Student and Academic Life

Graduates: Register for May Commencement by This Friday

grad wearing mortarboard with writing on it that says "Oh, the places I'll go"
December 2019 UK Commencement. Mark Cornelison | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 22, 2021) — In the interest of health and safety, University of Kentucky graduates interested in participating in this May’s in-person or virtual Commencement ceremonies must register by 5 p.m. EDT Friday, March 26.

All May 2021 graduates who have applied for a degree, along with May, August and December 2020 graduates, should have received an email with information on how to register at their UKY email address. The deadline to apply for a degree is April 1, so any student who wishes to participate in the Commencement ceremonies but will not apply for a degree until after March 26 should email

Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, organizers must have an accurate number of all who plan to participate by this Friday. No late registrations or walk-ups can be permitted.

As previously announced, the university will hold in-person ceremonies for May 2021 graduates at Rupp Arena over the weekend of May 14-16. May, August and December 2020 graduates are also invited to participate. Several ceremonies will take place over the course of these three days. The number of ceremonies and times will be decided after registration closes this week and announced as soon as possible.

Reminders about the May 2021 ceremonies:

  • Health and safety protocols, including mask requirements and physical distancing, will be enforced at the in-person ceremonies, and seating will be limited.  
  • To that end, each graduate will be allowed a maximum of four guests.   
  • Ticketing information will be communicated once final ceremony dates and times are announced.  
  • In addition to in-person ceremonies, a virtual component will be available for all students. Each graduate may upload a photo and personal message to be displayed on a slide with their name, primary college and degree earned read out loud by a pre-recorded orator.  
  • The in-person ceremonies will be livestreamed for any guests who cannot attend and will be posted to the Commencement website to allow any student who cannot attend the opportunity to participate virtually.

More information is available at

For questions or concerns, contact  

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion four years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for five straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.