Spring 2021 Commencement

We are very much looking forward to being able to safely host our graduates and their families and guests for Spring 2021 commencement in May. The information on this page is subject to change at the discretion of the university based on guidance from university, local and state officials. Many details are still being finalized and will be announced in the coming weeks. Please continue to check in with this website for important updates.

Ceremony Details

Start times: The ceremony start times are 7:00 p.m. on Friday, May 14, 2021, and 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 15, 2021, barring any weather delays. 

Length: The ceremonies should last no longer than 1.5 hours each.

Weather: Both ceremonies will take place rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather, ceremonies may be delayed or cancelled.

  • In the event of a delay or cancellation due to weather, students will be notified via email within 1-2 hours prior to the ceremony.

Tickets: All attendees, including participating graduates and all guests, will be required to have a ticket for entry. See details below regarding student attendance registration and guest ticket reservations. Any guests aged three and under are not required to have a ticket if they will be sitting on an adult’s lap, and must be accompanied by an adult.

Livestreams: Both ceremonies will be live streamed, and the live streams will be recorded and made available for later viewing. Details about where to view the live streams will be provided closer to the date of the ceremonies. 

‘Walking:’ Due to the need to maintain social distancing and because of the volume of graduates, no students will ‘walk’ across the stage or have their names called during the ceremonies. Alternative forms of graduate recognition, both in-ceremony and otherwise, are being planned.

Diplomas: All students graduating in spring 2021 will receive their diplomas by mail after final graduation clearance. Due to the need to maintain health and safety protocols for students and staff, this includes students graduating from doctoral programs that would traditionally receive their diplomas at the main university commencement ceremony. Please visit the Student Services Center website for more information about receiving diplomas and verifying diploma mailing information.

Stadium policies: All students, guests, faculty and staff in attendance will be required to adhere to Carter-Finley Stadium’s Fan Guide and Clear Bag Policy as well as all NC State University Community Standards

Parking: Tailgating prior to the ceremonies will not be permitted; gates to the parking lots will open no earlier than one hour prior to the ceremonies. 

Additional student arrival and departure procedures (such as the inclusion of a traditional processional) are still being determined and will be announced in the coming weeks.

Student Registration Information

Ceremony Designations by College

Graduating students will be recognized at one the two ceremonies based on which college they are graduating from. See the table below for a list of which colleges will be recognized and will participate on each day.

Friday, May 14

Saturday, May 15

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (includes Agricultural Institute) College of Design
College of Engineering College of Education
College of Sciences College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Wilson College of Textiles Poole College of Management
College of Veterinary Medicine College of Natural Resources
Institute for Advanced Analytics

NOTE: Students graduating with degrees from two or more colleges will be presented the option of which ceremony to attend, and will only be allowed to register to attend ONE ceremony. 

Registration Requirements and Deadlines

Students must have submitted an application to graduate for the Spring 2021 semester in order submit a Commencement RSVP form.

Commencement registration closed on Wednesday, April 21 at 11:59 p.m. ET, and is no longer available. Graduates are no longer able to change their registration information. Please contact studentservices@ncsu.edu for assistance or if you have any questions or concerns.

Ticket Distribution and Transfer

Ticket distribution will begin the week of May 3 via email (from the GoPack NC State Athletics office) to the student’s NC State email address. ALL TICKETS WILL BE MOBILE.

Students will receive a link to download their own mobile student ticket as well as their requested guest tickets. Guest mobile tickets can then be transferred to non-NC State email addresses or via text message. Student tickets are non-transferable.

Participating graduating students will not be assigned a seat, but guests will be. Guest tickets will be distributed in “pods” and all guests will be seated together. For example, if a student reserves guest tickets and transfers any of those tickets to individuals that live in different households, all of those individuals will be seated together. All “pods” will be socially distanced from each other for guest safety. 

This information is subject to change at the discretion of the university based on guidance from university, local and state officials. Many details are still being finalized and will be announced in the coming weeks. Please continue to check in with the NC State Commencement website for important updates.