Do I need a link to view the virtual school and college convocations or the livestream of the Commencement ceremonies?

No. Graduates and their families should visit the main page on the Commencement website on Saturday, May 22 at 11 a.m. ET  to view the virtual convocations and the livestream of all Commencement ceremonies. If needed, recordings of the virtual convocations will be posted online so that graduates and their families can watch them at a later date.

Governor Cuomo has announced a relaxation of capacity restrictions for venues as of May 19th.  Why aren’t graduates allowed to have more than two guests?

Syracuse University has consulted with New York state.  Unfortunately, the relaxed capacity restrictions in athletic and entertainment venues do not apply to graduation activities. In addition, the university has to take into account that state guidelines still require six feet between all guests or family pods in the stadium. This restriction means that seating capacity for commencement ceremonies remains significantly impacted and we must limit guests to two per graduate.

Has Syracuse University advocated for a relaxation of these restrictions for graduations?

Syracuse University has been in consistent communication with New York State and Onondaga County officials. The University was required to submit a public health and capacity plan to the state for approval, including a comprehensive seating diagram and entry/exit plan. As guidelines have changed, we continue to explore whether the relaxation of restrictions applies to graduations or whether we could configure ceremonies differently.  Unfortunately, aspects of the regulations – including the social distancing requirement – do not permit us to increase capacity in the stadium.

The State of New York is strictly enforcing all guidelines and the University is subject to inspection to ensure that we are following the plan submitted to state officials.

Why can’t graduates walk across the stage during these smaller ceremonies?

While we understand that it is disappointing to students that they will not have the opportunity to cross a stage during convocation or commencement, doing so is not feasible given the state guidelines.  We have taken into account the time required for pre-screening attendees for vaccination or a negative test upon entry.  We also must allow sufficient time for cleaning and re-setting the stadium between each ceremony.  Within the time frame of Commencement weekend, these requirements do not allow for the additional 2-3 hours that the opportunity to cross the stage would add to each ceremony.  That said, every graduate has had the opportunity to walk across the stage in their school/college convocation ceremony.  While these are virtual, they do include the traditional graduate “walk.”  These convocations will be made available to the public on Saturday May 22 at 11am. 

Why can’t convocations be held in person?

Early in the planning stages for Commencement weekend, it was determined that Syracuse University does not have sufficient venues to enable 13 schools and colleges to hold multiple socially-distanced convocation ceremonies over the course of two days.  In fairness to all graduates, the decision was made to hold virtual convocations.  We have received feedback from students who have participated in the virtual “walk” by being filmed in the stadium for their individual convocation ceremonies that it has been a positive experience. 

What documentation do I need to be able to enter the stadium?

New York State has mandated very specific guidelines related to stadium entry and participation in Commencement activities. The state requires that anyone (students, faculty, staff and guests) accessing the stadium for Commencement must comply with one of the following options:

  • Proof of completed vaccination; specifically, on the day of the event the individual must provide documentation indicating that at least 14 days have passed since the individual received the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, or at least 14 days have passed since the individual received a single dose of Johnson & Johnson/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. We strongly encourage guests to seek out vaccination as it is the most reliable pathway for entry into the stadium.
  • Proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR-type test, administered within 72 hours of the event start time.
  • Proof of a negative COVID-19 antigen-type test, administered within six hours of the event start time.

How can I expedite my party’s entry into the stadium without standing in a long line?

To make the entry experience into the stadium as seamless as possible, we will have pre-event compliance stations that will open on campus beginning at noon ET on Thursday, May 20. At these stations, students, faculty, staff and guests can have their COVID-compliance documents verified in advance of the weekend’s Commencement activities. Once verified, individuals will receive a unique pass that will significantly expedite and ease entry into the stadium on Commencement day. To obtain your unique pass, please visit the pre-event compliance station at the following times:

    • Students, Faculty and Staff (no guests permitted): Daily walk-up sessions at the Schine Student Center (No appointments necessary, just show up at your convenience)
      • Thursday, May 20:  12 noon-5 p.m.
      • Friday, May 21: 12 noon-3 p.m.
      • Saturday, May 22: 12 noon-3 p.m.
    • Guests, Students, Faculty and Staff: Daily drive-through/walk-up sessions in Manley North parking lot (No appointments necessary, just show up at your convenience)
        • Thursday, May 20:  4 p.m.- 7p.m.
        • Friday, May 21: 12 noon -7 p.m.
        • Saturday, May 22: 12 noon -7 p.m.

