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FAQs

When is commencement?

Fall commencement is Friday, Dec. 17. The University Commencement ceremony will be at 10:30 a.m. and the Graduate School ceremony will be at 2:30 p.m.

Spring commencement will be May 11-14. The University Commencement will be at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, May 13. College ceremony dates and times are available online

What type of public health protocols will be in place for the fall ceremonies in Cassell Coliseum?

In keeping with current guidelines related to wearing masks at university events, Virginia Tech will require masks — regardless of vaccination status — for all indoor events scheduled for Cassell Coliseum. Proof of vaccination or a negative test will not be required to attend an event at Cassell Coliseum.

Do friends and family need tickets to attend fall commencement?

Currently the number of guests is not being limited. This is subject to change based on current public health guidelines. So at this time there will not be tickets for guests for fall commencement. 

For information about spring commencement please check back in early 2022 for details. 

What local lodging options are available for commencement?

Residence hall space for families and guests of graduates is available through Housing and Residence Life for spring commencement.

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.

Please note: Hotels are planning for spring commencement. They are preparing to address the commencement schedule changes and will need time to address specific requests and questions.

Will the fall commencement ceremonies be live streamed?

Yes, the Graduate School Commencement and University Commencement ceremonies will be livestream at vt.edu/commencement.

When do doors open and when should I arrive?

Doors will open at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum. Students should arrive by 9:30 a.m. for the University Commencement and 1:30 p.m. for the Graduate School Commencement. 

Where should I park?

Parking is available in Lot 1/McComas Lot, Lot 2/Stadium Lot, and Lot 5/Chicken Hill Lot. Parking in these lots is free and no permit is required. More information about parking is available online

I will require an accommodation, who should I contact?

Requests for accommodations for guests attending the University-wide Graduate or Undergraduate Commencement ceremony 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 to the west of Cassell in Cassell 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?

Yes there will be RV parking in the Cage Lot. Please contact Parking Services for more information, including requesting a parking pass.

What should graduates wear to commencement?

Graduates must wear a cap and gown. Regalia can be purchased online and from the University Bookstore or Vol 2 Bookstore. See below for specific dates to order regalia. For questions, call (540) 231-5416. 

Where can I purchase regalia and other commencement items?

Graduates can purchase a grad package with a cap, gown, and tassel (hood for master and Ph. D. students), announcements, and diploma frame through the Herff Jones website through Nov. 12.  After Nov. 12, graduates can purchase at the University Bookstore or Vol 2 Bookstore.

How do I get my cords?

Cords are given to graduates from colleges and units. Check with your college or unit on any cord you are interested in wearing. They will communicate directly with you on how you can pick up or when you will receive your cord.

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. A list of degrees are available online

Where can I find a listing of approved tassel colors?

Tassel colors are listed online

Will the clear bag policy be in effect for fall 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.

No other bags will be allowed inside. 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.

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.

Where can I find lodging information?

Information about lodging options and reservations can be found online

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.

I am graduating with my associate's or bachelor's degree. How will I get my diploma?

All undergraduate 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 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 questions about the diploma mailing process, please contact Rebecca Jones at beccaj@vt.edu.

I am graduating with my master’s degree or Ph.D. How will I get my diploma?

All 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 Graduate Student Degree Menu
  • Click Add/Update Diploma Address
  • Click Add/Update

Please allow 10-12 weeks after commencement to receive your printed diploma.

If you need verification immediately following graduation, you may request a Letter of Completion or order your official transcripts through HokieSpa.

For questions about the diploma mailing process, please contact Graduate Admissions and Academic Progress at grads@vt.edu.