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FAQs

When is fall commencement?

The fall Commencement Ceremony will be Friday, Dec. 16, in Cassell Coliseum. The undergraduate ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m. The Graduate School ceremony begins at 2:30 p.m.

How do I prepare for commencement?

  • Apply for your degree via Hokie Spa.
  • Update your mailing address so your diploma is shipped to right location.
  • Use #HokieGrad to share your photos and be included in the ceremony.
  • Order your cap and gown online. Honor sashes for those who qualify will be available for purchase at University Bookstore, Volume 2 Bookstore, or online at hokieshop.com.

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?

Doors to Cassell Coliseum will open at 9:30 a.m. on Friday. Students should arrive one hour before commencement begins. All students should enter Cassell Coliseum at the Merryman Center entrance. Signs will be posted.

As students arrive, they will be given a card to fill out their names and will be directed where to sit.  When students line up to walk, they will give the name caller their card and wait for their name to be called before they walk across the stage and have their photo taken.

Do friends and family need tickets to attend commencement?

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

If you have guests from out of the country who needs an invitation letter for a U.S. visa, please contact the Registrar's Office at registrar@vt.edu or 540-231-6252.

What local lodging options are available for commencement?

For fall commencement, on-campus housing for guests is not available.

For spring commencement, residence halls are available through Housing and Residence Life for families and guests of graduates. Some dates during commencement week may not be availabe.   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 fall commencement ceremonies be live streamed?

Yes, ceremonies will be livestream at vt.edu/commencement/2022/watch. Live captioning of ceremony speeches will be available.  

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 Graduate School or the University Commencement ceremonies 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 Cassel Lot/Lot 1. 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?  

For spring commencement only, 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 Volume 2 Bookstore. For questions, call (540) 231-5416.  

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

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. Flowers are allowed.

No wrapped presents or other bags will be allowed inside, including gift bags. 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.

Where can I meet my graduate or family after the ceremony?

Graduates and guests are asked to exit promptly after the stage party recession has concluded. Gradutes will exit through the Merryman entrance they took to arrive. Guests are asked to meet graduates outside so the next ceremony can begin.

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.

How will I get my diploma?

All undergraduate and Graduate School 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 (or Graduate) 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 undergraduate students with questions about the diploma mailing process, please contact Rebecca Jones at beccaj@vt.edu.

For Graduate School students with 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.

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.