You are here: American University Commencement Commencement Details

Photo of AU doctoral student receiving their degree

Know Before You Go

Public Transit

We encourage the use of public transportation. The most convenient station is the Tenleytown-AU Metro station on the red line. Shuttle bus service is provided to and from the Tenleytown-AU Metro station. Use Metro’s trip planner and take travel time into consideration.

Taxis & Rideshare

Taxis are available throughout the city. Please use 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington, DC 20016 when dropping off for the event.

Parking

We urge guests to take the Metro, walk, or take taxis. If you do drive, one (1) parking pass will be issued to each student registered to participate in Commencement at no charge. Additional passes will not be available. Regular parking permits issued by AU Parking and Commuter Services will not be valid. In accordance with our “Good Neighbor Policy,” parking is prohibited on neighborhood streets.

Speakers and Awardees

Congratulations to our 2023 Fall Honorary Degree Recipient, Graduate and Undergraduate Speakers.

Learn More

Hotels & Lodging

There are many hotels convenient to American University. We encourage you to make reservations as early as possible.

The university has negotiated discounted rates with local area hotels located conveniently to the campus. Reservations for travel can be booked directly with the hotel via the Campus Travel Management Portal.

Accessibility

AU is committed to providing universal access to all events. If you have questions about accommodations, contact commencement@american.edu. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for accessibility needs.

Guests with valid state-issued handicapped permits or plates requiring accessible parking will be permitted to park in the Sports Center Garage. Drivers may also drop off guests with limited mobility at an accessible entrance before proceeding to their designated parking garage.

All ceremonies will have large screens with closed-captioning. An area near the front of the arena is available for those who need American sign language interpretation. An array of speakers for sound amplification will be available throughout graduate and guest seating.

A seating section, located next to the ground-level entrance to Bender Arena, will be available for senior citizens and persons with physical disabilities and their families.

Parking Passes

Parking on campus will be limited over Commencement weekend. Please consider alternative ways to get to campus including the AU Shuttle, Metrorail & Metrobus, taxi or ride-sharing service.

One (1) Commencement parking pass will be issued to each student registered to participate in Commencement. There will be no charge for parking passes; additional passes will not be available for purchase. Parking permits issued by AU Parking and Commuter Services for use during the year will not be valid for parking during Commencement weekend.

Graduates are able to claim one (1) Parking/Grad Pass while claiming their six (6) guest electronic tickets. 

The parking pass will be valid for a designated time period and parking garage based on the graduate's school/college. Graduate parking pass is only valid in SIS and Katzen Garages. Parking passes must be printed and displayed on dashboard before arriving to campus. Campus Map.

  • Follow @AmericanUPolice and @ParkingatAU for real time updates on parking availability over commencement weekend.
  • To avoid a back-up, please review the campus map and display your parking pass in your window prior to arriving on campus.
  • Allow ample time to get to campus, find parking, and find your designated meeting point. Graduates should be in their line-up location at least 45 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. Guests should be seated in Bender Arena at least 10 minutes before the start of the ceremony.
  • Overflow Parking: A limited amount of overflow spaces will be available on East Campus. Overflow parking spaces are first-come, first-served.

Guests with valid state-issued handicapped permits or plates requiring accessible parking will be permitted to park in the Sports Center Garage. For those needing an accessible entrance, the elevator can be used to access the ground floor of Bender Arena.

Drivers may also drop off guests with limited mobility or physical disabilities at an accessible ground-level entrance to Bender Arena before proceeding to their designated parking garage.

This page will be updated as additional Commencement details become available.