Celebrating the accomplishments of our graduates safely in the midst of an ongoing pandemic remains a priority for the institution. Below is information for commonly asked questions related to guests. Note that all information regarding guests will be shared with graduates as well via email.
Q: Is there a chance Commencement will be cancelled and "go virtual" like last year?
A: All plans for Commencement are being guided by the COVID Investigating Committee and based on current public health guidelines, have been developed to celebrate the class of 2021 safely and responsibly. While Commencement plans for May 2021 are within the current health guidelines, they will be evaluated monthly by the COVID Investigating Committee and are subject to change based on changing conditions.
Q: How many guests will students be allowed to invite to the university-wide ceremony in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium?
A: Graduates may reserve up to six guest tickets for the university-wide ceremony on May 22, 2021. Children over the age of two will require a ticket.
Q: Why is the number of guests limited?
A. Due to venue capacities and the need to provide physical distancing, the total number of attendees is less than the stadium can hold. Our priority is ensuring every graduate who is interested in attending the ceremony is able to, and then opening the remaining space to guests.
Q: Why do guests need tickets?
A: To manage the capacity of the stadium and to provide adequate social distancing, tickets will be required for admission to the University-wide ceremony.
Q: How can we get tickets?
A: Information regarding ticket distribution will be shared on May 10.
Q: Will masks be required of attendees?
A: At this time, all attendees will be required to wear masks for the university-wide ceremony. This includes guests and graduates.
Q: Will guests have to follow the same security protocol as a home football game?
A. Yes, thus the clear bag policy will be enforced. Approved bags include:
- Bags that are clear plastic and do not exceed 12" x 6" x 12"
- One-gallon clear resealable plastic storage bags
- Small clutch bags or purses do not have to be clear but cannot exceed 4.5" x 6.5".
There will be NO exceptions. For additional details, please visit Clear Bag Policy FAQs.
Q: Are the individual colleges having graduation ceremonies too, or will it just be one big ceremony? And will they walk the stage?
A: Traditional college and school ceremonies will not be held in May due to the current limitations of venue capacities.
All colleges and schools will host individual moments of recognition for their 2021 graduates in which participating graduates will have their names called and “cross the stage” either virtually or in person. Graduate recognition moments will be scheduled for every degree candidate and spread out over multiple days to avoid large gatherings in one location. The graduate recognition moments will be streamed live to allow extended family to witness the occasion without gathering on campus.
December 2020 graduates and potential August 2021 degree candidates may also be eligible to participate in the Graduate Recognition Moments hosted by colleges and schools on May 20, 21 and 22. The colleges and schools will provide information to eligible participants as appropriate. Please contact your college/school representative for additional information and details.
The only ceremony for 2021 will be the University-wide Commencement in the stadium.
Q: How can guests watch the University-wide ceremony if they don't receive a ticket to the stadium?
A: The ceremony will be live-streamed on the Commencement website and also air on Longhorn Network.
Class of 2020
Q: Why was the decision made to hold commencement for the Class of 2020 in September and not earlier in the year?
A: The Campus Open Status remains at Level Three – Ultralow Density and operations are not expected to change before the end of the spring semester. Inviting 2020 graduates and their families, from around the world, back to the campus for a mass gathering is counter to the safety goal of minimizing density on campus. As more people become vaccinated in the coming months, the hope is that conditions will allow the university to host a safe celebration for the Class of 2020 in September.
Q: Who is included in the September Reunion Commencement?
A: Students who completed their degrees in December of 2019, May of 2020 and August of 2020 will be invited to attend the Reunion Commencement in September. December 2020 graduates have the option to attend either the May 22 ceremony, or the September reunion commencement.