College of Liberal Arts

cola commencement

In order to participate in the below celebrations, you MUST apply to graduate or sign the walk list by April 5, 2021. You can find information on how to do so here.

University-Wide Commencement in the DKR Memorial Stadium
May 22 at 8 p.m.

Tickets will be required for graduates and their guests. Based on current capacity and social distancing guidelines, limited tickets will be available for guests.

Commencement will include the traditional Tower lighting and fireworks display. It will be broadcast and streamed live so additional family and friends will be able to watch if they are not able to attend in person.

All students who are eligible to graduate in Fall 2020, Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 are invited to attend the University-Wide Commencement. You must apply to graduate with CoLA in order to receive the invitation to the University-Wide Commencement ceremony and CoLA’s Moment of Recognition.

You will receive further information from the University about this ceremony when it becomes available.

More details will be shared at a later date, please refer to the University Commencement website for more information and FAQ’s.

College of Liberal Arts Moment of Recognition at the Turtle Pond
May 21st & 22nd, Time TBD

An in-person Graduation Recognition Moment for all UT Colleges and Schools will consist of a guided path where graduates will enter the event space with their limited number of guests, cross the ceremony stage, take a professional graduation photo, and exit the venue.

All Graduation Recognition Moments will be streamed live to allow the moment to be shared with extended family and friends. Students will be able to sign up for a time slot on either Friday or Saturday that would best accommodate their celebration schedule for that weekend. Students with approved graduation applications and have been successfully been added to the walk list will receive this sign up early May.

All CoLA undergraduate students who are eligible to graduate in Fall 2020, Spring 2021, and Summer 2021 are invited to attend the CoLA Moment of Recognition. There will not be individual department in-person celebrations.

All CoLA graduate students who are eligible to graduate Summer 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 are invited to join the Graduate School to celebrate their accomplishment. You can find more information on the Graduate School’s website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is there a chance the Moment of Recognition will be cancelled and “go-virtual” like last year?

A: All plans for Commencement are being guided by the COVID Investigating Committee and based on current public health guidelines, have been developed to celebrate the class of 2021 safely and responsibly.  While Commencement plans for May 2021 are within the current health guidelines, they will be evaluated monthly by the COVID Investigating Committee and are subject to change based on changing conditions.

Q: Will I need to RSVP?

A: Yes. An email will be sent to all CoLA Graduates that met the April 5th deadline to apply for graduation or signed the Walk List to RSVP for the Moment of Recognition. This email will be sent in mid-April and will include instructions on how to RSVP for this event. Note, that the University will be sending additional communication about ticketing for the Stadium ceremony.  

Q: Do I need to wear a cap and gown? If so, where can I buy them?

A: You are welcome (and encouraged) to wear a cap and gown. Should you wish to purchase regalia, it can be purchased here. Please note that in order to receive your regalia prior to the Commencement Weekend, orders must be placed by April 30.

Q: When will I know what time I should arrive for my Moment of Recognition?

The CoLA Celebration will take place over two days, each graduate will have an opportunity to sign up for a time slot that works best for your schedule. You can expect further information and the opportunity to RSVP for a time slot in late April/early May. Those who have applied to graduate or signed the walk list by the April 5th deadline will receive this information.

Note, that face coverings (which must follow county guidance and cover your nose and mouth) are required for all attendees, and must be worn both indoor and outdoor on UT’s campus. They may be removed for the formal graduation portrait.

More details about CoLA’s Moment of Recognition will be provided on this webpage in the coming weeks. 

Class of 2020

Students who graduated December 2019, May 2020, August 2020 are invited to attend the celebration for the Class of 2020 in September. More details can be found here.

If you have any specific questions that cannot be answered here, please email