2024 Diploma and Award Ceremony Information

Tulane and the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine will hold a total of three graduation events for SPHTM students, all on Saturday, May 18.

Three Ceremonies | One Day


All students must have a Splash card or government-issued ID to check in for graduation at Mahalia Jackson Theater.

All students participating in graduation must wear regalia.

Undergraduate Public Health Graduation Ceremony


Saturday, May 18, 9:00 am, Mahalia Jackson Theater of the Performing Arts

  • Undergraduate students must arrive between 7:30 and 7:45 am to check in, show ID, and receive wristbands and Latin cords.
  • Doors open for guests at 8:00 am. 
  • Procession to begin at 8:45 am and all guests must be seated.
  • All students are called by name, walk across the stage, and are handed a diploma cover by Dean LaVeist (photo will be taken). 


Ceremony Timeline

  • 7:15 am: Parking at Mahalia Jackson opens
  • 7:30–7:45 am: Students on-site for check-in and robing
  • 8:00 am: Doors open for guests
  • 8:55 am: Procession begins; guests must be seated
  • 9:00 am: Ceremony begins
  • 11:00 pm: Ceremony ends (approx.)


Watch the live graduation here

Walk Forward Requests


Graduating in August 2024 but want to walk in the May 2024 ceremony? Use this form to apply to walk forward. Please wait for an approval or denial email from Dean Valenzuela before making any travel plans or purchasing regalia.

Master's and Doctoral Public Health Graduation Ceremony


Saturday, May 18, 1:00 pm, Mahalia Jackson Theater of the Performing Arts 

  • Parking opens at 11:15 am.
  • Graduate and Doctoral students must arrive between 11:30-11:45 am to check in, show ID, and receive wristbands. .
  • Doors open for guests at 12:00 pm.
  • All students are called by name, walk across the stage, and are handed a diploma cover by Dean LaVeist (photo will be taken). 
  • A post-ceremony second line begins at Mahalia Jackson/Armstrong Park and will parade to The Mardi Gras Museum for a reception. 


Watch the live graduation here


Ceremony Timeline

  • 11:15 am: Parking opens
  • 11:30 am: Students on-site check-in and robing
  • 12:00 pm: Doors open for guests
  • 12:55 pm: Procession begins; guests should be seated
  • 1:00 pm: Ceremony begins
  • 2:30 pm: Ceremony ends (approx.)
  • 2:45 pm: Second line parade begins (approx.)
  • 3:00 pm: Second line parade ends (approx.)
  • 3:00 pm: Graduation Reception at Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes & Culture begins


The Mardi Gras Museum

318 N. Rampart Street (Map & Directions)

New Orleans, LA 70112

Tel: (504) 218-4872

Email: info@themardigrasmuseum.com

Unified Commencement


Saturday, May 18, 6:30 pm, Yulman Stadium

  • All graduates at every level must arrive between 4:30 and 5:30 pm
  • Guests must be seated by 6:25pm
  • Ceremony begins at 6:30pm.
  • All ten schools and colleges "commence" and degrees are conferred when President Fitts asks each school to stand. 
  • Students do not walk across the stage.
  • You can expect lots of New Orleans music, honorary degrees acknowledging leaders and innovators, and plenty of Roll Wave spirit! 


Tickets Required for Unified Commencement

Tickets will be required for all graduates and attendees at Unified Commencement at Yulman Stadium. Graduating students eligible to walk in the May 18 ceremony can request tickets for themselves and their guests at this link.

Tickets must be requested by the deadline on Tuesday, May 14 at 12pm CT.

Tickets are not required for SPHTM school ceremonies at Mahalia Jackson. If you have questions about ticketing, please visit this page or email TUGrad@tulane.edu.

NOTE: The university just sent out this Know Before You Go email that will be useful for graduating students. Please make sure you review all the information provided.

Other Events

BSPH Senior Toast

New this year! We are toasting our graduating seniors for all their hard work. BSPH Seniors and faculty and staff involved in undergraduate studies should save the date - more details to come. 

Date: Tuesday, May 14

Time: 5-6:30pm

Location: Bea Alumni House, 6319 Willow St.

RSVP will be required


MD/MPH Class of ’24 Social

Wednesday, May 15

4:30-6:00 pm

Diboll Gallery

Doctoral Hooding Ceremony

Regalia required; RSVP required.

All graduating doctoral students and their guests will be invited to a Hooding Ceremony. The ceremony is limited to invited guests and dissertation committees only, but it will be live-streamed (details TBD).

Date: Thursday, May 16

Time: 3-5pm

Location: Diboll Auditorium 


Online Graduating Students Reception

Online students - are you traveling to New Orleans to walk during the Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine Commencement?

Join SPHTM faculty and staff in the Diboll Gallery in the  Tidewater Building for a reception for graduating online students. Families are welcome to attend. Light refreshments will served.

Friday, May 17

Diboll Gallery | Tidewater Building

1440 Canal Street

New Orleans, LA 70112

4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Please RSVP by Friday, May 10


Awards Ceremony

The SPHTM Annual Awards Ceremony will be pre-recorded and a portion of it will be shared at the SPHTM Graduate and Doctoral Ceremony. The full recording will be available following graduation. The event recognizes students along with some faculty and staff for their accomplishments. Awards are bestowed by Dean LaVeist, department chairs, the SPHTM Alumni Association, the Student Government Association, and other entities. Student awardees will be notified in advance. 




