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2020 In-Person Commencement Ceremonies

In-person commencement ceremonies for all 2020 graduates—spring, summer, and fall—are planned for November 19–22.

Ceremonies will take place in Thompson-Boling Arena. Pandemic restrictions require some changes to the usual format:

  • Each ceremony will be limited to 200 graduates with a limited number of guests for each graduate.
  • Ceremonies will combine undergraduate and graduate degrees.
  • Platform parties will be minimal, with speakers and faculty members attending remotely.
  • Masks and social distancing will be required, with no handshakes or hooding.

Additional details for spring–summer and fall ceremonies are provided below. Graduates should watch their UT email closely and respond quickly to requests. All information will be sent to utk.edu email addresses.

Event information is subject to change, and ceremonies are subject to cancellation.



Ceremonies for Spring and Summer 2020 Graduates

Ceremonies for spring and summer graduates are scheduled for the following dates and times:

  • Thursday, November 19, 8:30 a.m.
  • Thursday, November 19, 2 p.m.
  • Friday, November 20, 8:30 a.m.
  • Friday, November 20, 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 21, 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 22, 8:30 a.m.

All ceremonies are open to graduates of every college, including those receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees. Spring and summer graduates also have the option of participating in May 2021 ceremonies.

Registration

Spring and summer graduates must complete this form to register to attend commencement. Registration will remain open through October 21. Students will indicate on the form whether they wish to participate in a November 2020 or May 2021 ceremony. Those who choose a November ceremony will rank their top three ceremony preferences.

We will make every effort to honor graduates’ preferences, in order of their ranking, while maintaining the required limits per ceremony. If more than 200 graduates select a ceremony, assignments will be made randomly from that group in ranked-choice preference. If no space is available, students will be placed on a waiting list for one of their preferred ceremonies.

Notifications of ceremony assignments will be sent in late October, and graduates will be required to accept or decline their assignment around November 1. Those who do not confirm their attendance will be dropped from their assigned ceremony and students on the waitlist will be assigned according to their ranked-choice preferences.

Detailed information and exact deadlines will be sent to spring and summer graduates’ utk.edu email address. Graduates should watch their UT email closely and respond quickly to requests.



Ceremonies for Fall 2020 Graduates

Ceremonies for fall graduates are scheduled for the following dates and times:

  • Thursday, November 19, 8 p.m.
    • Tickle College of Engineering
  • Friday, November 20, 8 p.m.
    • College of Communication and Information
    • Herbert College of Agriculture
  • Saturday, November 21, 8:30 a.m.
    • College of Arts & Sciences, Last Names A-K
  • Saturday, November 21, 8 p.m.
    • College of Architecture & Design
    • College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences
    • College of Law
    • College of Nursing
    • College of Social Work
    • Intercollegiate
  • Sunday, November 22, 2 p.m.
    • Haslam College of Business
  • Sunday, November 22, 8 p.m.
    • College of Arts & Sciences, Last Names L-Z

Ceremonies will include those receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Applying for Graduation

Undergraduate students planning to graduate at the end of fall semester were required to apply for graduation with the Office of the Registrar by October 15, regardless of whether you plan on attending commencement. Master’s and doctoral candidates should follow the steps to graduation and contact the Graduate School at gradspec@utk.edu with questions.

Assignments

On October 16, fall graduates were assigned to a ceremony based on their college. Detailed information and confirmation deadlines were sent to their utk.edu email address. Graduates who do not confirm their attendance by October 23 will be dropped from their assigned ceremony. Graduates should watch their UT email closely and respond quickly to requests.