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.

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

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.

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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. 

Other Commencement Events


Can I attend Baccalaureate Mass if I am not Roman Catholic?
Yes. The ceremony is open to all graduates, both undergraduate and graduate students. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 guidelines, guests of our graduates will not be able to attend.

How do I know if I should attend the Honors Convocation?
The Honors Convocation is for University Honors participants, Honors Society Members and students receiving special University honors. Honorees will receive individual invitations.

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.

Additional Information


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 students must check out of residence halls by noon on Sunday, May 16.

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.

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

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.