spring tree in bloom

More information will be added to the commencement website as it becomes available.

What are the current plans for the University of Vermont's 2021 Commencement?

The university’s intent is to hold multiple in-person, outdoor, on-campus ceremonies limited in size for all graduating students over the course of two days -- Thursday, May 20 and Friday, May 21. Commencement will not occur on May 22 and May 23 as originally noted.

The safety of our community remains at the forefront of planning. In the event we are unable to host in-person ceremonies, the university will pivot to an online virtual experience for all graduates on Thursday, May 20 and Friday, May 21.

Will families and guests be able to attend the ceremonies in person?

Following Governor Scott's "Roadmap to Reopening" update on April 6, graduates are now permitted to have two fully vaccinated guests attend our in-person, on-campus Commencement ceremonies. Masking, distancing, and other health and safety protocols will remain in place. We are thrilled that guests will get to celebrate with you in person!

What are the dates of the Class of 2021 graduation ceremonies?

Commencement ceremonies have been moved from the original dates of Saturday, May 22 and Sunday, May 23 to Thursday, May 20 and Friday, May 21. Moving the ceremonies is part of the overarching plan to ensure the health and safety of our graduates and the UVM community.

Degree candidates will be assigned to a ceremony based on the university’s colleges and schools and degree level.

The ceremony schedule for May 20 and May 21 is available on the Commencement homepage.

Why did the University of Vermont change the dates for commencement from Saturday, May 22 and Sunday, May 23 to Thursday, May 20 and Friday, May 21?

Rescheduling commencement ceremonies to take place on weekdays soon after the end of exams poses fewer health and safety risks than the originally scheduled dates.

Will Class of 2021 degree candidates studying remotely “at home” be able to participate in the ceremonies?

Yes. Degree candidates who are studying remotely “at home” will have the option of attending the ceremonies virtually or in-person. Those who would like to attend in-person will receive information regarding specific arrival, quarantine, and testing requirements that must be met in order to participate in the ceremony.

Will members of the Class of 2021 cohort who graduated in the summer 2020, fall 2020 and December 2020 be able to participate in the ceremonies?

Yes. Degree candidates who graduated in summer 2020, fall 2020, or December 2020 will have the option of attending the ceremonies virtually or in-person. Those who would like to attend in-person will receive information regarding the specific arrival, quarantine, and testing requirements that must be met in order to participate in the ceremonies.

Will traditional hooding take place at this year's commencement for graduate students?

Unfortunately no. Due to health and safety guidance, including social distancing requirements, it will not be possible to include hooding as part of the ceremonies. Graduate students will have their names read as they cross the stage and will receive their diploma cover.

Can families take pictures on UVM's campus?

Graduates and their guests are welcome to take photos outdoors on UVM’s campus.  Class of 2021 banners are up at the Waterman Building and the catamount statue and fountain on the UVM green are other popular photo locations.  However, we ask that graduates and their guests immediately depart the ceremony site once their ceremony ends to allow for graduates and guests for the next ceremony ample time to park and make their way to the ceremony venue.

Is an in-person celebration being planned this Spring for members of the University of Vermont’s Class of 2020?

Unfortunately, no. The range of health and safety restrictions imposed by the state of Vermont will preclude a spring 2021 in-person ceremony for the Class of 2020. Therefore, we ask for your continued patience.

We are delighted, however, to say we are working with the Alumni Association to have a special celebration for you when we can plan a gathering within university and state guidelines.  We also are pleased to announce that the Class of 2020 will have an opportunity to receive a UVM alumni sweatshirt compliments of the UVM Alumni Association.  Please watch for an email from them in the coming weeks to get your sweatshirt and provide input on the celebration we’re planning.

Please read the full announcement recently sent to the Class of 2020.

How does UVM define “fully vaccinated” for the guests who will be attending?

UVM follows the definition set forth by the Centers for Disease Control—you are considered to be fully vaccinated 14 full days following your final vaccine dose.  The day you get your shot is considered Day 0.

  • For a two-dose vaccine, you are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after you received your second dose.
  • For a single dose vaccine, you are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving your one dose.

Can a person with a vaccine exemption attend commencement as a guest?

No. State requirements do give not us the flexibility to allow unvaccinated guests, even those who have a medical or religious vaccine exemption. The commencement ceremonies will be live streamed, allowing all interested family and friends to watch

I would like to attend commencement as a guest. While I am not currently vaccinated, I am tested weekly. Can proof of a negative result (within 3 days of the graduation event) allow me to attend commencement?

