Graduation Timeline

May 2021 Commencement

Please review the graduation checklist and dates below to make sure you are on track for graduation as we near the end of the semester. Be sure to take care of any outstanding items related to your student account as soon as possible to prevent any delays with the graduation process. 

March 24, 2021

Last day for doctoral-degree students and faculty to submit orders to purchase or rent custom doctoral regalia (requires 8 week lead time). 

Graduating students in the doctoral program planning to participate in the ceremony are REQUIRED to call Christina Guess at the University Bookstore at 724-938-5572 no later than Wednesday, March 24, 2021 to arrange for rental or purchase of regalia; doctorate regalia is not available in store or online.

April 2, 2021

Deadline to apply for May 2021 graduation. Find May 2021 graduation applications online (via VIP beginning January 25, 2021). 

  • Students who graduated in January 2021 are invited to participate in our May 2021 commencement activities. 
  • Only under extenuating circumstances can students gain approval to walk early. See your Dean's office for additional details. 
  • An online application (through VIP) must be submitted for the application process to be considered complete.
  • All students should contact their academic department in order to obtain further information on official graduation requirements and responsibilities. Eligibility for honors at graduation should also be reviewed. 

April 5, 2021

Initial commencement information will be sent to graduating students (based on May 2021 online graduation applications received by the deadline of April 2, 2021 and all January 2021 graduates). Graduating students are required to check their Cal U email accounts frequently for important graduation and commencement-related information 

Be sure to take care of the following details early:

  • Financial Aid Loan Exit Interview: Recipients of the Stafford Loan program must complete exit counselingafter graduation in order ensure compliance with federal regulations. Please contact the Financial Aid Office, Dixon 105, 724-938-4415, with questions before graduation.
  • Change of Address: Visit this post office link provided and change your address, if you will be moving out of the area after graduation.
  • Voter Registration: Graduating students who will be moving and are registered to vote in Washington County should update their registration with their new address, if staying within Pennsylvania. Details can be found online here.

April 9, 2021

Deadline for online cap and gown orders to be shipped to the home for a $7.95 fee if ordered by Friday, April 9, 2021. Please be aware that a limited inventory of regalia will also be available for in-person purchases at the bookstore.

It is recommended that students purchase caps and gowns at least one month prior to commencement before sizes become limited and it is too late to place special orders.

All degree candidates (undergraduate and graduate) are required to obtain regalia (cap and gown) available only through the Cal U University Bookstore or online through Herff Jones

  • Check out current regalia pricing HERE.
  • Order announcements, caps and gowns, and diploma frames online HERE.
  • Order your Cal U class ring HERE.

Honors cords will be available at the University Bookstore for associate, bachelor, and master degree candidates who meet the academic policy requirements. Because of various commencement ceremony-related deadlines, cumulative grade point averages from the semester prior to the last semester are used to determine honors status at commencement. Honors cords can be obtained at the University Bookstore (at no charge). 

Review the Undergraduate Honors at Graduation policy as well as the Graduate School Honors at Graduation policy for additional information.

Mid-April, 2021 

Housing Break Request Form will be available for graduating students and students participating in commencement to extend stay in the residence halls to Saturday, May 8, 2021 at 2 p.m. Please note residence halls will close on Friday, May 7, 2021 at 8:00 p.m. for all who have not submitted a request form.

April 19, 2021

Students with disabilities must request necessary accommodations at least two weeks in advance of the ceremonies. Alternate access arrangements for commencement events and/or all other accommodation requests should be made to the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD), preferably by Monday, April 19, 2021. Contact OSD in person, Carter Hall - G35, or by phone, 724-938-5781. 

Please be aware that accommodations are not reserved for guests with disabilities. Our guests with disabilities are offered parking and seating in order of arrival. University staff will be available at the commencement ceremonies to direct guests to the available, designated parking and seating areas.

April 26-30, 2021

Graduating students may return parking permits from April 26-30, 2021. If students are required to be on campus, temporary parking permits can be obtained for the last week of the semester. Return parking permits to Room 123, Manderino Library. Please call 724-938-4677 with any questions.

May 4, 2021

Deadline to register your contact information with the Cal U Alumni Association. You are required to update your information to ensure inclusion in our many Alumni mailings, choose your method to receive the Cal U Review, e-blasts, networking events, alumni benefits, Cal U logo license plate orders, and more. Don't miss out on the many special services offered to our alumni! Be sure to also check out our upcoming alumni events and join the fun!

May 6, 2021

The Cal U Career & Professional Development Center wants you to know we're here for you after graduation! Take our 3-minute Cal U First Destination Survey to share your job or grad school plans and to learn about career center resources available to you after graduation. You'll be entered to win a Cal U diploma frame or $50 Amazon gift card if you complete the survey by June 30!

No job or graduate school plans right now? No worries! You can complete the survey anytime - just click the link in the “First Destination/Share Your Story” emails you receive in the coming months. 

May 7, 2021

Deadline to make your class gift to the 1852 Society/2021 Cal U Class Gift Drive supporting the Jamain “Juice” Stephens Memorial Scholarship Fund. Contributors to the will receive special Cal U alumni items. All students who make their gift of $20.21 before May 7 will receive a special 2021 red mortarboard tassel to wear during the commencement ceremony.

In addition, any member of the Class of 2021 with a $6.41 recurring monthly subscription or one-time $77 gift will also receive graduation cords to wear during the ceremony.

Make your gift online by visiting

May 7, 2021

  • School of Graduate Studies and Research: 7 p.m., Convocation Center
    • Student Check-in/Assembly, starting at 6:00 p.m. (location to be provided)
  • Instructions and details for the ceremony will be provided closer to the event; there is no formal rehearsal prior to the ceremony.
  • Convocation Center doors open to guests at 6 p.m. Guests should be seated no later than 6:45 p.m.

May 8, 2021

  • College of Education and Liberal Arts: 10 a.m., Convocation Center
    • Instructions and details for the ceremony will be provided closer to the event; there is no formal rehearsal prior to the ceremony
    • Student Check-in/Assembly, 9:00 a.m. (location to be provided)
    • Convocation Center doors open to guests at 9 a.m. Guests should be seated no later than 9:45 a.m. 
  • Eberly College of Science and Technology: 2 p.m., Convocation Center
  • Instructions and details for the ceremony will be provided closer to the event; there is no formal rehearsal prior to the ceremony
  • Student Check-in/Assembly, 1:00 p.m. (location to be provided)
  • Convocation Center doors open to guests at 1 p.m. Guests should be seated no later than 1:45 p.m.

Save the Dates!

All August 2021 graduates and December 2021 candidates are invited to attend Cal U's 193rd Commencement Celebration:

  • School of Graduate Studies and Research: Friday, December 10, 2021
  • College of Education and Liberal Arts and Eberly College of Science and Technology: Saturday, December 11, 2021