School of Social Welfare
School Recognition Events

2020 Summer, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Graduates

As required by the University, we regret to inform you that the School of Social Welfare will not be allowed to hold a School-level recognition ceremony for our graduates. Typically, each spring, the School of Social Welfare hosts annual graduation ceremonies to recognize all of our undergraduate, master’s and PhD students who are graduating during the current academic year (summer, fall, and spring semesters). To follow the Douglas County and KU health standards, such as social distancing and increased sanitation requirements, there are fewer campus spaces available and a lack of staffing and resources to accommodate large events; therefore, the University administration has told departments they are not allowed to hold their typical in-person departmental ceremonies, and instead need to hold these ceremonies virtually. We understand the flood of emotions that this brings (and for some of you this is the second time this has been taken away), we feel it too.

Students who meet graduation requirements will still have their degrees certified, and even though we are not able to hold the recognition ceremonies as planned, we still want to celebrate this monumental accomplishment virtually. We are planning a virtual ceremony with a yearbook style recognition video, which will act as the recognition of degrees portion of the virtual ceremony. We hope you will help contribute by sending us photos, celebratory videos, written or video comments about what school has meant to you, what you are planning to do for the future, etc. If you have something to contribute, please fill out this survey by May 1.

The School's Virtual Ceremony for spring 2021 will be released on this page on May 14, 2021 at 1 p.m. It is not a live ceremony, so the recording will be available for viewing at anytime. 

2019 Summer, Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 Graduates

A virtual event was held in the spring of 2020. You can view the ceremony on the School's YouTube Channel

University Commencement

Chancellor's message regarding spring 2020 and spring 2021 Commencement and department recognitions released Feb. 9, 2021.

Determine eligibility

Events taking place on two weekends this May will celebrate the Classes of 2021 and 2020, respectively:

  • On May 16, Commencement exercises will be held for the Class of 2021, which consists of spring 2021 candidates, as well as summer and fall 2020 graduates.
  • On May 23, the Class of 2020, which includes summer and fall 2019 graduates as well as spring 2020 graduates, will attend their ceremony.

Spring 2021 candidates should confirm eligibility with their school. All other students who earned degrees in the semesters of graduation listed above may participate.

Register to participate

This year's events will require registration and guest tickets, both obtained through KU Athletics' website. Student registration opens March 22 and closes April 4. To register, sign in to a preexisting KU Athletics account, or register for one, to get started. You will opt in using a process similar to the one used for athletic event ticket purchases. This video provides a walkthrough from login to checkout. If you encounter technical issues, call 785-864-3141 for assistance.

Once you've completed this transaction, an email from KU Athletics will confirm that you're registered. Another email send mid-April will notify you that guest seat selection is open. It is your responsibility to select seats and obtain tickets for your guests, or to provide guests with your login credentials so that they can select seats themselves.

More information and updates about KU commencement can be found on the KU Commencement webpage.

Important Information for Graduates

  1. Apply for graduation (AFG) on Enroll & Pay(Note: Completing the AFG does not mean course requirements are complete and your graduation is approved.)
    1. By March 1
      1. If you would like to be listed in the University Commencement program and receive your diploma in July, you must apply by March 1. The KU Commencement Program will include names of graduates from the previous summer and fall, and anticipated graduates in spring.  For May 2021, the program will include graduates from August 2020, December 2020, and May 2021.  Graduates’ names will be printed in the  Program if the Apply for Degree has been completed in Enroll & Pay by the March 1 deadline.
      2. If you missed the March 1 deadline you will not be listed in the programs; however, you still need to apply for graduation on Enroll & Pay or your degree cannot be certified and you will not officially graduate this year.
  2. Regalia Rental or Purchase
    1. To participate in the ceremonies at KU the proper regalia is required. All items can be ordered at the KU Bookstores.
      1. BSW regalia includes caps, gowns and tassels to be recognized. Your cap and gown should be black. The tassel will be citron, the color for the academic discipline of social work.
      2. MSW regalia includes cap, gown, tassel and hood. Your cap, tassel and gown should be black. The hood will be citron, the color for the academic discipline of social work.
      3. Doctoral regalia includes a doctoral gown, doctoral hood and an eight sided velvet tam with black stubby tassel. The hood will be crimson and blue, the official colors of the University of Kansas.
  3. Accessibility Accommodations: Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend University of Kansas sponsored events. If you require a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this event, please contact KU Commencement Administration at at least two-weeks prior to the event.