2021 Commencement FAQ

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

Students in commencement regalia throw their caps joyfully in front of the UConn Storrs gateway sign

New Information/Updates as of May 6, 2021

The RSVP/Ticket portal for all ceremonies is now closed (Wed. May 5, 2021 - 9:00pm EST). Requests submitted after this date/time will not be honored.

Please continue to read through the information below this section as there are many important details there, too.

Can I still RSVP for a ceremony?

The RSVP/Ticket portal for all ceremonies is now closed (Wed. May 5, 2021 - 9:00pm EST). Requests submitted after this date/time will not be honored.

RSVP data has been transferred to the Rentschler Box Office and electronic tickets will be generated and sent during the week of May 3, 2021.

I submitted my RSVP/Ticket form between March 22 and April 23. What do I do next to prepare for my ceremony?

1. Check the schedule of ceremonies and mark your calendar for the date/time of your ceremony. Masters candidates will attend the Masters ceremony on Wed. May 12 (10am-Noon) and Doctoral candidates will attend the Doctoral ceremony on Sat. May 8 (4-6pm). Undergraduates will attend the ceremony for their specific school/college.

2. Buy your regalia. If you have not already, please visit the Hartford or Storrs Campus Bookstore locations to purchase your regalia. If you cannot get to CT before your ceremony, plan to stop at the regalia tent at Rentschler Field between Gates A & E (graduate entry gates) to make your purchase.

3. Your tickets will arrive to the e-mail address you provided in your RSVP/Ticket form on/after May 3. You will receive two separate e-mails from a paciolan.com e-mail address with your tickets: 1.) Your Graduate ticket with an assigned section/row/seat number and 2.) Your Guest Pod tickets (3 tickets) with assigned section/row/seat number.

4. Make a plan with your guests. Decide which guest you are going to send your Guest Ticket pod to. Ideally, it will be to one person and all three of your guests will arrive to the guest entry gate at the same time. We understand that this may not be possible for everyone. Do make sure that any of your three guests who cannot arrive at the same time know exactly which guest ticket is theirs. They should plan to download it to the wallet of their mobile device. Guest tickets should not be printed out.

5. Continue to check this page for more updates.

I indicated that my guest needs accessible seating in my RSVP form. Will they receive it?

Yes. If you indicated in your RSVP/Ticket form that a guest needed accessible seating, your guest pod will be place together in accessible seating.

I did not indicate that my guest needs accessible seating in my RSVP form. Can I switch my guest pod to the accessible seating area?

No. A switch can no longer be made.

The accessible seating sections for the Class of 2020 Ceremony 1 are completely full. Please keep this in mind if you bring a guest who needs accessible seating but did not indicate it in your RSVP/Ticket form.

When will I receive my electronic tickets?

You will receive your electronic tickets during the week of May 3, 2021. They will be sent to the e-mail address you provided in your RSVP form.

The Rentschler Box Office is aiming for Wed. May 5 or Thurs. May 6.

I utilize CART. Will that service be available for the ceremony I attend?

Yes. Please bookmark the following site for use with any of UConn's Commencement ceremonies: https://www.streamtext.net/player?event=uconn.

Is there a way to receive text messages about urgent updates related to Commencement?

Yes. Text UCONNGRADS to 888-777 to register for any urgent updates or communications regarding UConn’s Commencement. Message and data rates may apply.

Sample messages you would receive include ceremony cancelation information, severe weather updates, and/or traffic alerts. After the Commencement ceremonies conclude on Wed. May 12, the text messages will end and you will be automatically unsubscribed from these updates.

What is the address for Rentschler Field?

615 Silver Lane
East Hartford, CT 06118

Please note that Rentschler Field is NOT on the UConn Storrs campus.

I know that UConn’s ceremonies are being held outdoors this year. What are the inclement weather plans?

If rain is in the forecast, please plan to bring your ponchos and/or umbrellas. Our ceremonies will take place rain or shine.

If severe weather is in the forecast, our Emergency Management team (in conjunction with Public Safety officials) will monitor the situation and we will push out updates as needed using the Nixle text alert system and our Commencement Listservs (e-mail notifications). To register for the Nixle text alerts, please text UCONNGRADS to 888-777. Message and data rates may apply.

We will do everything we can to ensure that our nine ceremonies take place, but in the event of severe weather, a ceremony may need to be canceled. While we can plan for many circumstances, we are unable to control the weather. Any ceremony that is canceled will not be rescheduled.

How can I get an update on my online regalia order?

The Commencement Office does not have access to any regalia order data. Here is a note from our representative at Oak Hall with contact information should you choose to reach out to them directly:

Congratulations on your order for regalia! Due to increased demand and delayed shipments, it will take longer than expected to receive. However, you will have your Cap & Gown in time for your ceremony. Orders are expected to ship by April 30th. If you do not receive a tracking email by April 30th, please contact Oak Hall at 1-800/456-7623 or webdept@oakhalli.com. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

What time should I arrive at Rentschler Field? What happens after I arrive?

Gates to the venue open one hour before each ceremony begins. Please plan to arrive as close to that time as possible.

Graduates - No matter what your ticket says, you need to plan to enter the venue through Gate A or Gate E. Upon arrival, you will be handed a name reader card (and pencil) that you will complete at your seat. You will use your electronic graduate ticket to find your seat within the venue. When it is time to process up to the stage, you will carry your name reader card with you and our volunteers will assist you every step of the way.

