Class of 2021

May 21-23, 2021

We look forward to celebrating Commencement in person. Please find below important information regarding the weekend's events.

Commencement Weekend and Public Health Protocols

  • Graduates and their guests are expected to abide by all of the University's health and safety protocols.
  • For information on public health protocols in effect for the May 23 Commencement Mass and University Commencement Ceremony in Notre Dame Stadium, please see below.  These same protocols will be in effect for the college and school diploma/hooding ceremonies. 
  • For Commencement weekend, masks are not required when walking outdoors on Notre Dame's campus.  
  • Masks are required  for guests, students, faculty and staff when indoors in campus buildings.  The only exception is that for fully vaccinated students, masks are optional in the residence halls, given that 90% of our students are fully vaccinated. 
  • We encourage everyone to continue to observe physical distancing as appropriate and to practice good hand hygiene. 
  • The University will continue to monitor the public health situation and state and county guidelines . All plans are subject to change based on local and national conditions.

University Commencement Mass and University Commencement Ceremony

  • The University of Notre Dame’s 176th Commencement Mass and University Commencement Ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 23, 2021 in Notre Dame Stadium. Graduates and their guests will be expected to abide by all of the University's health and safety protocols.
  • The Commencement Mass will begin at 9:30 am EDT on Sunday, May 23, with University President, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., presiding, and will be followed by the University Commencement Ceremony at 11 a.m. EDT, with a 15-minute intermission.
  • Stadium gates will open to ticketed guests at 8 a.m. Families and guests of graduates should plan to be seated in the Stadium for Mass by no later than 9:10 a.m.
  • Weather permitting, graduates will gather for a procession into the Stadium which will begin promptly at 9 a.m. Graduates should meet at their college/school designated area at 8:30 am:
    • Architecture (UG/GA): Hesburgh Library (south side)
    • Arts & Letters (UG): O’Shaughnessy Hall (northwest corner)
    • Engineering (UG): Cushing Hall (north side)
    • Graduate School (GR): Snite Museum (west side) 
    • Keough School (GR): Geddes Hall (south side) 
    • Law School: Biolchini Hall of Law - Archway
    • Mendoza (UG): Hesburgh Library (north side)
    • Mendoza (GB): Flaherty Hall (south and east sides).
    • Science (UG): Hesburgh Library (southeast corner)
    • Ticketed guests may enter Notre Dame Stadium via Gates A, B, D, and E beginning at 8 a.m.
  • During the May 23 Mass and Commencement Ceremony, masking will be optional for all graduates who are fully vaccinated based on guidance from public health officials, given that 90% of our graduates are fully vaccinated.
  • Based on public health guidance, distanced seating for graduates will be observed (3 feet apart). Graduates who would like to request seating with additional distancing may email commencement@nd.edu by Friday (May 21st) at 3:00 pm.
  • Those graduates that are not fully vaccinated must wear their masks, as should anyone who feels more comfortable doing so.
  • Based on guidance from our local public health officials, families and guests of graduates traveling to campus from across the country and around the world will be asked to wear masks at all Commencement ceremonies. Guests will be seated in assigned seats in family groups distanced 6 feet apart. We strongly encourage all guests to be fully vaccinated before Commencement Weekend.
  • Each graduate could request up to 4 guest tickets. Tickets to the May 23 Commencement ceremonies are free but assigned to each graduate. All tickets are electronic, scanned upon entry, and may not be sold, transferred, or duplicated. Tickets will be distributed to students via email on May 17. Students should then forward the electronic tickets to their guests via email.
  • Given their role in the ceremonies and based on public health guidance, masking is optional for those who are part of the Platform Party for the Mass and Commencement Ceremony. University faculty and staff not on the platform will be asked to wear masks.
  • There will be a fifteen-minute break between the Mass and University Commencement Ceremony.
  • Graduates and guests attending only the University Commencement Ceremony should enter Notre Dame Stadium no later than 10:45 am. EDT to be seated. Graduates arriving for the Commencement Ceremony only will be seated on the field or in a section for graduates in the stands, depending on seat availability after the Student Procession.
  • In order to accommodate the greatest number of guests for the Commencement Mass and Ceremony and meet the physical distancing requirements, we will utilize all sections of the stadium bowl. Guests seated behind the platform will be able to participate fully in the ceremonies.
  • In the event of severe weather on May 23, we will need to remain flexible. Should severe weather conditions necessitate a move indoors to the Joyce Center, our priority will be to seat graduates. Distanced seating in the Joyce Center will unfortunately not permit us to accommodate any in-person guests.
  • Both the Commencement Mass and the University Commencement Ceremony will be live-streamed.
  • Guests are encouraged to bring rain jackets, ponchos, and umbrellas to the various Commencement ceremonies, in the event of inclement weather.
  • For information on wheelchair access and options for the hearing impaired, please visit: https://commencement.nd.edu/2021/frequently-asked-questions/#faq_419.
  • The University will continue to monitor the public health situation and state and county guidelines in the days ahead. All plans are subject to change based on local and national conditions.