We strongly encourage you to participate in pre-verification to avoid a long wait. All individuals who are not pre-verified will be required to have their vaccine or testing documentation reviewed and approved on-site at the stadium the day of Commencement.

I can’t get tested within the 72 hour/6 hour time frame due to travel or because asymptomatic testing is not available in my area.  What can I do?

We recognize that for many guests traveling from outside of New York accessing COVID-19 testing may still be a challenge. We are pleased to share that Onondaga County has graciously offered to provide antigen testing to individuals needing tests to attend Commencement activities. Testing will take place at the OnCenter, a convention facility located less than 2 miles west of campus at 800 South State St, Syracuse, NY.  Testing times are as follows:

  • For individuals participating in the Saturday, May 22, ceremony, Onondaga County will offer testing 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the OnCenter.
    • Appointments are required. Please schedule an appointment by visiting the county’s scheduling website.
    • There is no out-of-pocket expense.
    • Please park at the OnCenter open parking lot, across the street from the OnCenter, free of charge. 
  • For individuals participating in one of the two ceremonies on Sunday, May 23, Onondaga County will offer testing from 7 a.m. to noon at the OnCenter.
    • Appointments are required. Please schedule an appointment by visiting the county’s scheduling website.
    • There is no out-of-pocket expense.
    • Please park at the OnCenter open parking lot, across the street from the OnCenter, free of charge. 

If you participate in the county testing, you will receive a wristband designating a negative test result.  People who are tested at the county’s vaccination clinic will also receive an email confirming test results later in the day.

Can I park on campus during Commencement weekend?  Are there shuttles?

There will be plenty of free parking during Commencement weekend, as well as shuttles to transport students, faculty, staff and guests around campus. This includes:

  • Free parking for students and guests will be available on Saturday, May 22, and Sunday, May 23, at all West lots (Henry, Raynor and Standart), Irving Garage, University Avenue garage and University Avenue lot.
  • Accessible shuttles will run to and from all garages and lots, dropping off at Gate A at the stadium.
  • View parking on the Campus Maps site.

Do I need a ticket to enter the stadium?

All students and guests will require a ticket to enter the stadium. 

Detailed information on securing tickets will be disseminated to our graduates on Wednesday, May 5.  Students are responsible for selecting both their own and up to two guest tickets beginning at 10A.M. on Thursday, May 6.

Attending Commencement

How long is the commencement ceremony?

We anticipate that the commencement ceremony will be 90 minutes in length. Please keep in mind that it takes a bit of time to exit the Dome and get to transportation. 

I am not getting any of the announcements other student are getting. What should I do?

Please check your spam. All eligible students are being sent this information, which is all available on this website as well:  commencement.syr.edu 

What if I have three family members I want to attend my ceremony?

In alignment with New York State and Onondaga County guidelines, each graduate can have up to two guests. We will livestream the ceremonies so loved ones can participate virtually.

I only need one guest ticket or my guest situation requires two individual tickets instead of a two-person pod seat. What should I do?

When students select their guest tickets they will have the option of choosing one two-person pod or up to two individual seats. Only a limited number of single seats will be available. Only two total tickets can be requested. Note: Individual seats will be in locations throughout the arena, not in proximity to each other.

Commencement Seating Map 2021[PDF]

Will there be tickets? Or a pre-registration?

Please visit the Commencement participation form to indicate your intent to participate . Students will  receive a link on May 6, 2021 to their free individual admission ticket and the option to select two guest tickets. Following ticket selection, students will receive a confirmation email, as well as a ticket with their selected seating assignment and tickets and seating assignments for their guests.

Where is parking available? Are there shuttles?

Free parking for students and guests will be available on Saturday, May 22 and Sunday, May 23 at

  • West lots (Henry, Raynor, and Standart)
  • Irving Garage
  • University Avenue Garage
  • University Avenue lot.

Accessible shuttles will run to and from all those garages and lots, dropping off at Gate A at the Stadium.

View parking on the Campus Maps site.

Entry Requirements

How will guests demonstrate proof of testing or vaccine compliance?

We are still finalizing the process by which guests will demonstrate proof of compliance. We will share more information with graduates and their families in the coming weeks.

How will graduates demonstrate proof of testing or vaccine compliance?

Graduates should submit their proof of vaccination to the Student Patient Portal. We will share more details about sharing proof of testing compliance to participate in Commencement in the coming weeks.

I’m a faculty/staff member who plans to participate in the ceremonies, where do I submit proof of vaccination?

Faculty and staff should submit proof of vaccination via the COVID-19 Vaccine Status Attestation Questionnaire. We will share more details about sharing proof of testing compliance to participate in Commencement in the coming weeks.

