When and where is the universitywide Commencement ceremony?

Johns Hopkins University plans to hold the universitywide Commencement on Thursday, May 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET. Should weather prohibit the Thursday evening ceremony, the rain date is scheduled for Friday, May 28 at 11:30 a.m. ET. Each graduating senior will be allowed to bring two guests.

Divisional ceremony information for master’s and doctoral candidates can be found here.

Will guests be allowed at Johns Hopkins' Universitywide Commencement?

Yes, each graduating senior will be allowed to bring two guests.

 

Why was the announcement that guests will be allowed made so late?

Our original plans for an in-person, senior-only ceremony with no guests were made based on the state and local regulations and public health guidance in place at the time. After the Centers for Disease Control issued new guidelines on masking, the state and Baltimore City eliminated many COVID-related restrictions, including those governing large outdoor gatherings. The university announced its new guest policy as soon as possible after that.

How will the 2 guest tickets per graduate be distributed?

Graduates will access tickets via MarchingOrder and distribute them to their two guests. Families and friends should contact their graduate for their ticket.

What if I need more than 2 tickets?

Graduates are encouraged to ask their fellow classmates for their unused tickets. It is not permissible to sell Commencement tickets.

What items are prohibited at the ceremony?

We encourage you to leave your personal items at home. The following items are prohibited from the ceremony:

1) Alcohol, drugs, tobacco (including e-cigarettes).
2) Pets with the exception of Service Dogs.
3) Derogatory or profane signs, banners, clothing items, etc.
4) Horns, cow bells, whistles or any artificial noisemakers or laser pointers.
5) Signs on sticks or any sign bigger than 3’x2’.
6) Firearms, knives, fireworks or weapons of any kind.
7) Bikes, skateboards, skates, and other related items.
8) Outside food and beverage (except water).
 *Only bags 13” x 15” or smaller are allowed in the Stadium, and all bags are subject to search*

Will masks be required?

Yes. Masks will be required for all attendees – graduates and guests – regardless of their vaccination status.

Where should I enter Homewood Field?

Graduates have an assigned entry location and time which can be found on their GradPass.

All guests will enter through the designated guest entrance on University Parkway at the north corner of Homewood Field. Guests will be unable to enter at the graduate entrances as their tickets must be scanned at the guest entrance.

Will physical distancing be in place?

Yes. Graduates will sit in assigned seats on the field and will be invited to stand to be recognized rather than walking across the stage. The limitation on the number of guests will ensure that the stands will be far below their full capacity.

 

Will graduates cross the stage at the universitywide ceremony?

No, graduates will not cross the stage, they will be recognized from their seats. Their name, degree, and major will also be displayed on the screens.

What will seating arrangements be for guests?

Seating in the stadium is limited to bleacher-style bench seats. Seating is first come, first served.

Will accessible seating be available?

The ceremony will have designated seating areas for persons using wheelchairs. This seating is located in the first row of the bleacher seating and is accessible via ramps up into the stands.

For other guests with mobility disabilities, it is strongly recommended that you arrive early to ensure you are able to find a seat that meets your needs. Doors will open at 6:00 p.m. All guests are asked to be seated by 7:15 p.m.

Where can we park?

Parking will not be available near the stadium and guests are encouraged to arrive to campus by other means. Graduates and their guests planning to drive should find parking around Charles Village or in a campus parking garage (parking will be limited so please plan ahead).

Will the event still be webcast?

Yes, the ceremony will still be webcast. With our students’ families foremost in our minds, we have worked closely with members of the senior class to plan a commencement program that will be meaningful online. In addition, should the weather not permit an outdoor ceremony, Commencement will be virtual.

Watch the universitywide ceremony here.
Watch the universitywide ceremony with ASL here.

How can we receive weather alerts?

Visit the Commencement homepage and enter your cell phone number into the box provided.

What will the experience be like for in-person guests?

While we have been able to make some adjustments now that guests will be in attendance, the event was designed to optimize the experience of the students on the field and of remote spectators. Consequently, seating for in-person guests will be limited to bleacher benches, and some sightlines may be less than ideal.

I am a graduating senior, how can I confirm that I have RSVP'd to participate in the in-person ceremony?

You can check if you have RSVP’d by logging into MarchingOrder. Once you’ve logged in you should see a check in a green circle with the last date your form was submitted. If you would like to review or change your submission you can click “Register Here” to update or review the information that you entered.

Alternatively, you can email commencement@jhu.edu to confirm.

Can I leave the ceremony after I have been recognized?

Out of respect for the other graduates all guests are asked to remain in their seats until the end of the event.

