Your guide for Northeastern University’s 2023 commencement at Fenway Park

graduate wearing a cap at fenway park
For the third straight year, Northeastern University commencement will be held at Fenway Park on Sunday. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

Commencement 2023 Coverage

Watch our live coverage and up-to-date reporting on Northeastern University’s 2023 Commencement.

For the third year in a row, Boston’s iconic Fenway Park will be home to Northeastern University’s commencement exercises.

Graduate and undergraduate students from the Class of 2023—except those receiving Ph.D.s, in the School of Law, the College of Professional Studies or from the global campuses—will participate in ceremonies on Sunday, May 7.

Northeastern Global News will provide LIVE UPDATES from start to finish.

Here’s everything graduates and their guests need to know…

What time should I arrive?

Members of the Class of 2023 and their guests will attend either the graduate ceremony in the morning or the undergraduate ceremony in the afternoon.

The graduate ceremony begins at 10 a.m. and the procession starts at 8:45. Graduates must arrive by 7:30. Gates to the park open for guests at 8.

The undergraduate ceremony begins at 4 p.m. and the procession starts at 2:45. Graduates must arrive by 1:30. Gates to the park open for guests at 2.

Where do I enter Fenway? 

Graduates should enter Fenway Park at Gate B. Guests can enter at Gates A, D or E.

Where can I park? 

Parking near Fenway Park is limited. Complimentary parking is available on Northeastern’s Boston campus at the Columbus Parking Garage at 795 Columbus Ave. The garage is about a mile from Fenway.

How else can I get there?

Fenway Park is accessible via the MBTA. Take the D branch of the Green Line to the Fenway stop, then it’s a short walk to the park. You can also take the B or C branches of the Green Line to Kenmore and follow signs to Fenway Park.

How many people will attend?

The guest list for Sunday is about 37,000, but about as many people will participate in individual college ceremonies during commencement week.

Starting with Monday’s doctoral hooding and ending with Saturday night’s College of Arts, Media and Design celebration, Northeastern will host approximately 33,426 graduates and guests on the Boston campus.

What happens if it rains?

The ceremonies will be held rain or shine, excluding extreme weather conditions, and last about 90-120 minutes. In the event of rain, ponchos will be distributed to graduates.

What can I bring inside?

Bags are prohibited with the exception of medical items and diaper bags. Flowers and balloons are also not permitted inside Fenway.

Guests may bring one unopened, clear, disposable, plastic water bottle, 16 ounces or less.

All attendees will enter Fenway Park through metal detectors.

Will concession stands be open?

Concessions will be available for purchase before the start of the ceremony and will be closed once commencement begins. All registers are cashless and will only accept credit cards.

Guests can support the Northeastern We Care Fund through a gift at Concessions.

Water will be available for purchase throughout the ceremony. Alcohol will not be served.

Where can I watch the ceremony? 

Each graduate are allotted six guest tickets, which can be claimed using the MLB Ballpark App and the Northeastern email address of the graduate.

Children 2 years or younger who are able to sit on an adult’s lap do not need a ticket. Extra tickets are not available. Guest tickets are general admission.

For those who cannot attend, the ceremonies will also be streamed live on the university’s commencement page.

Who are the speakers?

Mariam Naficy, a serial entrepreneur and e-commerce pioneer, is the undergraduate speaker. Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s deputy prime minister, is the graduate speaker.

Clara Wu is the undergraduate student speaker. Kristine Umeh is the graduate student speaker.

Who are the honorary degree recipients?

In addition to Naficy and Freeland, President Joseph E. Aoun will confer honorary doctorates upon Alondra Nelson and Alberto Ibargüen.

A sociologist and author, Nelson is a groundbreaking advocate for scientific discovery and technology innovation. Ibargüen is president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

I’m graduating from a Northeastern global campus. Can I attend commencement in Boston?

Each campus in Northeastern’s global network is hosting commencement exercises.

When are the Law School and CPS ceremonies?

Separate ceremonies for the College of Professional Studies will take place next week. CPS undergraduate and graduate ceremonies will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 10, at Matthews Arena. CPS doctoral students will graduate at 10 a.m. the next day, also at Matthews.

The School of Law ceremony is at Matthews at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 12.

Dave Nordman is executive editor of Northeastern Global News. Follow him on Twitter @davenordman