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FAQs

When is commencement?

The University Commencement ceremony will be Friday, May 13 at 8:30 a.m. and the Graduate School ceremony will be Wednesday, May 11 at 3:30 p.m.  

The University Ceremony is for all graduates in addition to individual college ceremonies. Graduates will walk across the stage in college ceremonies and the Graduate School ceremony. The Graduate School ceremony is for grad students. The university ceremony will include keynote speakers.

A complete schedule of college ceremony dates and times are available online

What type of public health protocols will be in place?

Commencement ceremonies will follow current Virginia Tech public health protocols. For the latest information, please visit vt.edu/ready

When do doors open and when should I arrive?

Gates to Lane Stadium will open at 7 a.m. on Friday, May 13 for the University Commencement and will open one hour before the start of each college ceremony. Gates 2, 3, and 4 will be open for guests. Students should enter through the southwest tunnel. 

What will happen if there is hazardous weather?

Ceremonies are rain or shine. Please dress appropriately, but regalia is still required. In the event of hazardous weather, the university will communicate any decisions through email, the commencement page, the university homepage, and on official social media channels.

What can I expect during each ceremony?

Ceremonies are expected to last no more than two hours. The University Commencement ceremony will include remarks from President Tim Sands, student speakers, and a keynote speaker. Degrees will be conferred.

The Graduate School ceremony and college ceremonies will offer graduates a chance to hear their name called and walk across the stage. Graduates will be able to fill out a card at the ceremony with the phonetic spelling of their name to be read as they walk across the stage. 

Do friends and family need tickets to attend spring commencement?

At this time tickets are not required and there is no limit on guests. 

What local lodging options are available for commencement?

Residence hall space for families and guests of graduates is available through Housing and Residence Life for spring commencement. More lodging information can be found online

Guests can also find a directory of lodging options in the area online. For more information please contact the Montgomery County Regional Tourism office at info@GotoMontVA.com.

Will the spring commencement ceremonies be live streamed?

Yes, ceremonies will be livestream at vt.edu/commencement/2022/watch.

I need an accommodation and/or someone in my family will require a special accommodation, who should I contact?

Requests for accommodations for guests attending the University-wide Graduate or Undergraduate Commencement ceremony must be made to the Office of Equity and Accessibility at least two weeks before the ceremony. If a family needs a parking pass for those needing help, the student must go to the Service for Disability office at Lavery Hall suite 310 or call (540) 231-3788.

For additional information concerning accessibility and disability accommodations, contact the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD).

ADA parking will be available in the Stadium Lot/Lot 2. An ADA placard or parking pass from the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities is required to park in this lot. For questions about ADA parking call (540) 231-2010.  

Will there be RV parking?  

Yes there will be RV parking in the Cage Lot. Please contact Parking Services for more information, including requesting a parking pass. More parking information, including a map of parking options can be found online

What should graduates wear to commencement?

Graduates must wear a cap and gown. Regalia can be purchased online and from the University Bookstore or Vol 2 Bookstore. For questions, call (540) 231-5416.  

Where can I purchase regalia and other commencement items?

Graduates can purchase a purchase commencement items on the bookstore's website or in person at University Bookstore or Vol 2 Bookstore.  

How do I get my cords?

Cord distribution is managed by the organization that has implemented a specific cord. For questions about particular cords, please reach out to the sponsoring organization.

How do I purchase honor sashes?

Honor sashes can be purchased in person at the University Bookstore, Volume 2 Bookstore, or online at hokieshop.com.

What is included on graduation announcements?

Students choose what they want to include in announcements. Announcements can be purchased online. A list of degrees are available online

Where can I find a listing of approved tassel colors?  

Tassel colors are listed online

Will the clear bag policy be in effect for commencement?

Yes, the clear bag policy will be in effect. Attendees are permitted to bring one clear plastic bag no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches or a one-gallon, clear, re-sealable plastic storage bag per person. Attendees are also allowed a small clutch purse not to exceed 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches. Wallets must also conform to this size requirement.

No other bags will be allowed inside. All items, including clear bags and clutch purses, are subject to search at all commencement venues. No items can be left or stored at the doors/gates.

A list of prohibited items can be found online.  

Can I bring in food? Will concessions be available? 

Attendees and graduates may only bring in a factory sealed bottle. Concessions will be available, but payment will be credit card only, no cash.

I want to frame my diploma, what size is it?

Undergraduate diplomas are 13.5” x 15.5” and Graduate School diplomas are 11” X 14”.

How can I get the photo of me walking across the stage?

GradImages will take photos on the stage and a head shot off stage and will email graduates who provided an email address to purchase photos.

Only the photos taken by GradImages will be sent to students. 

If you have any questions regarding these photos, contact GradImages at gradimages.com and or (800) 261-2576  or ecc.giservice@gradimages.net.

I’ve purchased my cap and gown, but I’d like to return them. How does that process work?

Caps and gowns can be returned minus the cost of shipping. Packages must be sealed, and they must be returned prior to graduation.   

If you purchased a cap and gown online for pickup, please contact the bookstore to process your return. You can email 2130mgr@follett.com to request a refund for any online orders.  

Customers with specific questions may contact the bookstore by phone, email, or send a message directly from the return policy page. The University Bookstore can be reached at (540) 231-5991 or email 2130mgr@follett.com. The address to ship returns is 115 Kent St., Blacksburg, VA 24061.

I am graduating with my associate's or bachelor's degree. How will I get my diploma?

All undergraduate diplomas will be mailed to graduating students as soon as possible. Please update your diploma mailing address by following these instructions:

  • Log into HokieSpa: http://hokiespa.vt.edu

  • Go to the HokieSpa Tab

  • Click the Degree Menu

  • Select Undergraduate Student Degree Menu

  • Click Add/Update Diploma Address

  • Click Add/Update

Please allow 10-12 weeks after commencement to receive your printed diploma. Certified Electronic Diplomas (CeDiploma) may be available prior to receiving your printed diploma. You will be notified via email when your CeDiploma is available to order with instructions on how to order it.  

If you need verification immediately following graduation, you may request a certified letter or order your official transcripts through HokieSpa.

For questions about the diploma mailing process, please contact Rebecca Jones at beccaj@vt.edu.

I am graduating with my master’s degree or Ph.D. How will I get my diploma?

All diplomas will be mailed to graduating students as soon as possible. Please update your diploma mailing address by following these instructions:

  • Log into HokieSpa: http://hokiespa.vt.edu

  • Go to the HokieSpa Tab

  • Click the Degree Menu

  • Select Graduate Student Degree Menu

  • Click Add/Update Diploma Address

  • Click Add/Update

Please allow 10-12 weeks after commencement to receive your printed diploma.

If you need verification immediately following graduation, you may request a Letter of Completion or order your official transcripts through HokieSpa.

For questions about the diploma mailing process, please contact Graduate Admissions and Academic Progress at grads@vt.edu.

Is there shuttle service or other transportation to commencement?

There is no shuttle service available for commencement, but Blacksburg Transit will be operating. For more information visit the BT website.

Can I share my #HokieGrad photo for possible inclusion in this year’s commencement ceremony?

Yes, graduates can submit their photos for inclusion using this form and families, faculty, and staff can also share congratulations. Plus, use #HokieGrad in your social posts and we’ll share some of those as well. 

Don't see the answer to your question here? Please reach out to the Office of Special Events at SpecialEventsOffice@vt.edu or 540-231-5027.