremony you may order online at http://www.gradimages.com/johnshopkinsuniversity or call 800-261-2576 or via email at email@example.com.
- Since photographers will be available, family members and guests are encouraged to remain in their seats, relax and enjoy the ceremony.
Where do I pick up my diploma?
All graduating students can pick up their diploma on the lower level of Royal Farms Arena immediately following the ceremony.
Diplomas not claimed at the commencement ceremony will be available for pick-up in the Registrar’s Office at 75 Garland Hall starting at 12 noon on Thursday, May 19. Any diplomas still not picked up by 4:30pm on June 1 will be mailed.
Questions can be directed to the Registrar's Office Commencement Coordinator, Holly Penna, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What other organizational or departmental events are occurring around Commencement?
We try to keep a conclusive list of events occuring around Commencement here. However, we recognize that not all events are listed. Please email email@example.com to have your event included.
This year's university-wide commencement date is Wednesday, May 18, 2016.