2020 Commencement

Table of contents

Commencement decision-making

How did the university come to its decision?

University leadership made this decision, in consultation with student leaders, our academic leadership and Regents, and the Office of Ceremonies that postponing the 2020 Commencement Ceremony to Spring 2021 and giving graduates the option to participate in a university-wide virtual ceremony this year was the best solution. Read the announcement from Chancellor Yeigh.

Why couldn’t we postpone the ceremony until summer or fall?

Like so many in our community, we cherish our University’s tradition of commencement as a way to recognize the hard work of our graduates. This made the determination that we could not safely have in-person ceremonies this summer one of the hardest decisions University leadership have made in response to the pandemic. We share the disappointment felt by so many families that the pandemic has forced us to find new ways to honor our graduates, just as it is forcing so many changes in our society. We are committed to creating experiences that honor and celebrate our graduates’ achievements, both through a virtual commencement this year and the opportunity for graduates to fully participate in the 2021 ceremony.

University leadership made this decision, in consultation with student leaders, our academic leadership and Regents, and the Office of Ceremonies, based on the university's commitment to health and safety as well as equity and fairness. We cannot predict when it will be safe or feasible to hold an in-person ceremony for thousands of graduates and guests. Many students and families are managing personal and financial stress and/or have future plans that makes selecting a reasonable date outside of the traditional commencement calendar challenging. Commencement is an event that unites our community and it must continue to reflect our values of inclusivity, diversity and equity.

Additionally, the lead time needed to organize and plan for such large ceremonies is significant and does not provide flexibility for fluid scheduling, given the magnitude of people and resources required.


Ceremony options for graduates

Can I participate in both the virtual ceremony in 2020 and the live ceremony in 2021?

Yes! You may participate in one or the other or both ceremony options. Registration for the virtual ceremony opens May 1st and closes May 31st. Registration specifically for 2020 grads for the 2021 ceremony will take place in the Fall.

I want to participate in the in-person ceremony. When will that happen and what should I do?

The 2020 graduating class is invited to participate in the 2021commencement ceremony, concurrent with the Class of 2021, at T-Mobile Park. Graduates wishing to participate will need to register for the 2021 ceremony in the Fall and will be contacted by email to do so. Graduates wishing to participate are subject to the same rules and regulations of academic dress and conduct as any other UW Bothell commencement ceremony.

I want to participate in the University of Washington virtual ceremony

The virtual ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 13, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Students can participate in multiple ways and must complete the Registration/Order Form to do so. The registration form opens on May 1 and closes May 31. Students who pre-register will have custom digital slide made to celebrate and honor their accomplishments. A congratulatory video from Chancellor Yeigh will introduce a teaser of the Spring 2021 ceremony. 

How do I opt-in for the university-wide virtual ceremony?

When the Registration/Order Form opens on May 1, there will be an option for you to opt in or out of the virtual ceremony.

What exactly goes on the digital custom slide?

Your name, degree, major, honors (if applicable), and a self-submitted photo and message (optional).


2021 Ceremony

How will I get notified about the Spring 2021 ceremonies?

Graduates wishing to participate will need to register for the 2021 ceremony at a later date (after the 2020 virtual ceremony) and will be contacted by email to do so. University graduates lose access to UW email during the second quarter in which they are not registered as a student. In order to receive UW Bothell communications, students must either provide a personal email address and/or forward their email to a personal email address. More information can be found on the UWIT website: https://itconnect.uw.edu/connect/email/modernization-overview/timeline-resources/#alum

What if I can’t make it to the Spring 2021 ceremony?

Graduates who are unable to participate in the 2021 ceremony have the option to participate in the ceremonies in 2022, 2023 and 2024.


Graduate students

I’m a Graduate Student, will there be a Hooding Ceremony in 2021?

Yes, the 2020 Hooding Ceremony is postponed to 2021 as well. Information will be forthcoming by email.


Cap & Gown & mementos

Can I still order my cap and gown?

Yes. While filling out the registration form to participate in the university-wide virtual ceremony, you will have the option to purchase cap and gown and other accessories and have it shipped to your home address. If you are planning to attend in 2021, it might be wise to order cap and gown now, as prices are subject to change. More details to come.

Please note: Due to COVID-19 and necessary precautions for warehouse workers during the packing and shipping process, our cap and gown vendor is experiencing longer than normal processing times. 

What about my honors cord?

Eligible students will have the option to purchase their honors cord on the registration form along with their cap and gown and other desired items. More information about Honors.

How do I receive a Celebration Box?

Complete the Registration/Order Form to receive a Celebration Box. The form will give you the option to update your address to wherever you want the box sent to. 

Will there be a printed program listing the Class of 2020?

Yes, a printed program will be created for the Class of 2020, listing all student degree information and honors. A printed program will be included in the Celebration Box, and a digital version will be available online. 

Can we go to campus to take pictures after we recieve our cap/gown?

The campus is closed until further notice per Governor Inslee's orders. Please do not come to campus to take photos until otherwise instructed. 

Degrees & diploma

Will my degree still get conferred?

Yes. All students who have met their degree requirements to graduate at the end of the Spring quarter 2020 will have their degrees conferred during the university-wide virtual ceremony and posted to their UW Bothell transcript.

How/when will I receive my diploma?

Graduates will receive their physical diploma in the mail about 3-4 months after their graduation date.



What if my family has already purchased plane tickets/lodging?

Airlines and hotels are being extremely flexible during this time. It is best to contact them directly through their recommended form of communication.