top floor grand staircase pictured below the glass rotunda

Commencement 2023

New England College of Optometry celebrates its 129th commencement ceremony to honor the Class of 2023 on Sunday, May 21, 2023.

To assist you in planning for this event, any updates to the Commencement schedule, tickets information, accessibility details and accommodation suggestions can be found here.

Commencement Exercises

Sunday, May 21, 2023

10:00 am-12:00 pm (end time approximate)
Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA
Graduates should plan to arrive by 7:45 am for check-in, photos, and line-up. Breakfast will be provided.

Commencement Day Arrival:  

Please arrive at Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, at 7:30 am on the morning of Commencement. Graduates must enter via the entrance on Huntington Avenue (it says “Cohen Wing” on the outside). Please do not enter via the main Massachusetts Ave entrance. Your guests, however, must enter via the main Mass Ave entrance, NOT the Huntington Ave/Cohen Wing entrance. The auditorium will open at approximately 9:00 am for your guests.

  • Upon entrance, grads will turn left to go to the Higginson room, where your class will meet and store any small belongings. We cannot store large suitcases or bags at Symphony Hall, so please plan accordingly. Family and other guests are not allowed in this room. Please carry a minimal amount of personal items to the ceremony. A light breakfast will be available for you, and then you will line up for your class group photos at 8:15 am (photos are at 8:30 am). More details regarding the day will be emailed ahead of time.  
Health and Safety

All Commencement attendees must adhere to Boston Symphony Hall’s health and safety guidelines. For current information about vaccine requirements at this venue, please visit their website. 


Every graduate is allowed to bring up to ten guests. Graduates will be provided with information on registering their guests before the commencement ceremony.   


For guests needing lodging reservations for Commencement weekend, there are several hotels in the area surrounding Symphony Hall. NECO is unable to provide hotel discounts at this time.


Professional photographers will be taking class group photos, along with a photograph of each graduate as they are hooded and presented with the diploma. These photographs will be available online for viewing and ordering. The link for this will be uploaded here when it becomes available. 


Symphony Hall is wheelchair accessible. If you have any guests using a wheelchair and need seating arranged for their wheelchair inside the hall, please email [email protected] for more information if your guests require wheelchair accessibility.

Commencement Questions?

Contact the Center for Academic and Professional Achievement office