Commencement Celebrate. Graduate.

Update about Fall 2020 Commencement

The university will hold in-person ceremonies for the spring, summer and fall 2020 graduates from Thursday, November 19 to Sunday, November 22. See below for additional information:

Spring/Summer 2020 Graduates: 

  • Ceremonies for spring and summer graduates are scheduled to be held in Thompson-Boling Arena on the following dates and times:

    • Thursday, November 19, 2 p.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 2020 graduates also have the option of participating in May 2021 ceremonies.
  • Spring and summer graduates who wished to participate in a ceremony were asked to submit an interest form rank ordering which ceremonies they would like to attend from 1 to 3. Graduates were asked to select one of the following options:
    • wish to attend a fall ceremony,
    • not attend a fall ceremony, 
    • or not attend fall but plan to attend spring 2021.
  • The university assigned graduates to a ceremony based on their ranked choices after Oct. 26. All graduates have until Nov. 1 at 11:59 p.m. to accept or decline the ceremony assignment.
  • Beginning Nov. 2, graduates from the waitlist will be placed into open spots.
  • Final assignments placed by November 8 at 11:59 p.m.

Fall 2020 Graduates:

  • The assigned commencement ceremony for fall graduates of the College of Architecture and Design is Saturday, November 21 8:00 p.m. This ceremony will also include students from the College of Social Work and the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.
  • If a student needs to reschedule for a significant personal reason or conflict, that will be considered and accommodations may be made for that on a case-by-case basis. For students who need to discuss accommodations, please contact  

Graduation Application Deadlines:

  • Fall 2020 graduation candidates – Thursday, October 15, 2020
    • Submit your application as soon as possible if you will be graduating in the Fall 2020 semester.
  • Spring 2021 graduation candidates – Monday, March 15, 2021
  • Summer 2021 graduation candidates – Thursday, July 15, 2021

The college requests that all spring/summer 2021 graduation candidates submit their graduation application no later than Friday, January 22, 2021 for communications purposes.

The graduation application can be located by logging into your MyUTK account.

For more information regarding the in-person ceremonies, please click here.

Details about the Fall 2020 Commencement Ceremonies


  • Graduation candidate seats will be distanced on floor. There will be 200 graduates per ceremony.
  • The university has set a limit of 4 guests per student. Audience seating will be assigned.
  • All ceremonies can be viewed virtually.
  • College and faculty leadership, with the exception of deans, will not in the building.
  • No processional or recessional will take place.
  • Upon arrival, graduates will be seated on the arena floor in an assigned seat.
  • Masks are required for all speakers, graduates and guests.


  • Ceremonies will be limited to no more than 1.5 hours. 
  • There will be limited in-person speaking. 
  • All College of Architecture and Design graduation candidates should be wearing their hood upon arrival at the ceremony as there will not be a hooding portion of the ceremony.
  • Students will walk across stage one at a time as their name is called. The Chancellor and dean will stand distanced on the upper stage as students cross the ramp. No handshakes will take place. Student will pause on stage for a photo, exit the stage and move backstage for posed photo to then exit the arena. 

Spring 2021 Commencement

College of Architecture and Design Commencement and Hooding Ceremony (this includes Undergraduate/Bachelor candidates and Graduate/Master candidates from the college): Date and Time TBD; will be held at Thompson-Boling Assembly Center and Arena

University Graduate Hooding Ceremony (Graduate/Master’s Candidates only): Date and Time TBD; will be held at Thompson-Boling Assembly Center and Arena

Spring 2021 Commencement Ceremony Information

  • A mandatory meeting for all students participating in the spring 2021 commencement will be held on Wednesday, January 20th 
  • Students who graduate in Fall 2020 or Summer 2021 may participate in the college’s spring commencement ceremony
  • Mandatory Commencement Ceremony Walkthrough: Date and time TBD 
  • Graduation Celebration: TBD  A reception and exhibit of graduate work, may be held after the college’s spring ceremony. This information will be determined at a later date.

General Information:

Day-of Commencement Information:


Parking and Transportation:


  • Commencement regalia (cap, gown, and hood) can be purchased at the VolShop.
  • Interior Architecture Hoods: Available to borrow from the ASID/IIDA President or to purchase
  • Spring 2021 Grad Finale – TBD

Spring 2021 Commencement Ceremony (details are subject to change)

  • The college’s commencement ceremony includes hooding and is a rather intimate ceremony for the approximately 100 graduates of the College of Architecture and Design and their 900 guests. This ceremony includes welcoming comments, short speeches by elected student speakers from each degree program, hooding and conferring of diplomas.
  • Commencement will last approximately 1.5 to 2 hours; tickets are not required.
  • Guest parking for commencement can be found here.
  • Please click here for the security information regarding commencement.
  • Graduation Celebration is a special event in the college, which combines our traditional reception at the A+A Building and nearby Humanities Grove with a showcase of graduating students’ work. The free event is for graduates, families, friends and alumni.
  • Some student organizations have special graduation regalia, such as honor cords or stoles. If you are a member of an organization, your president or designated officer will let you know what to order or rent.
  • The Office of the Dean will order cords for the following: Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Cum Laude. Honors and Levels of Distinction can be found here.
  • Students who do not plan to participate in commencement also have requirements before receiving their diplomas. Please watch for information from Jennifer Flatford, 865-974-6714.
  • The University of Tennessee offers a university-wide graduate hooding ceremony at Thompson-Boling Arena. This is for 2021 M. Arch and MLA graduates, families and friends. Tickets are not required. Details on graduate/master-level deadlines are at