The University of Iowa

Virtual Ceremonies

Virtual Commencement Participation Information

The Virtual Commencement opt-in deadline was May 1 at noon. Because the deadline has passed, we are no longer accepting RSVPs, photo submissions, or information changes. 

Students with late or summer degree applications:

If you submitted a degree application after April 24, you will be welcome to participate in a future on-campus ceremony, but will not be included in the spring virtual commencement ceremony. The published deadline to be included was April 24. Please contact us if you have questions. 

If you submitted a degree application after April 24, you will be welcome to participate in a future on-campus ceremony, but will not be included in the spring virtual commencement ceremony. The published deadline to be included was April 24. Please contact us if you have questions. 

We are not accepting requests to participate in fall 2020 or spring 2021 commencement ceremonies at this time.

Frequently Asked Questions

The virtual ceremonies will be livestreamed using an embedded link on individual college virtual ceremony pages; see the full list of ceremony pages here.

After the conclusion of each livestream, the video will be uploaded to the University of Iowa YouTube Channel.

The virtual commencement ceremony will include many of the same components as a live ceremony, with messages from academic leaders as well as students and guest speakers, academic traditions, and most importantly individual recognition of graduates.

All virtual ceremonies will be live streamed to website at the originally-scheduled time, with the exception of the College of Public Health, which has been moved to 5 p.m. on May 16.

Graduating students will not be required to participate in the virtual ceremony—if you do not wish to participate in a virtual ceremony, you still will have the opportunity to attend a future in-person ceremony.


A spring 2020 printed commencement program will be mailed to qualifying students' residing mailing address. It is important that student residing addresses are updated in MyUI to help with delivery.

We will also post a pdf copy of the commemorative program to our commencement program page.

Diploma covers will be mailed in the package containing the commencement program. 

Undergraduate and Professional Graduates


Undergraduate and professional students who want to purchase commencement apparel for commencement photos and for possible participation in a future in-person ceremony can do so online through the Iowa Hawk Shop.

Please allow at least two weeks for processing/shipping. To receive 20% off your apparel purchase, use code 2020GRAD during checkout. 

Graduate College Graduates

For at home celebrations graduate student apparel can be rented or purchased online at If questions arise, please contact Herff Jones at or 952-447-4449.

Honor Cords

Cords will be sent by departments/colleges. If you have questions about Honor Cords, please contact your college. 

University Honors

Graduating seniors who are members of the Honors Program received communication from to their UI email address to complete the Honors Commendation Survey by April 24th at 5 PM. Students who missed the deadline may contact the Honors Program directly.

Please note, the form of acknowledgement may not be a medal as historically done in the past. Learn more here.

Distinction Stars

Were sent via US mail from the Office of the Registrar and will be mailed to the graduate’s residing address listed in MyUI. 

Please contact with questions.

The UI Commencement team does not coordinate or have specific information on the distribution of cords or stoles. Please reach out to the department or organization with questions about these items.

The university continues to monitor the coronavirus outbreak and to adhere to state and national public health recommendations. The UI is working with its partners and vendors to determine future in-person ceremony options; we will communicate with students when more solidified information is available.

The university understands how important the commencement experience is to its graduating students, friends, and families. These virtual celebrations allow the university to honor graduates in a timely way.

Additionally, these virtual ceremonies allow those students who won’t be able to return in fall 2020 or spring 2021 to participate in a commencement celebration.

Spring 2020 Virtual Ceremonies

Dear Spring 2020 Graduates, Family, and Friends:

Given the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in this semester, the University of Iowa will provide two ways to celebrate the achievements of our spring 2020 graduates:

A spring virtual commencement live-streamed on, and

The opportunity to walk in the fall 2020 or spring 2021 ceremony.

Hosting a virtual ceremony gives our graduates and their families a much-needed end-of-semester celebration while also protecting the health and safety of the Hawkeye community.

Like traditional commencement, each college will organize a virtual celebration that reflects its unique role on campus. These celebrations will include messages from university leadership, Board of Regents leadership, and other speakers, along with recognition of individual graduates.

The UI will also send a package to each of its graduating students that, among other items, will include a commemorative commencement program that recognizes their achievement during this unique and challenging historic moment.

Spring 2020 graduates who participate in the virtual ceremony may still take part in an in-person ceremony in fall 2020 or spring 2021, and graduates who would like to purchase their cap and gown can do so through the Hawk Shop website.

By the end of the semester, spring 2020 graduates will have faced not only the usual trials and tribulations of attaining a university degree, but also will have overcome the unprecedented situation of rapidly transitioning to online learning in the midst of a global pandemic—no mean feat. We are so very proud of all of you, and grateful for how quickly you’ve adapted.

Thank you for the great fortitude you’ve demonstrated during this crisis.

See you at the ceremonies!

Bruce Harreld,

Montserrat Fuentes,
Executive Vice President and Provost

Hello Hawkeye degree candidates,

Each college will host a virtual ceremony at the same time and day as originally scheduled, excluding the College of Public Health, which will stream its ceremony at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 16. All ceremonies will be livestreamed to We hope you will join us.

How to prepare:

  • All Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 students with active degree applications will receive an email from Marching Order Graduation Services to verify their name and degree information. Please be on the lookout for this email—it will be coming soon.
  • To take part in the virtual ceremony, students will need to opt-in using the username and password provided in the email from Marching Order. Students are encouraged (but not required) to submit a photo to show with their name in the virtual ceremony. If you do not opt in, you will not be included in the virtual ceremony.
  • Commencement apparel is available for purchase online via the Iowa Hawk Shop. Online purchases will be shipped to you and will not be available for on-campus pick-up. Apparel is not guaranteed to arrive by the time commencement ceremonies are live-streamed. Purchasing apparel is optional.
  • Please visit our Virtual Ceremonies page for the latest news about spring 2020 commencement information.

We are excited to celebrate you and applaud your resiliency in the face of this worldwide pandemic. Our hats are off to you!


The Office of the Registrar Commencement Team

Please contact with questions or concerns.

Full Email Message Public Archive 


We’re happy to report that virtual commencement opt-in email messages were sent out Tuesday, April 14. We used an external vendor to enable a more customized experience, so the message may have gone to your junk, clutter, or spam folders in your UI email account.

If you do not see a message in your inbox, dated 4/14, please check your junk, clutter, or spam folder for the message.

Sender: noreply@marchingorder on behalf of UI-commencement@uiowa

Subject Line: Opt-in for UIowa Virtual Commencement

Additional information about virtual commencement can be found HERE.

We look forward to celebrating you soon!

Email Message Public Archive