Spring 2021

ASU Commencement and Watts College Convocation FAQs

Date: Monday, May 3, 2021

Event Timeline:
Virtual Ceremony Begins: 9:00 a.m.

In-person Viewing Parties Begin: 9:00am

In-person Processional Begins: 10:15am (this includes doctoral hooding ceremony)

Ceremony & In-person Processional Ends: Approx. 11:30a.m. 

Location: Online & In-person

This ceremony celebrates the accomplishments of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students from the following programs: School of Community Resources and Development, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, School of Public Affairs and School of Social Work and the Interdisciplinary Programs in Watts College.

Please note: All communication regarding ASU Commencement and other graduation ceremonies are communicated via ASU e-mail accounts. It is your responsibility to check that account and familiarize yourself with the deadlines associated with all ASU ceremonies.

Will there be an in-person ceremony or only virtual?

There will be an in-person and virtual ceremony for Watts College graduates.

The first ceremony will be virtual and will feature all the staples of our standard commencement and convocation ceremonies.

There will also be an in-person ceremony for graduates only. Unfortunately, university safety protocols do not allow for guests.

How will the in-person ceremony work with the virtual ceremony?

On the morning of May 3, Watts College will host viewing parties for our graduates to watch the virtual ceremony together.  Graduates will gather in designated rooms on the Downtown Phoenix Campus. The rooms — each with a 50-person capacity, per safety guidelines — will be organized by school so that students can interact with their classmates, faculty and staff in accordance with ASU’s Community of Care standards. Graduates do not have to attend the viewing party to watch the virtual ceremony. It will be available to be viewed any time after its release with family and friends.

At the end of the initial virtual ceremony and viewing parties, we will begin our live, in-person component. The in-person will also be live-streamed so that family and friends can watch.

The in-person ceremony will include brief remarks from Watts College leaders followed by the presentation of graduates. Graduates will move in a processional from their viewing parties to the ceremonial area where they will walk across a stage to be greeted and recognized by Dean Jonathan Koppell and their school leaders.

This processional will include doctoral graduates who will be hooded as part of the ceremony. We need all participating graduates to RSVP by Monday, April 19, so we can plan the viewing parties and the processional to follow the university’s health guidelines. Again, this does not allow for guests, but the ceremony will be available for family and friends to watch live.

Are 2020 graduates welcome to attend?

Yes! We welcome all 2020 Watts College graduates to participate in this ceremony.

Where do I RSVP?

Graduating students and 2020 grads who want to participate in the in-person components should RSVP by April 19 to https://na.eventscloud.com/ereg/newreg.php?eventid=615038&

What is the dress code for students who attend in person? Do they need to wear a cap and gown?

Graduation regalia are encouraged but not required for graduates who come to participate in this live event. 

For cap and gown ordering and pricing information, visit colleges.herffjones.com/college/_arizonastate/ or purchase in person at ASU Bookstore at the Downtown Phoenix campus (602) 496-0347. To avoid out-of-stock situations, order as soon as possible.

For additional information on dressing for Commencement or Convocation, please visit graduation.asu.edu/graduates/dressing.

For information about graduate and doctorate hood colors please visit www.acenet.edu/news-room/Pages/Academic-Costume-Code.aspx.

What if my question isn’t answered here?

If you have ceremony-related questions, please contact publicserviceconvocation@asu.edu.

Why haven’t I received any emails about graduation or ceremonies?

All communication regarding ASU Commencement and other graduation ceremonies are communicated via your ASU mail account.  It is your responsibility to check that account and familiarize yourself with the deadlines associated with the ceremonies.  Please confirm your eligibility to graduate with your academic advisor.

How long will the ceremony run?

The ceremony will last about 75 minutes. The in-person processional celebration will last about 45 minutes.

Do I need tickets?

Tickets are NOT required for the spring 2021 ceremony.

Where do I get my honor cords?

If you are an undergraduate student who is eligible for academic honors (cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude), the university will mail your honors cords to your diploma address beginning in late March 2021.  The University Registrar will send you an email before they are mailed to you. 

Honor cords are for undergraduates who have earned at least 56 credit hours of resident credit at ASU. Your current GPA as verified at the time you request your honor cords will determine which cords you are given. For more information, visit https://students.asu.edu/graduation-ceremonies.

Summa Cum Laude = Maroon and Gold, 3.80 to 4.00 GPA
Magna Cum Laude = Gold, 3.60 to 3.79 GPA
Cum Laude = Maroon, 3.40 to 3.59 GPA

When do I get my degree?

Graduates do not receive diplomas at University Commencement or at college convocations. Diplomas will be mailed 10 to 12 weeks after the commencement ceremony to your permanent address on file at the university registrar's office. Change of diploma address must be submitted in one of the following two ways:

  1. Presented in writing on a change of address form.
  2. Changed online through My ASU.

Need more information? Visit the graduation section of the University Registrar’s Web site for more information.

Will there be special-interest ceremonies this May? 

