Graduation info

Universitywide Virtual Commencement 

On Sat., May 15, 2021, starting at 9 a.m. EDT, Virginia Commonwealth University will host a universitywide virtual commencement. The celebration will include a Zoom pre-party for students, video clips and photos from graduates to commemorate their accomplishments while at VCU as well as traditional ceremony elements to celebrate the occasion of their graduation, including speeches and music.

 


Academic regalia

Regalia will be available for purchase during the Grad Fair events. The Grad Fair will be held at the Monroe Park Campus Barnes & Noble @ VCU, March 29-April 2, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. To make an appointment for graduation portraits and class rings, please see the appropriate sections below. 

Following the Grad Fair, regalia will be available for purchase at the Barnes & Noble @ VCU on the Monroe Park and MCV campuses. If you are unable to attend the Grad Fair or visit the book­store, please order your regalia online at balfour.com/vcu beginning April 3. Shipping charges will apply to all internet orders.

Regalia prices, including cap, gown, hood and tassel, are: bachelor set, $56.98; master set, $73.98; Ph.D./Ed.D. set, $108.98; and professional doctorate set, $59.98 (professional doctorate programs include D.P.T., D.D.S., Pharm.D., M.D. and D.N.A.P.). Prices do not include sales tax.


Cords and stoles

Cords and stoles are available for purchase at the Barnes & Noble @ VCU locations or online at www.balfour.com/vcu.

In addition to being the place where you will receive your cap and gown, Grad Fair will fea­ture many other services and activities. Representatives from various departments and offices will be available during the Grad Fair to help you prepare for graduation, including VCU Alumni, the University Career Center, VCU Graduate School and many more. During the Grad Fair, you can also have your first graduation photo taken in full regalia, order graduation announcements, select an official VCU class ring and purchase graduation accessories.

Regalia assistance

A fund has been established to provide relief for those who need financial assistance in purchasing regalia. This fund is administered by the Division of Student Affairs. Students may access the application for regalia assistance starting March 15 online at dos.vcu.edu/services/financial-support.

Eligibility: Undergraduate, graduate and professional students who will graduate in May 2021 may apply for assistance. Funds are limited and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Assistance will be for one set of regalia (cap, gown and hood).

Applying for assistance: Students must complete the application form and are required to write a 12-point font, double-spaced essay of no more than two pages, reflecting on their experiences as a VCU student and the significance of graduation for the student, their friends and their family, as well as indicating their financial need for regalia assistance.

Administration of the award: Financial need will be considered as part of the process. Students will retrieve their regalia from Barnes & Noble @ VCU on either campus per the timeline below.

Note: Reimbursement will not be made to students who have previously purchased regalia; assistance is not applicable for online purchases.

Timetable: Applications will be accepted through Friday, April 16. Funds are limited and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until funds run out.

 


Alumni 101: Life after graduation, Your alumni network

Class of 2021, it's your official alumni welcome! We'll help you stay connected after graduation!  Learn how the Office of Alumni Relations can help you and get advice from alumni.

All attendees will receive a grad box that includes an official Class of 2021 t-shirt, flag, and keychain. Other prizes and giveaways will be given out to attendees the day of. Register here.

 


Class rings

The official VCU class ring is a lasting symbol of your academic achievements and a constant reminder of the university's distinct history. Around the country and the world, fellow alumni wear VCU rings, and it provides instantaneous recognition and serves as a wonderful catalyst for sharing in VCU affiliation and memories. You join alumni in wearing the official class ring as a reminder of the time, experiences and memories you made at VCU.

Representatives from Balfour will be at the Monroe Park Campus Barnes & Noble @ VCU, March 29 to April 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please schedule your appointment to try on VCU ring samples, have your finger professionally sized and purchase your class ring at  v2.waitwhile.com/book/balfour/calendar

 For additional ordering information, please visit balfour.com/vcu or call (866) 225-3687 (BALFOUR).

 


Commencement announcements

Announcements are the traditional way to tell your friends and family about your achievement. Standard etiquette is to send announcements out two weeks before graduation, but announcements may be ordered at any time and can be sent to friends and family after graduation.

Personalized VCU announcements can be ordered at Grad Fair and are also available online at balfour.com/vcu or by calling (800) 433-0296. These announcements are printed with the graduate’s full formal name, degree and major. Please allow five to seven business days for announcement order delivery.

Standard announcements do not include a printed name or degree information (blank name cards included). These are $8 for a package of five and are available for sale at the Barnes & Noble @ VCU on the Monroe Park and MCV campuses.

 


Diploma and degree conferral

The official conferral date for May 2021 degrees is May 22, 2021. Degrees will post to your record on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. Degrees will not appear on your academic transcript until this date. Degrees will only show for those students who have satisfied all degree requirements and receive final approval. Check your academic transcript via eServices to ensure your degree has been posted before requesting official transcripts.

 Diplomas will be mailed beginning June 28, 2021, to the address provided during graduation checkout. To receive your diploma, you must meet all financial obligations to the university. Diplomas will not be released for those students who have not met their financial obligations. Please contact the Office of Records and Registration at (804) 827-1673 or graduation@vcu.edu once those obligations have been met.


Call Me By My Name

If you are requesting changes based on a legal change of name, the first step is to process your legal change of name with the university. Information on doing so may be found at rar.vcu.edu/records.

 If you have not changed your legal name and are requesting changes based on the name of use, then please consult dos.vcu.edu/resources/name-change-resources.

 


Diploma frames

Diploma frames designed and matted especially for VCU will be available through the bookstores. For additional information, please visit or call the Barnes & Noble @ VCU on the Monroe Park Campus at (804) 828-1678 or on the MCV Campus at (804) 828-0336.

