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Commencement Information

Spring Graduate Commencement in Blacksburg will be different this year than it has been in the past. The Graduate School Ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 8, in Cassell Coliseumonly and will only recognize Ph.D. and Ed.D  Candidates and Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program Masters students. All Master’s degree graduates will be recognized at individual college ceremonies. Use the degree menu in HokieSPA to confirm whether or not you plan to attend your commencement ceremony. 

Master's candidates who finish the requirements but not in time to receive a degree this semester are still welcome to participate in commencement. Doctoral candidates must successfully defend their dissertation by May 1 to participate in the doctoral hooding (see commencement deadlines for details). Please visit the University's commencement page for additional information, including dates and times of the college ceremonies.

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



April 1



All doctoral and master's degree diplomas will be mailed. Diplomas are 13.5 inches by 15.5 inches.

Participation in Commencement

Direct questions pertaining to eligibility to participate to the Graduate School at 540-231-8636.

Regalia must be worn by all students and faculty members. Standard academic regalia (gown, cap, tassel and hood) can be purchased through the University Bookstore. If you wish to order a custom doctoral gown and hood, select your preferred supplier online, such as Oak Hall, GraduationAttire, Herff Jones, and others, allowing sufficient time for delivery.  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, an additional "Degree-Conferring Date" has been established each year. These dates appear on the diploma for qualified graduates. The added degree-conferring date falls on the last day of final examinations of 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 will be mailed directly to the student. The name that appears on your Application for Degree is the name that will appear on your diploma.  If your name is incorrect on your diploma, you should contact the Office of the University Registrar at 540-231-6252 or e-mail the Registrar to have the matter addressed. 

Special Accommodations for Graduates

For questions about accommodations for graduating students, please contact the Office of Special Events at or 540-231-5027.