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UPDATED: University plans to host outdoor Commencement at Princeton Stadium on May 16 at 11 a.m.

April 9, 2021 2:53 p.m.

All graduating seniors and Ph.D. and final master’s recipients are now invited to attend with a maximum of two guests

Princeton University will celebrate Commencement 2021 at 11 a.m. Sunday, May 16, with an outdoor ceremony at Princeton Stadium. All graduating seniors and masters and Ph.D. recipients are invited to attend with a maximum of two guests per graduating student. The event will be held in compliance with social distancing and public health protocols set by the state of New Jersey. In the event of severe weather, the in-person ceremony will be moved to Monday, May 17.

The University will continue to monitor the public health situation and state guidelines in the weeks ahead — while we hope this will not be the case, should circumstances change significantly, we may need to revise the plans for the ceremony.

Undergraduate seniors who have been living on campus or in the Mercer County/Plainsboro area, who have been part of the University’s asymptomatic testing protocol, and who have not had housing or access to campus revoked because of a Social Contract violation may attend the May 16 ceremony.

All graduate students who have received or will receive a Ph.D. or final master’s degree during the current 2020-21 academic year are invited to attend Commencement. Those advanced degree recipients who are on-campus or in the local area and are part of the University’s asymptomatic testing program may attend the May 16 ceremony. 

Undergraduate seniors and advanced degree recipients studying remotely will be invited to return to campus for Commencement exercises. In order to comply with the University’s public health implementation effort, undergraduate seniors and graduate students who are not currently in the asymptomatic testing program will be required to meet certain requirements in order to participate. Details about testing and travel to campus, including specific arrival times, will be forthcoming.

A maximum of two guests per graduating student will be invited to campus and to the Commencement ceremony in Princeton Stadium. The University expects all guests to comply with all CDC guidelines and state regulations pertaining to their travel to and attendance at the Commencement ceremony.

  • Tickets will be non-transferable and may not be sold. Seats will be reserved and randomly assigned with no priority given to early registration. Additional information regarding the ticketing process will be provided later this month.
  • Guests will be required to wear face coverings while on campus and in Princeton Stadium, and to practice social distancing. Pairs of guests must maintain appropriate physical distance from other attendees.
  • As mentioned, guests will be expected to follow all state and CDC guidance while travelling to and from campus, but will not be required to show proof of vaccination or negative test.
  • The stadium will open for guest seating at approximately 9:45 a.m.
  • Parking information will be provided in early May. Guests are encouraged to download the TigerSafe app for the most up-to-date information in the days leading up to the event.
  • Guests who would like to request accommodations should contact the Office of Disability Services at 609-258-8840 or ods@princeton.edu by May 1.
  • All guests should minimize their time on campus and remain in Princeton Stadium and the surrounding area. After the ceremony has concluded, we ask graduating students and their guests to leave the campus as soon as possible

Commencement will be livestreamed for students, families and other members of the University community who do not attend in person. Faculty and staff access will be limited to those who are directly involved in the event.

The official conferral date of degrees will remain May 25, 2021. Students will receive their diplomas, certificates and official Commencement programs by mail after that date.

More information is available on the Commencement 2021 website, which will be updated regularly in the coming weeks.

Other year-end ceremonies to be held virtually

The Graduate Hooding ceremony for master’s and doctoral students will be held virtually on Monday, May 24. Degree deadlines for graduate students remain the same. The Graduate School will be in contact with advanced degree candidates who may be eligible to participate in the virtual Hooding.

Other year-end events for seniors in the Class of 2021 will take place virtually:

  • Baccalaureate will be held virtually on the morning of Saturday, May 15.
  • Class Day will be held virtually on the evening of Saturday, May 15.
  • Residential college celebrations, affinity celebrations, and department and program celebrations and events will be held virtually May 5-25.

The ROTC Commissioning Ceremony will now be held virtually on May 25.

Princeton previously announced that Reunions for alumni will be held virtually this May.

Move-out guidelines

Members of the Classes of 2022, 2023 and 2024 are encouraged to vacate campus as early as they feasibly can in order to facilitate a phased, socially distant move-out.  The Move-Out Sign-up website is available for members of these classes to select a date/time when they will vacate campus. Members of the Classes of 2022, 2023 and 2024 must vacate campus no later than 12 p.m. on Saturday, May 15.

The deadline for graduating seniors in the Class of 2021 to vacate campus will depend on when the Commencement ceremony occurs.

  • If Commencement is held on Sunday, May 16, graduating seniors are expected to vacate campus by no later than 12 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18.
  • If Commencement is held on Monday, May 17, due to inclement weather, graduating seniors are expected to vacate campus by no later than 12 p.m. on Wednesday, May 19.

Seniors with extenuating circumstances which do not permit them to move out of their rooms by the deadlines indicated above should email askhousing@princeton.edu.