University Commencement Ceremonies

Graduate celebrating with diploma

Fall 2020 Commencement Ceremonies

We have made the decision to move Iowa State University’s Fall 2020 Commencement Ceremonies and College Convocations to a virtual format. We considered a number of options for an in-person ceremony. The primary obstacle is that even with the size of our largest indoor facility, Hilton Coliseum, it does not provide adequate space to ensure physical distancing without severely limiting the number of attendees.

We share in your disappointment of this news as we know that commencement is one of the most important and special events that our university holds. Your years of hard work, dedication, and focused study deserve to be recognized and celebrated. While we can’t be together in person, we are developing creative ways to honor you and your momentous achievement.

We will host Iowa State University’s Fall 2020 Virtual Commencement Ceremonies on The pre-recorded celebrations will be available for viewing beginning at 10 a.m. (central time) on Saturday, November 28, 2020. We are excited to bring the pomp, circumstance, and Iowa State commencement traditions to you wherever you may be in Iowa, the country, or around the world.

We will also be giving each of you a special Graduation CYlebration gift, which will include your diploma cover or tube, streamer tube, souvenir tassel, commencement program, and honors cords (if applicable). In order to make sure you receive these items, and to ensure inclusion in both the commencement program and Fall 2020 Virtual Commencement Ceremonies and College Convocations, you will need to submit your Application for Graduation by 5 p.m. (central time) on October 1. To fill out an application, login to your AccessPlus account, and go to your “Student” tab. On the left side menu, click “Graduation” and then choose “Application.”

If you would like to order any academic attire to have as a memento, you can purchase through the Iowa State Book Store:

We also welcome you to participate in-person in a future commencement ceremony. 

We know this is not the ending you imagined to your Iowa State adventure, but the graduating class of 2020 will forever share a special place in history. This pandemic has challenged you in unprecedented ways, and I am so very proud of the strength of your Cyclone spirit.

Wendy Wintersteen
University President