Frequently Asked Questions

What is the attire for Commencement?

For Doctoral, Advanced Degree and MBA Commencement ceremonies, guests should wear business casual or business attire befitting the importance of the ceremony.

For the Undergraduate Commencement ceremony, please note that the weather in Houston in May can be very hot and humid. Attire is usually nice shirts, slacks, skirts, or dresses; light colors and fabrics are recommended. For safety, we recommend guests wear sensible shoes due to the surfaces at the stadium (turf field, asphalt, stairs).

What is the inclement weather plan for the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony in Rice Stadium?

The Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony will take place in the stadium, rain or shine. A special Commencement communication system has been set-up to provide students, families, faculty and staff with vital emergency updates (including inclement weather updates). To opt into this system, please text 2024RICEGRAD to 888-777. You may opt out at any time by replying STOP. For help, reply HELP. Standard messaging and data rates may apply.

Who is the Undergraduate Commencement speaker?

Peggy Whitson '86 is currently serving as director of human spaceflight for Houston-based Axiom Space. Over the past almost four decades, she has held various remarkable leadership positions, often being the first woman to do so, including NASA’s chief of the Astronaut Office, twice as commander of the International Space Station, chair of NASA’s Astronaut Selection Board, NASA’s Operations Branch chief and NASA deputy division chief for both the Medical Sciences Division and the Astronaut Office, and as commander of Ax-2, a private space mission in May 2023. Read full story on Rice News.

Whitson will make remarks at the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony taking place on the evening of Saturday, May 4.

Due to the size and seating capacity of the Rice Stadium, all members of our community will be welcome to attend the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony if they would like to hear the commencement speaker in person. Additionally, viewing the speaker’s remarks via the live stream will be an option for all interested.

Can I declare my intention to participate in a Spring 2024 Commencement Ceremony if I chose not to walk at May 2020 or May 2021 Convocation Ceremonies?

Please contact the Office of the Registrar at if you elected not to walk in earlier ceremonies and would like to participate in a May 2024 Commencement Ceremony. Receiving formal approval will be required for participation.

How can friends or family members who cannot attend Commencement in person watch online?

Commencement will be broadcast over the internet for family members and friends who are not able to attend the ceremony. The links will go live 20 minutes before scheduled start times. They also appear on the Commencement website the day of the event.

With whom do I speak with to confirm that I am graduating and/or confirm the spelling of my name in the Commencement program?

Please contact the Office of the Registrar at

Will there be any ticketing or limitations on guest seating this year?

Tickets will not be issued for Rice University Commencement ceremonies. There are no seating capacity limitations at this time and all seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Do degree candidates have to attend a rehearsal?

No. Marshals will direct degree candidates during the ceremony.

When will I receive my diploma?

The Office of the Registrar will place the diploma order in early June 2024. The processing and printing at the diploma company will take approximately four weeks and diplomas will be mailed to the address provided by degree candidates on the submitted application for graduation. The name displayed on your diploma and the address to which it will be mailed can be viewed and edited by logging into ESTHER and navigating to: ESTHER > Student Services > Graduation > Verify Diploma Information > Diploma Name and Address. If you wish to change the mailing address AFTER commencement, please contact the Office of the Registrar at 713-348-4999 or to inquire if the address is able to be changed.

What if I have a question that was not answered by this website?

Degree candidates should contact their college coordinator (undergraduates) or department coordinator (graduate students). General questions can also be directed to or 713-348-2112.