Commencement Details for 2021

Three Masters Students Holding Diplomas at Commencement 2019

Congratulations to the School of Graduate Studies degree recipients and applicants from August 2020, January 2021, or May 2021!
Please read this email carefully as it contains important information for the School of Graduate Studies Commencement ceremony including check-in, COVID-19 policies, diplomas, accessibility accommodations, and more.

The School of Graduate Studies Graduation Ceremony will be held on Friday, May 28, 2021, 12:30pm outdoors on Freiberger Field. Due to ongoing health safety measures, only graduates will be permitted at the in-person ceremony. The live ceremony as well as a virtual ceremony will be streamed for those who cannot or choose not to attend.

Dress for the Weather

Academic regalia (cap, gown, and hood) is required for all graduates attending the in-person ceremony. Please pay attention to the weather and dress appropriately and plan to bring your own umbrella if needed. Pay special attention to your choice of footwear; the event is being held on a grassy field and the ground may be soft and wet if it rains on Friday or even earlier in the week.


If you need on-campus parking, you can use Lot S29 (Severance/Campus Center) underground garage free of charge. Enter off of East Blvd between Kelvin Smith Library and Severance Orchestra Hall. There is an elevator and stairwell within sight of the East Blvd gate that will take you up to KSL Oval where check-in is located. You will need to get a parking voucher from Grad Studies staff at check-in or after the end of the ceremony.


Check-in will be located at KSL Oval near the front doors to Kelvin Smith Library. Check-in will be open by 11:15am; please try to be on campus by 11:30am. There will be several lines; you can use any of them to check-in regardless your degree or place in the alphabet. Please bring ID (CWRU or otherwise). At check-in you will be issued a "grad card" which will have your assigned seating number. You must present this card to Grad Studies staff immediately before crossing stage so please keep it accessible.

If needed, you may pick up your parking voucher at check-in. If you are unable to carry the voucher during the ceremony, you can see a staff member afterward to collect your voucher.

After check-in you will be directed to walk to the ceremony site on Freiberger Field. There will be no processional. You will be seated with your degree group. Signage will help indicate each degree groups. The "grad card" you pick up at check-in will show your assigned seating number which will be marked on the chairs. Please only sit in your assigned seat at the start of the ceremony as well as when you return to your seat after you cross the stage. Faculty marshals will be waiting on Freiberger to help assist you finding your degree group and seat. You must be in your assigned seat by 12:30pm when the ceremony will begin.

COVID-19 Guidelines for Commencement Ceremonies

Check the Commencement website for full details and policy updates.

  • Masks are required for everyone attending the ceremony, regardless of vaccination status.
    • See the next section for special notes about masking.
  • Vaccination is strongly encouraged for students attending graduation.
  • Testing is recommended approximately 3-5 days prior to the ceremony.
    • Free testing for students is available at the Veale Recreation Center.
  • Quarantine is not required for students arriving from a domestic location; however current CDC guidelines require a  7-day quarantine after arrival from an international location (email for additional details).
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, an exposure to someone with COVID-19, or test positive for COVID-19, do not come to campus; isolate from others and contact Health Services at 216.368.2450.

Please check the website for updates regularly as the event draws closer.

Masking on Stage

Students have the option to remove your mask immediately before you cross the stage. Doctoral students must keep your masks on while you are being hooded but you can remove afterward while you cross the stage. You may keep the mask off for a picture taken by the official event photographers immediately after leaving the stage. Your mask must be put back on immediately after this. Masks must be worn at all other times including check-in, while seating, and any time you are in a line-up.

PhD Hooding on Stage

Doctoral students may choose to be hooded on stage by your faculty advisor. If your advisor is unable to attend, you can be hooded by our hooder (a CWRU faculty member). You may also choose to not be hooded; indicate this by putting your hood on before you enter the stage. Masks must be worn by both the student and the hooder. Immediately after the hooding, you have the option to lower your mask to cross the stage as indicated above.


No diplomas will be given out at the ceremony (the official conferral of degrees will be two days later). Those who attend the in-person ceremony will receive a memento certificate. Additional information on receiving your diploma will be emailed shortly after Commencement in June.

Accessibility Accommodations 

If you require any accommodations for a disability, be sure to let us know in advance by contacting the School of Graduate Studies at Free parking will be available near the site but Freiberger is a grassy field so please plan accordingly.

LiveStream & Virtual Ceremony

As a reminder no guests are permitted at the ceremony or on campus during the in-person ceremony due to health safety measures. Please invite your friends and family to watch the livestream of the ceremony scheduled to begin at 12:30pm EDT.  The livestream link is If captioning is needed watch on The ceremony will be able to be watched later online beginning on June 14.

A pre-recorded virtual University Convocation ceremony will be released for viewing on Sunday, May 30 including the keynote speaker, additional remarks, and the official conferral of degrees.

Every graduate, whether they attend the in-person ceremony on Friday or not, will have a slide available in the virtual ceremony which they can download and share. Please see the Commencement website on Friday for the Graduate Studies virtual ceremony.

Fun Content for Online Celebration

Digital content is now available for graduating students, classmates, family, and friends to celebrate Commencement including social media templates, Zoom backgrounds, yard signs, and more. A virtual photobooth is also available to get that classic graduation day photo regardless if you celebrate in-person on campus or virtually from home.

Graduates are encouraged to use the hashtag #CWRUGrad2021 and tag CWRU on social media. You can also share this year’s graduation celebrations with

Additional details can be found on the Commencement website. If you have questions, please email

Graduating Students with Caps in ceremony