Babson Graduates

Commencement 2020 and 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

We are excited to announce our Commencement plans for the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021.

Our goal is to create meaningful, fun, and safe experiences that incorporate Babson moments and capture the unique spirit of our graduates and global community. Planning is underway and more details including registration information will be shared shortly.

Registration for in-person Commencement celebrations is now closed. More information about livestreaming and digital ceremonies will be available shortly.

See Commencement Health and Safety Protocols for more information.

Class of 2021 undergraduate celebrations will take place in three parts—please see the Class of 2021 landing page for an overview of activities.

A few things to know:

  • In-person Commencement experiences on May 1 will take place in two identical sessions—one in the morning and one in the afternoon—in order to comply with state and local gathering restrictions. You will be asked to select your session during the registration process.
  • The morning session will run from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the afternoon session from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., inclusive of arrival, check-in, procession, ceremony, and one hour of photo opportunities around campus.
  • May 1 Commencement experiences will take place outdoors, under a tent, rain or shine.
  • Guests are not permitted to attend celebrations on campus but portions of the sessions (including walking across stage) will be livestreamed for friends and family.
  • The digital ceremony on Saturday, May 15 is open to the full Babson community. We encourage pre-registration, however, please know that anyone will be able to view the ceremony on May 15 and beyond. A recording will be available on the Babson website.

Registration for in-person Commencement celebrations is now closed. More information about livestreaming and digital ceremonies will be available shortly.

Class of 2021 graduate student celebrations will take place in three parts—please see the Class of 2021 landing page for an overview of activities.

A few things to know:

  • Registration is required for the in-person Commencement experience on May 2.
  • May 2 experiences will take place outdoors, under a tent, rain or shine.
  • The in-person experience will run from approximately 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., inclusive of arrival, check-in, procession, ceremony, and one hour of photo opportunities around campus.
  • Guests are not permitted to attend celebrations on campus but portions of the sessions (including walking across stage) will be livestreamed for friends and family.
  • The digital ceremony on Saturday, May 15 is open to the full Babson community. We encourage pre-registration, but please know that anyone will be able to view the ceremony on May 15 and beyond. A recording will be available on the Babson website.

Registration for in-person Commencement celebrations is now closed. More information about livestreaming and digital ceremonies will be available shortly.

Students studying 100% remote—undergraduate and graduate—are invited to register for the “pod” experiences only, and to return to campus on their assigned celebration day (May 1 for Class of 2021 undergraduate students; May 2 for Class of 2021 graduate students). All students participating in in-person experiences, including remote students visiting campus for the day, must be in full compliance with Babson testing protocols and are accountable for adhering to all campus COVID-19 policies and the COVID Specific Health and Safety Policy for Students (pdf). Remote students will be responsible for arranging their own accommodations, and, for health and safety purposes, may not stay as a guest of any residential students. Additional information will be emailed to students who register for the in-person “pod” experience, including details about testing requirements.

See Commencement Health and Safety Protocols for more information.

Class of 2020 undergraduate celebrations will take place in two parts—please see the Class of 2020 landing page for an overview of activities.

Here are a few things to know:

  • Registration is required for the in-person Commencement experience on May 8.
  • The in-person experience will run from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., inclusive of arrival, check-in, procession, ceremony, and one hour of photo opportunities around campus.
  • In-person experiences will take place outdoors and under a tent, rain or shine.
  • Guests are not permitted to attend celebrations on campus but portions of the sessions (including walking across stage) will be livestreamed for friends and family.
  • The digital ceremony is open to the full Babson community. We encourage pre-registration, but please know that anyone will be able to view the ceremony on May 8 beyond. A recording will be available on the Babson website.

Registration for in-person Commencement celebrations is now closed. More information about livestreaming and digital ceremonies will be available shortly.

Class of 2020 graduate student celebrations will take place in two parts—please see the Class of 2020 landing page for an overview of activities.

Here are a few things to know:

  • Registration is required for the in-person Commencement experience on May 8.
  • The in-person experience will run from approximately 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., inclusive of arrival, check-in, procession, ceremony, and one hour of photo opportunities
  • around campus. 
  • In-person experiences will take place outdoors and under a tent, rain or shine.
  • Guests are not permitted to attend celebrations on campus but portions of the sessions (including walking across stage) will be livestreamed for friends and family. 
  • The digital ceremony is open to the full Babson community. We encourage pre-registration, but please know that anyone will be able to view the ceremony on May 8 beyond. A recording will be available on the Babson website. 

Registration for in-person Commencement celebrations is now closed. More information about livestreaming and digital ceremonies will be available shortly.

