2020 Commencement FAQ

This is FAQ for for the class of 2020. If you need information for the class of 2021, visit Commencement 2021 FAQ.

Graduates from August 2019, December 2019, May 2020, and August 2020 will participate in the two "Class of 2020 Ceremonies". Graduates from December 2020, May 2021, and August 2021 will participate in the seven "Class of 2021 Ceremonies".

President Tom Katsouleas celebrates during the virtual commencement 2020

Ceremonies

Will there be individual School/College ceremonies for the Class of 2020?

No, all Class of 2020 graduates will attend the same ceremony regardless of degree level completed and regardless of School/College graduated from.

Graduates from August 2019, December 2019, May 2020, and August 2020 will participate in the two "Class of 2020 Ceremonies". Graduates from December 2020, May 2021, and August 2021 will participate in the seven "Class of 2021 Ceremonies".

I see two ceremonies for the Class of 2020 on the schedule. How will I know which one I will participate in?

The first 1,005 RSVPs to come in have been assigned to Ceremony 1 (May 8 at 10:00am). The second group of RSVPs will be assigned to Ceremony 2 (May 10 at 4:00pm).

On Friday, April 2, 2021, e-mails were sent to those participating in Ceremony 1. If you did not receive an e-mail from the Commencement Office by 9:00pm on Friday, April 2, 2021, indicating that you were assigned to Ceremony 1, you will participate in Ceremony 2.

While some notes with the Ceremony 2 assignment went out on Friday, April 2 and during the week of April 5, more notes will be sent out in a rolling schedule during the week of April 12.

April 9, 2021 UPDATE: If you are planning to submit an RSVP/Ticket form for the Class of 2020 ceremonies, please know that you will be assigned to Ceremony 2 (Mon. May 10, 2021 at 4pm). Please submit your RSVP/Ticket form ASAP as we expect that Ceremony 2 will fill to capacity within the next few days.

Can I choose which ceremony I participate in (between the two)?

No. We will fill Ceremony 1 first and then move onto Ceremony 2.

What is the difference between Ceremony 1 and Ceremony 2?

There will be no content difference between the two ceremonies.

I’d like to attend the same ceremony as my friend. How can I make this happen?

Please RSVP at the same time (or as close together as possible).

There is no way to guarantee seats next to each other, though. Graduates will be organized by School/College within the venue and tickets for those within each School/College will be randomly generated.

I graduated in 2020 but I am also graduating in 2021. May I attend both ceremonies if I choose to?

Please RSVP twice via the RSVP/Ticket portal. This is how you will let us know you intend to participate in both. If you do not wish to participate in both, please only register for the ceremony you intend to participate in.

I am an international graduate and I need a Status Verification Letter and/or Proof of Graduation so that I or my family may be able to attend. How can I get those?

ISSS can provide international students on UConn’s visa sponsorship with a Status Verification letter which may assist them and their families members to attain a visitor visa to the U.S. ISSS also provides a template that students can use to prepare their family members for a visa interview.

Please visit the ISSS website for more details.

If you are seeking a Proof of Graduation letter, please e-mail registrar@uconn.edu for assistance.

How do I know if I’m supposed to attend a Class of 2020 or Class of 2021 ceremony?

Graduates from August 2019, December 2019, May 2020, and August 2020 will attend one of the ceremonies for the Class of 2020.

Graduates from December 2020 and candidates from May 2021 and August 2021 will attend the Class of 2021 ceremony for their respective School/College.

How long will the ceremonies be?

We are allocating 120 minutes (2 hours) per ceremony.

What will the format of the ceremonies be?

We are still developing the ceremony format details but we anticipate that there will be about 20 minutes of remarks and about 100 minutes of candidates processing across the stage.

Will graduates process into the venue?

No. There will be no graduate procession into the venue. Candidates will enter and go immediately to their seats.

Will my name be read at the ceremony?

Yes. We will read the names of all graduates in attendance. We will ask all graduates to complete a name reader card and your name will be read from there.

My cohort is typically hooded at our ceremony. Will hooding be permitted?

In order to maintain appropriate physical distance, there will be no hooding of candidates at any of our ceremonies this year.

Graduates may wear their hoods to the venue. If they have not already put it on, graduates will be instructed to place their hoods on before their portrait is taken and they process onto the stage to have their name read.

Are the ceremonies going to be held if it is raining?

Yes. The ceremonies will be held rain or shine.

Will the ceremonies be livestreamed?

Yes. All ceremonies will be livestreamed.

Please visit http://totalwebcasting.com/live/uconn/commencement to view the ceremony livestreams.

I will not be attending an in-person ceremony. What are my other options?

All ceremonies taking place at Rentschler Field (for 2020 and 2021) will be livestreamed.

Members of the Class of 2021 will have a virtual ceremony for all graduates to watch on Saturday, May 8 at 1 p.m. EDT (similar to what was provided for the Class of 2020). It will be livestreamed on UConn’s YouTube channel.

