Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Commencement

Applying to Graduate and Participation in Commencement

  1. As a current senior, when was the deadline to apply to graduate in spring 2021?
    • The last day for current seniors to apply to graduate for spring 2021 graduation was Jan. 29, 2021. By this deadline, students needed to pay their fee to complete their processing to earn their degree.
    • The dates are posted on the 2020-21 Academic Calendar.
  1. As a current senior, if I missed applying to graduate in spring 2021, can I participate in commencement?
    • Applications are closed for spring 2021 graduation and for participation in the spring 2021 commencement.
    • As a current senior, if you missed applying for graduation prior to Jan. 29, 2021, you may complete the application to graduate for summer 2021.
    • Students can apply for summer graduation (Summer I or Summer II) through May 17.
    • Students who apply for summer graduation would participate in the fall commencement exercises.
  1. If I do not participate in the commencement ceremony, will I still graduate and receive my degree?
    • Yes. You will still graduate as long as you have applied with our Registrar’s Office to graduate by the requested deadline and have met all degree requirements successfully. The ceremony is a celebratory way to publicly recognize graduates, but participation is completely voluntary.
    • If you missed applying for graduation prior to Jan. 29, 2021, you may complete the application to graduate in summer 2021.


Commencement and Stadium Environment

  1. Why did the university decide to offer an in-person commencement?
    • Many students and their family have requested an in-person event.
    • Gov. Roy Cooper has lessened some of the restrictions for large events due to low positive COVID-19 cases in the state.
    • Attendance is voluntary and at your own risk.
    • We will follow CDC-recommended guidelines to support the safety of attendees.
  1. Will masks need to be worn?
    • Yes. Masks must be worn by all graduates and their guests on campus, even outside in the stadium. We encourage guests to wear their own masks, and we will provide disposable masks for attendees who do not have them.
    • Masks must be worn properly and securely over the nose and mouth.
  1. Commencement is being held in the stadium, but what will happen if it rains?
  • The ceremony will go on, rain or shine. Ponchos and collapsible umbrellas measuring 40 inches or less will be permitted. No larger-sized umbrellas will be permitted.
  1. Since students will be seated on the field for graduation, can I wear heels?
    • No. For your safety, heels are not to be worn. Being on the grass field brings a high probability of falls, and we want to ensure your safety. Graduates should plan to wear sneakers or flats.
  1. Truist Stadium has is a clear bag policy for game attendees. Will that policy be enforced for commencement?
    • Yes, the clear bag regulation will be enforced. Permissible bags include clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags that do not exceed 12”x6”x12”; one-gallon clear plastic freezer bags; small hand-held clutch bags; and diaper bags (if accompanied by a child and subject to search). Prohibited items include, but are not limited to, purses larger than a clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, cinch bags, fanny packs, luggage, computer bags, camera bags, or any bag larger than the permissible size.
  1. What time is the ceremony for the spring 2021 graduates?
  • Spring 2021 graduates will be recognized at 8:30 a.m. in Truist Stadium. Graduates will be asked to arrive promptly at the stadium by 7:30 a.m. to line up for the ceremony. Please see the virtual rehearsal presentation for more information.
  1. What time is the ceremony for the 2020 graduates?
  • The 2020 class graduates will be recognized at 4 p.m. in Truist Stadium. Graduates will be asked to arrive at the stadium by 3 p.m. to line up for the ceremony. Please see the virtual rehearsal presentation for more information.
  1. The university announced that graduates can only have two tickets for guests. Can a graduate request more than two tickets?
    • Only two tickets will be available to each graduate. This means each graduate may have only two guests attend the ceremony.
    • The two-ticket rule applies to anyone, regardless of age. Therefore, each guest must have a ticket, including children.
    • Due to COVID-19 risks, we cannot relax the requirement of two tickets for guests per graduate. We will need to maintain safety as a priority and practice social distancing, which includes the 3W’s: Wear a cloth mask over your nose and mouth, Wait six feet apart and avoid close contact, and Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer.
  1. How are seats being spaced?
    • Due to COVID restrictions, seats will be assigned in groups of two with 6-foot distancing. The seats are assigned in groups of two to ensure that we meet state-ordered guidelines for social distancing and safety.
  1. Can I buy a ticket from another student?
    • No. We do not recommend that you purchase any tickets to increase the number of guests that you may invite. The tickets have assigned seats in groups of two for safe seating with 6-foot distances.
  1. How many children younger than 18 may join me in the stadium?
    • Each person must have a ticket, including children. All children must have a ticket and each is considered a guest.
  1. How long will the ceremony last?
    • The commencement ceremony has been modified to be approximately three hours for the program, including recognition of each graduate.
    • For safety reasons, we will ask graduates and guests to leave the stadium and exit campus immediately following the ceremony to reduce crowding and allow the university to safely secure and clean all facilities. Please avoid gathering.
  1. Will food and drinks be available for families during commencement?
    • Yes, concessions such as water, beverages, and light snacks will be available. All patrons must be sure to dispose of their trash properly to reduce waste in the stadium.
  1. How early can families arrive on campus to line up to go into the stadium?
    • The campus will open at 6:30 a.m. for the 8:30 a.m. ceremony. All guests to the 4 p.m. ceremony should plan to arrive at 2:30 p.m.
  1. May we remain in the stadium after commencement to take photos?
    • No. All attendees, including graduates and guests, must exit the stadium. For safety in the midst of COVID-19, we will need to sanitize and clean the stadium immediately following each ceremony.
  1. Will there be a location on campus for other family members to watch the live-streamed commencement exercises?
    • No. For safety, we will not have a viewing location for family to watch on campus. Only people with commencement ceremony tickets will be allowed on campus.
  1. If a person loses their ticket, what should they do?
    • Additional tickets will not be available. Tickets will be required to enter the stadium. If the ticket is lost, please plan to watch the ceremony via livestream.
  1. Will the bookstore be open May 8 and 9?
    • Yes, the bookstore will be open Saturday, May 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    • The bookstore will be open Sunday, May 9, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    • Additionally, the bookstore will be open during the week during normal business hours.
    • Wearing a mask and social distancing will be required and enforced.

For additional information, email