Yes — special-interest events will be celebrated virtually this May. When you register to participate in other virtual events, you will have the opportunity to select the special-interest ceremony in which you would like to participate. The links for these ceremonies will be posted about a week before they premiere. All ceremonies will premiere on May 3 but can be viewed anytime after that. 

Where will my name, photo and personal statement be listed?

It will be part of your individual college’s virtual convocation ceremony. The link to complete your ceremony registration will be found on your My ASU page. The registration will provide the opportunity to upload a photo and personal statement. For an overview on how to participate in virtual ceremonies, please click HERE.

Does participating in virtual ceremonies mean I cannot attend in person ceremonies later?

No — you are welcome to do both. Students are welcome to participate in future in-person ceremonies as they are available to do so; they will need to reach out to their respective colleges to find out details on that. 

If I don’t want to participate in any of the ceremonies, do I need to apply to graduate?

Yes. You must apply to graduate regardless of ceremony participation. For information on how to apply for graduation, visit https://students.asu.edu/registration/graduation-apply.

Do I need to register to participate in commencement or convocation (school/college ceremonies)?
No — the virtual ceremonies will be available for anyone to view. However, if you would like to include your personal message along with a photo in the ceremony, you will need to complete the Virtual Graduation Registration. Graduating students will find the link to register for college or school convocation events on your My ASU page. The deadline to submit a photo and personal message is Wednesday, April 21, 2021. For an overview on how to participate in Virtual Ceremonies, please click HERE.

Are we allowed to visit campus to take graduation photographs?

Yes, but everyone is asked to practice physical distancing as much as possible. The safety of our community is extremely important as COVID-19 continues to spread across the Phoenix metropolitan area and throughout Arizona.

In addition, GradImages will be taking complimentary photos at each of ASU's campuses. For more information about photo dates, locations and links to register, please visit  https://graduation.asu.edu/ceremonies/memories  Graduates may register to take photos at any available campus location that is convienient. 

For another fun way to create virtual mementos, please visit https://graduation.asu.edu/get-social 
to view and download a number of graphics, Zoom backgrounds, social media filters and GIFs to help you celebrate your achievement.  

Do I need to participate in a ceremony to graduate?

No. If students choose not to take part in any ceremony and their university academic requirements are met, similar to prior years, students will receive their diplomas in the mail.

How will I receive my diploma?

If your university academic requirements are met, similar to prior years, students will receive their diplomas in the mail. Diplomas are mailed approximately six to eight weeks after the degree conferral date. Graduates will receive an email notification via their ASU email account when their diploma has been mailed. Diplomas are mailed to the student's diploma mailing address, which can be viewed and updated from My ASU. For more information, visit https://students.asu.edu/diploma.

I am not participating in any graduation activities. How do I request my diploma case?

You can request your diploma case by filling out this RSVP: https://na.eventscloud.com/615362 

Can I walk at this ceremony?

The spring 2021 convocation ceremony is intended for students that will have completed all coursework during the spring 2021 OR summer 2021 semester. Graduates from 2020 are also invited. We strongly discourage students that wish to walk when their academic records are in question or when they have remaining coursework to finish during the following fall semester.  Graduation is a very emotional experience and can leave students with pending coursework feeling less invested and motivated as they finish coursework post-ceremony.

Summer graduates that want to walk during spring ceremonies should 'register to graduate' through my.asu.edu as a summer graduate.  After that step is completed, they can RSVP for spring ceremonies before previously stated deadlines.

The special events office does not have access to student records and grade information.  In order to confirm your academic eligibility to walk at ceremonies, visit with your academic advisor. 

Please note that master's and PhD graduates are NOT allowed to participate at Graduate Commencement if their coursework is not completed.

Can I still purchase a cap and gown? 

Yes! See http://colleges.herffjones.com/college/_arizonastate/ for information about graduation regalia.

You can purchase your graduation package online before April 6. Please note, after the Online Grad Fair, graduation packages will be full price.

Don't want to wait? You can purchase your cap and gown at any Sun Devil Campus Store now. 

If I want to attend an in-person ceremony at a later time, will I still be able to purchase my graduation regalia?

Students who graduated in a previous semester are not sent information about graduation events. Students can review the information on purchasing caps and gowns at bit.ly/asu-grad-wear. Students can purchase regalia anytime.

What if I have a question about graduation announcements?

Please email help@southwestgrad.com and the Herff Jones representatives will respond directly.

Why do we need to pay a graduation fee?

It's common for universities to have a fee associated with graduation. The graduation fee pays for items such as the diploma, diploma case and honor cords. The fee is paid at the time you apply for graduation. 

Will we need to pay twice if we decide to attend both commencement this semester and at a later date?

No. The graduation fee is for the processing of a student's degree, the diploma case and other consumable items; students do not pay to participate in commencement or college graduation events. Students are welcome to participate in future ceremonies as they are available to do so; they will need to reach out to their respective colleges to find out details on that.

Other questions? publicserviceconvocation@asu.edu