COVID Testing for students

Can I get tested for COVID-19 before Commencement?
Yes. We will be offering End of Semester COVID Tests for students over the week of May 10-14 through the Millennium South Testing Center.  Hours will vary a bit by day.  Students can be directed to this link to schedule an appointment.  There is a lot of good detail that is within this scheduler and in the confirmation emails that they will get when they schedule. Read more

Commencement at FedExField

When and where is Commencement?
Catholic University's 2021 Commencement will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 15, 2021 at FedExField -
1600 Fedex Way, Landover, MD 20785. Gates A and H will open at 8 am.

Do I need to wear a face mask or covering?
Yes. Everyone is required to wear a face mask or covering.

Who participates in the Commencement Ceremony?
Currently enrolled students who will receive degrees in May are to attend Commencement Exercises. Students not currently enrolled who received their degrees earlier in the year (October, January) are welcome to participate. It is recommended that those who graduated earlier in the year contact her/his schools about her/his participation in the May exercises.

 
Do I need tickets to attend Commencement?
Yes. Everyone, including graduates, is required to have a ticket. Graduates will be required to present her/his ticket upon arrival and a member of the FedExField team will seat graduates accordingly. The tickets will be organized by a zone that corresponds with each school. Each graduate is allowed four guests. To comply with COVID-19 guidelines, guest seating will be sectioned off in groups of four with surrounding seats unavailable and ticket swapping/sharing is not allowed.  

Should you have any issue related to the tickets, please proceed to the ticket resolution booth on site that morning.

Are small children required to have a ticket?
Children 2 and under will not need a ticket. Children 3 and up will require a ticket.

How long does the Commencement Ceremony last?
The length of the ceremony is approximately 2 hours.

Will there be a student procession?

No. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 social distance requirements, there is no safe way to line up all graduates for a procession.

Where do I park?
FedExField has designated parking lots A and H for our event. All guests will enter the stadium through Gates A and H. 

fedexfield-site-map.png

 

Do you offer handicapped parking/seating?
The Catholic University of America is committed to promoting the full participation of all individuals with disabilities in our commencement programming. Vehicles displaying valid state or District of Columbia issued handicapped license tags and/or window placards identifying the driver or passenger as handicapped, will be authorized to park in designated handicapped spaces. There will be designated seating areas for persons with mobility disabilities and for those who need interpreters or transcribers. Seating is available for the individual with the disability and one companion on a first-come, first-served basis.

Members of the FedExField Guest Services team can assist with ADA related issues. Guest Services booths are located across from Sections 104, 124, 304, 324 and inside the stadium at the NRG Gate (Gate A) on the day of the event.

Can I take the Metro to FedExField?
Yes. If guests choose to travel to Commencement via Metrorail the Morgan Blvd Station stop on the silver line is recommended. The metro stop is approximately one mile from FedExField. There are sidewalks for the duration of the walk. Check WMATA for schedules and any service interruptions.
 
Will there be a rideshare drop-off point at FedExField?
Yes. If graduates and guests opt to use Uber, Lyft, etc. there will be a designated ride share drop-off point. There will be directional signage available that indicates the location.

What is the appropriate dress for the weekend's events?
There are no formal expectations for what guests should wear to commencement related events. Please wear comfortable shoes and weather appropriate clothing to FedExField. The weather could be mild or very warm, so plan accordingly. There will be no guests allowed at Baccalaureate Mass. It is recommended that graduates wear comfortable, breathable, church-like attire.

Can I bring a personal item, such as a purse, to FedExField?
Yes. FedExField has relaxed their traditional bag policy for our event. Smaller bags are strongly encouraged.

What security features will be in place at FedExField?
All graduates and guests are required to walk through a magnetometer. Additionally, all bags will be checked. To comply with COVID-19 guidelines the security team will not touch your personal items. You will be asked to open your bag and security will review the contents. Metal items will be placed in a bin located at tables at each entry point. The tables and bins will be wiped down after each use.

Will I be able to take pictures during the ceremony?
Photography is allowed at FedExField. However, guests are not permitted to disrupt the ceremony.  Guests should also be mindful about blocking the views of other guests.

What happens in the event of inclement weather?
Our ceremony at FedExField is rain or shine. Please bring a poncho and/or umbrella. We will follow FedExField protocols should the weather become severe.

Will commencement activities be livestreamed?
Yes. The main ceremony, as well as the Phi Beta Kappa Induction Ceremony, Honors Convocation and Baccalaureate Mass can be viewed via livestream.

Where can I find help the day of Commencement?
FedExField Guest Services Booths are located across from Sections 104, 124, 304 and 324. The Guest Services staff will assist in making your visit more enjoyable by providing information regarding FedExField and its services. The Guest Services team will have the contact information for members of the Catholic University commencement team that will be onsite. 

Baccalaureate Mass

Will there be low gluten Consecrated Hosts at the Baccalaureate Mass? 
For those needing to receive  Holy Communion by consuming low gluten Consecrated Hosts, please come to the principal celebrant's Communion station in the main aisle. 