If I have not yet been vaccinated and need to participate in testing, how and where will this happen?

It is the responsible of each individual to plan ahead to ensure your compliance with New York State’s venue entry requirements. There will be no on-site testing services available at the stadium during Commencement weekend. Anyone who plans to attend the ceremony and who cannot provide proof of COVID vaccination, should ensure that they have access to testing services capable of returning a test result within the window of time required by New York State (72 hours prior to the event for a PCR-type test; six hours prior to the event for an Antigen-type test).

I have a medical or religious exemption, can I still attend?

Individuals with a medical exemption or sincerely held religious beliefs can still attend if they are not vaccinated, but they must instead participate in one of the two testing options.

I am not planning to be vaccinated and I don’t want to deal with testing, can I still attend Commencement?

The vaccination/testing requirements are mandated under New York State’s venue entry requirements. All individuals must comply with one of the three options in order to participate. Failure to comply prohibits your participation in-person. We will livestream the ceremonies so graduates and loved ones can participate virtually.

What about my parents?

All guests of the graduates must demonstrate proof of vaccination or participate in COVID-19 testing within the window of time required by New York State (72 hours prior to the event for a PCR-type test; six hours prior to the event for an Antigen-type test).

I am a recent prior positive and can’t test negative. What do I do?

You have two options: 1) Demonstrate vaccination compliance or 2) Per New York State, individuals who have fully recovered from a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last three months and who do not have any recent or current symptoms are not required to produce a recent negative diagnostic test result but must provide proof of illness and recovery (e.g., proof of a prior positive test result or completed order of isolation within the last 90 days).

Tickets

How do I access my tickets?

Beginning May 6, all students who filed a Diploma Request will be able to access their tickets through the Stadium box office. Further information and direction will be given prior to May 6. 

How do I sit with my friends in my “pod” at Commencement?

Student seating will be divided into 6 sections on the field. When selecting your tickets through the Stadium ticketing portal, you will be asked to select one of the six areas. Please communicate with the group you would like to sit with and ensure you all select the same section. Upon arrival to the Stadium, you will be able to choose where you would like to sit in groups of 3 within your assigned section.

Commencement Seating Map 2021[PDF]

Are children and infants allowed? Do they need a ticket even if  they will sit on someone’s lap?

New York State restrictions require us to count every person at an event, regardless of age. Children may attend (with proper COVID testing) but would require a ticket.

Who can I contact for additional information on Stadium policies and my tickets?

Ticket Office
888-DOME-TIX (888-366-3849)

The Ceremonies

What is the difference between a Convocation and Commencement?

The schools and colleges host celebratory Convocations before the University-wide Commencement. Convocations individually recognize the degree candidates and present special awards, and are then followed by receptions where students and families have the opportunity to mingle with deans and faculty.

Commencement is the University-wide ceremony for all undergraduate, graduate and doctoral candidates. The Syracuse University Chancellor and President formally confer degrees at the Commencement ceremony.

What are the qualifications to participate in Commencement?

Bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates who plan to complete their coursework between December 2020 and by August 2021 are invited to participate in the 2021 Commencement ceremonies. Under extenuating circumstances, candidates who do not meet this requirement may petition to their home college(s) for permission to participate.

Doctoral candidates must have completed their degree by April 2021. For information on the qualifications to participate in Commencement, visit the Graduate School website.

It is the student’s responsibility to know and fulfill all degree requirements for graduation. Participation in Convocation and/or Commencement ceremonies does not indicate that degree requirements have been completed.

Preparing

Where can Syracuse students complete the “File Diploma Request” process?

Syracuse University Doctoral, graduate and undergraduates students may file the Diploma Request online via MySlice.

When are diplomas given out?

Diplomas are mailed to all degree recipients after the certification and awarding process is complete. Diplomas are then sent to the permanent address unless an alternative address is specified within the Diploma Request. File the Diploma Request on MySlice

When and where do degree candidates obtain caps and gowns?

Cap and gown distribution will be April 7 – May 23.

Bachelors Degree Candidates

  • On- Campus Undergraduates: no need to pre-order. Please bring your SU ID to Campus Store to receive your cap and gown.  
  • Remote Learning Undergraduates: Please contact the Campus Store to place your order to be shipped.

Masters and Doctoral Degree Candidates

Please visit the Syracuse University Bookstore to order your regalia.

For additional questions about cap and gown orders, please contact Karen Spencer, ksspence@syr.edu.

Extras

Where can I order graduation announcements?

Personalized graduation announcements may be ordered at the Campus Store.