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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to commonly asked questions about the June commencement event, the October conferral, and more can be found below.

Still have questions? Contact the offices supporting commencement.

How can I participate in the June virtual commencement event?

All students eligible to graduate on June 12, 2020, will have their names read during the virtual commencement event, accompanied by a slide with their name and degree information.

Students who would like to include a cap and gown photo on their slide but did not receive their regalia by the initial deadline can still upload their cap and gown photo using this form by May 31.

We will also be sharing additional opportunities to participate in the virtual commencement event including joining one the June 12 watch parties on Zoom that will be hosted by different groups across campus, ways to connect and share memories with other Caltech grads on social media, and more. More information about ways to participate will be posted on the Commencement website on June 1.

My regalia won't arrive in time for me to submit a cap and gown photo for my grad slide due by the May 22 deadline. What should I do?

If you would like to use a photo showing you in cap and gown, but have not yet received your regalia, please upload your second-choice photo now and submit your form by the May 22 deadline. We are creating a cap and gown photo upload form and will take submissions of cap and gown photos there through May 31, allowing additional time for your regalia to arrive. The link to that form will be available here and included in a future communication.You may also choose not to upload any photo at this time, if you would prefer that your graduate slide have no photo should your regalia not arrive in time for the May 31 deadline.

Caltech announced that the 2020 graduation would take place in two parts: the virtual event this June and an in-person celebration event at a later date. When is the in-person celebration event going to take place?

The Institute is committed to holding an in-person celebration event for both undergraduate and graduate students whose degrees are awarded at the June 2020 virtual commencement event, as well as for graduate students whose degrees are approved at the October 2020 Board of Trustees meeting. As of now, the date of that in-person celebration has not yet been determined due to the ever-changing situation surrounding COVID-19. As soon as we have a date for that in-person celebration, we will notify you of our plans and process for participating.Please know that participating in the June virtual commencement event will not preclude you from participating in the in-person event.

I'm a graduate student and the coronavirus has affected my ability to complete my degree requirements by the June 8, 2020 deadline. What are my options?

In a typical year, students who are unable to meet the spring deadline for completion of degree requirements must wait until the following June to have their degrees conferred. This year, in recognition of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on graduate students' ability to complete their degree requirements by the June 8, 2020 deadline, the Institute has agreed to offer a second opportunity for graduate degree approval by the Board of Trustees. Those graduate students who will not be able to have their degrees awarded in June, but who complete their degree requirements by September 30, 2020, will have the opportunity to have their degree officially approved through a vote by the Board of Trustees at their annual October meeting. This will be a meeting for the Board of Trustees only and is not an in-person celebration event for graduating students. Diplomas will be mailed to all graduate students whose degrees have been approved at the October Board of Trustees meeting.

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Image of students at Commencement.
students at Commencement with confetti