Who can receive Holy Communion at Baccalaureate Mass?
 
For Catholics
As Catholics, we fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist when we receive Holy Communion. We are encouraged to receive Communion devoutly and frequently. In order to be properly disposed to receive Communion, participants should not be conscious of grave sin and normally should have fasted for one hour. A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord without prior sacramental confession except for a grave reason where there is no opportunity for confession. In this case, the person is to be mindful of the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition, including the intention of confessing as soon as possible (canon 916). A frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance is encouraged for all.

 

For our fellow Christians

We welcome our fellow Christians to this celebration of the Eucharist as our brothers and sisters. We pray that our common baptism and the action of the Holy Spirit in this Eucharist will draw us closer to one another and begin to dispel the sad divisions which separate us. We pray that these will lessen and finally disappear, in keeping with Christ's prayer for us "that they may all be one" (Jn 17:21).

Because Catholics believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Holy Communion. Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law (canon 844 §4). Members of the Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Polish National Catholic Church are urged to respect the discipline of their own Churches. According to Roman Catholic discipline, the Code of Canon Law does not object to the reception of Communion by Christians of these Churches (canon 844 §3).


For those not receiving Holy Communion

All who are not receiving Holy Communion are encouraged to express in their hearts a prayerful desire for unity with the Lord Jesus and with one another.

For non-Christians

We also welcome to this celebration those who do not share our faith in Jesus Christ. While we cannot admit them to Holy Communion, we ask them to offer their prayers for the peace and the unity of the human family.

© 1996, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Guest Attendance and Invite Only Events

Are guests permitted to attend commencement events?
Guests may attend the main ceremony at FedExField.. Please see the RSVP information at the top of the page. Guests are not permitted at the Nursing Pinning, Phi Beta Kappa, Honors Convocation, and Baccalaureate Mass.

How do I know if I should attend the Honors Convocation or Phi Beta Kappa?
Both events are invitation only. Honorees/Inductees will receive invitations via email with registration details. 

Additional Information

Will commencement activities be livestreamed?
Yes. The main ceremony, as well as the Nursing Pinning, Phi Beta Kappa Induction Ceremony, Honors Convocation and Baccalaureate Mass can be viewed via livestream.

What is the appropriate dress for the weekend's events?
There are no formal expectations for what guests should wear to commencement related events. Please wear comfortable shoes and weather appropriate clothing to FedExField. The weather could be mild or very warm, so plan accordingly. There will be no guests allowed at Baccalaureate Mass. It is recommended that graduates wear comfortable, breathable, church-like attire.

Can I bring my dog if it is on a leash?
Except for service aids, pets are not allowed.

How do I order my graduation cap and gown or graduation announcements?
Please visit the page Regalia and More. Students may also visit the campus bookstore to purchase regalia, announcements, diploma frames, etc.

How can I order pictures?
A photographer will be in touch via postal mail in the weeks following Commencement with information regarding purchasing your student's graduation photo. Each academic school makes its own arrangements with photographers; questions about graduation photos should be directed to the academic school. Please contact Steve Kreider, Director of Campus Activities at kreider@cua.edu for additional information about senior photos.

Where to get information about Class ring purchase and blessing?
Please visit the site Rings for details. Class rings can be ordered here by Friday, April 30.

What time do graduates have to be out of the residence halls?
Graduating seniors will need to check-out of the residence halls by Sunday, May 16th at 12:00 p.m. EST. Should you have any questions, please contact the Office of Housing Services at CUA-housing@cua.edu or 202-319-5615.

What is covered by the graduation fee?
The graduation fee is used to underwrite the cost of processing candidates for graduation, Commencement exercises and related activities. Participation in the University and/or school exercises is afforded at no additional cost to graduates and their guests. The fee does not cover academic regalia. It is recognized that not all students will use the benefits made available by the fee, but the services supported by the fee are available to all graduating students. The fee applies to all students who graduate from The Catholic University of America and will be applied directly to the student's account during the term they anticipate graduating.

What if I have additional questions?
Contact the Office of Events and Conference Services at cua-conferences@cua.edu or 202-319-5291 if you have other questions concerning commencement activities.

Hotel Information

Do you have a list of recommended accommodations?
For a list of local hotels, click here. 

Booking Linkclick here
HotelDoubleTree by Hilton Largo-Washington DC
Group Name/Code: Catholic University’s 2021 Commencement
Rate: Single/Double - $139

Booking Linkclick here
HotelHomewood Suites by Hilton Largo Washington D.C.
Group Name/Code: Catholic University Commencement/CAT
Rate: King Bed Suite - $149

Booking Link: click here
Hotel: Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Glenarden Washington DC
Group Name/Code: CUC
Rate: $99

Booking Linkclick here
Hotel: Embassy Suites DC Convention Center
Group code: CUC
Rate: Single $149/Double $169

Booking Link: click here
Hotel: Capital Hilton
Rate: Single/Double - $119

Booking Link: click here
Hotel: Hilton Washington DC Capitol Hill
Group Name/Code: CU
Rate: Single $135/Double $145