Is there a FAQ document that I can read through regarding the ceremonies at Rentschler Field?

Yes. Please find that document here: FAQ for Commencement at Rentschler.

I’m a graduate and I’m bringing a purse/phone/umbrella into Rentschler Field with me. What should I do with the item(s) when I leave my seat and process to the stage?

Any items you take into Rentschler Field with you as a graduate (purse, phone, camera, umbrella, etc.) will need to stay with you as you process out of your seat, onto the stage, and back to the seating area. You should not plan to leave anything behind in the graduate seating area as it will not be closely monitored while graduates are processing on stage.

Ceremonies

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

The below list outlines which majors will participate in which ceremony. You will register for the ceremony that your major is listed under.

Ceremony 1

American Sign Language Studies
Biological Sciences
Chemistry
Chinese
Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Cognitive Science
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Engineering Physics
French
Geography
Geosciences
Geographic Information Science
German
History
Human Development and Family Studies
Italian Lit & Cultural Studies
Linguistics/Philosophy
Linguistics/Psychology
Molecular and Cell Biology
Philosophy
Physiology and Neurobiology
Psychological Sciences
Sociology
Spanish
Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
Structural Biology/Biophysics
Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Ceremony 2

Actuarial Finance
Actuarial Science
Africana Studies
American Studies
Anthropology
Applied Mathematical Science
Arabic and Islamic Civ
Communication
Economics
English
Environmental Science
Environmental Studies
Human Rights
Individualized Major
Journalism
Latino and Latin American Studies
Marine Sciences
Maritime Studies
Mathematics
Mathematics-Physics
Mathematics/Statistics
Physics
Political Science
Statistics
Urban and Community Studies

I am pursuing a dual major (both within CLAS). Which ceremony should I register for?

You will register for the ceremony in which your primary major will be recognized.

I am a Dual Degree candidate (degrees from two different Schools/Colleges). Which ceremony should I register for?

You should choose to register for one ceremony. The choice is yours.

I am a Dual Degree candidate (degrees from two different Schools/Colleges) and I would like to attend the ceremonies for both Schools/Colleges. Will this be permitted?

No. Please choose one ceremony to attend.

I am about to graduate in 2021 and I also graduated in 2020. May I attend both ceremonies if I choose to?

Yes. 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 assigned 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.

In the case of severe weather, a ceremony may need to be canceled.

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.

On-Campus Resident Students

I currently live in a dorm on campus. Will it be possible to stay in my dorm for the three weeks leading up to Commencement (rather than traveling home)?

Residential Life will be communicating with students about how to apply to stay on campus until Commencement. Please watch for communication(s) directly from Residential Life.

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 feet apart.

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

I’m a May 2021 or August 2021 candidate. 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.

May 2021 graduates will receive them in appx. mid-June. August 2021 graduates will receive them in mid-October.

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. Your ticket will include a section, row, and seat number.

On/after May 3, you will receive two e-mails 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 May 3 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.

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.

You will receive two e-mails on/after May 3 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

No tickets will be distributed before this date.

When will I receive my electronic graduate and guest tickets?

Tickets will be distributed on or after Monday, May 3, 2021. No tickets will be distributed before this date.

You will receive two e-mails 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

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 live streamed. Please continue to check the Commencement website for more 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 am attending. 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-copy programs be available at the ceremonies?

No. Hard-copy programs will not be distributed at the ceremonies.

The 2020 Commencement Program is already available on the Commencement website.

The 2021 Commencement Program is also now available on our website.

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

The 2021 Commencement Program request portal is now closed. Hard-copy programs will be mailed out by our vendor starting on June 3.

You can access a PDF copy of the 2021 Commencement Program here.

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 now closed.

You may purchase your regalia in either the Hartford or Storrs Campus Bookstore locations.

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

If you need a "20" tassel charm, you may visit the Hartford or Storrs Campus Bookstore locations and they can provide one for you.

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

Yes. Regalia will be available for purchase at the Barnes and Noble tent between Gates A & E (student entry gates).

If you are local to CT, please plan to visit the Hartford or Storrs Campus Bookstore locations before May 7 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?

If you would like to purchase your School/College tassel, please visit the Hartford or Storrs Campus Bookstore locations to do so.

Rentschler Field

How many people could 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.

Please note that no umbrellas or ponchos will be sold at any of the ceremonies. Please plan to bring your own items in case of inclement weather.

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 effect for 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.

Nutmeg Yearbook

Will I still receive a copy of the Nutmeg Yearbook?

Graduating fee-paying Storrs seniors receive a free copy of the yearbook automatically, and do not need to order a yearbook. The yearbooks are sent to the graduate’s permanent address as listed in Student Admin. The following graduates do NOT receive a free yearbook, because these populations do not pay the Storrs-based student activity fee that funds Nutmeg Publishing:
Regional campus graduates
Ratcliffe Hicks graduates
Non-Bachelor’s Degree (Masters, PhDs) graduates
Bachelor of General Studies graduates

When will I receive my copy of the Nutmeg Yearbook?

Yearbooks are on-track to be shipped in the fall.

I have other questions related to Senior Portraits or the Nutmeg Yearbook. Who should I reach out to?

Please direct all questions related to Senior Portraits or the Nutmeg Yearbook to Nutmeg Publishing or Editor-in-Chief Neal Krishna.