Carnegie Mellon University

Commencement

May 22-23, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

Can't find an answer to your question below? Contact us at commencement@andrew.cmu.edu.

Commencement 2021

Main commencement ceremony:

  • CMU will offer in-person commencement exercises for graduating students in the Class of 2021.
  • There will be two live ceremonies – one on Saturday, May 22, for doctoral and master’s degree candidates, and one on Sunday, May 23, for bachelor’s degree candidates. The ceremonies will be held in Gesling Stadium. Visit the Schedule page for more information, including start times.
  • These ceremonies will be open only to the graduates, and to those faculty and staff with assigned roles at them.
  • Families and friends of the graduates, as well as members of the CMU community, will be able to watch the ceremonies through livestreamed video.
  • CMU’s other campuses and locations will make decisions about programs based on local conditions and restrictions.

Diploma ceremonies:

  • All college and department diploma ceremonies will be conducted virtually.
  • The doctoral hooding ceremony will be postponed until May 2022.
  • Diplomas will be mailed following commencement (see below for more detail).

Who Can Participate In Person?

The following groups are eligible to participate in this year's ceremony:

  • August 2020 bachelor's, master's and doctoral graduates
  • December 2020 bachelor's, master's and doctoral graduates
  • Expected May 2021 bachelor's, master's and doctoral graduates
  • Expected August 2021 bachelor's and master's graduates

Yes, students studying at other CMU locations are permitted to participate.

Students who are not in Pittsburgh but wish to travel to attend commencement are expected to adhere to the requirements outlined in a Tartan’s Responsibility and CMU's Travel Protocols before coming to campus and receiving a negative test result through Tartan Testing. This expectation includes those who have already been vaccinated, per CDC recommendation.

You should arrive early enough to participate in Tartan Testing by Thursday, May 20. You will be able to schedule your test starting Friday, May 14. More information on how to schedule a test is included below. If travel plans preclude you from participating in Tartan Testing, you should be tested prior to your travel.

Students who are not in Pittsburgh but wish to travel to attend commencement are expected to adhere to the requirements outlined in a Tartan’s Responsibility and CMU's Travel Protocols before coming to campus and receiving a negative test result through Tartan Testing. This expectation includes those who have already been vaccinated, per CDC recommendation.

You should arrive early enough to participate in Tartan Testing by Thursday, May 20. You will be able to schedule your test starting Friday, May 14. More information on how to schedule a test is included below. If travel plans preclude you from participating in Tartan Testing, you should be tested prior to your travel. 

How to Participate In-Person

All members of the Class of 2021 who are interested in participating in-person are expected to do the following:

  • Register to attend either the graduate or undergraduate ceremony. Registration closed on Friday, April 23. If you plan to participate in person but did not register, email us as soon as possible at commencement@andrew.cmu.edu
  • Take a COVID-19 test through Tartan Testing between Monday, May 17 and Thursday, May 20. Information about how to schedule is included below.

By registering, you are making a commitment to adhere to the guidelines established in a Tartan’s Responsibility

If youu're traveling in from out of town to participate, you are expected to adhere to the requirements outlined in a Tartan’s Responsibility and CMU's Travel Protocols before coming to campus and receiving a negative test result through Tartan Testing. This expectation includes those who have already been vaccinated, per CDC recommendation.

You should arrive early enough to participate in Tartan Testing by Thursday, May 20.  More information on how to schedule a test is included below. If travel plans preclude you from participating in Tartan Testing, you should be tested prior to your travel.

If you will graduate in May or August 2021 and have registered to attend an in-person commencement ceremony, you will receive an email to your @andrew from "Tartan Testing Program <drbc@andrew.cmu.edu>" address on Friday, May 14 with information about how to schedule a test for the following week. You will be expected to schedule your own appointment.

Testing appointments will be available during the following dates and times:

  • Monday, May 17 from 6 a.m. - 4 p.m. ET
  • Tuesday, May 18 from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. ET
  • Wednesday, May 19 from 6 a.m. - 4 p.m. ET
  • Thursday, May 20 from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. ET

Free Remote Test Kit Option for August and December 2020 GradUATES

If you graduated in August or December 2020, you will be unable to schedule a test through Tartan Testing. Visit CMU's COVID webpage to request a remote testing kit.

Yes, the CDC has advised that vaccinated individuals should continue to participate in an organization's testing programs.

Visit CMU's COVID-19 updates website to learn more about the university's vaccine-related protocols.

Graduates are encouraged to purchase commencement their cap, gown and other regalia online by April 30 to assure they they receive their preferred size.

Online orders can be picked up at the University Store or shipped to you. Caps, gowns, and hoods are also in stock in the University Store during regular hours.

Items to help commemorate your graduation are also available in the University Store. Visit the University Store website and choose the Graduation tab for more information on ordering CMU personalized class rings, personalized announcements, gifts, diploma frames and more to celebrate your graduation.

If you don’t want to participate or are unable to participate, you will be able to watch the ceremonies through livestreamed video. Information about how to access the livestream will be shared via email in the coming weeks.

In addition to this year’s program, there will be a formal in-person commencement ceremony for the Classes of 2020 and 2021 to be held in May 2022. This event will also include a special doctoral hooding ceremony for the doctoral candidates of both classes. Additional information about this event will be shared via email during the Fall 2021 semester.

If you registered to attend an in-person ceremony but your plans have changed and you no longer plan to attend, please email us at commencement@andrew.cmu.edu.

Families & Guests

In-person commencement exercises are open only to graduates, and to those faculty and staff with assigned roles at them. While we would like to invite the extended Tartan family to participate in person, we are strong in our conviction that restricting the in-person capacity of this event to only our graduates is in the best interest of the health of our community.

Families and friends of the graduates, as well as members of our community, will be able to watch the ceremonies through livestreamed video.

Diplomas & Academic Honors

All diplomas for graduates of the Pittsburgh, Adelaide, Silicon Valley and New York City campuses will be mailed mid-summer. Included in the mailing will be university honors medallions and/or college honors cords for undergraduate students, as applicable.

Diplomas for graduates of the CMU-Qatar and CMU-Africa campuses will be shipped to their respective campus for distribution.

Students can enter their diploma delivery addresses in SIO under Academic Info > Graduation and Diploma. We use this address instead of the permanent address, since students often move shortly after graduating or want it sent to a friend's address. It's empty until entered by the student.

Because final grades are not due until after commencement weekend and some students may not be able to confirm whether or not they have received honors until then, we will not be distributing honors cords and medallions prior to this year's commencement ceremonies.

Honors cords and medallions will be mailed to applicable students with their diploma.

Opportunities to Participate Next Year

The Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 will be invited to a special Commencement ceremony that will be held over Commencement Weekend in 2022 (currently scheduled for May 14-15, 2022). The university will also hold a special doctoral hooding ceremony for the doctoral candidates of both classes that weekend as well. We will be in touch with both classes during the Fall 2021 semester with details.

Yes, both the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 will be invited to campus with their families and guests for a special Commencement ceremony that will be held over Commencement Weekend in 2022 (currently scheduled for May 14-15, 2022). We will also hold a special doctoral hooding ceremony for the doctoral candidates of both classes that weekend as well. We will be in touch with both classes during the Fall 2021 semester with details.

More Information

Updated information will be shared on this website as soon as it becomes available. If you have any questions in the meantime, please email commencement@andrew.cmu.edu