Virtual GradFair

Visit the Virtual GradFair for information from the IU South Bend Bookstore, the IU Alumni Association, and Herff Jones about how to order your cap and gown. Sign in for a chance to win gifts including a free cap and gown, an IU Alumni Association blanket, and more!

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Commencement FAQ

Find answers to your Commencement questions in this FAQ:

Indiana University will celebrate recent graduates as part of special May ceremonies. Graduates are invited to join in person, and families and guests can join virtually.

IU South Bend will celebrate Commencement in the Student Activities Center Parking Lot at 10 am on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. The in-person ceremonies are open to December 2019 graduates, all 2020 graduates and, all May and August 2021 graduates.

Graduates are invited to join virtually and celebrate from wherever they are.

Commencement is a cause for celebration, and we understand family and friends want to share in the excitement. Inviting guests to join virtually is the best way to allow a safe, in-person Commencement experience for our graduates.

The safety and well-being of the IU community led to this decision. It was made in close consultation with our Medical Response Team, which has guided IU's successful COVID-19 response for the past year. CDC guidelines recommend people avoid travel because of the continued pandemic across the U.S. and globe. Each IU campus is making its Commencement plans in coordination with county health departments, and restrictions on events and gatherings vary based on community. IU has been able to successfully manage COVID-19 cases and avoid large outbreaks through routine testing on all of its campuses, allowing us to keep our campuses open safely while some other universities had to suspend classes. Limiting in-person ceremonies to graduates only allows IU to use its proven public health strategy to ensure a safe commencement celebration.

Families are invited to watch the ceremony live on IU's Commencement website. If guests are unable to watch the live stream, a recorded version of the ceremony will be available at the same site hours after the conclusion of each ceremony.

Even if infection rates in communities across Indiana decline, large gatherings on campuses increase the risk of infection for everyone. IU's campuses have been among the safest places in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic because of our robust mitigation testing program, which helps us quickly identify and address any increase in cases among students, faculty and staff. The best way to ensure a safe, in-person commencement celebration for our graduates is to operate within the same, controlled environment that has allowed IU to safely keep its campuses open since the fall.

All decisions about events on IU's campuses are based on recommendations from our Medical Response Team. IU will only allow up to 500 spectators for games played at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. This includes immediate family members of participating players and staff, and a limited number of seats for vaccinated medical personnel and first responders in Monroe County.

IUPUI hosts its home games at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum through an agreement with the Indiana State Fair, which operates the venue and worked directly with the NCAA to determine the capacity for spectators at the tournament.

Commencement ceremonies involve thousands of graduates alone. The scale of these events makes hosting in-person ceremonies for graduates only, while guests join virtually, the best way to ensure the safety of our students and campuses. Travel to IU's campuses is strongly discouraged to minimize the risks of COVID-19.

Planning the ceremony for early in the day gives us more flexibility in the event of severe weather.

The ceremony will be held in the Student Activitities Center Parking Lot at the northwest corner of Vine and 20th Street.

You will receive an email invitation to claim your ticket from Indiana University.

One ticket per graduate.

To ensure the health and safety of our campuses and communities, graduates are invited to attend Commencement in person, while guests can join the celebrations online. The ceremony will be streamed live on the Commencement website, and will also be available to watch after the event.

Only graduates will be permitted to enter the Commencement venues. Tailgating, camping and accompanying graduates to the ceremony site is prohibited. To help ensure everyone's safety, travel to IU campuses by graduates' family and friends is strongly discouraged.

Tickets are free for all ceremonies.

We encourage graduates to reserve a ticket as soon as they know they plan to attend Commencement. Ticket reservations must be made at least seven days before your campus' ceremony.

All ceremonies are general admission and graduates will be directed to seats when they arrive. We are unable to guarantee a student may sit next to someone of his/her preference.

Master’s and undergraduate students at all campuses will be randomly assigned seats and will not be seated next to their school colleagues.

Your ticket indicates the time you are to arrive to the ceremony location.

IU makes all decisions in consultation with its Medical Response Team. In addition to limiting in-person ceremonies to only graduates, those who participate will be required to undergo COVID-19 testing. All IU public safety protocols, including wearing a mask and physically distancing, must be followed during Commencement.

All graduates must have two negative COVID-19 tests on file with the university in order to attend Commencement. 2020 graduates and others who aren't in the vicinity of an IU testing location can submit a result from a non-IU lab for their first test, but must complete a negative test at an IU testing site the day before the commencement ceremony. The window for completing each test is dependent on what ceremony you are attending: 


 Test 1 

Test 2 





Saturday, May 8 


Friday, May 7 

May 2–May 5 


May 1–May 4 

May 6–May 7 


May 5–May 6 




Monday, May 10

May 4–May 7

May 9–May 10




Tuesday, May 11

May 5–May 8

May 9–May 10




Wednesday, May 12

May 6–May 9

May 10–May 11




Thursday, May 13

May 7–May 10

May 11–May 12




Friday, May 14

May 8–May 11

May 12–May 13




Saturday, May 15 


Saturday, May 15 

May 9–May 12 


May 9–May 12 

May 13–May 14 


May 13–May 14 

More information about where to get tested, and how to submit non-IU test results, will be shared in the coming weeks.

Students who have submitted a sample or have scheduling questions regarding a sample should email C19@IU.EDU

If your test result comes back as a positive sample, your ticket will be cancelled and you will be invited to watch the live stream of your campus ceremony. Please be sure to follow all CDC guidance for individuals who test positive for COVID-19.

More information about testing requirements for those who've been vaccinated will be shared soon.

IU is continually monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, and all plans are subject to change based on the public health outlook in each community. The university is committed to keeping its campuses safe, and will communicate directly with graduates if plans change.

Order directly from Herff Jones, IU’s licensed Commencement vendor,

All 2020 graduates who ordered and paid for official caps, tassels, gowns, hoods, and stoles will receive the complimentary use of gowns (and hoods if you earned a graduate degree) to wear at Commencement. Bring your cap and tassel (and stole if you earned an undergraduate degree). You will be contacted by Herff Jones before Commencement to arrange the use of complimentary apparel.

Indiana University South Bend

1700 Mishawaka Ave
South Bend, IN 46615
Phone: 574-520-4872