The Class of 2020 Virtual Ceremony is still available to revisit on the Commencement 2020 website.

COVID-19 Guidance

Will I need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result and/or proof of vaccination to attend the ceremony?

No.

I am attending from out of state (or out of the country). What guidelines should I follow in order to attend the ceremony?

Please refer to and follow the current State of Connecticut guidelines as you prepare to attend the ceremony.

What measures will be in place at Rentschler Field to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Tailgating or gatherings in parking lots will not be permitted (pre- and post-ceremony).

The venue will be thoroughly sanitized between ceremonies.

Guests will be required to wear masks/face coverings at all times.

Walking paths throughout the venue will be one-way to discourage grouping of guests in common areas.

Hand sanitizer will be available in numerous areas around the venue.

Separate entrances will be utilized for graduates and guests.

All guest pods and graduates will be seated at least 6’ apart.

Graduates in lines to and from the stage will maintain at least 6’ distance.

Diploma covers and commencement programs will not be distributed on-site. There will be no handshakes/hugs on stage during the ceremony.

Diploma Covers

Will diploma covers be distributed at the ceremonies?

No.

When will I receive my diploma and cover?

Diplomas and covers are mailed ~8 weeks after your conferral date. This is consistent with previous years.

Graduate/Guest Tickets

Will I (the graduate) receive and need to present a ticket upon entry?

Yes. All graduates will be assigned a specific seat in the venue.

You will receive two e-mails on/after April 30 related to your electronic tickets:
1. One e-mail with your electronic student ticket; and
2. One e-mail with your three electronic guest tickets for your pod

How many guest tickets will I receive?

Three (3). All three of your guests will be seated together in a pod.

Please know that no guest pods larger than three are permitted in the venue. For example, guests in one pod can not get out of their seats and move to sit next to the guests in the second pod (creating a pod of 4-6). Each ticket in the guest pod will have a specific section/row/seat number that must be adhered to. Guest ticket pods will be randomly assigned and no requests to place pods next to each other will be honored.

Many graduates have reached out indicating that they "just need one extra ticket". Guest pods larger than three will not be permitted in the venue so there is no option to add one extra ticket to your pod (creating a pod of four).

You will receive two e-mails on/after April 30 related to your electronic tickets:
1. One e-mail with your electronic student ticket; and
2. One e-mail with your three electronic guest tickets for your pod

I (the graduate) need accessible seating/access to a Sign Language Interpreter/etc. How do I tell you about this need?

You will indicate this need in the RSVP/Ticket portal.

Someone in my guest pod needs accessible seating/access to a Sign Language Interpreter/etc. How do I tell you about this need?

You will indicate this need in the RSVP/Ticket portal. All three members of your pod will be seated together regardless of accommodation(s) needed – no one will be separated.

When will the RSVP/Ticket portal open?

Monday, March 22, 2021. You will receive an email from the Commencement Listserv with a link to the RSVP/Ticket portal.

I am a parent who would like to complete the RSVP/Ticket process on behalf of my child. Is this permitted?

No. Only the graduate/candidate should complete the RSVP/Ticket process.

Will I receive hard-copy or electronic guest tickets?

You will receive electronic guest tickets. They will be sent to the email address you indicated in the RSVP/Ticket portal. From there, you can share them with family members/friends.

When will I receive my electronic graduate and guest tickets?

Tickets will be distributed on or after Friday, April 30, 2021. No tickets will be distributed before this date.

Will there be extra guest tickets available?

No. There are no extra tickets available.

Many graduates have reached out indicating that they "just need one extra ticket". Guest pods larger than three will not be permitted in the venue so there is no option to add one extra ticket to your pod (creating a pod of four).

How can my other friends/family members watch my ceremony if they are unable to attend?

All ceremonies will be livestreamed. Please continue to check this website for further details as we move closer to the ceremonies.

When will graduates and guests be permitted to enter the venue?

Doors open one hour before the ceremony begins. Please plan to leave for the venue with enough time to navigate traffic, park your vehicle, walk to the designated entry point, and be scanned into the venue.

I’ve never used electronic tickets before. Do you have any tips or tricks?

Yes. We will share more detailed instructions and tips on the Commencement website before tickets are released on April 30, 2021.

I know that my friend cannot attend the same ceremony I will attend. Can I have their guest tickets?

Yes. If your friend is not attending the same ceremony that you will be attending, you can utilize their guest ticket pod (3 tickets). They need to RSVP for the ceremony as they would if they were attending. When they receive the two e-mails related to tickets on/after April 30, they need to 1) delete the student ticket e-mail and 2) forward the guest ticket e-mail to you. You will then be able to utilize their guest ticket pod.

Please know that no guest pods larger than three are permitted in the venue. For example, guests in one pod cannot get out of their seats and move to sit next to the guests in the second pod. Each ticket in the guest pod will have a specific section/row/seat number that must be adhered to. Guest ticket pods will be randomly assigned and no requests to place pods next to each other will be honored.

