Commencement Schedule Unveiled: Celebrating Graduates for 2021 and 2020

RIT Community,

Congratulations to the upcoming Class of 2021 and those who graduated in 2020. We have two outstanding groups to celebrate.

First, thank you for your patience and understanding while we worked out schedules amidst myriad rapidly changing and late-breaking regulations and health requirements. We are committed to ensuring a safe campus for graduates, family, and friends.

The Class of 2021 will be celebrated on Friday, May 14, and Saturday, May 15. All times are listed on the Class of 2021 website. Tickets will be required for all events and specific information will be sent separately. More information will be forthcoming on the health and safety requirements for all participants.

The Class of 2020 will be celebrated on Sunday, May 16. All times are listed on the Class of 2020 website. A survey will be sent to 2020 graduates requesting a reply if they plan to attend in person. Tickets will be required and participants will need to adhere to all health and safety protocols. 

As previously communicated, we will not allow guests to our indoor ceremonies in light of current New York state regulations. All ceremonies will be live-streamed on the graduation website for each class. Recordings will also be made available afterward for purchase.

Many of you have asked why we can’t have guests attend. Between both classes, we expect as many as 5,000 graduates. We do not have the space required by New York State to safely hold the ceremonies if guests are in attendance. We fully understand this is disappointing. We are doing our best to give graduates a genuine in-person experience.

We recognize that family and friends will want to share this special moment with their graduates. While we will allow only the graduates into the indoor ceremonies, others may come to campus so long as they adhere to safety protocols such as mask-wearing and physical distancing. We will have special photo areas set up around campus for pictures. Food trucks and Dining Services will also be available. Due to New York State guidelines for outdoor events, we will not be able to provide any outdoor video viewing areas.

We’ve all experienced a year like no other and had to get used to many “new normals.” This year’s ceremonies are no exception. However, our pride in the accomplishments of these outstanding young people is unwavering. We look forward to celebrating the success of the Classes of 2020 and 2021 with all of you.


David C. Munson, Jr., President

Ellen Granberg, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

A sign language interpreted translation of this message is available.


A frame from the embedded video, with a play button over the image.