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Fall Celebration for 2020 and 2021 Graduates

Watch Caltech's Fall 2021 Commencement Event

Saturday, October 16, 2021, 10 a.m., Beckman Mall

The information on this page was last updated on October 4, 2021.

All individuals planning to attend the fall celebration event, including participating graduates and their friends and family, must register to attend by October 1. After October 1, registered graduate participants will receive follow-up communications from the Institute with further instructions regarding participation.


Event Details

About the Program
All 2020 and 2021 Caltech graduates, along with their friends and family, are invited back to campus for an in-person commencement event on Beckman Mall on Saturday, October 16, at 10 a.m. The event will include a brief program with remarks by President Rosenbaum and the reading of graduates' names by deans and division chairs as the graduates walk across the stage. PhD recipients will be hooded during this ceremony. This celebration will occur on the same weekend as the Caltech Alumni Association's Reunion Weekend. Participants are encouraged to explore the Alumni Reunion Weekend activities.

Health and Safety Guidelines
This event will be held outdoors on Beckman Mall. All individuals who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are required to show proof of vaccination in order to enter the event. Individuals eligible to receive the vaccination with a legal medical exemption must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 viral test from within 72 hours of the event. Additional considerations:

  • Anyone who is sick, has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or is under a quarantine or isolation order must not come to campus.
  • Event seating will not be distanced and all guests will be required to wear face coverings for the duration of the event.
  • No food will be served at the event. Water will be available in designated areas.
  • Beckman Mall is not shaded and temperatures in Pasadena in October can be high. Please plan accordingly.

Caltech will, consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Pasadena Public Health guidance, accept proof of full vaccination with any international vaccine that has been authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO) through the Emergency Use Listing (EUL) process. A document summarizing the status of a wide range of international vaccines can be found online on the WHO website.

Guest Registration, Check-in, and Seating
All individuals planning to attend the fall celebration event, including participating graduates and their friends and family, must register to attend by October 1. Graduate participants should register for a ticket under their own name and with their own email. EVENT REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED.

Event check-in opens at 8:30 a.m. Vaccination status (or proof of a negative COVID-19 test in the case of a legal medical exemption) will be verified at check-in, along with event registration.

General Admission seating is open and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Graduate participants will be seated together in a designated, preassigned area. Reserved seats will be held for those with accessibility needs.

Individuals no longer planning to attend this event are encouraged to cancel their tickets through Eventbrite. To do this, locate your Eventbrite email confirmation and follow the instructions on ticket cancellation.
Graduate Processional and Regalia
All participating 2020 and 2021 graduates must be in cap and gown and lined up by Millikan Pond no later than 9 a.m. on Saturday, October 16; latecomers may not be included in the processional. The commencement event will start promptly at 10 a.m. Detailed instructions regarding the processional will be distributed to registered graduate participants in future communications.

The Institute covered the cost of regalia for all 2020 and 2021 graduates. If, for some reason, you have not already purchased your regalia, contact the Caltech Store at or 626-395-6161.

Photographs and Video
GradImages, a commercial firm, will be at this event to photograph each graduate as they walk across the stage. Within five business days after the ceremony, proofs and order forms will be made available to graduates. For details, please see

A live broadcast and recording of the event will also be shared online for those who are not able to attend the ceremony. For details, please see

Due to COVID-19 precautions, guests are not permitted to take pictures or videos in front of the stage or the graduate seating area and must remain seated during the ceremony. In addition to professional photos taken of graduates by GradImages, there will also be photo areas set up at the event for graduates and their guests to take their own photos before and after the event.


Parking is available in lots and structures around campus, and will be free for guests on Saturday, October 16. Please see the Caltech parking map for locations. In addition, the two-hour parking limit on surrounding streets will be lifted on Saturday, October 16. After parking, follow posted directional signs to event check-in and Beckman Mall.

Image of students at Commencement.
students at Commencement with confetti