Frequently Asked Questions

If you plan to participate in the 2024 Commencement Ceremony, please respond to your commencement participant survey by Monday, February 26. If you did not receive a survey in your email but believe you meet the requirements to participate, or if you would like to update your participation status, please contact us as soon as possible.

Respond to your commencement participation survey as if you will meet your requirements, and we will adjust accordingly if you do not. We wish you all the best! You've got this!

Yes! We're so glad you asked!

December 1: We sent a Save-the-Date email to potential participants and supporters.

February 6: We emailed all potential participants (graduates and faculty) a link to a brief form. We ask that you reply by February 23 to let us know if you plan to participate in Commencement Weekend. Note: If you indicate that you do not plan to participate, we will not email you with further requests or details. If your plans change, please email events@pardeerand.edu and let us know!

February 28: We will email all M.Phil. and Ph.D. graduates who have indicated they plan to participate, to ask them to complete a regalia form. Ph.D. graduates will also be asked at that time who they would like to be their hooder. Responses must be received by March 13.

March 13–19: We will individually contact the hooders requested by Ph.D. graduates, to confirm their availability to participate. (Be sure to contact them before we do!)

March 19: We will email all hooders and participating faculty and ask them to complete a regalia request form. Responses must be received by April 2.

April 9: We will email official invitations. The RSVP form link will allow recipients to register themselves and their guest(s) for Commencement Weekend events.

June 7: Deadline to register for Commencement Weekend!

Pardee RAND will rent regalia on your behalf if you need it, at no cost to you. This applies to all M.Phil. and Ph.D. graduates as well as to all faculty who will be participating in the Commencement processional.

We will send information about regalia rental to participating graduates on February 28 and need your reply by March 13. We will email a similar form to participating faculty on March 19 and need your reply by April 2.

Most Ph.D. graduates choose to receive their hood from their dissertation chair, but you may choose any faculty to present your hood. A form will be emailed to you on February 28 which will have information about how to request a hooder. We need that form returned by March 13 so we can contact them and ensure they have time to request regalia if they need it. We encourage you to ask your preferred hooder in advance (before we contact them!) so they can make plans to attend.

Ph.D. Graduates may invite one guest to join them for the Friday afternoon Fireside Chat and the Friday evening Celebratory Dinner, and up to six guests for the Commencement Ceremony.

M.Phil Graduates may invite one guest to join them for the Friday afternoon Fireside Chat, the Friday evening Celebratory Dinner, and the Saturday Commencement Ceremony.

Teaching Faculty and Hooders (those who have been asked to hood a Ph.D. graduate) may invite one guest to join them for the Friday afternoon Fireside Chat, the Friday evening Celebratory Dinner, and the Saturday Commencement Ceremony.

Alumni who plan to join us for Commencement Weekend may invite one guest to join them for the Friday afternoon Fireside Chat, the Friday evening Celebratory Dinner, and the Saturday Commencement Ceremony.

Other Faculty may invite one guest to join them for the Friday afternoon Fireside Chat and the Saturday Commencement Ceremony.

If you have more (or fewer) guests to invite, you will be able to let us know when we send the official invitation in early April. We will do our best to accommodate your requests.

We welcome current students to attend the Fireside Chat and the Commencement Ceremony, as space permits. That said, we do not currently anticipate any seating constraints, so we hope you can join us! We will send an invitation in mid-April once we have a better idea of how many people will attend.

In the past, most graduates have found it easiest to host their guests or find hotel or Airbnb accommodations near where they live. Santa Monica has plenty of hotels, but they can be pricey. We encourage you to plan ahead!

This preliminary schedule is based on the 2022 Commencement Weekend and is subject to change. To see the most up to date schedule of events please visit our event page.

Preliminary Schedule of Events

Thursday, June 20

    1:00 p.m. Commencement Rehearsal
Location: RAND Courtyard

Friday, June 21

    3:30 p.m. Fireside Chat
Location: RAND Courtyard
    6:00 p.m. Celebratory Dinner (Invitation-only) honoring our Distinguished Alumni Award recipients and our graduates
Location: Third-floor Patio


Saturday, June 22

    7:00 a.m. Graduates and participating faculty report to the Forum
    8:00 a.m. Commencement Ceremony begins, followed immediately by a reception