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Frequently Asked Questions

Regarding Commencement 2021

Explore FAQs about Commencement 2021 below. Be sure to visit the Commencement homepage for the latest updates and information.

General information

Ceremonies will take place over two weekends—May 14, 15, 16; and May 20, 21, 22, 23. You can find the full schedule on the Class of 2021 homepage.

All the schools are following the same model of a hybrid ceremony, with an in-person event for graduating students and an online event for guests to view remotely.

For all updates, visit the Commencement homepage. Important updates will also be shared by each school with graduating members of each class.

Information for graduates

The ceremonies are being planned to correspond with New York State’s current guidance on occupancy for gatherings. All degree candidates will receive full details on attending their particular Commencement ceremonies and events.

Physical distancing and the wearing of face masks will be required throughout Commencement, inside and outside.

Students who are receiving a degree and who have attended in-person classes during the spring semester are invited to attend Commencement, whether they live on-campus or off-campus.

Graduating students who have been studying remotely—as well as students who graduated earlier in the academic year—are eligible to walk in the May 2021 ceremonies.

To participate in the ceremonies, students must meet one of the following criteria and upload proof of that information to University Health Service (HUS) via UHS Connect:

  • Proof that they have been fully vaccinated (with the final dose at least 14 days before arriving on campus);
  • Proof of a negative PCR test within 72 hours of the ceremony;
  • Proof that they have had COVID-19 within the previous 90 days.

View instructions on how to upload a document to UHS Connect

Students who have not set up an account to access UHS Connect can email to request a registration letter.

Please note that all students returning to participate in commencement ceremonies must make off-campus housing arrangements and must adhere to CDC, state, and regional travel guidelines.

All regalia orders will be taken online through Oak Hall’s website, the bookstore’s vendor for regalia. Orders are due April 30, 2021. All regalia orders will be shipped directly to students and won’t be available to pick up at the bookstore.

For bachelor’s and master’s degree students, ordered regalia is yours to keep. For doctoral students, the University bookstore this year has commissioned a set of Rochester regalia that can be purchased.

Planning teams are currently discussing an event that could potentially include a Commencement ceremony, Senior Week, and alumni activities. The intention is to hold the event in fall 2021, subject to public health requirements. More details will be shared as plans develop.

Information for parents

For all updates, visit the Commencement homepage. Important updates will also be shared by each school with graduating members of each class.

Information for faculty

Because of restrictions on travel and the size of gatherings, the platform party for each ceremony will be smaller than for in-person ceremonies in the past. We are exploring options for how speakers can safely deliver remarks.

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