Spring Commencement 2021
Congratulations Class of 2021,
You are now officially Cal Poly graduates and alumni!
To celebrate this special moment in your lives, we’ve created six virtual ceremonies – one for each college – with special messages from our university leaders for you to enjoy with your supporters and loved ones. Click below to view your college's Spring Commencement ceremonies, download the Spring Commencement 2021 Commemorative Booklet, view personalized graduate slides, and for information on In-Person Recognition Events at Spanos Stadium, June 12-13.
Enjoy this moment – you've earned it!
- College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
- College of Architecture and Environmental Design
- College of Engineering
- College of Liberal Arts
- College of Science and Mathematics
- Orfalea College of Business
Enjoy the Spring Commencement 2021 Commemorative Booklet, featuring graduate names, messages from campus leadership, and student awardees.
View your personalized Spring Commencement 2021 graduate slides, featuring your name, celebratory headshot, and personal message, along with your college, major, degree and honors!
In addition to the official virtual commencement ceremony, the university will also host modified in-person graduation recognition events – one for each college – in Alex G. Spanos Stadium for spring 2021 graduates on June 12 and 13 at the following times:
Saturday, June 12, 2021
- 9 a.m. – Orfalea College of Business – VIDEO
- 12:30 p.m. – College of Architecture and Environmental Design – VIDEO
- 4 p.m. – College of Engineering – VIDEO
Sunday, June 13, 2021
- 9 a.m. – College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences – VIDEO
- 12:30 p.m. – College of Science and Mathematics – VIDEO
- 4 p.m. – College of Liberal Arts – VIDEO
4/15/21 - Class of 2021 Announcement
Dear Class of 2021,
We are all looking forward to celebrating your achievements at Commencement this June! You have persevered through a challenging senior year, so that means there are extra reasons to celebrate.
I’m happy to announce that in addition to the official virtual commencement ceremony, the university will also host modified in-person graduation recognition events – one for each college – in Spanos Stadium for spring 2021 graduates on June 12 and 13. Each participating graduate will receive two guest tickets to attend. This is in accordance with recently released California public health guidelines for graduates who want to attend an in-person experience and walk across the stage to have their names read aloud.
These events will not include all components of a traditional commencement ceremony. While some familiar elements may be included, these events will be abbreviated and focused primarily on the stage-crossing opportunity for our graduates. Because of the limited seating capacity allowed in the stadium, the event will also be live-streamed.
The university will still host the Virtual Spring Commencement Ceremony on June 11 as the official commencement event, where degrees will be conferred, and every graduate’s name will be announced. All academic college, department, cultural, club and organization celebrations will remain virtual as previously announced.
In order to host these events, San Luis Obispo County will need to be in Tier 3 (Moderate / Orange) status or better, as outlined in the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. Should conditions worsen or not advance to Tier 3, the university reserves the right to cancel these in-person events at any time.
Please know that the health of all event participants and the surrounding community is our top priority. All attendees are expected to comply with public health and university guidelines. Please visit the Commencement website for additional information about health, safety and travel guidelines.
Eligible graduates who want to participate in the graduation recognition events at Alex G. Spanos Stadium must let us know as soon as possible by completing the Spring Commencement 2021 Graduate Recognition Event Intent to Participate form. The deadline to complete this form is May 15, 2021.
Updates will be provided to eligible graduates in the weekly Commencement newsletter and posted on the Commencement website. We will also update Class of 2020 graduates on a special celebration event planned for December 2021. More information will be shared with them in July.
Until then, take care and be well, Mustangs. We look forward to celebrating your achievements in June!
Jeffrey D. Armstrong
4/15/21 - Class of 2020 Announcement
Dear Class of 2020,
We hope this message finds you well and thriving, wherever you are!
The university looks forward to hosting a special recognition event for the Class of 2020 and their families in December 2021 for a much-deserved celebration of your accomplishments! More information about this event will be shared with you in July. Stay tuned!
You may have also heard that in addition to the official virtual spring commencement ceremony this June, the university will host modified in-person graduation recognition events for Class of 2021 graduates. These events are in accordance with new California public health guidelines for graduates who want to attend an in-person experience. Due to the strict compliance measures and the limited number of participants allowed by the guidelines, the university cannot extend this invitation to 2020 graduates or their guests.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Cal Poly (your Alma Mater!), along with your friends, family members, and fellow alumni for a long-overdue commencement celebration.
