Indiana University is planning in-person, outdoor May Commencement ceremonies at all of its campuses for both 2020 and 2021 undergraduate and graduate students, in accordance with its COVID-19 policies. In-person attendance at the ceremonies will be limited to graduates only. Those who cannot attend the live event and family and friends are invited to attend Commencement virtually. In addition to spring 2021 graduates, members of the Class of 2020 are also invited to participate in the ceremonies.
Each campus ceremony is being planned in consultation with county health departments and IU's Medical Response Team, which has led the university's comprehensive public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic for almost a year.
For graduates who are not fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to their Commencement ceremony, two negative COVID-19 tests are required. 2019/2020 returning graduates will need to take a COVID-19 test outside of IU and report to us the result. 2021 graduates may receive their first test by scheduling a voluntary asymptomatic COVID-19 test appointment via One.IU by searching "voluntary" and selecting a campus scheduling option.
All non-vaccinated graduates must receive their second test 1-2 days prior to their Commencement ceremony. The test must be administered at the graduate's degree-granting campus and be processed by IU Labs. Self-submissions are not accepted for Test 2. No appointment is necessary.
All faculty and staff participating in Commencement must follow the same testing requirements.
More details about these testing requirements can be found in the FAQ below under Testing.
IU testing facilities, dates, and times dedicated to Commencement Test 2 are listed below:
Testing Dates and Deadlines
May 4 - May 7, 2021
May 8 - May 9, 2021
May 9 by 5 p.m.
Commencement Date, Time, and Location
Date: May 10, 2021 Time: 10 a.m.
Caesar's Foundation of Floyd County Amphitheater on the IU Southeast Campus
IU Southeast 4201 Grant Line Road New Albany, IN 47150
IU Southeast will celebrate its recent graduates during a special, outdoor May ceremony. While in-person commencement is limited to graduates only, friends and family are invited to attend virtually.
The in-person ceremony is open to December 2019 graduates, all 2020 graduates and all May and August 2021 graduates. Students must reserve a spot ahead of time to attend and will be asked to indicate their interest in attending.
Yes, you are strongly encouraged to attend, and even though you will have been a graduate since 2019 or 2020, your class will receive special recognition and attention at commencement in spring 2021.
Graduates are invited to join virtually and celebrate from wherever they are.
If you're outside of the U.S., we welcome you and your loved ones to enjoy the celebration virtually. Should you wish to travel to the U.S. solely for the purpose of attending Commencement and you need to apply for a tourist visa, there are several important factors to consider:
Many U.S. Consulates and Embassies worldwide have been closed, or remain closed due to the pandemic. Because of that, visa wait times for tourists may be very long.
To apply for a tourist visa, we suggest that you carry evidence of your intention to attend Commencement (obtained on the IU commencement website by ordering a free ticket for the program), as well as standard documents required for a tourist visa (including, but not limited to your itinerary, evidence of financial support, documentation your residence abroad). The Consulate in your region will have further details.
Like all graduates, you will be subject to all vaccine or COVID-19 testing requirements.
All guests, including those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine, are invited to celebrate Commencement virtually. The best way to ensure a safe, in-person Commencement celebration for our graduates is to operate within the same, controlled environment that has allowed IU to safely keep its campuses open since the fall.
Commencement is a cause for celebration, and we understand family and friends want to share in the excitement. Inviting guests to join virtually is the best way to allow a safe, in-person commencement experience for our graduates.
The safety and well-being of the IU community led this decision. It was made in close consultation with our Medical Response Team, which has guided IU's successful COVID-19 response for the past year.CDC guidelines recommend people avoid travel because of the continued pandemic across the U.S. and globe. Each IU campus is making its Commencement plans in coordination with county health departments, and restrictions on events and gatherings vary based on community. IU has been able to successfully manage COVID-19 cases and avoid large outbreaks through routine testing on all of its campuses, allowing us to keep our campuses open safely while some other universities had to suspend classes. Limiting in-person ceremonies to graduates only allows IU to use its proven public health strategy to ensure a safe commencement celebration.
IU makes all decisions in consultation with its Medical Response Team. In addition to limiting in-person ceremonies to only graduates, those who participate will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing. All IU public safety protocols, including wearing a mask and physically distancing, must be followed during Commencement.
All graduates who attend in-person Commencement, including those who've been vaccinated, must practice physical distancing and wear a mask. As with all vaccines, being vaccinated does not provide 100% perfect protection. Additionally, it is not yet known exactly how long COVID-19 vaccine protection lasts. This means that even once you are vaccinated, you could still be capable of spreading the virus to others.
The only in-person Commencement activities will be the official campus ceremony for graduates. All other recognition events will be held virtually.
IU is continually monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, and all plans are subject to change based on the public health outlook in each community. The university is committed to keeping its campuses safe and will communicate directly with graduates if plans change.
