It's hard to believe the four years are over already. I hope you are planning to participate in the IR Departmental Diploma Ceremony which will follow the University Ceremony on the Main Green. This is where we have the pleasure of personally handing you your diploma. This Bulletin contains important information about graduation. Please read it and check out the "Commencement" page on the IR website for any updated information.
For more information on Commencement weekend, the procession through Van Wickle Gates, the College Ceremony and the University Ceremony - all prior to the IR Diploma Ceremony - please visit the official Commencement website.

The staff and faculty of the IR Program and I look forward to seeing you and meeting your family at Commencement.
    Click Above for
      Good Info!
-Nina Tannenwald
Director, IR Program

All graduating seniors MUST submit a Capstone Catalog entry by May 15! This step is required to graduate.


Cap and gowns may be purchased from the Brown Bookstore starting May 1. Students are required to wear their cap and gown for the Baccalaureate Service on Saturday, May 28, and the Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 29. Academic regalia is also required for mid-year ('15.5 and '16.5) graduates who are participating in the festivities this May.


Complete the ONLINE FORM to advise the IR program of name pronunciation, contact information for picture proofs, and post-Brown plans.

Name pronunciation
Make sure we don't mispronounce your name on stage during the Diploma Ceremony!

Island Photography will take professional pictures at the diploma ceremony. There is absolutely *NO obligation* to purchase photos. Students with questions should contact Island Photography directly at 516-767-1234.

Each graduate is photographed twice during the ceremony: (1) When crossing the stage and being handed their diploma by the Brown Corporation Fellow (Please do not stop and pose on stage - it is meant to be a casual, in-motion shot), (2) In front of a backdrop after descending from the stage (now SMILE and look at the camera!)

Post-Brown Plans
Please let us know what your plans are - we are curious about your next endeavors!



When: Sunday, May 29th from 2:15-3:15 (est.)
Where: Ittleson Quadrangle (in front of Nelson Fitness Center), under the big white tent

The diploma ceremony for the International Relations Program immediately follows the University Ceremony on the College Green. A reception under the adjacent tent follows the ceremony.

Seniors and family members should make their way separately to Ittleson Quadrangle immediately following the University Ceremony on the Main Green. Please do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not stop for lunch or water, and do not take time to search in vain for family members (or Waldo) on the crowded Main Green.

Seniors should proceed directly to the tent at Ittleson Quadrangle.



Graduates will be seated according to the order in which they will be called to the platform to receive their diplomas. All seats will be labeled with the student's name and ordered alphabetically. Row 1 is reserved for individuals with special needs, the next several rows will be blocked off and reserved for graduating seniors only!

Seniors will be asked to line up one row at a time in the right hand aisle (facing the stage). Someone will say, "Will the first row please stand and line up..?" Seniors will then be called individually to the stage to shake the corporation member's hand, hug a faculty member, receive their diploma, smile, and have their picture taken. 

Midyear Graduates (Dec. '15.5 and Dec. '16.5)
Midyear graduates are seated alphabetically among current graduates. Those graduating in Dec. 2016.5, who have revised their concentration forms and informed the IR Program that they will participate this May, will receive an empty diploma case when they cross the stage for the purposes of continuity and photos. PLEASE return the diploma cover to Dr. Elliott, Anita Nester, or anyone wearing a faculty robe or a red usher/staff ribbon during the reception! There is a $25 recovery charge for non-returned diploma covers. Important!: If you are a '16.5 graduate and plan on participating, you must let Dr. Elliott know ASAP.

Make sure your family members know where Ittleson Quadrange is located and are capable of getting themselves to the diploma ceremony on their own. Family will sit in the section behind seniors on a first come, first served basis. Family members will have plenty of space to move forward and take pictures of you accepting your diploma. Students walk across the stage from right to left (facing the stage), so the best picture-taking is from the left-hand aisle.

Special Needs
If you require any special seating needs or disability services ( i.e. wheelchair, sign language interpreter, etc), please contact Anita Nester at the IR Program Office (; x3-3318)



There are no tickets for the diploma ceremony or limits on the number of family members who can attend. The tent is large. We have plenty of space for your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and aunt's sister-in-law's niece twice removed. Seating is first-come, first-served under the tent on Ittleson Quadrange.



If you are graduating with more than one concentration, it is imperative that you know where your diploma is and, therefore, which ceremony you should attend. The Registrar sent numerous messages requesting your diploma ceremony preference and has placed your diploma accordingly. If you did not answer the Registrar, your diploma will be at the ceremony of the concentration that you filed first (i.e., the first concentration listed on your transcript). If you are in doubt, please check with the Registrar to ensure that you, your diploma, and your family are in the same place!

NOTE: Diplomas cannot, under any circumstances, be switched on the day of the ceremony, handed out beforehand, or given to anyone other than the person listed on diploma!



Graduation day is a very long day, beginning with the procession line-up at 8:45 a.m. We don't want you or your family to pass out from exhaustion! Graduating seniors should have a hearty breakfast and carry some munchies or snack bars. While there are stands for refreshments across campus, there is no scheduled time for lunch on this day. Do not plan on any fine dining on Thayer Street for lunch. Families should also bring snacks or take a picnic on the green (the latter is a nice idea, which we recommend). In short, please make sure you and your family think about this issue in advance and come prepared.


Use #WatsonGrad2016 to comment throughout the day. Your thoughts will be tracked across all major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+).


A reception is held under the adjacent tent following the diploma ceremony. This is a great time for picture-taking and introducing your family to the faculty and IR Staff! And since we know you're gonna miss the food at Brown so much, we're giving you a last chance to enjoy some of the catering favorites! There will be light snacks such as sandwiches, salad, cheese, cookies, and lemonade for the graduates and their guests.