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Information on this week’s Commencement activities

MIT advises graduates, guests to expect increased security measures for ceremonies on Thursday and Friday.
Thousands of chairs have been set up on Killian Court for the Commencement exercises.
Thousands of chairs have been set up on Killian Court for the Commencement exercises.
Photo: David Castro-Olmedo

More than 13,000 guests are expected to attend MIT's 147th Commencement this Friday, June 7, in Killian Court. Drew Houston '05, CEO and co-founder of Dropbox, will deliver this year's address.

Commencement attendees should expect increased security measures for events on both Thursday and Friday, detailed below.


Thursday, June 6
  • 11:30 a.m.: PhD and ScD candidates receive their academic hoods in a ceremony in Rockwell Cage
Friday, June 7

Admittance to Killian Court begins at 7:30 a.m. on Friday. Many people choose to arrive earlier so as to be in line when the doors open. Please leave enough time for your party to pass through security and be seated before the academic procession begins at 9:45 a.m. Since all admittance to Killian Court is halted for about half an hour during the procession, attendees should aim to be seated well before 9:45 a.m.

It is recommended that families review MIT's campus map ahead of time and coordinate a spot to meet with their graduates after the ceremony.


Metal detectors will be in place at the entrance to Killian Court. Backpacks; large bags; large objects; wrapped gifts; pocketknives and similar sharp objects, such as key-ring tools and accessories; and all bottles and beverage containers are prohibited. (Water will be available in Killian Court.) Diaper bags and purses are permitted, but please note that all items taken into Killian Court are subject to search, and that MIT will not accept responsibility for storing items that are not permitted inside the venue.

Guests carrying electronic devices will be required to turn them on to demonstrate their use.

Guests are advised to carry government-issued photo ID: driver's licenses, state ID cards, or passports.


MIT will provide live webcasts of both academic ceremonies: the Investiture of Doctoral Hoods (starting Thursday, June 6, at 11:30 a.m.) and the Commencement Exercises (starting Friday, June 7, at 10 a.m.) The streams for both webcasts will be available here; pre-ceremony coverage begins at 8 a.m. on Friday.


If Commencement Exercises must be moved indoors due to severe weather (such as electrical storms or hail), the ceremony will be held in Rockwell Cage. This location will be open only to graduates and to individuals seated on stage. Families and friends will be able to view the ceremony from closed-circuit viewing locations across campus.

Information regarding any relocation of Commencement Exercises from Killian Court will be available beginning at 7 a.m. on Friday, June 7, via a recorded message at 617-253-SNOW. Announcements will also be posted on the Commencement website.

Exercises are very rarely moved from Killian Court. Commencement will be held outdoors in rain, cold or heat. Guests are urged to dress for the weather conditions, keeping in mind that the grass in Killian Court may be slippery. Umbrellas are not permitted, as their use may block the view of others. In the event of uncomfortable weather, guests may prefer to watch the ceremony from an indoor location. Lists and maps of these locations will be available at the information tent in Killian Court, and also here. Water will be available in Killian Court.


Limited on-campus parking will be available on Friday, June 7. Guests may park in the Albany Street Garage or in the N10 Lot.

While there is no charge to park in MIT-owned lots or garages on Thursday or Friday, space will be extremely limited. Nearby public parking facilities include:
More Cambridge parking options are detailed here.

Commencement guests, especially those with limited mobility, may be dropped off at the entrance to Killian Court on Memorial Drive; this is recommended for those who may not be able to walk from either an MIT or a public parking garage, most of which are more than a block away. Parties that split up for any reason should ensure that all members retain their Commencement tickets.

For additional information:

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