Carnegie Mellon University


May 22-23, 2021

Planning Information for Graduating Students

Congratulations to the Class of 2021! This year, there will be two live commencement ceremonies – one on Saturday, May 22, for doctoral and master’s degree candidates, and one on Sunday, May 23, for bachelor’s degree candidates. Graduating students have the option to participate virtually or in person. 

In-person commencement exercises are open only to graduates, and to those faculty and staff with assigned roles at them. Your families and guests will have the opportunity to watch the ceremonies through livestreamed video.

Preparing 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
  • Take a COVID-19 test through Tartan Testing between Monday, May 17 and Thursday, May 20. Information about how to schedule a test is included below.

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

If you're traveling in to Participate

If you'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 no longer plan to attend in-person

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

Tartan Testing

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 address from "Tartan Testing Program <>" 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.

Preparing to Participate Virtually

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.

Diplomas & Regalia


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.

If you have questions regarding diploma distribution, please contact Enrollment Services at

Cap and Gown

Graduates are encouraged to purchase commencement regalia online. Submit your order by Friday, April 30 to ensure that you receive your preferred size. You may order regalia through commencement weekend, but sizes may be limited.

Online orders placed before April 30 can be picked up at The University Store or shipped to you. Orders placed after April 30 must be picked up at The University Store.

Caps, gowns, and hoods are also in stock in the University Store during regular hours.


Announcements, Memorabilia & Senior Portraits

Graduation Announcements, Diploma Frames and Class Rings

Items to help commemorate your graduation are 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.

Senior Portraits

Photo Session Schedule

  • March 29-April 2 from Noon-8 p.m. ET
  • April 5-April 9 from Noon-8 p.m. ET
  • April 26-April 30 from Noon-8 p.m. ET
  • May 3-May 7 from Noon-8 p.m. ET

How to Schedule Senior Portraits

  1. Check your CMU email inbox for a message from to retrieve your Client ID.
  2. Visit
  3. Create an account by clicking the orange tab
  4. Enter your Client ID and last name
  5. Follow the prompt to schedule your photo session

If you are unable to locate your Client ID, contact

All CMU students planning to be on campus or participating in campus activities, regardless of where the activities will take place, are expected to complete one asymptomatic test each week through the Tartan Testing Program and complete the daily Student Self-Assessment. By scheduling a photo session, you affirm that you are currently and will continue to participate in the Tartan Testing Program, as expected by the university.

Life After Graduation

Career and Professional Development Center

The Career and Professional Development Center (CPDC) offers a variety of career services for students and alumni. In addition to the services described on the CPDC website, alumni can use all of the resources available to current students, including job postings in Handshake.

CMU Alumni Association

Congratulations to the Class of 2021 and welcome to the Carnegie Mellon University Alumni Association! Learn how to connect with other alumni and engage with the university through events and other alumni programming by joining the CMU Alumni Community.