Only graduates will be permitted to enter the Commencement venues. Tailgating, camping and accompanying graduates to the ceremony site is prohibited. To help ensure everyone's safety, travel to IU campuses by graduates' family and friends is strongly discouraged.
Even if infection rates in communities across Indiana decline, large gatherings on campuses increase the risk of infection for everyone. IU's campuses have been among the safest places in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic because of our robust mitigation testing program, which helps us quickly identify and address any increase in cases among students, faculty and staff. The best way to ensure a safe, in-person commencement celebration for our graduates is to operate within the same, controlled environment that has allowed IU to safely keep its campuses open since the fall.
Planning ceremonies early in the day gives us more flexibility in the event of severe weather.
Families are invited to watch the ceremony live on IU's Commencement website. If guests are unable to watch the live stream, a recorded version of the ceremony will be available at the same site hours after the conclusion of each ceremony.
All graduates must have two negative COVID-19 tests on file with the university in order to attend Commencement. The first required test must be completed within 3-6 days of your Commencement date and can be completed outside of IU, which you will then need to report to us. However, the second required test must be completed 1-2 days before your Commencement date and must be an IU saliva test at the campus in which you are attending Commencement. You will have these results back to you before the morning of your ceremony.
For the first test, past graduates who are not currently affiliated with Indiana University must seek a COVID-19 test themselves and submit their negative test results online. Past graduates may not test at an Indiana University mitigation site for the first test.
All graduates, regardless of affiliation, are required to provide a second test at their graduating campus’s mitigation site.
Faculty and staff participating in Commencement will follow the same testing protocols.
All graduates must have two negative COVID-19 tests on file with the university in order to attend Commencement. 2020 graduates and others who aren't in the vicinity of an IU testing location can submit a result from a non-IU lab for their first test, but must complete a negative test at an IU testing site the day before the Commencement ceremony. If you receive your first test from a non-IU lab, you must submit your result by the submission deadline. The window for completing each test is dependent on what ceremony you are attending:
Ceremony Monday, May 10
Test 1 May 4 - May 7
Test 2 May 8 - May 9
Submission Deadline May 9, 5:00 p.m.
All currently enrolled students and active faculty and staff may schedule your first COVID-19 test through IU Mitigation Testing on campus. Select the voluntary asymptomatic testing option to schedule that test.
University Center North - Hoosier Room, 4201 Grant Line Rd., New Albany, IN 47150 Saturday, May 8, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sunday, May 9, 8:30 - 11 a.m.
Students who have submitted a sample or have scheduling questions regarding a sample should email C19@IU.EDU.
If your test result comes back as a positive sample, your ticket will be cancelled and you will be invited to watch the live stream of your campus ceremony. Please be sure to follow all CDC guidance for individuals who test positive for COVID-19.
Consistent with IU's mitigation testing procedures, if you've reported your COVID-19 vaccination to IU and you receive your final dose at least two weeks prior to your graduation ceremony, you will be excluded from pre-Commencement COVID-19 testing.
Monday, April 26
Currently enrolled IU students, faculty, and staff should report their vaccination status through one.iu.edu and the COVID-19 Vaccine Reporting Form found there.
Returning graduates planning to attend Commencement must confirm their vaccination status using a special form.
Everyone for whom the vaccines are currently authorized is now eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine in Indiana. The more people we get vaccinated, the better our chances of keeping everyone we love safe. Not to mention getting back to the things we love. COVID-19 vaccines are the best protection we have against the virus, so take your shot now.
If you have tested positive between 11-90 days out from the Commencement ceremony date, you can file an exemption (vaccine submission self-reporting form) for any tests. As long as the positive test comes at least 11 days before the Commencement ceremony date, you will still be allowed to attend Commencement.
To ensure the health and safety of our campuses and communities, graduates are invited to attend Commencement in person, while guests can join the celebrations online. The ceremony will be streamed live on IU's Commencement website, and will also be available to watch after the event.
Tickets are free for all ceremonies.
We encourage graduates to reserve a ticket as soon as they know they plan to attend Commencement. Ticket reservations must be made at least seven days before your campus' ceremony.
All ceremonies are general admission and graduates will be directed to seats when they arrive. We are unable to guarantee a student may sit next to someone of his/her preference.
For graduate ceremonies at IU Bloomington and IUPUI, students will indicate if they are receiving their master’s or doctoral degree. Students will sit in designated areas based on the degree they are earning. Doctoral degree graduates will be seated by degree-granting school.
Master’s and undergraduate students at all campuses will be randomly assigned seats and will not be seated next to their school colleagues.
Your ticket indicates the time you are to arrive to the ceremony location.
Order directly from Herff Jones, IU’s licensed Commencement vendor.
All 2020 graduates who ordered and paid for official caps, tassels, gowns, hoods, and stoles will receive the complimentary use of gowns (and hoods if you earned a graduate degree) to wear at Commencement. Bring your cap, tassel (and stole if you earned an undergraduate degree). You will be contacted by Herff Jones before Commencement to arrange the use of complementary apparel.