Virginia Tech™home

Commencement Information


The Blacksburg Fall 2019 Graduate Commencement Ceremony will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec 20 in Cassell Coliseum.

You'll find a bulletin with the names of the Fall 2019 graduates from the Blacksburg region here. The names of the graduates from the National Capital Region and Northern Virginia can be found here

Please visit for additional University Commencement information.

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 printing of your name in the commencement bulletin. Please note that 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



Doctoral candidates participating in the commencement ceremony will receive their diplomas on stage. All other 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

All graduate degree candidates must confirm their plans to attend Commencement by Dec 1, 2019. Questions pertaining to eligibility to participate should be directed to the Graduate School at 540-231-8636.

Doctoral candidates who will have met all requirements for graduation by November 15 are eligible to participate in Commencement. Doctoral candidates should report to the Beamer Way side of Cassell Coliseum. From there, follow the signage to the lower level and check-in area. Check-in will begin at 1:15 p.m  and end at 2:15 pm.

Major professors participating in the hooding ceremony should report to the Beamer Way side of Cassell Coliseum. From there, follow the signage to the lower level and check-in area. Please check in upon arrival so that your name may be read. Check-in will begin at 1:15 p.m. and end at  2:15 p.m.

Master's, education specialist, and certificate candidates who are eligible to participate in Commencement should report to the Beamer Way side of Cassell Coliseum, between 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. and follow the signage to the check-in location in Gym 213.

Faculty participation is encouraged. Please report to the Beamer Way side of Cassell Coliseum. From there, follow the signage to the lower level and check-in area.

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

There is no limit to the number of guests that you may invite, and no tickets are required for this ceremony. Formal commencement invitations are not provided due to budget constraints. Individuals who wish to send personalized invitations for their guests can order them at most local print shops and bookstores.

Please note that Virginia Tech will enforce its new clear bag policy for those entering Cassell Coliseum for the ceremony. The following bags are approved:

  • Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and do not exceed 12" x 6" x12"
  • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar)
  • Small clutch bag approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap and no larger than 4.5" x 6.5"

Additionally, people can carry such things as keys, phones, comb, wallet, etc. in their jacket or coat pockets.

Please refer to the Hokie Sports Clear Bag Policy webpage for more information about the clear bag policy and what will be allowed into the coliseum. 

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

Processional begins at 2:30 p.m; anyone who hasn't checked in by 2:15  p.m. will not be allowed in the processional.

Guests and Seating

Families and guests are urged to arrive in time to be seated at least 15 minutes before the ceremony begins. Security procedures will subject all packages, bags, purses, and so on, to search prior to entry to the coliseum. Please avoid bringing such items to the coliseum.

Accessible seating for persons with impaired mobility is available at Cassell Coliseum, as is accessible parking. A sign language interpreter will be provided for the University and Graduate School ceremonies. Interpreters for individual college ceremonies are arranged by request with a two-week notice through the office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). For additional information concerning accessibility, wheelchair seating, and disability accommodations, contact SSD at or call 540/231-3788 or TTY 540/231-0853. "Special Needs" (impaired mobility) parking passes are available (not required if you have a state-issued DMV handicap tag) for pickup by students at Lavery Hall, 430 Old Turner Street, Suite 310, prior to the commencement ceremony.

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.