Yes. Throughout the last few months, we considered several alternatives, including Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium, and the DCU Center in Worcester. Each possibility for an in-person experience has benefits and shortcomings from group transportation, health considerations, COVID restrictions, costs, and the satisfaction of student participants among others. When we vetted the larger facilities/stadiums with our Commencement planning committee (which includes graduate and undergraduate students from the class of 2021), the major drawback was that graduates would not cross a stage for individual recognition. Students also shared a desire to say goodbye to friends and the Babson campus.

We heard from students that it is important to be recognized on stage individually in front of their peers and say farewells together. We believe that will have far greater meaning and significance for our community than a large venue that doesn’t feel familiar or special. Ultimately, we decided that a series of in-person Commencement events, on our campus under the traditional tent, was important for our students.

Yes. In-person graduation experiences will take place outdoors and under a tent, rain or shine. Groups of students (per state guidance) will take part in several “pod” experiences, including processing in regalia, being recognized by name, walking across the stage, and experiencing the “turning of the tassel” milestone. In adherence with required health and safety protocols, food and beverage will not be served at any in-person Commencement events.

We remain bound by state and local public health data and restrictions, including gathering limits and required risk mitigation strategies, and plans may continue to change or evolve.

See Commencement Health and Safety Protocols for more information.

Yes, a portion of the events will be streamed and available for those who remain remote, as well as for family members to engage.

At this time, guests will not be permitted to attend in-person events.

See Commencement Health and Safety Protocols for more information.

Students, faculty, and staff attending in-person events—including individuals who are full vaccinated—must be in full compliance with Babson testing protocols. All students currently living on campus or commuting to campus must remain in the required testing protocols, and we ask that they test no later than 48 hours prior to their scheduled ceremony. Additional details will be shared regarding testing requirements, including information specific to remote students and those who are not currently participating in the regular testing cadence.

See Commencement Health and Safety Protocols for more information.

We recognize that many graduating students will not be able to attend in-person experiences. We believe that they and their families will value a high-quality virtual celebration. Therefore, Commencement celebrations will culminate with highly produced digital ceremonies on Saturday, May 8, for the Class of 2020, and Saturday, May 15, for the Class of 2021, allowing all graduates to celebrate from home with family and friends, and providing an opportunity for the Babson community around the world to honor our newest graduates.

Each ceremony—undergraduate and graduate—will last approximately 90 minutes and will include:

  • Celebratory remarks from College leaders.
  • Commencement addresses from honorary degree recipients.
  • Student and faculty awards and speeches.
  • Reading of graduates’ names while submitted photos are displayed. The deadline for submitting Commencement photos has passed and we are no longer able to accept submissions. If you have concerns regarding photos, please email the Events Management Office.
  • Special entertainment components and guest appearances.
  • A virtual campus experience with special interactive content, music, and video greetings from faculty, staff, and notable alumni.

We encourage you to plan COVID-19 friendly viewing parties with family and friends! The virtual campus experience and digital ceremonies will be available on demand following their initial broadcasts, so students and families can watch (and rewatch) at any time that is convenient for you.

Students who graduated from a degree program in May 2020, December 2019, or August 2019 are eligible to participate in the Class of 2020 Commencement ceremony.

Students who graduated from a degree program in May 2021, December 2020, or August 2020 as well as students as students expected to complete their degree requirements in August 2021* are eligible to participate in the Class of 2021 Commencement ceremony.

*Undergraduate students expected to graduate in August 2021 must declare their intent with their Student Success Advisor by March 31. Graduate students expected to graduate in August 2021 must register for their remaining degree requirements and submit an Application for Degree by March 31. A student who does not meet the March 31 deadline will not be eligible to participate.

Diplomas will be mailed in June to students who complete the degree requirements this spring and are May 2021 graduates. Your diploma will be withheld if you have any outstanding obligation, such as a balance due or laptop to return.

Invitation Letter information is in the Requests & Submissions dropdown of the International Student & Scholar Services page. While the U.S. Department of State has stated that invitation letters are not necessary for the tourist visa process, you can create an invitation letter for yourself or others. Keep in mind that family/guests will not be permitted to attend any in-person commencement event.

There are a variety of different situations that international travelers should research and consider between departing from their current location and traveling to the U.S. 

  • Check with your airline and travel.state.gov for the latest travel restrictions and entry requirements.
  • Understand Babson guidelines for who is eligible to attend in-person events and applicable testing requirements [link to Babson specifics?]. 

International students can speak to an international student advisor via WebEx if needed. Visit International Student & Scholar Services for hours and WebEx link.

Only international students with active F-1 immigration records who are either within their program or maintaining their status on OPT through employment are eligible to enter the U.S. using their F-1 visa if currently outside the U.S. Students should review our Travel and Visa Renewal page to ensure they have the documentation required based on whether they are a continuing student or on OPT.