No. State requirements do not give us the flexibility to allow unvaccinated guests, but the commencement ceremonies will be live streamed, allowing all interested family and friends to watch.

Can a sibling attend commencement if they have not yet had the option of getting vaccinated? Will a negative COVID test suffice?

No. State requirements do not give us the flexibility to allow unvaccinated guests of any age.

I would like to attend commencement as a guest but will not be vaccinated. I understand the need to minimize risk for the community and would happily take a COVID test and quarantine prior to my arrival in Vermont. Is this possibility being considered?

No. While we understand that the decision to vaccinate is personal, we must follow State of Vermont and Vermont Department of Health guidelines, and state requirements do not allow us the flexibility to host unvaccinated guests. The commencement ceremonies will be live streamed, allowing all interested family and friends to watch.

I had COVID recently and am not comfortable getting the vaccine yet. Is there an exemption for people who would like to attend as guests who have recently recovered from COVID-19 and can provide proof of a positive test?

No. State requirements do give not us the flexibility to allow unvaccinated guests, including people who have recently recovered from COVID-19. There is not enough information about how long immunity from past COVID-19 infection lasts and how it affects a person’s ability to transmit the virus to others, especially with the current virus variants circulating in our community. The commencement ceremonies will be live streamed, allowing all interested family and friends to watch.

How will guests show proof of vaccination?

Note: Updated 5/6/21

Guests will have to complete and digitally sign a form to attest that they have been fully vaccinated.
“Fully vaccinated” means it has been 14 days since your final vaccine dose. The day you get your shot is considered Day 0.

  • For a two-dose vaccine, you are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after you received your second dose.
  • For a single dose vaccine, you are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving your one dose.

We will not require guests to include a copy of their vaccination card as part of the vaccination attestation, but we are recommending all guests bring their vaccination card to the ceremony.

Do students who are fully vaccinated have to comply with the pre-commencement testing requirement?

Yes. Students who are fully vaccinated must be tested prior to attending the commencement ceremony. Graduates participating in Thursday, May 20 ceremonies will be required to test on Tuesday, May 18; those participating in Friday, May 21 ceremonies will be required to test on Wednesday, May 19. At-home students and students who graduated this past summer, fall or December will receive more information regarding their pre-arrival testing requirements. Additional information will be posted on the commencement website soon.

What documentation is required for a student who tested positive for COVID-19 and cannot provide a negative result for 90 days in order to participate in the commencement ceremony?

Any student who tests positive within 90 days of commencement is exempt from the pre-commencement testing requirement. If the student tested positive for COVID-19 at UVM, Student Health Services will have this information. If the student tested positive for COVID-19 with a test not administered by UVM, they must email an image of their lab/test report to Student Health Services at CHWBSHSnotifications@uvm.edu. Exemptions will not be given for positive antibody tests alone. The type of test must be a SARS-CoV-2 antigen, PCR or NAAT.

As a student, can I be exempted from the required COVID-19 test prior to commencement?

Other than having tested positive in the last 90 days, there are no exemptions. If you believe you have extenuating circumstances, you may submit a testing-exemption request.

How will students who are exempt from testing need to inform the university before the mandatory testing for graduation?

Any student who has tested positive within 90 days of their graduation date is exempt from the testing requirement. If the student tested positive for COVID-19 at UVM, Student Health Services will have this information. If the student tested positive for COVID-19 with a test not administered by UVM, they must email an image of their lab/test report to Student Health Services at CHWBSHSnotifications@uvm.edu. Exemptions will not be given for positive antibody tests alone. The type of test must be a SARS-CoV-2 antigen, PCR or NAAT.

Can fully vaccinated faculty or staff attend commencement this year?

Faculty and staff participation at this year’s commencement is extremely limited due to health and safety guidance and to ensure we are complying with state guidelines on capacity limits and gatherings. Faculty members who receive a ticket as a guest of a graduate are welcome to attend, but must have a ticket and must be fully vaccinated.

Can friends and family without tickets watch the ceremony behind the fence at Virtue Field?

No, only fully vaccinated guests with tickets and graduates who RSVP’d to attend their ceremony in person are allowed to be on UVM’s campus at the ceremony site.

Is UVM providing a live stream of the commencement ceremonies?

Yes, all ceremonies will be live streamed and recorded. Recordings of the commencement ceremonies will be posted on the commencement website the week of May 24th.

I am a graduating student, do I need to take a COVID test to participate?

Yes, all graduates who RSVP to participate in the ceremony in person will be required to take a PCR test.  Please visit the testing page for additional details and instructions.