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Commencement Information

In Spring 2021, there will be two Graduate School ceremonies in Lane Stadium. Registration is required, and graduating graduate students may register for either ceremony:

  • Monday, May 10, 2:00pm (1 of 2)
  • Tuesday, May 11, 4:00pm (2 of 2)

Please visit for additional University Commencement information and registration.

In addition to in-person participation in commencement, the Graduate School is offering some photo opportunities on the Graduate School lawn between May 6-14.  Caps and gowns may be purchased through the University Bookstore, Volume Two Bookstore, and

Degree or Certificate Conferral Request

Graduation and the commencement ceremony is a long awaited and joyous time for students, families, and friends. To participate, it is important that, in addition to taking your final exam and, if required, submitting your final paper, thesis, or dissertation, you submit a Degree or Certificate Conferral Request  (Application for Degree - AFD) through Hokie SPA. Doing so by the AFD submission deadline listed below will trigger the inclusion of your name in the commencement bulletin. If your student record is marked "confidential,"  then your name will NOT appear in the Commencement Bulletin. To verify and update the status of your record, please go to HokieSPA  ** HokiePLUS ** Confidentiality Options. In the event that you do not graduate in the expected term, you must submit a new Degree or Certificate Conferral Request  for the new term in which you plan to graduate. When you submit your AFD, your student account will be charged $25.

The Degree or Certificate Conferral Request  must be submitted by the following deadlines in order to have your name published in the Commencement Program

Academic Term


Deadline to submit AFD

Summer 1


June 1

Summer 2


August 1



October 1



March 1



In Spring 2021 all doctoral candidates and master's degree and certificate recipients will receive their diplomas by mail. Diplomas are 11 inches by 14 inches with the exception of BMES diplomas, which are 13.5 inches by 15.5 inches.

Participation in Commencement

Questions pertaining to eligibility to participate should be directed to the Graduate School at 540-231-8636.

Regalia must be worn by all students and faculty members. Regalia can be purchased through the University Bookstore. How to select your hood color.

International Invitations to Commencement: International students with a pending or awarded graduate degree from Virginia Tech may login to HokieSPA and under their Degree Menu request the International Invitation to Commencement:

  • select from a list of degrees earned or will earn
  • the system will generate the International Invitation to Commencement per guest (no limit) as a PDF for printing or saving to the user's desktop
  • make the request at any time of day and have the letter immediately available


Degree-Conferring Dates

In addition to the traditional twice-a-year commencement, two additional "Degree-Conferring Dates" have been established each year. These dates appear on the diploma for qualified graduates. The added degree-conferring dates fall on the last day of final examinations of First Summer Term and Second Summer Term. For a full list of Degree-Conferring Dates, see our Dates & Deadlines page. No commencement ceremonies are conducted during the summer. Students who complete degree requirements at these times may attend the next commencement, but they are requested to notify the Graduate School. All degrees conferred between commencements are listed in the commencement program.

Diplomas for graduates will be mailed directly to the student. For information on how to change the name that will appear on your diploma, please visit the Registrar's "Change of Name" information page.