Many graduates have reached out indicating that they "just need one extra ticket". Guest pods larger than three will not be permitted in the venue so there is no option to add one extra ticket to your pod (creating a pod of four).

Should I accept/buy additional tickets from other sources if presented with the opportunity?

Absolutely not. Please know that once a ticket has been scanned into Rentschler Field, another (duplicate) ticket with the same barcode will not permit entry to the venue. We want to make sure that all our guests are permitted to enter with valid tickets. Beware of any ticket sources that are not the University’s electronic ticketing platform (Paciolan).

Do children need a guest ticket?

Children age 2 and older need their own guest ticket. Children under 2 may sit on the lap of an adult with a guest ticket.

Photography

Will professional photographs be taken during the ceremonies?

Yes. Our vendor, GradImages, will be on-site at all ceremonies to take portraits of each of our graduates.

I am a guest who would like to get closer to the stage to take my own photographs of my graduate. Will this be permitted?

No. Access to the candidate seating areas/stage area will not be permitted. Please take any personal photos from your pod’s seating location. The GradImages team will take professional photographs of your graduate during the ceremony. If you would like to take additional photographs, please plan to do so pre- or post-ceremony at an off-site location.

Will there be any opportunities for taking friend/family photographs in the venue (i.e. in front of backdrops, on the field post-ceremony, etc.).

No. Any celebratory photographs should be taken pre- or post-ceremony offsite.

Programs

Will hard copies of the 2020 Commencement Programs be available at the ceremonies?

No. The 2020 Commencement Program is already available on the Commencement website.

Will hard copies of the 2021 Commencement Programs be available upon request post-ceremony?

Yes. Please use the link below to request a copy of 2021 Commencement Program.

Don't forget! If you graduated in August 2019, December 2019, May 2020, or August 2020, your name likely appeared in the 2020 Commencement Program and will NOT appear in the 2021 Commencement Program.

2021 Commencement Program Request Form

Hard-copy programs will be mailed out by our vendor starting on June 3.

Regalia

Will regalia be required to participate in the Commencement ceremonies at Rentschler Field?

Yes.

How can I purchase regalia for use at the ceremony (or for personal photo/video use)?

The online regalia ordering portal is currently open.

Please order before April 16 to ensure timely delivery; the online ordering portal will close after that date. If you would rather purchase it in-person, the Hartford and Storrs UConn Bookstore locations currently have regalia available for purchase.

How can I make sure I receive the appropriate year on my tassel charm?

If you would like a "2019" or "2020" tassel charm, please leave this note in the "Regalia Special Notes" section on the "Cart" page.

Will regalia be available for purchase at Rentschler Field on the day of the ceremonies?

No. Regalia will not be available. Please be sure to purchase your regalia in advance of your ceremony.

I do not plan to attend an in-person ceremony but I would like to purchase my School/College tassel. Can I do this?

Yes.

  1. Add the appropriate regalia package to your cart based on the degree you earned (Bachelors, Masters, Doctoral).
  2. Select "Complete Packages".
  3. Answer the questions on the "Products" page and click "Next".
  4. Select the desired tassel under the "Extra Tassel Year Date" and add it to your cart.
  5. Click "Next" to go to your "Cart" page.
  6. On that page, delete the "___ Degree Purchase" item from your cart by hitting the red X on the right-hand side of the price. This will leave only the extra tassel remaining in your cart.
  7. If you would like a "2019" or "2020" tassel charm, please leave this note in the "Regalia Special Notes" section on the "Cart" page.
  8. Click "Proceed to Checkout" to complete your order.

Rentschler Field

How many people will there be in the venue for each ceremony?

In order to ensure physical distancing, there could be 4,000-5,000 people in the venue per ceremony.

There is rain in the forecast. Will I be permitted to bring an umbrella into the venue?

Yes, umbrellas will be permitted in the venue for our Commencement ceremonies. You may also wish to bring ponchos.

Will food/beverages be available for purchase at Rentschler Field?

Please continue to check the Commencement website for more details as we move closer to the ceremonies.

Will there be a bag policy in effect at Rentschler Field?

We are strongly encouraging guests not to bring any bags into the stadium.

For those who need to bring in a bag (baby bag, purse, etc.), please keep bags to 12"x6"x12" or smaller. Bags larger than that will not be permitted.

Are there any other Rentschler Field policies that will be in place during the ceremonies?

Yes. Please read through the Rentschler Field FAQ for additional information. The only policy that UConn has an exception for is the umbrella policy.

Which gates will students use to enter the venue?

Gates A & E. Maps will be uploaded to the Commencement website in the coming weeks.

Which gates will guests use to enter the venue?

Gates C & D. Maps will be uploaded to the Commencement website in the coming weeks.

We’d like to tailgate pre- or post-ceremony. Will this be permitted?

No. Tailgating and/or gatherings in the parking lots will absolutely not be permitted. If you would like to gather to celebrate your graduate, please do so off-site.