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Registration and health and safety guidance for students attending commencement

April 23, 2021

A Message from Dean Cooley

Copied to: DGSs, Chairs, Registrars
In this message: Registration and health and safety guidance for students attending commencement

Dear graduate students,

I write in anticipation of our 2021 Graduate School Commencement, scheduled for May 23, at 10 a.m. As you know, this year we will not have the traditional diploma ceremony in Woolsey Hall, but rather an outdoor event on Old Campus, to be held rain or shine and subject to public health conditions. Please check our Commencement web page regularly for updates, which will also appear in the GSAS Twitter feed.

We have planned a ceremony of approximately 45 minutes in length, with regalia optional. It will be live streamed via the University’s YouTube account, and presented on the GSAS website afterward, so that your family and friends can watch at their convenience. Although guests (children, family, friends and faculty) are not permitted to attend, we are delighted to be able to offer an in-person celebration of your achievements with your fellow graduates, the deans, and President Salovey. Professor Akiko Iwasaki will deliver the keynote address. A frequent national commentator on pandemic-related issues and an advocate for women in science, Professor Iwasaki is a wonderful speaker and I am thrilled to have her join us.

All graduating students – including remote and non-resident students – must register and comply with travel, testing and quarantine requirements in order to participate in Commencement on May 23. Pandemic health and safety protocols will all be in place, including social distancing and mask wearing. Masks are required of all attendees.

To register for our celebration:

COVID-19 testing requirements as announced by Dr. Stephanie Spangler:

  • Graduating students in residence with routine COVID-19 testing requirements must adhere to these requirements until commencement.
  • Graduating students without routine testing requirements must obtain a negative COVID-19 viral test during the seven days prior to commencement; students should obtain this test through the Yale COVID-19 screening program.
  • Students traveling from out of state or internationally to attend graduation must adhere to the testing and quarantine policy if not vaccinated; if fully vaccinated, quarantine is not required but testing as described above is still required.
  • All attendees must complete a daily health check before arriving for a ceremony.

If you have questions, please contact the GSAS Commencement Team at They check the inbox frequently and will respond as soon as possible.

Best wishes,
Lynn Cooley

Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
C.N.H. Long Professor of Genetics
Professor of Cell Biology and of Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology