Commencement 2020/2021: what you need to know

Get ready to walk, Tigers! Whether you’re a 2020 grad who is returning for a ceremony or a May or August 2021 grad ready to finish your college career strong, here are the things you need to know to prepare for commencement.

graduate smiling in a cap and gown

April 9, 2021
Contact: Deidra Ashley,

The University of Missouri will celebrate its 2020 and spring and summer 2021 graduates through in-person commencement ceremonies in April and May. The 2020 graduates will be celebrated April 24-25, while May and August 2021 graduates are invited to ceremonies over the weekends of May 7-9 and May 14-16.

As you make your commencement preparations, here are the top 10 things you need to know:

1. Regalia

Regalia is now available at The Mizzou Store, and we encourage you to purchase it in advance.  All participating graduates must wear a cap and gown in order to walk.

Honors medallions: The Sinclair School of Nursing will hand out honors medallions during its ceremony on May 7. Medallions will also be distributed during the Honors College ceremony on May 9. For all other schools and colleges, honors medallions should be picked up at the Mizzou Store during ticket pick-up.

2. Guests and tickets

Each graduate will be able to bring up to six guests to their ceremony, and all guests must have a ticket. Note: Graduates and guests must wear face coverings at all times and follow Show Me Renewal guidelines.

Each ticket will be printed with the date, time, location, name of ceremony, section, row and seat number. The tickets for a graduate’s guests correlate with a specific pod (a group of six assigned seats). Pods will be socially distanced throughout event arenas.

Guests will sit in their assigned seats within the pod. If a graduate does not fill all of the seats in their pod, the additional seats will be left empty. Tickets may not be shared.

Ticket pickup

Graduates must pick up their tickets from The Mizzou Store during the assigned pickup dates listed below. Tickets can only be picked up by the individual graduating and cannot be mailed. Current students should bring their Mizzou ID. 2020 graduates can bring another form of official ID.

2020 graduates

  • Ticket pickup: April 19-25

2021 graduates

  • May 7-9 ceremony ticket pickup: May 3-9
  • May 14-16 ceremony ticket pickup: May 10-16

To help make sure everyone has the opportunity to get their tickets, The Mizzou Store will have extended hours on commencement weekends, including opening one hour earlier than the earliest commencement ceremony.


3. When to arrive

Doors open one hour prior to each ceremony. Graduates should plan to arrive no later than 30 minutes before the ceremony begins. This allows time to be checked in and pre-seated.

4. Where to park

Free parking is available for commencement guests.

Mizzou Arena

Guests can park in the Hearnes Center parking lots as well as the lots to the south and east of Mizzou Arena. From the south: Take Providence Road to Mick Deaver Drive and turn left into Lot P (south of Mizzou Arena). From the east: Take Stadium Boulevard to Champions Drive. From the north or west: Take Providence Road to Mick Deaver Memorial Drive and turn left into Lot P (south of Mizzou Arena) or take Stadium to Mick Deaver Memorial Drive and turn on Champions Drive.

Hearnes Center

The majority of the guest parking is located east of the Hearnes Center. We recommend entering from Stadium Boulevard to Champions Drive. There is also parking available on the west side of the Hearnes Center, at Memorial Stadium, using the Mick Deaver Memorial Drive entrance.

5. The ceremony

Graduates will have the opportunity to have their named called and walk across a designated space. Due to COVID-19 considerations, ceremonies will not feature a raised platform.

To reduce physical contact, students will pick up their diploma cover from a table as they walk.  Diplomas for spring 2021 graduates will be mailed at a future date, as is standard practice. 2020 graduates should have already received their diplomas.

6. Photo opportunities

Professional photographers will be at every ceremony to capture a photo of each graduate as well as an overhead shot of the ceremony. Graduates should receive an email containing proofs within 72 hours of their event.

Graduates and their guests are also encouraged to capture their own photos around campus. Please be sure to maintain social distancing and follow Show Me Renewal guidelines.

7. Help us keep our campus beautiful

If you plan on using confetti in any of your campus photos, please choose a biodegradable option and clean up after yourself. Confetti is not allowed in event venues.

Also, be sure to stand outside of flower beds when you photograph.

8. Livestreaming

Every ceremony will be livestreamed and recorded for guests and family members who are not able to attend. The commencement website will have links to livestreams

9. Face covering and social distancing requirements

Face coverings are required for all guests age 10 and older and must be worn during the entire event. Face coverings must be made of cloth or other permeable material, and must cover both the mouth and nose. Face shields and face masks with vents/exhalation valves do not meet Show Me Renewal face covering requirements. All guest pods are required to remain at least 6 feet apart from other pods during the event.

10. COVID considerations

Much thought and planning has been dedicated to offer safe in-person commencement ceremonies. Graduates and their guests must wear face coverings at all times and remain socially distant from other parties. Here are a few additional safety measures you can expect:

  • Events will not exceed 75 minutes in order to allow time for disinfecting graduate seating areas between ceremonies.
  • Guests may pickup sanitizing wipes at the entrance of the building to disinfect their seats.
  • No stage will be used in order to allow social distancing among the platform party.
  • There will be no processional — graduates will enter and go to their assigned seat, which will be socially distanced.
  • There will be no hooding ceremonies.
  • Graduates may not approach the platform party to shake hands or otherwise receive congratulations.
  • If there are materials for graduates to receive (such as a diploma cover), students will pick them up from a table.
  • There will be no “roaming” during the ceremony — all guests and members of the media must stay in their assigned seat at all times.

For more information, visit

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