The university will hold in-person commencement ceremonies at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the graduating classes of both 2020 and 2021, according to an email Thursday to the USC community.
Ceremonies will be held twice a day from May 14 to May 25 to adhere to state guidelines on sanitation and capacity. The ceremonies will also be available to view online for those who cannot attend.
Per state public health guidelines for all universities in California, only students residing in the state will be able to attend the ceremonies. According to the FAQ, the university is working to confirm with L.A. County that a 10-day quarantine will allow students and guests outside of California to attend.
In order to attend a graduation ceremony, students must submit an RSVP to the university by April 1. The university has requested that all students fill out the registration form, even if they do not plan on attending a ceremony. A schedule of times and dates of each ceremony will be released the first week of April, once the university has a headcount of graduates intending on walking.
Graduating students will be placed on the Coliseum’s field while invited guests will fill the stadium seats. Each student will only be permitted two guest invitations.
Students will walk across the stage while the Trojan Marching Band plays, have their name read, receive their diplomas and have a photo taken to be projected on a screen at the Coliseum. Students who are unable to attend the live ceremonies will have their name read in a virtual ceremony.
President Folt and Provost Zukoski will present degrees at each ceremony, while the keynote commencement speaker, Valedictorian and the dean of each respective school will give remarks.
Due to social distancing requirements, graduating doctoral students will not have their traditional hooding ceremony. The university said doctoral graduates may request a hooding ceremony from their school’s commencement coordinator in the future.
Cultural celebrations will take place on virtual platforms the day before commencement ceremonies. The Baccalaureate service will not be held this year.
For the time being, the email said the university is developing a “new digital platform to host a memorable, feature-rich remote experience with the objective of delivering an unforgettable experience for everyone.” .
In order to attend the in-person ceremonies, students will need to rent or purchase regalia from the USC Bookstore.
More information about the ceremony can be found on the USC Commencement website.