College and School Diploma/Hooding Ceremonies

  • In addition to the Commencement Mass and University Commencement Ceremony on May 23, each college and school will host, weather permitting, an outdoor in-person diploma or hooding ceremony over Commencement weekend. The schedule for these ceremonies is shown below.
  • The same health and safety protocols outlined above for the May 23 Commencement Mass and Ceremony will apply at the college and school ceremonies---namely, masking is optional for those graduates who are fully vaccinated; graduates will be seated 3 feet apart unless they request more distanced seating; and all families and guests, as well as faculty and staff, are asked to wear their masks. Families and guests will be seated in family units 6 feet apart in assigned seats. As noted above, masking is optional for those who are part of the Platform Parties for the various ceremonies given their role.
  • As is true for the ceremonies on May 23, each graduate was able to request up to four guest tickets for their college or school outdoor diploma/hooding ceremony. Tickets are free but assigned to each graduate. All tickets will be electronic, scanned upon entry, and may not be sold, transferred or duplicated. Tickets were distributed to students via email on May 17. Students should forward the electronic tickets to their guests via email. 
  • Diploma / hooding ceremony schedule (all times are EDT)
Friday, May 21 Mendoza College of Business undergraduate diploma ceremony (7:00 pm - Notre Dame Stadium)
Saturday, May 22 Graduate School hooding ceremony (9:00 am - Notre Dame Stadium)
Saturday, May 22 ROTC commissioning ceremony (9:00 am - Frank Eck Baseball Stadium)
Saturday, May 22 Law School hooding ceremony (12:00 pm - Frank Eck Baseball Stadium)
Saturday, May 22 College of Science undergraduate diploma ceremony (12:30 pm - Notre Dame Stadium)
Saturday, May 22 School of Architecture undergraduate and graduate diploma ceremony (3:00 pm - Frank Eck Baseball Stadium)
Saturday, May 22 Mendoza College of Business graduate diploma ceremony (4:00 pm - Notre Dame Stadium)
Saturday, May 22 Keough School of Global Affairs graduate ceremony (5:30 pm - Frank Eck Baseball Stadium)
Saturday, May 22 College of Engineering undergraduate diploma ceremony (7:30 pm - Notre Dame Stadium)
Sunday, May 23 College of Arts & Letters undergraduate diploma ceremony (2:00 pm - Notre Dame Stadium)
  • In the event of severe weather, diploma and hooding ceremonies will be moved indoors to either the Joyce Center (Purcell Pavilion) or Compton Family Ice Arena. If the ceremonies are moved indoors, or delayed, a message will be sent to graduates via cell phones registered with the ND Emergency Alert system.  A notice will also be posted on the Commencement website (commencement.nd.edu).  Distanced seating will still be necessary, and given distanced seating capacities, limited guest seats will be available.
  • In the event of severe weather, diploma and hooding ceremonies will be moved indoors to either the Joyce Center or the Compton Family Ice Arena. Should conditions necessitate a move indoors, our priority will be to seat our graduates. Please note, distanced seating in the severe weather locations may not permit us to accommodate all in-person guests. The University will communicate a decision on guest attendance in the event a diploma/hooding ceremony is moved indoors.

    In an effort to maximize the number of guests per graduate, guest ticket allotments have been calculated based on the capacity of each venue and number of graduates participating in each ceremony. Specifically, the number of guest tickets to be provided in the event of a move indoors is as follows:   

    • College of Arts and Letters: 1 guest ticket  (Purcell Pavilion)
    • College of Science: 2 guest tickets  (Purcell Pavilion)
    • College of Engineering: 2 guest tickets  (Purcell Pavilion)
    • Graduate School: 4 guest tickets  (Purcell Pavilion)
    • Mendoza College of Business graduate: 2 guest tickets  (Purcell Pavilion)
    • Mendoza College of Business undergraduate: 2 guest tickets (Purcell Pavilion)
    • Keough School of Global Affairs:  4 guest tickets (Compton Family Ice Arena)
    • Law School:  4 guest tickets (Compton Family Ice Arena)
    • ROTC: 4 guest tickets (Compton Family Ice Arena)
    • School of Architecture:  4 guest tickets (Compton Family Ice Arena)
  • All diploma / hooding ceremonies will be live-streamed.

Recognition/Honor Ceremonies

Because of the health and safety risks involved in indoor gatherings, especially those involving guests from across the nation and the world, all other end-of-year recognition and honor ceremonies over Commencement weekend (Friday through Sunday), including those planned by University and academic departments and student organizations, will take place virtually.

Dining over Commencement Weekend

South Dining Hall (for meal plan holders only) as well as retail outlets in Duncan Student Center, LaFortune Student Center, and Au Bon Pain in the Hesburgh Library will be open over Commencement Weekend.  Legends will also be open for carryout only.  Specific hours may be found at dining.nd.edu. Eating is not permitted inside Duncan and LaFortune. Ample outdoor seating will be offered in the following locations:

  • Tents will be available on DeBartolo Quad
  • Tent outside of LaFortune Student Center
  • Outdoor seating on Library Lawn
  • Outdoor seating on South Lawn
  • Tents on North and South Quad

Rohr’s at the Morris Inn will be open for normal hours. For Additional information and reservations, please visit https://morrisinn.nd.edu/dine-with-us/rohrs/ or Open Table.

On Sunday, May 23, a variety of food trucks will be available immediately south of Notre Dame Stadium after the University’s Commencement Ceremony.  The food trucks and campus retail outlets will provide opportunities for campus guests to purchase food immediately after the University’s Commencement Ceremony.

Beverages only (i.e., water, coffee, and soft drinks) will be available for purchase during Commencement ceremonies.

 

Fr. Jenkins' February 3, 2021 letter   Frequently Asked Questions