I am a graduating senior, how do I RSVP to participate in the in-person ceremony?

In order to participate in Commencement, regardless of the modality, you need to RSVP on MarchingOrder by May 9.

There you will be asked to:

  • Upload a photo to be included on your individual recognition slide. This is important since you will be recognized from your seat and will not be crossing the stage.
  • Register for attending a seniors-only in-person ceremony (fingers crossed).

Is it mandatory that undergraduates attend the in-person universitywide ceremony if it is held?

No. It is at your discretion whether you attend the in-person universitywide ceremony. All degrees will be conferred regardless of attendance. You are invited to join via livestream if you choose not to attend.

If you have received instructions to quarantine due to “meaningful” exposure you should stay home and quarantine for 14 days after your last known contact with a person who has COVID-19, even if you have tested negative. Because the incubation period of the virus varies, you can still be incubating the virus even if you test negative and may become infectious later during the 14-day window. If the ceremony falls within your 14-day quarantine you should not attend the ceremony.

Individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV-2 should self-isolate at home, except to get medical care, and should not attend the ceremony.

I am a graduate degree candidate, can I attend the in-person universitywide ceremony?

Unfortunately, no.

In order to limit the number of people in the stadium and ensure proper physical distancing, graduate degree candidates are invited to watch the ceremony via livestream.

I am a graduate degree candidate, where can I find information about my ceremony?

Divisional ceremony information for master’s and doctoral candidates can be found here.

I am not feeling well or have received instructions to quarantine, can I still attend the ceremony?

No. Individuals who have symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV-2 should self-isolate at home, except to get medical care, and should not attend the ceremony.

If you have received instructions to quarantine due to “meaningful” exposure you should stay home and quarantine for 14 days after your last known contact with a person who has COVID-19, even if you have tested negative. Because the incubation period of the virus varies, you can still be incubating the virus even if you test negative and may become infectious later during the 14-day window. If the ceremony falls within your 14-day quarantine you should not attend the ceremony.

Will I be required to have a COVID test prior to the ceremony?

Undergraduate seniors should continue to follow the guidelines outlined by the university with regards to testing.

At the ceremony, graduates will be asked to present a campus pass on their Prodensity app. You can download the Prodensity app here: https://prodensity.jh.edu/welcome. If you do not have Prodensity or receive a red pass you may be asked to complete a health screening upon arrival.

What are graduates required to wear?

Each graduate will need regalia (cap and gown) in order to participate in in-person school-specific and universitywide ceremonies.

Additionally, all graduates will be required to wear a mask, covering their nose and mouth, upon entering and for the duration of any in-person ceremonies.

When should candidates arrive at the stadium?

Graduates will be assigned an entry time and location and should plan to arrive at their designated time with their seating ticket and their Prodensity pass. If you do not have Prodensity or receive a red pass you may be asked to complete a health screening upon arrival.

Will an ASL interpreter and/or captioning be provided?

Yes, captions and ASL interpretation will be available on the livestream. Captions will be displayed on the large screens at Homewood Field.

Any graduate requesting ASL should contact the Commencement Office, commencement@jhu.edu.

Will food be available during the universitywide ceremony?

Food will not be provided at the ceremony. Graduates should plan to eat before they arrive. A bottle of water will be available at each graduate seat.

When should I eat on Commencement day?

We recommend that you eat dinner prior to 6pm on May 27 to ensure you arrive to the stadium at your designated arrival time. When making plans for after the ceremony, please note that the ceremony is expected to conclude around 9:30 p.m.

Are there restrictions on what can be brought to Homewood Field?

We recommend that you leave personal items, aside from your cell phone, at home.

Restrictions are as follows:

  • Signs, posters, banners, and flags will not be allowed inside the stadium for safety reasons.
  • Backpacks and luggage are not permitted.
  • Food and drinks may not be brought into the stadium.

How will I receive my diploma?

Spring diplomas will be mailed out to all graduates, regardless of attendance at an in-person ceremony, in June as degrees are cleared. If you have additional questions, please email asenverify@jhu.edu.

How can I have my graduate portrait taken?

While the university will not offer formal graduate portrait sessions, many local photographers offer this option.

I am a Class of 2020 graduate, will there be an in-person ceremony for me?

Plans are still being discussed for the Class of 2020 and an update will be provided in the coming months. However, given that no graduates will cross the stage in the 2021 ceremony, a redo 2020 ceremony will not take place this spring. The alumni association and Class of 2020 leaders are exploring alternative ways to recognize the class in person when we are able to do so.

For additional information and questions, please email commencement@jhu.edu.

Last updated May 25, 2021