Commencement FAQ

What are Case Western Reserve University's official school colors?

Case Western Reserve University's official school colors are blue and gray.

What should I do during the diploma ceremony if I'm a returning graduate from August or January and already have my diploma?

Returning graduates who already have their diplomas will receive a certificate of congratulation on a degree already conferred. This allows a seamless diploma ceremony where all graduates remain in order and all receive an envelope when their names are called.

What happens to my diploma if I choose not to attend commencement?

Diplomas are available for pickup the week following commencement at the appropriate schools. Diplomas not picked up in that time period, are mailed via U.S. Certified Mail to graduates using the most recent address provided by the school. Questions? Please contact

How long do the diploma ceremonies and the receptions last?

Diploma ceremonies typically run between 90 and 120 minutes each, depending on the size of the school; receptions generally last for a couple of hours. Receptions are optional but encouraged for graduates and their families.

What is the difference between "convocation" and "commencement"?

Both words, in the strictest sense, refer to the gathering of groups of people. However, at Case Western Reserve University, "commencement" refers to one special day each May that is comprised of one university-wide "convocation," and several diploma ceremonies. No student diplomas are awarded at the convocation; rather, it serves as a traditional opening when all prospective graduates gather to have their degrees officially conferred by the president before being awarded their specific degrees at appropriate diploma ceremonies later that day.

What if I still have questions?

Please contact the Commencement Office, 216.368.2229 or