Be well, Mustangs!
Graduate Recognition Events
Why is the university planning to host in-person graduate recognition events in June?
Celebrating our graduates is an important milestone for the Cal Poly community. Recently released California public health guidelines allow for modified in-person graduate recognition events, in addition to the official virtual commencement ceremony for graduating students.
Will it be safe to host graduate recognition events in June?
The university’s plan is contingent on the continued improvement of public health conditions. In order to host these events, San Luis Obispo County must remain in Tier 3 (Moderate / Orange) status or better, as outlined in the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.
Students, guests and staff will be required to adhere to all public health guidelines throughout their in-person graduate recognition event (facemasks, physical distancing, etc.). No other in-person events will be planned around ceremonies and all students, guests and staff will be expected to leave campus immediately following the conclusion of each celebration.
Should public health conditions worsen, the university reserves the right to cancel these in-person events at any time.
Where and when will the university host graduate recognition events?
Graduate recognition events will take place June 12-13 at Alex G. Spanos Stadium at the following times:
Saturday, June 12, 2021
- 9 a.m. – Orfalea College of Business
- 12:30 p.m. – College of Architecture and Environmental Design
- 4 p.m. – College of Engineering
Sunday, June 13, 2021
- 9 a.m. – College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
- 12:30 p.m. – College of Science and Mathematics
- 4 p.m. – College of Liberal Arts
Will these graduate recognition events resemble a traditional commencement ceremony?
These events will not include all components of a traditional commencement ceremony. While some familiar elements may be included, these events will be abbreviated and focused primarily on the stage-crossing opportunity for our graduates.
Who can attend these graduate recognition events?
The university will limit attendance to eligible graduating students, event support staff, faculty, vendors and safety personnel, and administration officials conducting the graduate recognition events. In addition, four guests (parents/supporters) are allowed to attend with each graduate and will be expected to follow public health guidelines (masks, distancing, etc.) at all times.
Will the university host additional in-person events associated with spring commencement?
No. All other academic college, department, cultural, club and organization celebrations for Class of 2021 graduates will remain virtual.
What protocols will be in place to help ensure the health of graduates, guests and staff at the graduation recognition events?
The university will offer a multitude of safety measures that prevent the spread of COVID-19 including but not limited to: facility restrictions and attendee control measures such as ticketing and assigned seating for guests, face covering requirements, health screenings, student asymptomatic testing requirements, protocols before, during and after the event, and cleaning and sanitation procedures to name a few. Protocols are in alignment with state guidelines for hosting in-person commencement events and university policies and procedures.
What happens if public health conditions worsen?
Should public health conditions worsen, the university reserves the right to cancel these in-person events and revert to solely hosting virtual commencement exercises. The university will work closely with county public health officials to monitor the local public health situation as we draw closer to June 12-13.
How many guest tickets are available per graduate?
Tickets are limited to four guests per participating graduate.
How will guest tickets be distributed?
Tickets will be distributed to graduates electronically by no later than Wednesday, June 9.
Regalia, Gifts and Downloads
Where can I purchase a cap and gown?
Visit colleges.herffjones.com/college/calpoly to order caps, gowns, tassels, sashes, master's hoods, class rings and diploma frames.
Where can I purchase graduate gifts?
Visit the Cal Poly University Store to purchase gifts, alumni gear, individual tassels and more.
Where can I purchase the Class of 2021 T-shirt?
Visit thecommencementgroup.com/calpolyslo to purchase a commemorative T-shirt featuring the names of the Class of 2021.
Where can I download celebratory banners, lawn signs, social media images and Zoom backgrounds?
Visit calpoly.edu/commencement-downloads to access celebratory downloads. Be sure to use the #CalPolyGrad hashtag to show us how #CalPolyProud you are in your celebrations.
Spring Commencement Archive
Virtual Spring Commencement 2020
Congratulations, graduates! To help you celebrate this momentous occasion, we have created this special virtual celebration for you and your supporters to watch. This celebration features messages from campus leaders and alumni, memories from your time at Cal Poly, and the conferral of your degrees!
Enjoy the Spring Commencement 2020 Commemorative Booklet featuring graduate names, messages from campus leadership, and student awardees.
Archived Ceremony Videos
Visit the Cal Poly Commencement YouTube Channel to watch past Spring Commencement ceremony livestream videos.