 


Financial aid guidance

There are free resources to help you navigate life beyond college. Want to figure out how much you need to pay on your student loans and when? Visit studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/index.action and use the online Loan Repayment Calculator or access repayment forms. Maybe you need help with making the most of your money. Learn about the Five Money Principles you should keep in mind when making day-to-day financial decisions by visiting mymoney.gov/mymoneyfive/Pages/mymoneyfive.aspx. These resources will help you learn ways to minimize your debt and save for the future.

 


Graduation portraits

Commemorate this momentous occasion, your college graduation, with individual portraits by Grad Images. They will be available from March 30 to April 1, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., by appointment only, at the Barnes & Noble @ VCU. In accordance with COVID-19 protocols, students must provide their own regalia. Appointments can be made at gradimages.com/PortraitScheduling/Search?OccasionRef=162356.

 


Guidelines for cords, stoles and pins

We hold all of our graduates in high esteem at Commencement, a ceremony at which we celebrate the unity of the body of graduates and honor their academic achievements.

In addition to the traditional cap and gown regalia worn at this event, students are entitled to wear stoles, honor cords and pins to signify their participation in college organizations or their achievement with groups or programs. The student/organization/group is responsible for the cost of any such regalia.

Barnes & Noble @ VCU on the Monroe Park and MCV campuses will carry stoles, honor cords and pins for students and student organizations for pickup or purchase. A list of individuals who are eligible for these items are provided to the bookstore by the sponsoring group or organization.

Graduation stoles and honor cords must keep with the decorum of the event and within the following guidelines:

Graduation stole – A stole takes the form of a cloth, scarf-like garment worn over the shoulders adorned with the organization’s colors and/or insignia. A student may wear only one stole at a time.

Pin, insignia or badge – These items are tokens specifying academic achievement or membership in a recognized academic honor group or student organization. These items are traditionally worn on the gown. More than one of these items may be worn at the same time.

Honor cord – An honor cord signifies specific academic achievement or membership in a recognized academic honor group or society. More than one cord may be worn at the same time.

All three items may be worn simultaneously as long as they do not conflict in appearance with the official stoles worn by faculty marshals or other designated members participating in the ceremony.

Members of organizations not based on academic merit may be eligible to wear appropriate graduation stoles; honor cords; and pins, badges or insignias with the approval of the Dean of Students Office. If your organization is interested in wearing these accoutrements, please submit your request in writing to the Dean of Students Office at vcudean@vcu.edu.

Latin honors cords

VCU is pleased to announce that, in addition to being listed in the Commencement booklet, Latin honors cords will be available for Commencement. Baccalaureate degrees with honors are conferred in accordance with the following cumulative grade-point averages: cum laude, 3.30-3.59; magna cum laude, 3.60-3.89; summa cum laude, 3.90-4.00.

These designations apply only to candidates who have completed 45 or more credit hours of coursework at VCU and have a cumulative VCU GPA of 3.30 or higher. Once the initial criterion is met, calculation of the GPA for honors determination is based on grades received for all courses taken for credit at VCU, as well as for credits accepted for transfer at VCU. If the calculated GPA falls below 3.30, the student is no longer eligible for Latin honors designation. Latin honors cords can be purchased at Barnes & Noble @ VCU once a student’s GPA status is confirmed during the semester in which they plan to graduate.

For more information on Latin honors, please visit rar.vcu.edu/graduation.

 


Complete the First Destination Survey

If you have already accepted a job or graduate school offer, are starting a business, or otherwise have your plans set, we want to know so we can celebrate with you. If you are still defining your next steps or plans have changed, we want to hear from you as soon as possible, so that we can reach out and help provide you with individualized and strategic job search and post-grad planning support. Your answers to this survey will provide VCU with important information used to improve career and academic advising, student recruitment, and student services.

In addition: 

You can win GREAT prizes for completing the survey such as AirPods, Roku player, robot vacuum, VCU luggage set, or Amazon gift cards for all your post-grad adventures.

The link to the survey will allow you to login via Handshake with your VCU eID and password.

Your name will not be associated with your responses in any public way. 

Before the survey closes in November 2021, you'll be able to review or change your information as needed. 

Complete the First Destination Survey now: tiny.cc/VCUFDS21

 


Pins for first-generation graduates

You First at VCU, an initiative of the Division of Strategic Enrollment Management and Student Success, has a gift for you! They have designed a special “You First at VCU” pin for you to wear on your regalia as you celebrate your big day.

Who qualifies as a first-gen student? Any student whose parents did not complete a four-year degree is considered a first-generation student. Some of you may have siblings who are attending college or who completed a degree; you and your siblings are part of the same generation. You’re all first-gens!

You can pick up your pin during the Grad Portrait Session at the Siegel Center on Tuesday, May 11, between 2pm and 7pm and Wednesday, May 12, between 9am and 3pm. Pins will also be available in the Office of Summer Studies and Special Programs after May 17, Mondays through Fridays, between 10am and noon and 1pm and 3pm.  Questions? Please feel free to contact youfirst@vcu.edu.

 


Records and Registration

If you or a family member have any questions concerning graduation, please feel free to contact the Office of Records and Registration at graduation@vcu.edu or (804) 827-1673 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.




VCU Alumni

You’ve had a great ride, and the memories of your time at VCU will stay with you forever. But don’t leave VCU in the rearview. Connect now with VCU Alumni to discover all the ways you can remain connected with your alma mater long after the big day. VCU Alumni offers opportunities for you as a graduate to join regional, academic or special interest-based chapters; take part in networking and career development opportunities; and save on insurance. Most importantly, make sure you stay connected after graduation by providing a non-VCU email and other updated contact information at vcualumni.org/alumni/update. Becoming official alumni is closer than you think. If you have any questions, email alumni@vcu.edu.