Photographers and videographers will be on site. If you do not wish to be photographed or included in video, you must alert the photographer and videographerRemember that public events are just that, public, and it may not be feasible to manage all photo/videography.

Additional Information



Wristbands will be required for all graduating students to participate in school graduation ceremonies and Unified Commencement. Students must bring their Splash ID or government-issued ID to the school ceremony to receive their wristband. The wristband should remain on through Unified Commencement. For students not attending school ceremonies, wristbands can also be issued at the student lineup at Unified Commencement.

Wristbands will not be required for senior awards or the doctoral hooding ceremony.



There have been changes around what is permitted in both school and unified ceremonies. Students should bring essential items only. There will be no holding area for bags or other possessions.

The following security measures apply to all students, faculty, staff, and guests participating in commencement events. As with home football games, all attendees and participants at Unified Commencement and school-based ceremonies will go through security and bag checks. Please arrive early to all events to allow adequate time.

A Clear Bag Policy will be in effect for Unified Commencement and all other school-based diploma and hooding ceremonies. Approved bags are as follows:

  • Clear totes or bags no larger than 12" x 12" x 6".
  • Small, non-clear clutch bags no larger than 4.5" x 6.5".
  • Plastic, resealable storage bags no larger than one (1) gallon.
  • Diaper bags (12" x 12" x 6") approved with child present.
  • NO other bags will be permitted


Prohibited Items

Prohibited bags include, but are not limited to:

  • non-clear garment bags (clear plastic garment bags, such as those distributed at the dry cleaner, are permitted)
  • briefcases; duffel bags; laptop bags; purses; backpacks (solid); fanny packs; mesh bags; patterned plastic bags; camera cases; hard or soft coolers; oversized totes; and reusable grocery bags. 

The following items are not allowed into any commencement-related event or student line-up areas and will be confiscated:

  • flags, banners, or signs of any size or type;
  • alcohol;
  • artificial noisemakers (including drums, thunder sticks, or other instruments);
  • containers of any kind; bottles and cans; coolers;
  • fireworks; flammables; footballs or throwing objects;
  • glass;
  • laser pointers;
  • outside food and beverages (except one factory-sealed water bottle);
  • projectiles;
  • stadium seatback chairs with aluminum/metal;
  • stickers;
  • sticks; bats; poles; clubs;
  •  strollers (collapsible umbrella strollers that fit under guest’s seat are permitted);
  • weapons (even with concealed weapons permit);
  • drones;
  • or any other item(s) deemed unacceptable by stadium security and Tulane University.

Handheld umbrellas, including graduating students' second-line umbrellas, are permitted and will be inspected upon arrival.

Facility Policies: In addition to Tulane's policy, the Mahalia Jackson Theater has its own established policies. (Note: the following duplicates some items from the list above.)

  • Firearms or weapons of any kind
  • Cameras with external flash or interchangeable lenses; audio/video recording devices; tripods/monopods; drones; selfie sticks
  • Laser pointers; optical illusions; flash lights
  • Illegal substances
  • Noise making devices, fireworks; signs/flags/banners; balloons
  • Outside food and beverages; cans or bottles
  • Beach balls or projectiles
  • Skateboards/scooters/rollerblades
  • Laptops/tablets,
  • Pets (service animals are welcome)
  • Outside food and beverages

The security process is a condition of entry. Any refusal or the use of abusive, threatening or discriminatory remarks will result in access being refused.

Freedom of Expression and Code of Conduct

Please note that Tulane’s Code of Student Conduct will be in place and enforced. Freedom of Expression is permitted but must not disrupt the freedom of others. Please see this page for a full explanation.

Check In

Check in for Unified Commencement will open early at 4:30pm





All parking at the theater is $20, CASH ONLY.

Undergraduate Public Health Graduation Ceremony Parking for this ceremony opens at 7:15 am. All cars must exit the lot within 30 minutes following the ceremony.

Master's and Doctoral Public Health Graduation Ceremony Parking for this ceremony opens at 11:30 am Cars must exit the lot by 5:00  pm.

Individuals arriving via taxi/rideshare may enter via the Basin Street gate and will be dropped off near the front of the building.


The Tidewater garage will be open for parking at 4:00 pm for people who want to park there and shuttle to Yulman Stadium for the unified commencement ceremony. Tell security you are parking for the graduation.

Tidewater will remain open for parking and two shuttles will be provided for transportation to Yulman Stadium at 5:10 pm and 5:30 pm. Shuttles have a limited 25-passenger capacity and are first-come, first-serve. Return shuttles will depart Yulman at 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm.

Tulane Graduation Glossary

Regalia: A graduating student's cap, gown, and (if applicable) hood. The degrees of MPH, MPHTM, and DrPH have a pink/salmon-colored hood and tassel. For the MS and MSPH, the hood and tassel are yellow/gold. For the MHA, the hood and tassel are beige/drab. And for the PhD, the hood/tassel is blue. Order regalia here. 

Robing: The process of donning graduation robes and regalia. 

Second Line: At its base, it is a brass band parade. The brass band and other elements make up the “main line." The “second line” refers to the spectators who join or follow the main line and contribute to the walking parade. This is what separates a second line from any other New Orleans parade: groups are not only welcome but encouraged to follow along, allowing the second line to grow as it marches. 

The Unified: A shortened way of saying Unified Commencement, Tulane's collective ceremony for all graduates from all schools and colleges.